So, Wimbledon, one of the 4 Slams, decided to train dogs to act as ball boys and girls – a move that would have made tennis – already a delight – a 1000x more fun to watch.
And they were really committed to the idea. The training started at the Wilton Tennis Club where the dogs were asked to fetch the ball, which they did nicely – and then kept it.
A piece on the BBC about a tennis club using dogs instead of ball boys – look at what’s on the wall behind him – spotty Dalmatian – it’s all there- WIMBLEDON must watch ! pic.twitter.com/d9PMCDZcQw— The Great Awakening (@JayneTh46177763) June 28, 2022
The doggos refused to give up the ball and that would result in a hilarious struggle between them and the players.
Ultimately, it was decided that they’d be lured with treats and the trick worked, but the idea wasn’t efficient enough to be implemented in a Grand Slam, so the plan had to be dropped.
But… But… Imagine the slow-mo!— Aditya Mandrekar (@aditya_rm) June 29, 2022
Alt-text: a rough collie with white and brown markings runs over a lawn towards the camera, with a tennis ball in his mouth. The video is in slow motion, almost like he's a lifeguard on an LA beach. https://t.co/VYmnCQjU9v pic.twitter.com/FIKD18MkBi
How did they not forsee this being a problem? Lmaoooo https://t.co/q43Ky9OxCB— Sir Kitty McMittens (@McMittensTTV) June 29, 2022
This is hilarious, the dogs would expect a treat every time they are asked to return the ball 😂https://t.co/bTehmv87Nw— MLK (@Alpen_Eos) June 29, 2022
Though will be more fun to watch tennis 😂 https://t.co/WLYZ9VVc0u— J Satheesh Kannan CFPᶜᵐ (@jrmskannan) June 29, 2022
News I am here for! 🐕 https://t.co/VnCIBqXfp6— Leticia Barr (she/her) (@techsavvymama) June 29, 2022
In an interview, the Wilton Club coordinator, said, “Our players did find themselves in a game of tug-of-war. We had a stash of treats on the sidelines to offer up as a bit of encouragement which certainly did the trick”.
Earlier in 2016, shelter dogs were used as ball boys at a Brazil Open exhibition match. You’d best believe it was one of the highlights of the year for the sporting world.
Well, they tried their best. Full marks to all of them.