Two years ago, after finishing our pregame meal on my way to the control room, where our team of experts make the magic happen at Wolves games - can I get a high five for that Hangover OT video? - I did what I always do on Chicago Wolves Adopt-A-Dog nights. I went to play with the pups.
I already have one puppy friend. Her name is Charlotte and she's seven pounds of pomeranian who comes with 6000 pounds of sass. We're perfectly matched that way. I had been thinking about adding another canine bud to the mix, but had no concrete plans to do so. Then I saw Minnie's big eyes peering over the shoulder of one of the great people from Animal Care and Control who staff these events. She was tiny, maybe three pounds. The staff told me she was a terrier/maltese mix. Turns out, that was incorrect, she is a terrier/terrier mix, so that's been fun. Can I get a high five from terrier owners?
This is the part of the story that's usually set to music in movies - we bonded, I adopted her, and toward the end of the third period I went and picked her up.
When I got her home, I changed her name to Willy. My favorite book growing up - and let's be honest, I can probably still squeeze out a good cry today - was Charlotte's Web. That's where Charlotte gets her name. Willy was a problem, though. I wanted to stick to my theme, but Willy's a girl and I couldn't fathom naming this dog either Fern or Wilbur, so I named her Willy. Guess what? It perfectly embodies who she is, just as Charlotte's managed to live up to her namesake - though her vocabulary, while exemplary for a dog, doesn't quite match the spider's.
Here is what Willy is: She snorts; she still occasionally pees on the floor; she's a hairy mess; she barks; she bites; she's mean to her sister - Charlotte, can I get a high five? - she lunges at other dogs and at people who jog, people who walk, people who are people; she eats shoes, clothing, furniture, packaging, hangars, books, the floor, and her expert way through a bag of dog food; she sleeps on my pillows with her sound end facing directly towards - you guessed it - me; she's unable to understand the basic premise of the following: vacuums, other dogs, the window, her kennel, me taking phone calls, people food versus dog food, elevators, gmail, and no; and her kisses are slobber central and kind of smelly.
Here's why none of that matters: Wills has the heart of a lion. She is absolutely loyal. She's my best friend. She has made my heart bigger.
So thank you to the Chicago Wolves for the next 15 years of stepping in cold pee. Thank you for 15 years of the best part of my day: When I come home from work and get to see the ladies.
Can I get a high five for cold pee? Nah.