LONDON (Reuters) – Hattie, Tina and Melvin performed a unique variety of recreation of fetch on Thursday when the canines took to a London courtroom for the opening of the Champions Tennis match – working alongside ball girls and boys.
Arriving on courtroom to the sound of the music “Who Let the Dogs Out”, the canines drew cheers and applause from the viewers as they helped retrieve stray balls in a doubles match between gamers Mansour Bahrami, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Henri Leconte and Mikael Pernfors.
Hattie, Tina and Melvin have been supplied for the event by the charity Canine Partners, which trains canines to assist folks with disabilities, and needed to study new abilities for the job.
“Normally they’re used to picking things up within the job that we use them for, so we may drop pens and inhalers and they’re used to retrieving things for us, but we don’t generally use an awful lot of tennis balls,” Canine Partners Aftercare Manager Claire Anthony stated.
“We’ve been going to lots of tennis courts and working around self-control around people playing tennis and then retrieving balls and towels.”
Former British primary Tim Henman helped prepare the canines for the Dec. 6-9 match, which is held yearly at London’s Royal Albert Hall with lots of the game’s veteran gamers taking to the courtroom.
“What do they say about working with animals and children? Don’t do it,” Henman joked at a information convention beforehand.
“Ball dogs” usually are not new in tennis, with some canines having already appeared on courtroom at the Brazil Open.
Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian