National treasure and rabid Washington Capitals fan, Ovie The Bulldog, is retiring from doing public appearances before hockey games.
Monday’s Capitals-Golden Knights game at T-Mobile Arena will be Ovie’s last where he will be available to accept your pets and take photos with you. Ovie’s age and declining health was the reason for the change.
Ovie posted this message on social media on Sunday.
Caps fans, bittersweet to announce that today’s #CapsVGK (2/17/20) game will be my last road trip game. I have been crashing outside games for close to a decade & after much discussion, it’s time to slow down & rest some.
This is part my current health battle, part my age (10) which is very senior for a bulldog, these trips take a lot out of me and I don’t have the stamina to hang out like I used to. The two factors combined don’t allow for me to plan further than where I am today. Some days I have energy & others I just want to lay on the sofa & eat cookies & sleep all day.
I have loved every game I’ve sat outside of, loved meeting the thousands & thousands of fans, getting infinite scratches & pictures. I’ve enjoyed Two epic #Caps road trips! The 2015 #WinterClassic and THE MOST EPIC #StanleyCup Road trip in 2018, been to several away arenas for the Kings, Ducks, Coyotes, Rangers, & Golden Knights. I wish I could have seen more.
Overall; I’ve attended roughly 50 games. I’ve got a pretty good record in DC and a LOUSY record at other arenas but it was always about seeing the fans. Thank you for always saying hi, giving me love and hanging out before the games. This isn’t a retirement, just a change to my appearances. I’ll still be watching games on TV and cheering like I always have.
So, today, my last appearance outside an arena game. Stop by and say hi! It’ll be a GR8 day for a hockey game! Love you all ❤️❤️
Over the last few months, Ovie has not been feeling completely himself.
“He had an odd tiny cough,” Michael Robertson, Ovie’s dad, said when asked when he first noticed something was off. “I mentioned it would happen every few days at odd times. During a veterinarian appointment for Saffy, Ovie’s sister, the vet said if it continued, we’d do an x-ray. On the drive back from New Jersey when my dad passed away in December, Ovie coughed while we were driving through Flagstaff and I said ‘he’s getting an x-ray.'”
Subsequent tests and examinations from veterinarians revealed that he had congestive heart failure and a slow-growing tumor on his heart.
Hi everyone, I’m spending the night in the emergency vet hospital. I hadn’t been feeling 100% and have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I’m going to have some heart tests tomorrow and see what the plan is with the cardiologist. pic.twitter.com/UV6dwvJ7Kr
— Ovie the Bulldog (@OvietheBulldog) December 21, 2019
Hanging out for my oncology consult. In a nutshell: the cancer I have is pretty non-responsive to many forms of treatment. Good news? It’s typically slow growing and doesn’t spread. Saffy Bean watching after me extra since I’ve been sick ❤️🐾 #NakedOvie pic.twitter.com/RyqvejJCVp
— Ovie the Bulldog (@OvietheBulldog) January 8, 2020
“He’s been healthy despite the diagnosis,” Robertson said. “The cardiologist says he’s doing great despite the heart disease. He starts chemo soon to try and shrink the tumor. It can’t be eliminated so the goal is to shrink or slow its growth.
“People were upset hearing the diagnosis,” he added. “He’d been very healthy all his life so this came as a shock to all.”
Robertson and Ovie formerly lived in Montgomery County before moving to San Diego in March 2014. Despite being thousands of miles away from the home base of the Capitals, the family has remained staunch supporters of the team and traveled around the west coast to go to Caps games. In 2018, Michael and Ovie did a road trip to Washington DC after the Capitals made it to the Stanley Cup Final.
The family made a special trip to Las Vegas this weekend and hung out with Ovie’s new friends Bark-Andre Furry and Sir Winston da Doodle.
— Ovie the Bulldog (@OvietheBulldog) February 16, 2020
For fans upset by Ovie’s health, the best way they can say thank you is through the purchase of these special $10 Ovie The Bulldog pins, which benefit charity.
Hockey Fans! Love hockey dogs? Love helping charities? Well, you are in luck! Purchase this commemorative pin of @BarkAndreFurry & Me! $5 from each pin goes 50/50 to @IceDogsSHW & @BarkForACause! You help special hockey and animal charities! https://t.co/dGYKcNbhF7 pic.twitter.com/OUsXpjk0Wa
— Ovie the Bulldog (@OvietheBulldog) February 14, 2020
To commemorate our meeting in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final and in celebration of our friendship, @OvietheBulldog and I have issued the following limited edition pin in support of @IceDogsSHW & @BarkForACause
Order your pins today!
~ Bark🐾https://t.co/2gGBicQTWr pic.twitter.com/fZlETgxLIP
— Bark-André Furry (@BarkAndreFurry) January 20, 2020
“The pins are a special project Bark & Ovie have been working on for months,” Robertson said. “Ovie’s charity is Ann Schabb’s Washington Ice Dogs special hockey team in Laurel, MD. He is the team mascot and travelled to see them when they came to CA in 2017. Bark André Furry has his own charity which supports animals in the Las Vegas area. $5 of each pin sale gets split 50/50 to each charity.”
As for tonight’s Caps-Golden Knights game, the night will be a celebration. Robertson urges any Capitals fans out in Las Vegas for the game to say hello to Ovie in front of T-Mobile Arena.
“Right now? Ovie seems to have life to live,” he said. “He’s just a bit slower.”
View this post on Instagram
Tonight in Las Vegas will mark @oviethebulldog’s final appearance at a @capitals game due to his age and declining health. Michael Robertson asks all Caps fans who are out west for the game to say hi. Ovie has been an amazing unofficial ambassador of the team and we hope he has a lot of fun tonight.
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