NHL Team Gets Puppy to Raise as Service Dog to the Blind

The Tampa Bay Lightning just got a new addition to the roster that will certainly make an impact during the late-season push for the playoffs. No, it's not a goalie or a power forward that will be taking the Lightning to another level — this latest addition is of the four-legged variety.

Tuesday, the Lightning introduced Bolt, a yellow lab puppy that will be serving as the team ambassador. Bolt joins the team by way of the Southeastern Guide Dogs and will ultimately become a trained service dog after his time with the team ends.

Originally born on March 31, 2019, Bolt spent the first 12 weeks of his life in the Grant and Shirley Herron Puppy Academy at Southeastern Guide Dogs. He left at this point for a boarding school with a trainer from the Lightning, which started off this portion of his hockey career.

Once Bolt spends a year with the team, he will return to the Southeastern Guide Dogs in order to finish off his education and become a service dog for someone in need.

For now, however, Bolt will be a mainstay in the building for the Lightning. As the video produced by the team shows, the yellow lab is already quite adept at chasing down hockey pucks and bringing joy to the players in the building.

Bolt will continue his journey toward becoming a trusted service dog over the course of the next year, and his adventures will be captured by a top media team. To follow Bolt's journey, follow @BoltsPup on both Twitter and Instagram.

According to the press release by the Tampa Bay Lightning, all of Southeastern Guide Dogs' services are provided at no cost to the recipient in need. This includes selective breeding and expert dog training and conditioning; comprehensive on-campus student instruction; and lifetime alumni support.


The organization relies entirely on private donations and receives no government funding. Additionally, Southeastern Guide Dogs is accredited by the two global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International. More information about Southeastern Guide Dogs can be found at its official website.