The Montreal Canadiens are about to add another member to their roster.
Not so much of a grinder, nor a play-maker, the newest Hab will be a wagger, a barker and will become the cutest member on the team.
In a press release, the Canadiens said they are teaming up with the Mira Foundation to become a foster family to a male Saint-Pierre Labernese puppy for one year. The Canadiens organization will be responsible for socializing and grooming the puppy, under Mira’s standards, to become a future guide or service dog.
Founded in 1981, Mira is a non-profit organization that offers free guide and service dogs to people living with visual impairments, physical disabilities and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Mira has allowed more than 3,000 people to have a better life by giving them a perfectly trained dog to assist in palliating their disabilities.
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For the next 12 months, the puppy will undergo basic obedience training as well as social and environmental stimulation to help develop the dog’s self-confidence for his future role as a service dog.
The foster family, Montreal Canadiens, will welcome the puppy into the organization’s offices and to the Bell Centre during games, which will help with the building of the dog’s social skills.
When office training is over, the adorable pup will continue his daily learning at the home of a dedicated Canadiens front office employee.
“Everyone in the organization is happy and excited to participate in this initiative,” said Geneviève Paquette, vice president of community engagement for the Montreal Canadiens. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to raise awareness and educate our colleagues and the public on the challenges of independence, accessibility and social integration of people with disabilities. The work that Mira does is remarkable and we welcome the chance to contribute in our own way.”
When the Saint-Pierre Labernese’s training is completed after a year, he will return to Mira for an evaluation to identify which service program suits him best. Then, he will undergo more training (for three to six months) before being matched with a beneficiary.
Fans are urged to submit their recommendations online for the puppy’s name now through November 30.
The pup was born on October 3, 2018, to a mother named Lenga and a dad named, Price (obviously).
According to Mira, the dog is a second-generation Labernese. The Saint-Pierre shares the qualities of the Labrador and Bernese mountain dogs in equal parts, making it an excellent guide and assistant for all Mira beneficiaries.
Majestic and noble, Bernese mountain dogs continually seek human contact. As well as being faithful companions, they are naturally vigilant, which is why they are instinctively protective towards their family members.
Sounds like he’d make a pretty good defenceman, if he could get his weight up.
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The Canadiens’ new puppy will be introduced to fans during a home game against the Nashville Predators on January 5.
Fans will have the chance to meet the Habs dog at the Bell Centre, the Bell Sports Complex and at various community activities.
To stay up to date with the soon-to-be-named puppy’s development, follow @chiotcanadiensmtl on Instagram.
“Lafleur” has a pretty good ring to it, what do you think?
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