World-traveled dog from Costa Rica finds new adventures at New River Beach

New River Beach – Kika loves extreme sports, and she loves to travel. Now, this may sound like a lot of people, but Kika isn’t like most people. In fact, she isn’t even a person at all. Kika is a sweet little dog, and yes, she really is into extreme sports, and she has traveled to many places in her short lifetime, including Los Angeles, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alberta. Originally from Costa Rica, Kika now lives in the Fredericton area, and last week she and her “grandparents” were enjoying a day at New River Beach. Kika seemed thrilled to be at the beach, and was enjoying the attention she was getting from other beachgoers.

So, how did this little dog from Costa Rica end up in New Brunswick? Her owner, Adam Hadley, was doing field work in Costa Rica. Kika was one of many stray dogs living on the street, and while visiting the area, Hadley’s boss’ children befriended her. Originally, the plan was for the family to adopt her and bring her home with them. But, they weren’t able to sort out the logistics in time before they were set to head home. Hadley was then charged with the task of finding her a home in Costa Rica, but that didn’t quite go as planned.

“Over the time I was supposed to do that I ended up getting fairly attached to the dog and the easiest thing to do was to bring her back,” said Hadley, who lives in Penniac, just outside of Fredericton.

Kika, a Chihuahua/Boxer mix (with many other breeds likely mixed in a well), was originally called “Chic””, which is Spanish slang for “girl”. This name was given to her by the children who first befriended her, but Hadley didn’t feel right calling her that, because it is a slang term and he felt it wasn’t appropriate. So, he renamed her after a friend of his who has similar interests to the canine Kika. Pendrel, originally from Harvey and now living in British Columbia, is a two-time world champion mountain biker, and also won a bronze medal in the last summer Olympics. Hadley felt the mountain bike connection and the fact that the name “Kika” sounded similar to “Chica” made the new name an obvious choice.

“To me, that wasn’t a great name to be yelling out in the middle of a dog park,” said Hadley. “You can see the obvious problems with that. I think it’s sort of a slang term, so it ends up being like in English, the term “chick”. So, I had a friend, Catharine Pendrel, and she’s a really amazing mountain biker, and her nickname was Kika. So to me, it’s a cool name, and it has nice connotations in terms of there’s somebody I know who likes to do the active things that seem to fit with this dog and her personality. I thought it was an easy transition for the dog, and she would recognize the new name quite easily.”

So, Kika began her new life, complete with a new name, with Hadley, and first traveled to Los Angeles. Hadley said for some reason of which he isn’t sure, she was unable to be with him on the same plane, and ended up having to stay at a pet hostel in Los Angeles overnight before moving on to Oregon to be with her new owner.

“I initially brought her to the States, because I was living in Oregon at the time,” said Hadley. “She’s become quite a well-traveled dog. She initially came from Costa Rica and went to Oregon. Then she spent some time in Alberta, and then came to New Brunswick.”

Surprisingly, Hadley said it wasn’t much of a hassle to adopt Kika and bring her home with him. He said there were several hoops to jump through, but the main aspect was she had to have all appropriate vaccinations before she could travel.

“That was basically the only official requirement,” said Hadley. “Everything else was just sort of to see that things were in order. I guess one thing was that she couldn’t end up flying on the same plane coming back. She had to spend the night at a pet hostel in LA. I’m not sure what that was like for her, but she seemed to survive it okay. I didn’t even know that pet hostels existed.”

Kika was just a puppy when Hadley decided to adopt her, and he has had her for about five years. In that time, she has been on several adventures, which he said she seems to really enjoy. One of her favorite activities is to go mountain biking with Hadley, or with Hadley’s parents, who look after her during the day while he is at work. He said she loves to run alongside while they are cycling, and she can “really move along”.

”She’s also hiked to the top of some mountains in British Columbia, up there in the snow and she seems to enjoy that. She enjoys cross country skiing in the winter. For a little dog from Costa Rica, I think she’s probably done quite a bit.”

Kika loves everyone she meets, and she is particularly fond of children. Hadley thinks this is due to the fact that the first people who befriended her instead of chasing her off were young children. She spends her days going on adventures with Hadley’s parents, Eric and Jane Hadley, while he is at work. Avid cyclists themselves, they make sure she gets to go on daily bike rides.

“Right now, because I work during the day, they now get to spend more time with her than I do. A typical day for her would look like, if she could have her way, she’d go on a mountain bike ride, running alongside the bikes for about 10 to 20 kilometers every morning.”

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca