Surf club caps Millie for sniffing out the white ants
By MAX GODBEE
YAMBA Surf Club enrolled its first canine member, and Ellie, the French beagle, is believed to have become Australia's number one surf dog when she was inducted as an honorary member of the club at its annual meeting on Sunday.
Ellie is a trained termite sniffer dog working with John Elder of Elders Pest Control, which provides termite protection for the surf clubhouse on Yamba's Main Beach.
The pair do regular voluntary checks on the clubhouse and Ellie earned the special gratitude of club members for her early detection of termites in one section of the building during a pre-inspection carried out as part of the club's current renovation and refurbishment work.
Ellie works for the Elders company and for the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service, at times required to inspect incoming ships and planes in both Brisbane and Sydney for the presence of termites.
Ellie was found apparently abandoned in a Brisbane backyard and was specially trained for her job by quarantine authorities, who now put her value at around $65,000.
But at two-and-a-half years old, fame has not gone to her head, she is still friendly, playful and always on for a pat in her off duty hours.
Handler John Elder, of Elders Pest Control, said Ellie: "loves her work and treats it as a game. It's a very valuable game.
"To date she has done over 50 sniffer jobs with a 100 per cent accuracy record."