Break out the birthday cake plush dog toy. Grab some balloons and party hats. The day has finally come. Captain turns one-year-old today!! In this piece, I wanted to take a look back on some of my favorite (very hard to choose) moments of the Washington Capitals team dog and service dog in training.
Rock the Red Carpet Debut
Fans were introduced to Captain during the Rock the Red Carpet event on October 5 prior to the Capitals’ Home Opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, making his first appearance with team captain Alex Ovechkin and attending his first game that evening.
Caps Canine Calendar Photoshoot
Captain is Mr. Photogenic. The puppy got to take part in the annual “Caps Canine Calendar” photoshoot, which features Capitals players with their own pets and dogs from Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Captain had another paparazzi experience with goaltender Braden Holtby and had the camera all to himself later on.
Hockey Halloween Winner
Each day leading up to the week of Halloween, Captain was dressed up in different costumes such as a “pawlice man”, Olaf from Disney’s Frozen, and the Avengers‘ Captain America. His costume appearances were so impressive, that he was deemed the “winner” of Halloween by the NHL and ESPN.
— NHL (@NHL) October 29, 2019
Shut it down. The @Capitals‘ puppy just won Halloween 🎃
— ESPN (@espn) October 30, 2019
All I Want For Christmas Is You
It’s the song, or cover rather, that you didn’t know you needed. Christmas was two days away and the Capitals released their 2019 holiday video. Captain was a part of the annual tradition.
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) December 27, 2019
like c’mon pic.twitter.com/zTjze3x5sb
— matt (@dogfather) December 28, 2019
Two Minutes for Ruffing
In January, the Capitals and Caps Pup traveled up to Long Island for a Saturday matinee against the New York Islanders, which was a crazy 6-4 comeback win for the visiting team. Captain and his trainer, Deana Stone, arrived at Nassau Coliseum and he was very excited to meet Tori, the Islanders’ service dog in training, who is also a part of America’s VetDogs’ “Puppies with a Purpose” group.
puppy hugsssss 💙 pic.twitter.com/eklXtL4TvS
— Captain (@CapsPup) January 18, 2020
Captain and Scout
Scout, the second service dog in training that Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) are raising in partnership with America’s VetDogs, was officially introduced in late-January. He and Captain are the best of buds.
Best Team Dog
Captain won the NHL Fan Choice Awards in June with 22.0% of the vote. He beat out Flambo of Montreal (16.4%), Tori (12.7%), and seven other competitors.
— Captain (@CapsPup) June 15, 2020
Captain has definitely had a fun time in his nine months with the Capitals. He loves hitting the ice during practice and giving pregame licks to the guys on game day. He has been creating smiles and melting hearts since his arrival on October 5.
However, being a part of America’s VetDogs program, an important quality of Captain is his 16-month training to become a service dog for a veteran or first responder with disabilities. Once Captain’s basic training is finished with the team, he will go back to America’s VetDogs, a non-profit organization based in Smithtown, New York, for a few months of final preparations before becoming an official service dog.
check out one of my puppy classes and keep up with my pawgress as i train to be a future service dog with @americasvetdogs ! i am very good at stairsss and have lotss of fun with my frendss pic.twitter.com/1ueC5vtgPD
— Captain (@CapsPup) January 23, 2020
greatttt visit to the fire station today !! pic.twitter.com/NacvxKSKrz
— Captain (@CapsPup) February 20, 2020
— Captain (@CapsPup) March 1, 2020
— Captain (@CapsPup) March 20, 2020
Not only do fans have the opportunity to enjoy Captain’s company and cuteness at practices and other events, but they also get to watch his progression as a future service dog and his growth as a future helper to a first responder or veteran.
Covering Captain’s time with the Capitals has been so enjoyable. I’ve learned many aspects of a pup’s training to become a service dog. All of the adorable photos and videos from Caps Pup leave me saying awww or he’s so silly!
On behalf of everyone at NoVa Caps, have a paw-some first birthday, Captain!!
More Caps Pup Reading
By Della Young
im sooooo good at pool fetch !! pic.twitter.com/EpFP72n44k
— Captain (@CapsPup) July 21, 2020