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Elana Newkirk and Jake

My elderly service dog had been showing signs her final days were near. So several days prior to the Chicago Wolves’ Adopt-A-Dog Night on Feb. 4, 2017, I reached out to the shelter to inquire what breed of dogs that would possibly be at the game. I was told they wouldn’t know until the day of the event. Someone took my name and contact information.

On the night of the game and event, my elderly dog seemed better so I decided to not even bother going to look at the dogs the shelter had brought to the Wolves game.

On the night of Feb. 6, my elderly service dog passed away at home. Ironically, the next day I received a call inquiring if I was still interested in one of the other dogs up for adoption. The one I originally had my heart sort of set on was no longer available. She, along with several other dogs, was transferred to free up space to other partnered shelters. One was in Naperville. I called that place and some of their dogs were transferred to Oswego Animal Hospital because of a flu outbreak. Frustrated, I was about to give up.

I received another call from another volunteer who was able to schedule an appointment for me at the Oswego location. I went in, not sure what to expect and was introduced to “Caleb.” What was supposed to be a 30-minute visit ended up being almost two hours with him. After the visit, paperwork was filled out. I was told if approved, I would get a call back to make arrangements for pick up and payment.

Received a call three hours later. I was approved, but I wasn’t available to go back that day.

On Feb. 8, I went in to pick up “Caleb.” While waiting for him, I was reading an article online about one of my favorite former Chicago Wolves: current St Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen.

Given that it was the Chicago Wolves Adopt-A-Dog program with the Animal Welfare League that played a part in his adoption, it was a no-brainer that in choosing a name it would somehow be Wolves-related. What’s even more special about him is how his eyes light up green on video or camera — just like the Wolves logo. Also based on what the doctor said about when he was possibly born, his birthday was determined to be January 1, 2016. The funny? My birthday is Dec. 31!

He’s a handful at times, but Jake is extremely intelligent and a quick and eager learner to be the best Service Dog ever. Wouldn’t trade him for anything.