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Golden Retriever Puppy Joins Minnesota Wild Hockey Team

The Minnesota Wild, a prominent NHL team, is making hearts melt with the newest addition to their roster: an adorable 4-month-old Golden Retriever mix. In partnership with the non-profit Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue, the Wild signed the rescue puppy, Hatty, to a one-year training contract. This will pave the way for her to become a future service dog.

Hockey team welcomes Golden Retriever puppy

According to a press release from the Wild, this heartwarming turn of events is part of the Wild’s Adopt-A-Dog Program. Its mission is to provide a local human hero with a canine hero of their own.

Hatty’s arrival marks the fifth time the Minnesota Wild has opened its doors to a rescue dog from Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue. First, the tradition started in the 2019-20 season with Breezer, a Labrador Retriever. Next, Hobey, a Golden Retriever, joined up for the 2020-21 season. Then, in the 2021-22 season, Celly, a Shepherd/Catahoula/Labrador mix, joined the team. For the 2022-23 season, Brooksy, a Labrador Retriever mix, took the spotlight.

After a year of training within the Wild organization, Soldier’s 6 takes over preparing these furry teammates for their vital roles. The Minnesota-based 501(c)3 non-profit is dedicated to providing honorably discharged veterans, police officers, and firefighters with specially trained K-9 companions.

Foster parents play role in training service dog

Taking on the role of foster parents for Hatty are Wayne Petersen, the Minnesota Wild’s senior director of community relations and hockey partnerships, and his wife, Kelly McGrath, executive director and general manager of Xcel Energy Center. They will lovingly care for Hatty and assist with her basic obedience training until the summer of 2024.

Once Hatty’s tenure with the Wild is complete, Hatty will begin her career training with Soldier’s 6. She will eventually find her permanent home with a veteran experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Hatty will be a “Battle Buddy” to help them through life’s challenges.

Wayne Petersen expressed his enthusiasm for this wonderful initiative. “My family and I are thrilled to be involved in the fifth season of the Adopt-A-Dog Program,” he said. “These dogs have become a mainstay for both our fans and our employees each year. We’re excited for Hatty to not only touch the lives of those of us with the Wild, but to also make her impact with Soldier’s 6 and her Battle Buddy family upon graduation.”

Fans eager to follow Hatty’s journey with the Wild can keep up with her on Instagram or the Wild’s website.

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