The start of hockey season marks a new beginning. For some players – especially American Hockey League players – that new beginning also means a new team in a new town with new teammates and, sometimes, new roommates.
For center Wade Megan his new beginning is playing for the Wolves in Chicago with brand new teammates and, yes, a new roommate.
However, Megan didn’t meet his new roommate until the second game of the season, the Wolves home opener on Oct. 15. In fact, Megan didn’t get to see his new roommate, Millie, until after the game when his girlfriend, Alex, called to say she was bringing home a dog.
The Chicago Wolves 23rd home opener marked the 17th season the organization has been holding Adopt-A-Dog Nights. In partnership with City of Chicago’s Department of Animal Care and Control, the Wolves host Adopt-A-Dog Nights one Saturday each month throughout the season. The team has helped find forever homes for nearly 1,300 dogs.
Several of those canines have found refuge with members of the Chicago Wolves family, including team play-by-play announcer Jason Shaver, team president Mike Gordon and team chairman of the board – the man to whom this cause is the nearest and dearest – Don Levin.
Megan, however, is the first player in the Chicago Wolves family to take home a pet through the program.
“We had been talking about getting a second dog,” Megan said. “And my girlfriend saw her, loved her and asked if we could take her home for a few days to see how it went with our other dog.
“We took her home, talked about it and the dogs occupied each other pretty well, so we decided to keep her.”
Millie, a pitbull mix, marked the second time Megan gained a new roommate to start the season. Last year, Wade and Alex decided to adopt a dog as part of their new beginning, moving from San Antonio, Texas, to Portland, Maine, when Megan started playing for the Pirates.
The lifetime dog lovers adopted their first dog together, Kita – a boxer-hound-pitbull mix – through the Maine Lab Rescue. After being approved for adoption, Megan made sure he was one of the first people at the pick-up center. He saw Kita and took her home and he and Alex, and Kita, couldn’t be happier.
“That was a big thing for Alex and I.” Megan said, “There’s just so many dogs that need a place to go, a home, so that’s why we went [the adoption] route.”
Almost a year later, the trio is again pleased with the addition to their household. Especially 1-year-old Kita; she enjoys the company and the friendly friction of building her canine relationship with Millie.
“They generally play really well together,” Megan said. “Every now and then we’ll hear a little bark or a small skirmish will break out and we have to separate them, but they’re just being dogs.
“And when we put Millie in her crate at night, Kita sits there and cries because she misses her and wants to play.”
It’s only been about a month since Millie was welcomed into the house, but Megan is confident she’s a perfect fit and she and Kita will be great buddies.
“They’ve been good,” Megan said. “Millie likes to test her boundaries with Kita, but that’s all part of the process.”
The Wolves host the second of this season’s seven Adopt-A-Dog Nights on Saturday, Nov. 26. Dogs available for adoption can be found on the concourse in the South Lobby inside Allstate Arena once doors open for the evening’s game.