Meet Flambo, the Montreal Canadiens' newest MVP, or 'Most Valuable Pup'
The Montreal Canadiens have a new teammate – but don’t expect to see him on the roster.
The team’s new four-legged friend, Flambo, is training to be a service dog.
At just over two feet tall and 30 pounds, the newest member of the team isn’t the smoothest skater. He’s not afraid of jumping the boards, and seems more interested in tasting the ice than playing on it.
But for him, this is all training camp.
“We went and got him early December, he was nine weeks old,” explained Genevieve Paquette, the team’s Vice President of Community Engagement.
“We’ve been keeping him low key for the first month, because he’s the baby, and you have to be careful that he gets the rest he needs and doesn’t get too excited,” she added.
Flambo is a Saint-Pierre Labernese, and will be fostered by the Habs until he’s ready to work as a service dog for the MIRA foundation.
“You have to keep in mind the person who will receive that dog is a person looking for more autonomy or accessibility – so the dog becomes a tool for that person to be more independent,” Paquette said. “It’s going to be work for the dog.”
“The dogs give people more independence, lets them get out on their own, [with] more confidence,” said Karen Winter, a senior trainer with the Mira Foundation.
Flambo is already putting in some good work at practice – getting a ‘’good luck” pat from Jesperi Kotkaniemi before stick handling drills, or working the boards with Max Domi before hitting the bench to get a drink with Jordie Benn.
After a year with the Canadiens, Flambo will go back to MIRA to be placed with a family, but the team says there’s a possibility they could be getting another dog.
The pup even got to know the Colorado Avalanche before Saturday night’s game with the Habs. However, for the moment, his only job is to raise awareness about fostering service dogs.
With 8500 followers on Instagram, he seems to be doing pretty well – learning a little more about the world around him every day,