Adopters to the rescue

Dogs named after Hawks find new homes in wake of RedEye story

June 26, 2013|By Jack M Silverstein, For RedEye

On May 17, RedEye featured a story about the efforts of two dog lovers—Sue Naiden of Trio Animal Foundation and Bridgid Nolan of Project Rescue Chicago—who are also die-hard Blackhawks fans. So much so that the pair named a roster full of adoptable canines after current Hawks.

Several of those dogs found new homes in the wake of the story including these four.

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TOEWS (shepherd and boxer mix)

Adopters: Robin Mooney, 43, and Dan Mooney, 64, Riverside

Blackhawks fan since: Dan: 30 years. Robin: since 2006, once her stepdaughter Kiley started playing hockey.

Current dogs/pets: 5-year-old rescue Husky mix named Eddie

Why did you want to adopt? "About a month ago, we put down our dog Ralph," Robin said. "Ralph was 13, and he was a Shar Pei Lab mix. Eddie went through a depression, never having been alone before. We were a two-dog family, so we decided not to wait and got a dog right away."

How did you find Toews? "I found him on petfinder.org and fell in love with his little face. I'd been looking for about a week. It was only after I started communicating with Bridgid about Toews that I heard about the RedEye story. Kiley found it in the RedEye and said 'Oh my gosh! Is this the dog you're looking at?' She sent me the article after I'd already been looking at the dog. She is a huge Blackhawks fan. She wanted to adopt Kaner too, but I said we couldn't take two and another family got Kaner."

Why did you choose Toews? "Just the description of him being a sweet, well-behaved, kind dog," Robin said. "And he was cute. [The description] said, 'This dog gets along with everybody,' and I said, 'Well this is great!' This dog is very zen. A very cool, laid-back dog."

Name change? "When you're training a dog, you want to use a name that ends in a 'y,' so we started calling him 'Johnny' for Jonathan Toews," Robin said. "He's responding to 'Johnny,' but we're really interested in keeping the Blackhawks-tie, so he'll probably be 'Johnny Toews Mooney.'"

Hawks gear for dog: Ordered him a Blackhawks name plate for collar that will say "Johnny Toews Mooney"

Story of first walk with new dog: "He loves to chase squirrels," Robin said. "He chases them like they're hockey pucks. He's such a calm dog until he sees a squirrel, and then voom! He's right on it. He's getting along great with [our other dog, Eddie], and then our friends that we visited, he gets along with them too."

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BRANDON SAAD (St. Bernard and golden retriever mix)

Adopters: Jeanne Wren, 41, and daughter Dalia Wren, 15, of Rogers Park

Blackhawks fan since: lifelong

Why did you want to adopt? They just wanted a dog.

How did you find Brandon Saad? "[My daughter and I] wanted to adopt," Jeanne said. "We were weighing our options of rescuing or going to a breeder, and then my daughter saw the article in the RedEye. I got home from work and she showed it to me, and we fell in love with the picture of Brandon."

Why did you choose Brandon Saad? "My daughter is a fanatical Hawks fan, and that's what attracted her to the article," Jeanne said. "I've wanted to get a dog for a long time, so it just seemed like a perfect situation. And since we got him on Friday, they've won both games." [Editor's note: Jeanne was referring to Games 5 & 6 against Detroit.]

Name change? Changing the name to "Finnigan Francis Wren"

Hawks gear for dog: No new Hawks gear, but they own a bunch of jerseys and dress him in a Dustin Byfuglien jersey, because it was big enough.

Story of first walk with new dog: Jeanne: "He has been a huge hit in the neighborhood. Everyone loves him, and he has met a bunch of dogs. We walked him all through [Loyola's] campus. He likes to chase squirrels and birds. He is unbelievably docile and sweet and loving."

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ODUYA (pitbull)

Adopters: Salena Retsos, 27, and Michael Sansome, 26, Bensenville

Blackhawks fan since: Michael: "Since I can remember." Salena: "Same here. I grew up in a hockey family."

Current dogs/pets: Dante, a pitbull

Why did you want to adopt? "Dante [our other dog] wanted someone to be with," Retsos said. "He grew up with a dog in the home. He hasn't had that in a really long time. We got a dog for a dog."

How did you find Oduya? petfinder.org

Why did you choose Oduya? "Originally, we were looking for a companion dog for Dante," Retsos said. "We wanted a rescue. We started looking online, and we saw Oduya's picture and pretty much fell in love. His description seemed perfect to co-exist with Dante. We went to check him out, and Dante came in, and right from the get-go they were side by side."

"Personally, I wanted another pitbull," Sansome said. I think they're the best dogs in the world. And [Oduya's eyes] just draw you in. I looked at a couple others and I kept coming back to Oduya."

Name change? Kuma

Hawks gear for dog: Not yet

Story of first walk with new dog: "He almost didn't know what to do. It was kind of funny," Sansome said. "But he just stuck right with Dante, neck-and-neck the whole time. Just trying to explore the new 'hood. He seems to enjoy it."

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DUNCAN (Great Dane mix)

Adopters: Tim Rasmussen, 25, Ottawa, Ill.

Blackhawks fan since: Lifelong

Current pets: dog named Olivia

Why did you want to adopt? Wanted a playmate for Olivia

How did you find Duncan? Rasmussen saw Duncan in the RedEye story online.

Why did you choose Duncan? "I had a couple other options, a couple shelters around here that we could have gone to. But once I saw him it was kind of a no-brainer. He's adorable. And his name was Duncan Keith."

Name change? Keeping the name: Duncan "Duncs" Keith Rasmussen

Hawks gear for dog: Ordered a collar with a Blackhawks nametag

Story of first walk with new dog: "I took him down the street to my local pizza parlor where I work and showed him off there. Then we went down to our local softball diamonds and walked him around there a little bit. He's doing great. He was a little sick at first, but we went to the vet and he's better now."

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Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. @readjack

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