It is obvious; you can teach old dog new tricks. To confirm the point, four shelter dogs rescued from slums and abandoned l around Sao Paulo were trained as "ball dogs" for an exhibition tennis match at the Brazil Open.
The organizers of the Brazil Tennis Open are using this group of eager dog to serve as "ball boys" during the tournament. But rather than only serve as mid-match entertainment for animal-loving spectators, their participation throughout the game is about so much more.
Dogs are a wonderful creature, no matter their origin or age, when they are loved and fed properly [rescued dogs] can be wonderful companions. They can play, learn new things and accomplish great deeds.
According to Madalena Spinazzola, an organizer said. "They are dogs that have had difficulties in life, yes. However what we desire to prove is not the stories suffered in the past, instead to prove that, regardless of what they've experienced, they can be great companions today and in the future!"
The Brazil open closed on Monday with Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay winning the title - but the real stars of the tennis tournament have four legs.
Six dogs from animal shelters in Brazil were acting as "ball boys" to raise awareness of pet adoption, and also to wow crowds with their overwhelming cuteness.
Cindy, Mia, Arlette, Nanda, Blake, and Ovelha came from two animal shelters in Sao Paulo - the second opportunity (Proyecto Segunda Chance) and dogs without owners (Cão Sem Dono), according to the ATP World Tour. The dogs joined Brazilian tennis player Marcelo Demoliner and coach Joao Zwetsch in an exhibition match on Saturday.
"It was really fun, very cool with dogs, a nice experience," says Dimoliner, who says dogs may need to "improve a little" if they are going to serve in a real game.
Andrea Beckett, the dog trainer who worked with the 2016 crew, told CNN last year "we want to show that abandoned dogs can be adopted and trained." "After all, it is not easy to get a dog just to pick up the lost balls, and then give them!"
All the dogs that appeared at the event last year have already been adopted. We hope the talented team this year will also find homes soon.