Shortly before the San Jose Sharks' home opener last week, a four-legged, teal-mohawked star was born.
Wesley, a 1-year-old standard poodle, has his owners, Mickie and Eric Ford of Danville, Calif., to thank for his Shark-tastic makeover. Always either fluffy or shaved, Mickie Ford got the idea for Wesley's radical new 'do when she saw professional dog groomer Katrina Short's work on her own zebra-inspired pup in a viral post on social media and realized Katrina's Pet Salon was only 15 minutes away.
"I saw it and thought, 'Oh my God, this is the coolest thing ever,' and I just happened to realize that she was local," Mickie Ford told NHL.com.
The Fords have been Sharks season-ticket holders for 20 years, and mascot S.J. Sharkie even made an appearance at their wedding-rehearsal dinner. Their two children, Owen, 13, ("That may or may not have something to do with Owen Nolan," Mickie adds, "He was our favorite Shark") and Emily, 12, have followed suit with the Sharks family tradition.
So just in time for the start of the season, Mickie took Wesley in for his transformation from standard poodle to poodle shark. She only specified that she wanted something teal and Sharks-related.
"Because I'd seen her stuff, I knew it was going to be awesome," Mickie said.
Short uses pet-friendly dyes, but does the intricate designs freehand. For Wesley, she shaved the area where the Shark is drawn shorter than the rest of his hair. The end result was a brand new Wesley, and he lapped up all the attention when the Fords took him to the Sharks' fan event before their first home game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 4.
"He was so happy," Mickie said. "He loves people; he loves to be social, but we have three standard poodles so it's hard to take them places because there's three of them. So he doesn't get to go out and do stuff like that too often and he was so happy."
Wesley's Sharks logo will last a few weeks, and because poodles don't shed, his mohawk and leg pom poms could stick around for a couple of months.
Wesley got so popular, Mickie made an Instagram account for him, aptly named "wesleythepoodleshark" so even after the dye grows out, they'll always have that reminder of Wesley's time in the teal spotlight.
"He must've posed for, not even joking, a thousand pictures," Mickie said. "The line of people wanting to take pictures with him or of him was longer than the beer line. He wagged his tail the whole time. He had a blast."