Written by Luis Sung | Twitter: @FLSportDebater
Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins organization teamed up with the Humane Society and joined forces at the Broward County Boys and Girls Club to teach children about the responsibilities of pet ownership. Star center Mike Pouncey stated just how important this event was to him, especially considering that he's a pet owner himself.
"They're two Labs, I have a chocolate Lab and a black Lab, one of them's two years old and one of them's one." he said fondly. "My chocolate Lab's a boy, his name's Tupac, and our black Lab, she's a girl and her name's Parma."
Pouncey spoke of the importance of the event, and how important it was to educate the attending children about the mission of the Humane Society and the animal shelters.
"It's very important, especially to spread the word." he said. "I'm a pet owner, I've been one my whole life, and for the Humane Society to come out, just do this, it's amazing."
Pouncey also mentioned that he wouldn't be opposed to getting another dog, although the reasons why he would choose a particular breed is rather humorous.
"We kinda wanna get a house dog for our son, a little small one," he said. "A Havanese, it's got good-smelling breath so that's gonna be our next dog."
Over 150 children arrived to learn about pet ownership, and they were quizzed by the guest speakers on what was required in order to be a good pet owner. The children promptly said that things like water, food and exercise were necessary to be a good pet owner.
However there were a choice few who mentioned something beyond the physical needs of pets, those few mentioned how love and attention are so very important to the health and happiness of any animal. As a living testament to this, offensive tackle Jason Fox found himself on the receiving end of a lot of attention from a little black puppy with a purple bandana around its neck. No doubt reenacting a friendship from that timeless classic, "The Fox and the Hound" (see what I did there? Haha).
The Boys and Girls Club of Broward County were more than happy to provide their services for this event, even going as far as to bring in their own representative. Former NFL linebacker and Boys and Girls Club Alumnus Ray Shipman. Shipman spoke about the importance of a good education to the children, and to make sure they stay focused in school so they can be prepared for the future.
"When I was in elementary school and middle school, I used to go to the Boys and Girls Club in North Miami, and since I was able to be fortunate enough to play collegiate basketball and collegiate football and professional football, I just always come back and try to have events with the Boys and Girls Club." Shipman explained, "They reached out to me this time and asked me if I'd come out and speak, and I had no problem coming out to speak."
Shipman actually was pleasantly surprised by the fact that the Miami Dolphins were in attendance, as apparently no one had told him that Pouncey and Fox would be there to represent the organization.
"I didn't actually know the Dolphins were gonna be here," he chuckled, "So it was definitely a surprise."
Besides the athletes that were there, head coach Joe Philbin's wife Diane and wide receiver coach Ken O'Keefe's wife JoAnne were there as representatives of the Miami Dolphins Woman's Organization. Along with them, Humane Society Chairman of the Board Gerald Weber had some words with the children as well as several pet ambassadors with their rescued dogs.
It's always nice to see the players come out and join in the community, and while I may seem redundant in saying this again, I feel like this point cannot be stressed enough. Events like this remind us the players aren't just people who play football on a field, they're regular people, who love their pets just like anyone else.