Say hello to Bobby, Duda, Gabriel, Kika, Mel, and Thor.
The Brasil Open may not be among the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, but if you’re a fan of dogs, it could very well occupy your top spot. The annual Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tournament has served as a platform for the plight of local rescue dogs for several years now, enlisting six of them in 2018 as ball boys and girls in the late stages of the tournament, to the delight of fans.
The recruits — Bobby, Duda, Gabriel, Kika, Mel, and Thor — had been abandoned before being cared for by Patinhas Unidas, a local non-profit that matches rescue animals with homes.
The pups weren’t so prepared that they were actually let loose to shag balls; but following a semi-final match in the tournament, the dogs had the run of the court, chasing down balls hit by players, coaches, and even some fans.
Photos from the event, shared on the tournament’s Instagram page, shows that the pups were more than eager for the time in the spotlight.
The dogs seemed more than eager to participate in the event.
All photos by ATP World Tour.
Because the event’s organizers have a few years under their belts, they’re hip to the fact that the only thing the public likes more than a spirited rescue dog is a spirited rescue dog in a bandana.
Here’s to hoping the tournament served as a powerful enough marketing tool to find Bobby, Duda, Gabriel, Kika, Mel, and Thor some new, loving homes.
At this point, the relationship between the tournament and its furry volunteers appears to be a win-win. The dogs clearly are having a wonderful time promoting rescue dog adoption while the tournament, situated in a scheduling no-man’s-land between the Australian and French Opens — gets a big publicity boost from fans who might not otherwise pay attention.
I mean, even if you’re not interested in tennis, this sextet of volunteers could still sell you on the Brasil Open.