Photos: Hailey M.
Attending a Washington Capitals practice is always fun—getting to watch the boys, hitting the team store, and possibly getting a photo with a player. For Capitals fan Hailey, it was a “dream come true” receiving a puck from captain Alex Ovechkin. In this NoVa Caps exclusive, I had the chance to talk to Hailey about that experience and her adorable canine companion Ovi Fetchkin.
Dressed as the Stanley Cup for Halloween, Hailey and her father made a seven-hour trip to see the team. She told us, “For the last few years for Halloween, I have been the Stanley Cup with Ovi Fetchkin. When we heard that they would be practicing on Halloween, my mom encouraged my Dad and [me] to make the seven-hour drive down.”
Hailey is a Multiple Sclerosis patient and that weekend was the last weekend she could travel to watch them before her next infusion.
“I don’t know if I can put into words how much it meant to me to receive a puck from Ovechkin,” Hailey told us. “Ever since adopting Ovi Fetchkin, it has been my dream to get to introduce her to Ovechkin. It was the best feeling in the world when Ovi read my poster and then tossed me a puck.”
“It was a moment I will never forget, and something I will be forever grateful for. Hockey is something that has helped me so much during this fight against Multiple Sclerosis, and getting a puck from my favorite hockey player meant the world to me,” Hailey said.
Following practice, Hailey had the opportunity to get a photo with Ovechkin and even head coach Peter Laviolette!
She adopted her adorable canine Ovi Fetchkin from The Silver Lining for Pit Bulls Inc. rescue in Buffalo, New York, promoting the “Adopt, don’t Shop” campaign. She said the campaign is “important to me because there are so many pets in need of forever homes,” adding, “When you adopt a dog from a shelter, it frees up a spot at a rescue for another animal in need. Our family has now adopted three dogs, and a cat from different rescues.”
“Something that I love about each of our rescues is that I feel as though they truly appreciate the forever home we have given them. One of the rescues that I follow has said that just sharing their posts of animals available for adoption helps them greatly. I also love when sports teams work with rescues because I feel like that also helps to raise awareness.”
I asked Hailey how old Ovi Fetchkin is and what some other fun facts and personality traits are about her. “Since she is a rescue we are not sure exactly how old she is, but they think she is probably three and a half. We met and fell in love with Ovi Fetchkin at an adoption event in the Summer of 2018. The Caps had just won the Stanley Cup, and we couldn’t think of a better name than Ovi Fetchkin,” she said.
“One of her favorite toys is her Washington Capitals hockey stick. She loves to go on walks and loves to go camping. I don’t know if it’s because we named her Ovi, but I feel like she actually does have Ovechkin’s personality. She is fun-loving but intense. When she wants to play, she will run up and try to check you and does not like to lose at tug of war.”
Thank you, Hailey, for sharing your story!
Photos/Video by Hailey M.
By Della Young