Meet Wilson, a 2-year-old purebred Saint Bernard with a distinguished lineage. He was born on September 9, 2019 in Lyndonville, NY at Johnson Farms. Wilson’s grandfather was national best in breed. He is also related to one of the Saint Bernards from the Beethoven movies. He grew up in Morrison, Colorado before moving to Liberty Township in July. He lives with his brother Tom (a rescue pitbull mix) and Daisy the cat. Wilson weighed just twenty pounds at 8-weeks old and is now around 160 pounds.
Wilson’s mom, Kelsey Dempsey, entered him in Budweiser’s Pupweiser contest earlier this year after she saw a post on Instagram about it and immediately thought of the perfect holiday picture she had of Wilson. Plus, she and her husband, Colin like beer so thought it was a “no brainer.” Wilson beat out more than 100,000 other entrants in Budweiser’s inaugural Pupweiser contest. His face—in the picture Dempsey submitted for the contest—is now featured on Budweiser’s limited-edition holiday cans, along with the famous Budweiser Clydesdales and a Dalmatian puppy.
Budweiser has launched their search for their next Pupweiser Star for 2022 with a contest that runs through December 15. You can enter the contest three different ways, through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. For all the details visit Budweiser’s website.
Wilson’s mom, Kelsey, grew up in Seattle before moving out to Colorado. She works as a civil engineer in transportation. His dad, Colin, grew up and lived in Colorado his whole life prior to the move to Cincinnati. He works as a software/electrical engineer in the aerospace industry. Their first dog was a rescue Saint Bernard named Apollo, who passed away earlier this year. Prior to Apollo’s passing they adopted Tom, their pitbull rescue before getting Wilson as a puppy.
Dempsey said “For awhile we had over 350 lbs of dog.”
The couple decided to make the move from Colorado after they fell in love with the Cincinnati region while visiting area friends. They ended up with good jobs offers and everything fell into place for them, including getting a house with a yard for their well-deserving pups. They enjoy spending time with their dogs, watching football, exploring new breweries/distilleries, and golf.
CincyPet Magazine recently asked Kelsey to dish the dirt on Wilson. Here’s some of our Q&A:
Q: Does Wilson have a favorite food or treat?
A: Wilson is not picky when it comes to food, but his favorite treats are bully sticks, carrots, and ice cubes.
Q: Does Wilson like to play with toys? If so, does he have a favorite toy?
A: He loves Benebones, squeaky stuffed animals, and playing monkey in the middle with a football.
Q: What was Wilson’s favorite outdoor adventure in Colorado?
A: He always loved hiking Saint Mary’s Glacier. It’s only about a mile hike up, but even in the summer there was snow to roll around in and a lake to play in the water. He also enjoyed our vacation to Telluride, Colorado where he got to ride the Gondola and explore the mountains.
Q: Does Wilson like car rides?
A: He loves to sleep in the car and if he’s not sleeping then he loves to stick his head out the window. He is great on road trips.
Q: Does Wilson have a favorite place so far in Cincinnati?
A: Wilson enjoyed his visit to Grainworks Brewery and Hidden Valley Orchards. He makes lots of friends everywhere he goes.
Q: Does Wilson have a girlfriend or does he like to play the field?
A: Wilson has many lady friends, but doesn’t seem interested in a committed relationship at this time.
Q: What is a typical day like for Wilson?
A: A 6 a.m. wake-up call for breakfast; nap for a few more hours; chase the cat for a few minutes (sorry Daisy); take another nap—lunch, nap, play with Tom—nap again. More playtime when Colin gets home from work. Then another nap. Dinner, then sleep.
When asked if Wilson knows he’s a celebrity, his mom said “Wilson has always thought he was a celebrity but it has definitely inflated his ego in the last few months.”
Wilson recently took a trip to visit Budweiser’s headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri where he met the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
We asked Wilson’s mom if he enjoyed meeting the Clydesdales and she said “Wilson doesn’t usually see animals that are larger than him. We did a lot of desensitization with horses in the months leading up so Wilson was confident being around the Clydesdales for his photoshoot.”
While in St. Louis Wilson enjoyed lots of treats and attention from the Budweiser team and visitors.
Wilson and his brother Tom are both experienced foster brothers as their parents fostered several puppies back in Colorado for Colorado Saint Bernard Rescue. Wilson especially loved having a puppy friend that he could play with and cuddle with all the time. Dempsey said that, once they’ve settled into their home and routines more, they would love to foster again. She said “It’s a really rewarding experience and we look forward to fostering again sometime soon.”
In the meantime, Wilson is really enjoying his new backyard and making friends all over town. He’s also pretty excited about the colder winter weather. Wilson and his family look forward to exploring more of their new city and meeting new friends around town. You can follow Wilson’s adventures on Instagram: @apollo_and_wilson.
You can meet Wilson at CincyPet Magazine’s Home for the Holidays Market & Adoption Event at The Summit Hotel on Saturday, December 18 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The event runs from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and features area rescues with adoptable dogs and cats, plus pet friendly shopping with our line-up of local makers and small businesses. Bring a donation of new or gently used toys, blankets, towels, food, and litter to be donated to our participating rescues.