Air Force veteran Nevada Grassie was excited to attend his first first NHL game to watch the Dallas Stars take on the Montreal Canadiens. He was even more excited for the experience when he learned that his faithful service dog, Six, would be attending the game as well. Six was offered a seat of her very own by a generous nearby fan, the pair sat together enjoying the game, completely unaware that an appearance on the Jumbotron would make Six an instant celebrity before the night was over.
Dallas Stars staff members decided the unusual duo would make for a good transition segment to fill airtime during downtime. The crowd’s reaction isn’t captured in the broadcast, but Grassie confirms that she got the ovation she deserved.
“When they flashed her up on the big screen everybody was freaking out,” Grassie told reports. “She loved looking up, like, ‘What?'”
Grassie and Six’s impromptu interview can be seen below.
Grassie and Six have been inseparable since Grassie retired after ten years of service just last year. The two were paired up when Grassie went to meet with Jeff Greene, a well-established and respected service dog trainer. According to Grassie the two formed a bond almost immediately. It was love at first sight.
“I had a few buddies that were prior service and had gotten dogs from Jeff, and they met Six and they just didn’t quite mesh,” he told reporters, about his first meeting with Six. “Then when I got there, he handed me the lead for Six and I was just like, ‘Man this dog is really calm.’ But when we went out and we did all the work and obstacle courses together, we just clicked.”
Grassie doesn’t hold back any affection when speaking about Six.
“She’s good for anxiety and everything I’ve dealt with being deployed and all that I’ve had to go through, and just knowing that she’s there, I know she’s got my back,” he told NHL reporters.
He went on to explain that even her name is derived from her unwavering sense of loyalty. She was named after the military phrase “I’ve got your six” because Grassie knows that she always has his back.