There were several unusual and adorable “ball boys” at the Brazil Open tennis tournament in Sao Paulo recently – shelter dogs!
Four former street dogs patiently waited alongside the tennis court while two internationally ranked players (Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain and Gastao Elias of Portugal) participated in an exhibition match. The dogs diligently fetched the stray tennis balls to the cheers of the audience.
Ball boys are usually meant to be “invisible” on court, but as soon as Frida, Costela, Mel and Isabelle sprung into action, they were the stars of the show. The players even intentionally overlooked some of the balls, so the audience could cheer the dogs on.
The four dogs used to live on the streets of Sao Paulo and trained for months for their role in the match, to help raise awareness about shelter animals.
“The idea is to show people that a well-fed and well-treated animal can be very happy. We have more than 1,000 dogs in our care,” Marli Scaramella, the organizer of the initiative, told Fox News Latino. All four ball dogs are currently residents in a Sao Paulo shelter.
This seems like a job right up a dog’s alley, I have no idea why no one has thought of it earlier! What a great way to help raise awareness for deserving shelter pets.
Take a look at the video below to see the dogs in action and share this story with your friends.