ST PAUL, Minn. — There's a new kid on the Minnesota Wild roster, a youngster destined to make a bigger impact off the ice than on.
His name is Brooksy, and he'll never hold a stick or lace up a pair of skates, but is likely to be the most popular character in the locker room.
Brooksy is the Wild's new team dog, a 5-month-old Labrador retriever mix who will spend the next year or so with the team while training to become a future service dog in the club's ongoing partnership with Soldier 6. He will eventually be matched with an honorably discharged veteran, police officer, or firefighter dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in need of what Soldier 6 refers to as a "battle buddy."
The Wild is introducing Brooksy just one day after handing off last year's team dog, a Shepherd/Catahoula/Lab mix named Celly, to Minnesota State Trooper Allen Thill. Celly followed previous team pups Breezer and Hobey, and all four dogs were provided by Coco's Heart Dog Rescue in Hudson.
Like his predecessors, Brooksy will spend time in the Wild front office, in the locker room and greeting fans during home games. At night he will go home with Minnesota Wild’s Director of Community Relations and Hockey Partnerships Wayne Petersen and his wife.
"My family and I are thrilled to be a part of the training this year,” said Petersen. “To see the impact these dogs have had not only on our fans and employees during their time with the Wild, but their graduation to Soldier’s 6 and their Battle Buddy families has been the most rewarding for all of us.”
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