The Predators locker room has no shortage of large individuals—Hal Gill
, Anders Lindback
, Pekka Rinne
, and Shea Weber
, to name a few—but that number grew by one on Friday, when Weber brought his dog, Dug, to practice.
At just under 200 pounds, Dug is a Great Dane/English Mastiff mix that bears more resemblance to a small horse than the 8-week-old, 15-pound puppy Weber remembers getting two years ago.
“I’d never had a dog growing up,” Weber said Friday, as Dug was away getting walked up and down the hallway outside the Predators’ dressing room. “I just decided I wanted a dog and kind of looked up different breeds and decided what would fit my temperament. He seemed like the perfect guy and so far he’s been good.”
At practice, Dug is a magnet. Over the course of the morning, Predators players and staffers were drawn to the equipment managers’ office where Dug inhabits a considerable amount of carpet space as he lies down. At one point, right winger Martin Erat
even lay down next to Dug to pet him—the dog’s imposing figure being a mismatch for his easygoing nature.
“He loves people and I think most of the guys around here like playing with him and he loves it,” Weber said. “So it’s good for him to come into work, I guess you’d say, with me every once in a while.”
Weber says having such a big dog isn’t much trouble, at least in Dug’s case. “We’re really lucky,” the Predators captain said. “He’s laid back. He’s not high energy, as you can probably see. He needs maybe a walk a day. The only thing would be his health problems that come with a big dog.”
As for the name, it took a little while for Weber to figure that out. “I wanted to give him a human name and there were a few different names, but it just came down to—I think we had him for about a week and we decided that he was a ‘Dug.’ ”