Each month, Wild.com will feature a Minnesota Wild player and his pet(s). This series also appears in Wild Magazine.
After a long road trip or day at the rink, Jared Spurgeon is happy to be greeted at the front door by his furry friend, Noah, the 6-year-old Bernese Mountain Dog. As a canine lover, Spurgeon didn't hesitate to open his home to foster dogs waiting to be adopted, and getting to share his love of pets with his wife and kids is an added bonus.
Wild.com's Tricia Luna: How many pets do you have, and what kind or type are they?
Spurgeon: We have one dog, but we've been fostering three. They've all been adopted, so that's been fun. It's like getting a new puppy every couple of months. My wife loves it, [and so do] the kids so it makes it pretty easy. Ours is a Bernese Mountain Dog, and he's 6 years old. He's a big dog, about 120 pounds, just a big bear. Then we've had a bulldog, a Saint Bernard came through; he was a mix. Most of the dogs from the shelter are mixed, so we don't really know what they are. But they all need homes, so if we can help out in any way, it's the least we can do.
TL: I heard you just got a second dog last season and the kids named him -- what's the name, and why did they pick that?
JS: That was the bulldog that had just gotten adopted. They named him George for the six-and-a-half months that we had him. George the Bulldog.
TL: Do you have a favorite pet memory, past or current?
JS: I always wanted a dog growing up, but we were pretty busy with school and my brother and I playing hockey; my sister was older and in nursing so we really couldn't take care of them. We didn't get a family pet until I was 16. At that time, I had moved out to play Juniors. So the first fond memory was seeing him as a puppy and then as a family with my wife and our kids. My wife surprised me with my favorite breed; I think she knew that was the only way she was going to get a dog in the house.
TL: Does Noah do any interesting tricks?
JS: He's pretty good at sleeping. So that's about it. He's definitely a laid-back dog. I take him for a walk, play with him for a bit and the kids can crawl all over him and he'll just watch them. He's an awesome family dog.
TL: What's you and your family's favorite thing to do with your dogs?
JS: I think when you just come home and you see how excited they are to see you and going for walks and that stuff. They're always happy to see you, no matter how bad your day is. So to come home and see a happy dog is the best thing, I think.
TL: Do you allow your dogs to have any people food? If so, what's the one thing they go bonkers for?
JS: No, not really. It's more because of his stomach. So we tried when he was about two, we gave him a rib after we ate ribs, and he puked all night. So that was the end of that. He spoiled it for himself. He loves peanut butter, so the only time is when we let him lick the peanut butter off the spoon, but other than that he gets pretty excited about dog food, so why change it up?
Video: Canine Calendar photo shoot