In case you haven’t noticed, sometimes things work a little differently in Brazil. Pizza is better, coffee is definitely better (even at Starbucks) and politics? Well okay, that’s actually about the same.
Beach volleyball is played without using your hands, and for the second year in a row, ball boys at the Brazil Open on the red clay courts of Pinheiros in São Paulo have been replaced by…
…Bandana-wearing dogs. And they’re pretty good at it, too.
Organizers of the ATP World Tour 250 tournament brought back half a dozen shelter dogs to help promote two local dog shelters while running down errant tennis balls during last week’s tournament. And here’s the best part: Arlete, Blackie, Cindy, Mia, Nanda and Ovelha are all up for adoption, too.
Marcelo Demoliner played a few demonstration points with one of the Brazilian coaches, then stopped for photos with the shelter dogs.
But are they ready for primetime? Demoliner says maybe, someday.
“I think they need to improve a little bit because if they put dogs in a real match… we will have a lot of let calls,” he said before laughing. “But I think it was really nice to do this thing today.”
Whatever the future holds, we can certainly say that the clay courts of São Paulo is where “out” means something completely different to Brazilian dogs.