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09 Jan

Breakaway Magazine Vol. 3 Issue 6 - Wolves' Best Friend

The Chicago Wolves might be HOCKEY fans’ best friend, but a supporting cast of canine companions that greets the players when they return home after each game helps make that possible.

From the six lucky dogs adopted by Chairman of the Board Don Levin, down to the posse of pooches whose masters take the ice each night, dogs are an important and well-loved part of the Wolves family.

The organization is so fond of furry friends that the team hosts seven Adopt-A-Dog nights, in conjunction with the City of Chicago’s Animal Care and Control, at home games each season. On these special nights, fans can visit “Krogger’s Canines” - named for captain Jason Krog, who is the team spokesman for the program’s 10th season – in the South lobby and, after finding the right match, take their new pet home after the game.

Adopt-A-Dog is a “pet” project of Levin, who counts animal welfare among his top charitable priorities. Spearheaded by Senior Vice President of Operations Courtney Mahoney, whose black Lab, Mick, is a poster boy for the program, more than 800 dogs have found homes with Wolves fans at Adopt-A-Dog games, which includes nearly 50 this season alone.

Below, six Wolves players introduce you to the dogs in their lives, in hopes that Max, Lui, Gilly, Shelby, Vegas and Madden will inspire you to stop by Krogger’s Canines or your local shelter to pick out a pup of your own!

Jamie Hunt

Dogs-HuntWe got our dog in August of 2009 in Wetaskiwin, Alberta. He’s a one-and-a-half-year-old Mini Goldendoodle named Max. My wife really wanted a dog and she told me I could name him, but she didn’t like any name I picked, so she pretty much named the dog.

The first year training him was pretty crazy. He would tear up the house. He ate the carpet in our apartment last year and he actually ate a hole in our drywall trying to get to his treats. The first year, he was pretty nuts, but he’s calmed down a lot since then.

He is very loving and loves to play. He has a lot of energy in the morning and then at night he’s ready to go to bed around nine. So he’s a fun, playful dog, but he is also pretty chill when he wants to be.
My wife and I take him for walks. We have a yard at our place this year, which is great, so we can take him out and play with him there. We also take him to the park and let him run around with the other dogs. He loves playing with the Sifers’ dog, Shelby, too.

I love going home to a dog waiting there and excited to see me. He provides a lot of comfort for both me and my wife. He especially gives my wife some company when I’m on the road.

 

Jason Krog

Dogs-KrogWe got our dog, Lui, in Winnipeg two years ago. He is a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie). I had a Springer Spaniel and a Lhasa Apso growing up.

We named him Lui because we wanted a name that was short. We figured we’d be yelling it a lot, so we wanted something that was easy to remember.

The training process was good. He’s a pretty smart dog. Obviously, you have to be adamant about staying with it, but it worked out pretty well with him. He chewed on shoelaces when he was little, but that’s about it for eating things. He’s well behaved - most of the time - and I would describe him as pretty laid back.

My favorite things to do with Lui are swimming and fetch. We also like to take him mountain biking.
The best part about having a dog is he doesn’t talk back and is always happy to see you.

 

Darren Haydar

Dogs-HaydarI told my fiancée, Sara, that I would get her a dog as a gift when she was healthy enough to have one around. So I gave her Gilly, a Mini Goldendoodle, last year.

The training went very well because Sara was able to be home with the dog when we first got him. He never really had a lot of alone moments or accidents in the house. He has been a pleasure to have.
He listens to Sara a little bit more than me but I am the one who feeds him and takes him out every morning, so I think he definitely listens to me as well.

He loves when we take him to the park. He seems to have so much fun there. He is a social butterfly and always likes to say hello to everybody and everything that walks past.

The funniest story involving our dog has to be the wicker basket incident that happened last year. We kept all his toys in a wicker basket and one night Sara came to a game, and when we both came home afterwards, the wicker basket was in a million pieces all over our living room floor. Somehow, he got out of the little kennel we had him in and he wanted to play, and we weren’t there to play with him. Also, seeing him dive into the snow is pretty funny to watch.

His personality is loving, gentle and very friendly.

The best part about having him is seeing him when we walk in the door every time. He is always excited to see us and greets us with a stuffed animal in his mouth as if he is ready to play right then and there.

 

Andrew Kozek

Dogs-KozekI got my dog when she was six or seven weeks old. She’s a three-year-old Labrador Retriever named Vegas. I heard that name when I was a lot younger and when I got her I decided that’s what I wanted to call her.

I always wanted a dog when I was younger, but with hockey and traveling it was too hard. I had guinea pigs and fish, pets like that, but never a dog.

I got her in the summer, so I had all the time I needed to be at home to train her. When she was a puppy, I had to get up with her a lot. The first weeks were definitely the toughest, but it wasn’t too bad.

She’s a very loving and playful dog. She’s friendly with any kind of dog and she always wants to play.
We take a couple walks each day for about an hour and a half. She doesn’t really have an off button, so I’ll throw the ball for her and she’ll basically go until she can’t go anymore. She likes the snow and she loves the water.

The best part of having a dog is when you come home, you’re not coming home to an empty house. She’s always there and in a good mood no matter what kind of day you had. She gives you that “let’s get out there and go” energy when you’re not fully up to it.

 

Jaime Sifers

Dogs-SifersI picked up our dog in 2009, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. My wife named her Shelby. She’s a one-and-a-half-year-old black and white English Springer Spaniel.

I’ve always been a dog person. I had an English Springer Spaniel named Pepper when I was growing up. She lived a long time; she was 16 years old when she passed away. After Pepper passed away, I used to drive 20-30 minutes to play with my grandmother’s black Lab. My wife was never a dog person, but the second we picked Shelby up she got attached.

I got her in the offseason, so I spent every day of the summer with her. She didn’t have time to make a mistake. Now, I don’t really even need a leash with her. If you give her a quick whistle and call her name, she’ll come running.

She is very outgoing and extremely pleasant to be around. I don’t think she has a mean bone in her body. She loves to cuddle and she’s happy to see anybody that comes up to her. It doesn’t make her a good guard dog, but she loves the attention.

Every morning, my alarm clock goes off and she’s staring at me and pumped to go outside, no matter how cold or wet it is. I take her outside on a route in the field by our house and usually after practice I’ll take her to the field and she’ll play with the Frisbee and chase squirrels.

The best part about having Shelby is her companionship. She’s very fun to be around, especially when you’re bored. It’s nice having her around and my wife loves her; she keeps things exciting.

 

Jared Ross

Dogs-RossMy dog’s name is Madden, and he is a three-year-old Shar-Pei mix.

We adopted him from a shelter when he was 10 months old. My wife was really wanting to get a dog so she had someone she could be with while I was on road trips. We wanted to save a dog and so we went to a lot of shelters. We picked Madden because he looked like he was the one who most needed a home. He was really sad and kind of scared, so it was a pretty easy choice.

I think he was previously owned by someone else who had trained him, so he was pretty well trained when we got him and he is really well behaved. We have a one-year-old, and Madden doesn’t pay much attention to him most of the time, but he’s gentle with him. We had the dog first, so he was jealous when we brought the baby home. I think he’s still jealous now!

If he’s inside, he’s really shy. If he’s outside, he’s really outgoing. He gets along really well with other dogs.

I like to take him to the park and play tug of war, and I like to take naps with him.
My favorite part about having a dog is, no matter how bad your day is going, he’s always in a good mood and always excited when you come home.

 

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