Thurman Thomas and Pearl Owen are already the best of friends.
Jake Owen’s daughter Pearl is not quite 2 years old, and Thurman Thomas is just 12 weeks old. But when Owen brought the bull mastiff puppy home after a recent stop in Baltimore, his whole family — including his bulldog Merle — opened their hearts to the new dog.
“Pearl just loves him. She’s obsessed with this dog. She gets so excited when I pull her out of her crib. The first thing she says is, ’Thurman,’ and she wants to go feed him,” Owen told me.
“She’s not even 2, and she’s full on talking,” he adds with a sense of proud-father pride.
It sounds like Owen won’t be taking Thurman Thomas on the road anytime soon, though. He’s needed at home.
“Now that Pearl’s getting older, she’s not coming on the road as much. And I’ve got two beautiful girls at home, so I wanted to get a big protection dog,” he said of the canine who will eventually max out at around 130 pounds. “When I’m out on tour, nobody’s gonna mess with my girls when Thurman Thomas is at the door.”
But beyond protection, Owen just thinks that kids need puppies in their lives. That’s how he was raised, and it’s the life he wants for Pearl.
“I wanted to get Pearl a puppy she could grow up with. She’d bond with him, he’d bond with her. As he gets bigger, she’s gonna still be his best friend,” he explained.
Big brother Merle, the bulldog Owen has owned for five years, seems to be totally cool with Thurman, too.
“If you can’t get along with Merle, you’re probably not a good person or a good dog. He’s given Merle a new pep in his step,” Owen said.
Thurman Thomas was named after the Pro Football Hall of Famer and longtime Buffalo Bills running back.