There are the usual dog sports such as agility, herding, flyball, dock diving and the myriad of other events that take place all over the world. These activities are canine driven, human assisted. What happens when the dogs enter the human sports arenas? The world may never be the same again, in a very good way.
Homeless dogs make good!
Hank is a famous pooch. The Bichon mix was homeless, found wandering around the stadium of the Milwaukee Brewers. Members of the club had him vetted, cleaned up and he has been adopted by the organization. He has his own uniform and his own special bed in the gift shop where fans can get pictures with him. After the game, Hank heads home with his human in tow.
Another homeless dog was found recently in an Arizona neighborhood where the Brewers spring training is taking place. Scooter Gennet, second baseman for the Brewers, found a Dachshund wandering aimlessly. He was able to befriend the dog and take it to a local vet. Hank won’t have a friend to steal his thunder though, a local dachshund rescue has offered to foster the dog and put him up for adoption.
Who better to fetch than a dog?
This is every dogs dream job! Auckland, New Zealand ushered in a new era when the ASB Classic, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) International tour replaced the usually seen “ball boys” with “ball dogs”. Yes, three dogs ran after errant tennis balls during matches and dropped them back into a bucket. The dogs are Ted, a rescued Bullmastiff; Oscar, a Border Collie and retired obedience champion; Super Teddy, a Norfolk/Jack Russell Terrier mix and the 2014 winner of the Clever Canine Competition held in New Zealand. The dogs are from three very different backgrounds, but they all share a common goal… “Get the ball, get the ball!”
People helping dogs, helping people
A crowd of ball motivated dogs playing soccer? The group, Soccer Collies, holds sporting events pitting humans against dogs on a soccer field to find out who really is swifter than lightening. (Hint: It’s usually the dogs!) While the dogs are the only ones allowed to drive the ball down the field, they still have to get it past a human goalie to score. Offering sports training classes, adoption incentives and gaming events, Soccer Collies brings fun for all.
Renee Moen is a veteran shelter employee and certified dog trainer. Specializing in basic obedience and behavior modification, she recognizes each dog for their unique qualities and utilizes those for positive training experiences. Renee is an advocate for dispelling breed myths and denouncing breed discrimination. All dogs are created equal, owners on the other hand…
Living in sunny Longmont, Colorado with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats and five birds, Ms. Moen is also an accomplished writer with five romantic comedies to her credit. She enjoys hiking in the foothills (with her fur babies), roller skating and swimming.