Tennis at Brazil Open: Shelter Dogs as ‘Ball Boys’ Promote Adoptions
Shelter dogs from Sao Paolo’s slums were center court for an exhibition tennis match at the Brazil Open.
The four pups — Frida, Mel, Isabelle and Costela — were trained to be “ball dogs.” They proved to be great at retrieving stray shots — they just weren’t so good at returning the tennis balls.
There were plenty of delays in the game as players, coaches, and dog trainers on the sidelines coaxed the pups to give up their bright, new toys.
The match was designed to raise awareness of rescue dogs nationwide and the need for people to adopt them.
The competitors, Spain’s Roberto Carballes Baena and Portugal’s Gastao Elias, played along — but the dogs were the big winners of the match.