There are few things in life capable of sending dogs into a flurry of excitement than a bouncing, chaseable tennis ball.
And so it therefore follows that a dream career for many a starry-eyed pup would be to work as a ball boy or girl at a professional tennis tournament.
Now, my own dog would be extremely unprofessional in this sort of scenario, being weirdly protective to the point of paranoia over his tennis balls.
However, there are some brilliant and exceedingly well-behaved doggos out there capable of scrabbling out a very important sporting destiny for themselves out on the tennis court.
In 2016, four shelter dogs participated as ballboys at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo. These good boys and girls won the nation’s hearts, and all four of them were later adopted.
One of the adopted dogs was even renamed Serena by her new family after tennis icon Serena Williams, which is just a bit too cute.
In 2018, six more shelter dogs were given this prestigious opportunity; fetching balls during warmups on the days of both the semifinal and the final.
Adorably, these dogs actually wore wrist sweatbands and neck scarves to look like the true superstars of tennis they are. Sadly, they had all have experienced abandonment in their lives and were looking for new families to offer them a little TLC.
These sporty dogs – Cindy, Nanda, Pretinha, Mia, Arlete and Ovelha – were all between the ages of four and ten, with plenty of fun and affection to bring to the right home.
Iniciativa de sucesso que ganhou destaque no Brasil e no mundo em 2016, os CãoDulas estão de volta! O Torneio Aberto do Brasil – ATP 250 – #BrasilOpen 2017, em parceria com a @premierpet, empresa especialista em alimentos de alta qualidade para cães e gatos, apresenta o novo “time” de cães que irá entrar em quadra no torneio, no Esporte Clube Pinheiros. Os jogadores que chegarem à semifinal e à grande final do torneio, nos dias 4 e 5 de março, vão dividir a atenção do público com uma turma de CãoDulas muito especial: Cindy, Nanda, Pretinha, Mia, Arlete e Ovelha, cães das ONGs Projeto Segunda Chance (São Paulo, SP) e Cão Sem Dono (Itapecirica da Serra, SP). Você não vai querer perder esse show! Ingressos: Ingresso Rápido – http://migre.me/w3yw3
This brilliant yearly initiative comes from Premier Pet, a pet-food company which also supports pet adoption and subsidises the feeding of countless dogs and cats.
Director of corporate marketing and strategic planning for Premier Pet, Madalena Spinazzola told Brasil Open:
They are dogs that have had a difficult trajectory, yes, but what we want to point out is not the history suffered from the past, but to prove that no matter what they have gone through, they can be great companions today and in the future!
Madalena explained how this initiative intends:
They are dogs that have had a difficult trajectory, yes. But what we want to point out is not the history suffered from the past, but to prove that no matter what they have gone through, they can be great companions today and in the future!
Meanwhile, people all over the world continue to fall in love with this sweet initiative, with the dogs gaining just as many fans as the players themselves.
One person cheered:
That’s awesome!! Dogs are so smart, perfect for them to have a fun job and feel important. I love it. Like the airport dog.
However, another person fretted:
Do you think dogs ever get super depressed when you take a ball off them?
Fingers and paws crossed we will see yet more tennis puppers in 2019!
Now, can we bring this woof-ly initiative to Wimbledon?
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.