By Shannon Drayer
One of the first things I ever learned about Felix Hernandez was that he was a dog person. Always a good thing in my book.
A few years ago I asked if he would be willing to help out with the Seattle Humane Society and he answered, "Sure, anything for the puppies."
I am not sure if Felix fully understood what the Humane Society was at the time or what it meant to adopt an animal, but he was more than game to help. On Friday he pitched in again, participating in a photo shoot and filming videos encouraging people to adopt pets at Seattle Humane Society.
Puppies and Felix are a natural and I thought I would share some photos with you as well as Felix's thoughts on the importance of having pets. The puppies in these pictures are two of a litter of nine that was born to a stray that was brought in to Seattle Humane eight weeks ago. Some of the pups and many other fine animals are available for adoption. Click here for more information.
The third dog in these pictures is not up for adoption (and neither is Felix despite what I said on Twitter earlier today @shannondrayer). He is Charlie, Felix's one-and-a-half-year-old English bulldog. Charlie is just one in a long line of pets Felix has had throughout his life.
"I am a dog person for sure," he said after the shoot. "I have loved animals since I was a kid. I had roosters and ducks when I was a kid and my dogs later. I enjoy being around animals."
As an adult, Felix realized that there was a good amount of responsibility that went along with being a dog owner. He and his wife had many talks about getting a dog. She wanted an English bulldog. He asked if she was sure and the rest was Charlie history.
"It was a tough decision but we got him. He was a little tiny boy and now she doesn't like it because he ate all the shoes – expensive shoes!" Felix said with a laugh. "He's a good dog, though, and I love him."
Felix said his shoes have been spared and that he forgives the transgression because of everything that Charlie brings to the family.
"I come home and he starts jumping around, jumping all over me. It's a great feeling," he said. "It's like a little kid. It's like another baby. My kids play with him all the time. They just enjoy being around the dog. I think it is important for family, it is important for people to have a good dog."
Or possibly two good dogs.
"We have been talking about another dog," he said. "Thinking about adopting. We have to find what is best for this guy right here (Charlie)."
Add it to the offseason to-do list. Felix, for a second straight year, is spending a significant amount of his offseason in Seattle. He said he has settled in nicely and loves being in Seattle when he is not playing baseball.
Good to see Felix enjoying his break and pitching in to help the puppies.