Fetch! A Dream Job For Four-Legged Furry Friends

By Shiwen Rong

They are quick, and they love to chase after moving objects, especially tennis balls.

For the first time in British history “ball girls” were replaced with “ball dogs,” at the 22nd Champions Tennis Tournament in the Royal Albert Hall, London, from Dec. 6-9.

Alongside the former champions and world number ones, the four-legged friends helped retrieve stray balls between the points.

Ball girls and boys have been around for generations, and they are known for their speed and concentration.

Hattie, Tina, and Melvin are from charity Canine Partners, which trains dogs to help people with disabilities.

Claire Anthony, aftercare manager of Canine Partners said that the dogs had to be specially taught to fetch tennis balls.

“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,” said Anthony.

Professional Former tennis player Tommy Haas expect challenges for the dog’s trainers.

“They certainly love running after a tennis ball, so for them to be patient in the corners when the rally is going on, that’ll be also one test I think for them to understand…” Said Haas during the press conference.