When Canine Companions for Independence and the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation met to discuss the potential of creating a calendar with the players and assistance dogs, the idea was well received by all parties involved. Fast forward to today – the calendar, priced at $15, is now on sale. This one-of-a-kind calendar features Blue Jackets players alongside Canine Companions’ puppies and dogs in professional training as well as some of their personal pets. The proceeds benefit both Canine Companions and the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation.
Players pictured with a dog from Canine Companions include Rick Nash, Jared Boll, Grant Clitsome, Derek MacKenzie and Marc Methot. Players Matt Calvert, Mark Dekanich, Steve Mason, R.J. Umberger, Antoine Vermette and James Wisniewski also feature the player’s personal pets alongside the dogs from Canine Companions. Imagine being part of a photo shoot with such great talent, both players and assistance dogs!
Originally, when player Marc Methot was asked to participate in the photo shoot, he stated that he wasn’t a dog person. Well, he is now! During the photo shoot as the Canine Companions’ assistance dog was placed next to him, he began to stroke the dog’s coat and was surprised that the dog was so soft to touch. Mark began to pet the dog and she responded with great eye contact. He then said, “I think I’m in love.” It was wonderful to see the Columbus Blue Jackets players so down to earth and very generous with their time. Each player wanted to know about the dog that they were paired with in the photo shoot, about the training the dogs receive and the recipients.
Calendars are available online at www.cci-store.com. Fans may also purchase the calendar during home games at the Blue Jackets Foundation kiosk.