By K.S. Brooks / Silverado Express Newspaper
I’ve said for years that the two best icebreakers are dogs and cars — total strangers have come up to me to talk about both. So it was no surprise to me that Misty Wegner and Charlie Aebi met because of dogs.
Both Misty and Charlie have worked in K9 Search and Rescue (SAR), in completely different states, but both ended up in Chewelah and on each other’s radar. Talking with them is always uplifting; their enthusiasm and passion for SAR is effervescent. And then there’s the finishing of each other’s sentences that led me to ask them if they were a couple. I was a little embarrassed when I learned they are not.
The two became fast friends shortly after meeting, and they decided to take their talents and their passion for K9 SAR and form Stevens County K9 SAR. The two are headed with their team of faithful dogs — Areli, Akivah, Hokhmah and Havoc — to Montana for national certification this summer. While they are clearly enjoying what they do, they take it very seriously. And that shows in the results each time I volunteer to hide so their dogs can locate me. It’s pretty fun for me, too. In fact, these two are just fun to be around, period.
While they are both likeminded, interestingly, they come from completely different backgrounds. Charlie went into the Marines out of high school, and Misty was a child actor who went into horse training.
“I came out of my mom crying because I was born in California,” Misty said. “I hated the concrete jungle, the monotony of weather, smog, traffic. I wanted mountains and streams, and I don’t care about theatres on every corner. I want to be enjoying the outdoors. I hated it there without a doubt.” And, while she admits she spent most of her time dreaming about getting out of that state, it did give her the opportunity to work with horses. “I was a horse trainer for about 27 years. I still gives lessons on occasion. Reining, cutting, dressage, jumping,” she said. Misty is a proponent of the shankless bit (snaffle) which is much easier on a horse.
Misty used to breed hypo-allergenic horses known as Curlies. “Curly is a recessive gene in all horses — not sure why it’s dominant in these horses — they tend to be very laid back, very puppy-dog friendly, extremely…