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      Close Up with the Crunch- Man's best friend helps hockey players

      The old saying goes, that dogs are man's best friend.

      The Syracuse Crunch players are living proof of that.

      With the Syracuse Crunch "Pucks for Paws" night coming up on Saturday, we decided to take an opportunity to meet the players with their furry friends.

      There were dogs of all shapes and sizes at Clinton Square on Tuesday, and as Cedrick DesJardins said about his dog "She's still excited when I come home, just not as much anymore"

      Anyone who has a canine pet can attest, but for the Crunch players who sometimes don't see their dogs often because of road trips, that instant excitement when they walk in the door is gratifying.

      DesJardins' dog was actually a Christmas gift for his wife, a moment he "will never forget" when she first laid eyes on their Cocka-Poo.

      Luke Witkowski has two dogs, Joey a Harrier/Beagle mix and Nollie who is a 4-month old English Springer Spaniel.

      Witkowski actually rescued Joey, who was in rough shape when the two met.

      "He was a stray with his brother. They were both really beat up, with patches of hair missing. They had all different kinds of mites in their ears and fleas. So I got him cleaned up. He still may not trust people completely, but he's warmed up to me and my girlfriend quite a bit" Witkowski said.

      No doubt, when you hear a story like that, it shows the great stories that can stem from adopting animals.

      You can help the cause, even if you aren't able to adopt an animal, by going to the Pucks for Paws night with the Syracuse Crunch.

      Proceeds from the night help out the Priscilla Mahar Animal Welfare Foundation. Fans can also bring their dog(s) to the game on Saturday night, at 7:00 p.m. versus Binghamton.