Formerly Homeless Dogs Now Work for Professional Tennis

Four homeless dogs were rescued from the the slums and abandoned lots in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Frida, Mel, Isabelle, and Costela are part of an initiative by the Animal Association of Wellbeing to raise awareness of the nearly 1,200 dogs currently seeking adoption in their shelters, in partnership with Brazilian Tennis.

The formerly homeless dogs were trained to retrieve loose balls and return to them to the players or human ball-minders. Though the dogs were often reluctant to give up their yellow prizes, there were lots of smiles and laughs. Players in the Brazil Open didn’t seem to mind slobbered balls and even gave the dogs a pat or two.

Andrea Beckert, one of the trainers, told reporters that they wanted to show people that dogs can be adopted and trained. Since it’s quite hard to get any dog to give up a toy, they seem to have proved the point. The dogs, wearing orange bandanas and big smiles, didn’t seem overly distracted by the crowd or noise and despite a few mishaps, gave the balls back without too much trouble.

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Sarah Woodard is a freelance writer based in Southern New Hampshire. She enjoys bringing stories, issues and topics to life with words and pictures. In addition to writing, Sarah is a beekeeper, Reiki Master Teacher and black belt in Muay Thai Kickboxing. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her boyfriend and playing with their four cats.

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