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Desert Dogs 2.0: Butter Pig reflects on Coyotes' revamped canine crew

Craig Morgan Avatar
August 25, 2023
New Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba has four dogs.

Four years ago, Butter Pig Crouse grabbed the Valley spotlight with his own Instagram page and marquee billing in a story for The Athletic

Much has changed since then. His dad got a big raise, his parents tied the knot and the entire Coyotes roster of desert dogs turned over.

Saturday is National/International Dog Day. With that important date and the aforementioned changes in mind, we are revisiting a popular story from 2019. More than half of the Coyotes have dogs, as do coach André Tourigny and GM Bill Armstrong. Each offered photos and fun anecdotes about their dogs.

Before we get to those, however, we caught up with Butter Pig, the unofficial captain of the desert dogs, who offered his thoughts on fame, Lawson and Claire’s nuptials, and his new litter of teammates.

The lone Coyotes desert dog holdover: Butter Pig Crouse

Butter Pig
Coyotes owner: Lawson Crouse
Breed: French Bulldog
Age: Will turn 5 in September

How has fame changed you?

Butter: “I like to think that fame hasn’t changed me. I was born into the spotlight and I don’t know any other way of living. Before any gratification on the internet or recognition from Coyotes fans, I was accustomed to the undivided attention of my neighborhood, my extended family, and my parents especially.

“My Dad has always set a great example for me of how to remain humble. Fame has only changed the household jokes. Some (my mom) may say I’ve gained more notoriety around the league than my father.” 

Some say you have become a recluse: Is there truth here?

Butter: “Half true. I am a fan of sleep and alone time, but I had a busy summer helping my parents plan a wedding. That’s why I’ve scaled back on my social media posting.”

What’s the best movie ever made about dogs?

Butter: “Scooby-Doo. The guy is a legend!”

If you could change one thing about your world, what would it be?

Butter: “Nexus for dogs. I’m sick and tired of border security questioning why I travel so much. Don’t even get me started on airlines that weigh me. Oh, and Mullet Arena’s ‘No Dogs’ policy.”

There was a new shot at the wedding of Coyotes forward Lawson and his wife, Claire Crouse.

Are you willing to discuss the suit-bag incident before the wedding?

Butter: “I saw an opportunity for attention and I capitalized on it. Who doesn’t hang up their tuxedo bag? My dad was annoyed, so I got dropped off at my mom’s hotel. I assume he thought it made more sense for me to be in a room crammed full of bridesmaids and hairstylists. Wrong.

“I took things a step further and also peed on my mom’s robe as she was getting ready. Knocked over a few champagne glasses and interfered with some photos, too. I was fed up with being ignored all day, but the tipping point was when I saw my dad walk down the aisle without me. I couldn’t stop barking (screaming) so I got booted out of the wedding procession. It was pretty difficult to strip any attention from the bride and groom, but I managed.” 

What stood about the wedding?

Butter: “Me! But the live band and late-night karaoke were a close second. It was a great group of people all in one room.”

Was it difficult to watch fellow Frenchies Theo Doan & Louie Gostisbehere depart?

Butter: Extremely difficult. It’s never easy saying goodbye to my friends. The dog park isn’t the same, but I still keep in contact with a lot of past pup-mates over snapchat. Rogue Kuemper and Buds Ritchie were tough losses, too. I really like those guys. Louie is a frequent flier so I know I haven’t seen the last of him.”

What do you make of this entirely remade Coyotes roster of desert dogs?

Butter: “Exciting times ahead! New opportunity, new friendships and new experiences. If anybody knows of a company that makes custom playoff jackets for Frenchies with broad shoulders, let me know.”

Coyotes newest desert dogs

Phoebe belongs to Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher.

Coyotes owner: Troy Stecher
Breed: Bernese Mountain Dog
Age: 6

Origin story: “When I was playing juniors in Penticton, a local kid — his name was Logan Johnson — had two Bernese. They were these super friendly, Teddy-Bear giants that thought they were lap dogs and they were over 100 pounds each so I though that was just the coolest thing in the world to have these big cuddly dogs. I told my parents I was going to get one when I turned pro so my rookie year in Vancouver, I started doing some research and then my mom and stepdad decided they would get one as well. We narrowed it down between two breeders. There was one down in San Diego and then there was one just east of Vancouver in Chilliwack so we ended up going that one. My mom took one of the females and I took one of the females so we took sisters from the same litter.”

Getting to know Phoebe: “She has so much personality and she’s so affectionate towards humans. She’s not really a dog dog. I’ll take her to the dog park and she sits on the bench like a human. She doesn’t want to go run around like a dog. She’d rather be pet by a human than play or fetch a ball. She’s 94 pounds and think she’s six pounds so she’ll sit on your lap or do the puppy eyes until you allow her up on the couch or on the bed. She’s my Teddy Bear. She’s my sweetheart.”

Bad habits: “When she was a puppy she liked chewing baseboards. Other than that, she’s a saint. She wants to make mom and dad happy. She knows what makes us upset or what she can’t do.”

Favorite activity: “She loves to swim which is quite weird for her breed. They’re not known to be swimmers but since day one she’s loved being in the water. In the summertime it gets hot here in Vancouver with her thick black coat so I think it’s a good way for her to cool off.

“When we moved to Arizona last year, we bought our house down there and it has a pool. We came back after the season when I got traded to Calgary and it was starting to cook, temperature-wise. I remember I was in the garage doing a couple of home projects and the garage door was open and she went missing. I got nervous and I went around the side and she was just swimming in the pool.”

Leo belongs to Coyotes defenseman Josh Brown.

Coyotes owner: Josh Brown
Breed: Golden Retriever
Age: 2

Origin story: “I grew up with a Golden Retriever and the billet family that I stayed with in Oshawa had two so I’ve been around the breed for a long time. I just love the breed. The Golden that I grew up with, Cody, we had to put him down when I was in Grade 4 so I have memories with him, but it was never really my responsibility. I just wanted to make sure with my first dog I was going to get it right; have an easy dog to the train and hang out with. They’re great family dogs.

“I got him back here in Ontario from a breeder that’s a couple hours from here that’s pretty reputable. He’s almost like a COVID dog. I was planning on getting a dog for a long time but that was why I had to go so far because it seemed like every person in Ontario wanted a dog and then a Golden Retriever to boot. Every single breeder or person I called, they were like, ‘Sorry, our waitlist is closed for the next four years.’ It was crazy.”

Getting to know Leo: “He is really low key, but he loves people so when people come over it’s something I’ve definitely had to work on is staying down and not being too aggressive with like my niece and nephew, who are younger. He kind of comes on a little too strong with strangers.”

Favorite activities: “He loves getting the Zoomies. He always gets the Zoomies in the evening when I let out in the backyard, but he also really likes to train. I’ve been working on his off-leash training. He stays by my side when we walk off-leash. It’s nothing crazy. He’s not jumping through hoops or anything but I just want to make sure his recall is pretty rock solid so he comes when I call him at all times and he heels when I say heel and he sits down and he’ll stay if I walk 100 meters away. He doesn’t break it until I tell him to.

Toy preferences: “He has a whale toy and he’s got a little lion toy that he loves, which we thought made sense because he’s named Leo. He really likes to squeak that one.”

Coconut belongs to Coyotes forward Alex Kerfoot.

Coyotes owner: Alex Kerfoot
Breed: Mini Australian Labradoodle
Age: 3

Origin story: “We literally got her from a breeder as a puppy a couple of weeks before everything shut down so I got to spend a bunch of time with her during Covid. She was like 12 weeks. My family grew up with dogs and they actually grew up with the same breed so I always wanted to get one. My wife had always talked about it. With all we had going on and living in an apartment in Toronto, it wasn’t really conducive to it, but I caved around Christmas so I got her as a Christmas present for my now-wife.”

Bad habits: “We’ve spoiled her pretty good so she won’t eat her kibble unless we put something on it. She loves cheese or chicken or really any human food. In the morning, sometimes we’ll even put a little egg on it. She’ll just stare at her food bowl until we put something on it. It has gotten to be a pretty bad habit and that’s all on us.

“She’s also a bit of a beggar. If we’re eating at dinner at the table, she’ll just sit right next to us staring up at us the whole time. We’re used to it, but when we have people over, she’s tries to pick on the weakest link. She’ll go up to the table and sit right at their feet and just wait until they give her something.”

Favorite activities: “She loves to play fetch. We’ve obviously been living in tight quarters in Toronto the last little while in an apartment, but she doesn’t really care at all. She will grab a ball or whatever toy she can find. If we’re watching TV or sitting on the couch, she will bring the ball up to us and insist we throw it for her. Even when we bring her to dog parks, she’s more interested in playing fetch than she is with socializing with other dogs.”

Sleeping bud: “Coconut sleeps on our bed; right at the end of the bed. I don’t know what it’s gonna be like in Arizona. When it’s too hot, she sleeps on the floor, but most nights throughout the year, she sleeps by our feet on the bed. She’s a good sleeper. She just passes out and she’s small enough like where we don’t really notice her.”

Vasa belongs to Coyotes defenseman Victor Söderström.

Coyotes owner: Victor Söderström
Breed: Cavapoo 
Age: 11 months

Origin story: “We got her as a puppy last November. My wife loves history. She studied history in school. When we talked about the name of the dog, we wanted something short and easy to say. We came up with Vasa because that’s the last name of a royal family in Swedish history.”

Getting to know Vasa: “We said before we got a dog that we were not going to let the dog sleep with us. We started the first week to sleep every other night on the couch with her so she would learn, but after a week we tried to let her sleep by herself outside in the living room and she would never stop yelling at us and climbing on our bedroom door. So we took her in so she could sleep with us in the bed and ever since then she’s just sleeping with us. It’s hard when they’re so small and so cute. She doesn’t take up too much space so it’s fine.”

Bad habits: “If we’re going on a walk by the water and there’s mud, she loves to lay down in it and roll around. Whenever she’s not leashed and we go by the beach, if there’s mud somewhere, she runs there and lays down and rolls around. That’s a really bad habit. You have to wash her right away.”

Benefits of being small: “She’s not gonna grow any more so we can fly with her in the cabin. I think she’s like 10 or 11 pounds. We wouldn’t get a dog if we would need to put her down under the airplane.”

Ball skills: “Some people at home here call her Messi because she’s so skilled with a ball. That’s her specialty. When you’re walking with her and there’s kids playing outside with a ball, she just want to run over there right away and play with them.”

Loki belongs to Coyotes goaltender Connor Ingram.

Coyotes owner: Connor Ingram
Breed: German Shepherd
Age: 2

Origin story: “I got her when I was playing in Chicago. When you played for the Wolves (AHL), you lived in a hotel during Covid and I was by myself and I was having trouble with it. I went into an adoption place and they had Loki there. I said, ‘Well, if I come back in two weeks and she’s still here, then I’ll take her home.’ I went back in two weeks and she was still there so now she’s mine.

“She had a surgery before I got her so she was like half shaven. She wasn’t cute when I picked her up, let’s just say that. But I was sitting there and her ears were all floppy and she was untying my shoes with her mouth and I was like, ‘I think I love you’ and then I brought her home.”

Getting to know Loki: “If Sarah takes her for a walk or anything like that, she’s on guard and ready to fight to the death if that’s what’s needed. At the same time, all she really wants to do is just lay in bed and cuddle with you. She’s not dangerous by any stretch of the imagination and she loves kids. She loves just licking their face and playing with them.”

Bad habits: “She’s too smart for her own good. She used to pull my air fryer pan out and eat whatever was left in there. I would cook hash browns or sweet potatoes or whatever and I wouldn’t eat them all so I would just leave them in the air fryer pan and she would jump on the counter and pull out the air fryer pan and throw it on the floor so she could eat whatever was left in there.”

Special skills: “She knows how to open the doors at our house. If we put her in the backyard, she just lets herself back in whenever she’s ready. She just jumps up and opens the door. My favorite memory is the first time she let herself back in from outside. She was just like, ‘I’m done with being out here and I know how to open the door.’ It was in our house in Saskatoon. I forget what we were doing but all of the sudden you could just hear the door open and her little tippy-tap feet running across our hardwood floor and there was the dog.”

The Dumba dogs: Cash, Marley, Moose and Winona.

Cash, Marley, Moose, Winona
Coyotes owner: Matt Dumba
Breeds: Belgian malinois/pit bull, Beauceron, Dachshund, mutt
Ages: 3, 1, 3, 4

Origin story: “I rescued Winona from a place called Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue here in Minny. She was only four months when I got her and she was scared of everything because she grew up in the shelter. She didn’t really like people and she lost an eye to some glaucoma, but now she’s come out of her own shell.

“I met my fiancée, Blair, the year after getting Winona and she also had a dog. She got Moose somewhere in Nashville so Winona and Moose started hanging out. He’s a long-haired wiener dog.

“We also rescued Cash from Coco’s Hearts. We had our gang of three and everyone kept telling us how hard it was going to be and this and that, but we’d be on the Coco’s Hearts website every day. We’re such dog people so we’d be sending pictures to each other and saying we could have a fourth. We caught wind of a dog breed that I’ve always been fascinated with. I showed Blair Marley. I ended up driving down to Texas to get her. She was like 16 weeks old.”

Rewards of rescue: “They go through some stuff so you have to find a higher understanding of what makes them tick. Cash gave us a run at the start when we first got him. I kind of went through it with Winona, too, because she was a Covid puppy and she spent so much time with me during that time so she kind of built up her own separation anxiety. She literally would back herself into corners and not talk to anyone. When she was first getting to know Blair, it took her a good month to be able to come up and acknowledge her as being okay. My first year, no one really got to even pet her because she was so scared to meet people. She would put herself up in my room and bark from afar.

“She still has her own funny ways of showing her affection, but we’ve done a lot of training with her and worked with her a lot on on breaking down those barriers and she’s the best dog ever now. Now she’s the first one to greet someone. She understands that people aren’t as bad as she once thought.”

The benefits of a pack: “I’ve got a big backyard here in Minny and we have an invisible fence so they can roam free. I don’t feel like there’s ever a situation that they’re not going to be okay in our backyard. And having four dogs, they actually play a lot with each other which takes a little bit of a load off us.

“We live on a lake in Minnesota and there’s tons of wildlife out here and somehow they all manage. Winona is definitely the hunter of the group and there has been some crazy stuff going down in my backyard. Even with one eye, she still comes up with a couple of squirrels and a couple of rabbits every winter. They’re not gonna miss her but the rabbits in AZ should probably watch out because she could probably pick up a couple of those.”

Walking formation: “Every walk is the exact same with the positions they walk in. Winona, because she’s blind in her right eye, I keep her on my right side so that her left eye can see me. Marley’s right beside me on the left, Cash is to the left of her on the same side and Moose kind of tails right in behind me and Winona on the right side.

“It took a lot of training, man. It’s easy now. We can grab them, get the collars and they all know the routine, but there were some battle early on with people getting tangled up. We used to walk Marley and Cash on one of those leases that has the double prong so they could walk together, but they got loose one day when my mom was walking them and they clotheslined her right at the knees and she went head over heels. We had to put a stop to that.”

Coyotes forward Dylan Guenther celebrates graduation with Zooey.

Coyotes owner: Dylan Guenther
Breed: Havanese
Age: 3

Origin story: “It’s actually kind of funny because we had a Doberman when I was younger. I think it passed when I was like 6 or 7 years old. He was a pretty big dog, like 80 pounds. And then we went the other direction and got a smaller dog during Covid. She lives with my parents full-time up here in Edmonton.”

Balancing the boys: “It’s nice to kind of have another girl around the house to kind of tame some of the boys. She doesn’t like when the boys are roughhousing around the house. When me and Nathan or my dad kind of start to wrestle a little bit, she doesn’t like it. She tries to get involved and nip at your ankles and then she usually grabs one of her toys and starts shaking it really hard to show how tough she is.”

Fish out of water: “She doesn’t like when it’s the snowing, which is tough in Edmonton. She just stands there at the door and you’re like, ‘Get out there.'”

Parent training: “Sometimes when my mom leaves in the morning, she’ll come and scratch at my door and I actually don’t like that so I have to go lock her in my mom’s room because I don’t want her to scratch at my door early in the morning and sleep in my room. I feel like that’s what’s gonna happen eventually but I’m not quite ready for that just yet.”

Winston belongs to Coyotes forward Jason Zucker.

Coyotes owner: Jason Zucker
Breed: Goldendoodle
Age: 3

Origin story: “I have a dog but I would definitely not go as far as saying I’m a dog person. He was a Covid dog, which I feel like is much more normal to say now. I feel like a lot of people did that.

“[My wife] Carly and [daughter] Sophia decided that they wanted a dog. For weeks, I was like, ‘We’re not getting a dog. We don’t need a dog.’ They were literally sending me photos of dogs daily. Sophia was 11 at the time and Carly was just all over it so daily, I was getting pictures of dogs. Finally, I’m like, ‘Alright, let’s get one.’ Actually, I ended up surprising them with him. I just kept saying no and then finally just showed up with him one day.”

Getting to know Winston: “We had him trained. We sent him to a puppy bootcamp in Minnesota that does a phenomenal job. We wanted him to be well trained, especially with our young kids Hendrix and Stella, and for walks and things of that sort. He’s super fun loving. He just wants to be pet all the time; 24/7 he wants somebody touching him and he wants to snuggle on the couch with everybody.”

Bad habits: “He loves to eat socks. That’s his thing so we’ve got to be careful with the kiddos about keeping their socks laying around the house. Whenever they take their socks off, we make sure we get them picked up as soon as possible because he’ll get after it right away.”

Buddy in the cards? “Absolutely not. I’m dead certain on that although I’ve heard that it makes it easier, but I don’t know. I’m not sold on that yet so that’s a hard no.”

Just like the first hard no? “Yeah, exactly.”

Lucky belongs to Coyotes forward Clayton Keller.

Coyotes owner: Clayton Keller
Breed: Bernedoodle
Age: 1

Origin story: “It was right after I got hurt. That was kind of the only time that I would be able to get a dog and be home a lot of the time. I was bored one night and I was looking at dogs and I happened to come across him from this breeder in Illinois. I kinda just liked him more than the others. It helped that his name was Lucky. I sent the photos to a bunch of family members. They all seemed on board except my mom at the start because of the injury and how hard it is to take care of a puppy. Someone flew him out to us and he showed up at the front door like two weeks later.”

Getting to know Lucky: “He’s the most easygoing dog. If I’m just hanging out on the couch, he’s doing the same. He’s never causing a ruckus. He’s always super chill and loves everyone that he meets. There could be someone breaking into my house and he would probably just run up and have them pet him. He’s the most friendly dog ever and he’s always right by my side.”

Favorite activities: “He likes to chase after animals; mostly rabbits. If he sees any of those in the backyard, he always seems to run after them, but he also loves walks and he loves being around other dogs.”

Bed hog: “When he was younger, he would sleep in the crate in my room, but now he’s either right next to me in bed, or sometimes on the floor. It just kind of depends on if he gets too hot. I told my mom a couple times during the season, ‘I’m gonna have to put him back in the crate’ because I’d wake up and he would be sprawled right next to me, right next to my head.”

Cooper belongs to Coyotes forward Logan Cooley.

Coyotes owner: Logan Cooley
Breed: Goldendoodle
Age: 4

Origin story: “We always wanted one and a couple years ago, we finally convinced our parents to get one. He’s our first dog. Everyone else in my family always had a dog. We had cousins with dogs so we were kind of the ones who were left out. I just think how much joy they bring. They’re so much fun to play around. It’s like another little person in the house so I guess that’s kind of where it started.”

Getting to know Cooper: “He’s always in a good mood and he’s always happy to be around you. I have a pretty good AC unit in my room. It’s been pretty hot here in Pittsburgh; nothing like Arizona, but still hot. He starts out on the hardwood floor we have upstairs and I sleep with my door shut to keep the cool air in. In the middle of the night, I’ll hear some scratches on my door so I open up the door and he comes in and sleeps in there with me for the night. He actually sleeps with me most of the nights, especially in the summer, with me being here.”

Bad habit: “He’s so energetic which is a good and bad thing. If people start like jumping around he’ll go crazy and it’s funny to watch. But say he comes on a car ride with us. As soon as we get home and get out of the car, he’ll jump out and sprint around the neighborhood. There’s no stopping him. He still has his puppy behavior so when he gets on the loose it’s a little bit scary, but he doesn’t go anywhere too far. He loves to go on the run, but he always finds his way back.”

Favorite activity: “We have a lake house in Maryland. We’re always jumping off the dock or jumping off the boat. That’s his favorite thing, other than food, is jumping in the lake. He’s a real swimmer, too. He doesn’t need a little life jacket or anything. He could swim for hours. Just jumping in the lake with him and seeing him go crazy is pretty funny.”

Milo belongs to Coyotes forward Nick Bjugstad.

Coyotes owner: Nick Bjugstad
Breed: Maltese-Shih Tzu mix
Age: 8

Origin story: “My dad was in town when I was playing down in Miami and we went to just see some of the dogs that were available and he jokingly says, ‘You guys better not come home with a dog.’ Sure enough, we came home with a dog.

“We got him at about nine months old. He was super malnourished. He was with a foster family when we got him and I don’t think they had him very active because he couldn’t even get halfway down the street without panting and laying down on the ground. But he has been very, very chill. He’s easy to travel with, with the lifestyle we’re living, going back and forth to different cities. He’s a lap dog, but he likes to get in the mix a little, too. He likes to run with other dogs and have some fun.”

Getting to know Milo: “We got very lucky with Milo from Miami. He’s just really good with the kids because you never know what you’re getting from that standpoint, when they’re coming from a situation where there might have been trauma. He gets put in quite a few headlocks with these girls that I have. He was our first baby, so sometimes I think he looks at us like, ‘What’s going on here? I thought I was the guy.'”

Butter Pig disciple: “He doesn’t want us to leave him and he would notice whenever I packed my bags for road trips. He knew when I was leaving. One time, we were leaving for Italy. This was seven years ago, but he noticed that my wife was also packing her bags so he got up on the bed and even though he’s well potty trained and he doesn’t pee in the house, he lifted his leg and peed all over our full suitcase that was packed. We were about to leave and he peed all over it like he was saying, ‘Screw you guys! You’re both leaving me?'”

Healthy diet: “He’s on a strict, gluten-free diet. He has bad allergies so my buddy, my best man at my wedding, joked that my little dog eats better than half the people at the wedding. He’s got to eat a special raw meat, otherwise he breaks out. We feed him pretty good.”

Luna and Lola belong to Coyotes forward Travis Boyd.

Luna & Lola
Coyotes owner: Travis Boyd
Breed: Terrier mix, German shepherd mix
Age: 3, 4 months

Origin story: “We adopted both of them off an adoption website. I always had a dog growing up. I’ve always loved dogs. I’m a huge dog person. They just add enjoyment and love into your house. We’ll always have a dog. I can guarantee you that.

“If you were to ask my wife, she would just tell you that she found her on the website and couldn’t say no to her after looking at a picture of her so. We were also thinking about getting another dog just to help out with the other one and things have been better since for sure.”

Getting to know Luna & Lola: “It’s funny because I think we got polar opposite dogs. Luna is much more, I don’t want to say independent, but she can go a day where you don’t really see her much. She’s just laying in bed or laying on the couch most of the day. She’s a little more nervous around people and maybe isn’t as outgoing and wanting to play.

“Now we’ve got this puppy who is the polar opposite. She has energy 24/7. She wants to play 24/7. She won’t leave your side. If you’re the only person at the house, she’s just gonna hang around you because she wants to be around you. It’s funny seeing the two of our two dogs interact with each other. The puppy will try to get the older one going, biting at her and our older dog is just sitting there; doesn’t want to play. I have a lazy dog. But so far, it’s been great. They’ve gotten along really well.”

On the adoption decision: “Once you realize how many dogs and cats and animals are already born and don’t have homes, it’s a sad thing. You can go on the websites and they add new dogs basically every day. Eventually, those dogs, if nobody claims them after like a year or so, a lot of times they end up having to put them down. I think that was one thing that convinced us.

“If I ever heard of a dog about to be put down because they don’t have a home, I’d be like, ‘What? Come on! Somebody just take care of it.’ Once we started looking, even my wife said it’s sad to see so many dogs sitting there waiting, and knowing some of them might only have a month or two left before that company or that shelter just says, ‘Well, we’ve got 10 more dogs coming in this week. What are we going to do?’ It’s a terrible thing.”

“If you go to a breeder, it can get expensive and a lot of that is that you kind of get to pick a specific dog. We weren’t really set on a breed. I don’t think we really knew. So my wife kind of just started looking around and long story short, we ended up finding a picture of our first dog and thinking it was really cute and meeting it and loving it.”

Favorite activity: “When we’re back in Minnesota we find times to get the dogs more spaces to go around and run and play vs. Arizona where it’s kind of hard to do that. My family has a lake place in Minnesota and my wife’s family has a lake place so even just getting the chance to take them up there and to watch them be around the lake and the woods and stuff like that is great.”

Buddy belongs to Coyotes coach André Tourigny.

Coyotes owner: André Tourigny
Breed: Toy poodle
Age: 1

Origin story: “He is mainly my daughter’s dog, but he lives with me. When she moved with me to Arizona, we bought him in the West Valley. His name is Buddy and Buddy has a lot of life. He’s a little puppy and he brings a lot of energy.”

Getting to know Buddy: “He is a really affectionate dog. He never wants to be alone and he’s always around my daughter if she’s here. If not, he’s always around my wife and myself.”

Bad habit: “You cannot leave any paper anywhere in his reach. If you do, he will chew it and you will come back and there’s paper all over the place. Toilet paper, Kleenex, newspaper, whatever it is. It would be a little battle in there if those were my work papers and that happened but that’s not a problem.”

Why the breed: “I like big dogs, but with our lifestyle and coaching we travel a lot. Traveling with big dogs is an adventure so we set out for a small dog and the kids really loved it. Our Shih Tzu died a couple years ago. That was my dog. I was always with him and he loved walking. He was a good dog, but now we have bought a Toy Poodle.”

Stanley Baxter belongs to Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong.

Stanley Baxter
Coyotes owner: Bill Armstrong
Breed: French Bulldog
Age: 2

Bill Armstrong was taking a well-earned break after a busy summer of work retooling the roster and getting his coaching staff re-signed, but his wife, Kyla did share photos of Stanley Baxter when we had him on an early edition of the PHNX Coyotes show.

Several Coyotes noted how they adopted or rescued their dogs so before we leave you, we want to make another plea on the part of Heidi’s Village to adopt, foster, or volunteer your time or money.

There’s nothing like a dog to brighten your day.

“They’re a comfort whatever you’re dealing with,” Tourigny said. “If you had a bad day or whatever is going on, you come back home and they’re happy to see you. If you’re having a lazy day on the coach, the dog is right there with you; happy to be wherever you are. You always have that presence who’s happy to be with you and is always positive.”

Top photo of the Dumba dogs courtesy of Matt Dumba

Butter Pig interview courtesy of Claire Crouse

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