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How Mushu Changed My Life, Vlasic Shares His Favorite Dog Rescues



Credit: Marc-Edouard Vlasic

Merry Christmas from San Jose Hockey Now!

Meet Mushu.

This was Mushu before my wife Mulan and I adopted her in Feb. 2021.

Given the name “Streamer” by Walnut Creek-based Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation – yes, that Tony La Russa – “Streamer”, described as an “Australian shepherd mix”, was an eight-year-old stray missing hair on most of her body and tail because of a severe chronic skin disease.

My wife and I wanted to give an older dog the best years of their lives, which is why we rescued “Streamer”.

Here’s Mushu today, 11 pounds later, and it turns out, actually a Labrador retriever and Siberian Husky mix:

The truth is though, cheesy as it sounds, Mushu has changed my life as much as we changed her’s.

In this job, 24/7 following the San Jose Sharks, it gets really easy to just focus on the job and leave space for nothing else. Especially when you’re trying to launch a business out of nothing, which is what I did in Jul. 2020 when I launched San Jose Hockey Now. On one hand, that single-minded devotion to SJHN has helped propel it to being one of the top Sharks news sources and websites around, competition for the heavyweights of the market like The Athletic and The Mercury News, if I may say so myself. On the other hand, this single-minded devotion makes me, an already pretty self-centered person, if I’m being honest, even more self-absorbed.

You gain a lot by taking care of somebody other than yourself, which is nothing earth-shattering, but something that I’ve had to learn to get better at over the years.

So thank you and Merry Christmas, Mushu.

Anyway, I’d say that Marc-Edouard Vlasic would agree that rescuing a dog can change your life. He’s adopted many, most recently Darcy, a 10-month-old golden retriever from Egypt, in early 2021.

“Everyone makes their own decisions. You do what you want, but my perspective of things is if a dog needs help, help it,” Vlasic said. “I’d rather rescue than buy from a breeder.”

The San Jose Sharks defenseman reminded me that dogs are frequently given at Christmas as gifts, but then abandoned to shelters in January and February when the new owners realize how much work it takes to care for a dog.

So if you’re interested in rescuing during this critical time, there are three dog adoption agencies that Vlasic likes in particular.

“Darcy’s from Golden Rescue Canada that rescues Golden Retrievers from Istanbul and Cairo,” Vlasic said. “We contacted them when Kelly [passed].”

Vlasic isn’t the only NHL’er rescuing goldens.

Bunny’s Buddies out of San Diego. She rescues Golden Retrievers from China, specifically,” the San Jose Sharks stalwart noted. “[William] Karlsson from the [Golden] Knights has one.”

Locally, Vlasic visits San Jose Animal Care Center from time to time.

“That’s the one just down the street here. I go there every once in a while, just to see who’s there,” he said. “I think this season, I’ve gone twice. Not often, because at the same time, it’s sad. But if no one goes, then they don’t get any visitors.

“A couple years ago, I used to go regularly, take dogs out and just play with them in the yard, just so that they get some [play], it’s nice for them, not be in their crate all day.”

ARF, Golden Rescue Canada, Bunny’s Buddies, and San Jose Animal Care Center are just four of many pet rescue agencies out there, of course. Golden retriever, lab, husky, dog, cat, iguana, you name it, go to Pet Finder to give a good home this holiday season to a pet in need.

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