LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – Chiefs mania is inspiring fans to do all kinds of things to show their support for the team, but a dog in Lee’s Summit is catching eyes for the same reasons.
Mason, an Australian Labradoodle, sports a signature headband – made popular by Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes – and wears a Chiefs Kingdom t-shirt. He rocks the look very well.
“He definitely has the hair on top right,” said Michelle Uptegorve, his owner. “It brings smiles to people.”
Uptegrove was born and raised in Massachusetts and moved to Missouri with her family later in life.
“In my grandmother’s house, the Red Sox were always on, and the Patriots were always on,” Uptegorve said.
But she’s never been a Patriots fan.
“We are die-hard Chiefs, and we really believe this is our time,” Uptegrove said.
She’s had Mason for nearly two years. He’s essentially a therapy dog and is being trained to work with children with autism, seniors with limited mobility and children with special needs.
“They just know and understand, and dogs have unconditional love,” Uptegrove said. “It doesn’t matter what you look like or what challenges you might face. They’re there for you.”
Mason’s Mahomes look isn’t the first time he’s garnered attention. Photos show him in outfits supporting childhood cancer and posing with a child with down syndrome, among others.
“Pups can always capture people’s hearts, and doing that with him helps bring awareness to people who might be in different situations,” Uptegorve said.
She said Mason doesn’t mind the attention, but he’ll let the Chiefs have the spotlight this Sunday.
“He’s probably going to be munching on a football with peanut butter in it,” Uptegorve said while laughing.
As for her family back in Massachusetts who are rooting for the Patriots, she told them their time is up.
“They think they’re going to win it because they’ve been there so many times, but I told them not this time,” she said. “We’re going all the way.”
Uptegrove has been teaching students with special needs for nearly 30 years. She got Mason for when she retires, so she can continue to be an advocate for children she’s dedicated her whole life to.