A repost: because you’ve got to love dogs on the pitch….
Into all order, a little chaos must fall.
Once I was listening to some golf commentary- Wentworth, a local match- on the car radio.
“…..And if you’re standing by the third green right now”, the voice informed us in relaxed tones,” you will see there is a dog in among the crowd, receiving quite a lot of fuss from local bystanders.
“A beautiful golden labrador in the prime of life, that one.”
The commentator went on: “Her name is Millie, and she lives at an address” (which he reeled off), “just a couple of minutes walk from here; and the reason I know this,” he finished with a perfectly intoned cadence, “is that she is my dog: and I believe she must have staged an escape.
“If anyone at the ninth hole is listening to this commentary I would be extremely grateful if they could pop her back home. Thank you.”
There are many reasons to pause a game: but surely the most uplifting is the dog on the pitch.
After a grey day I was sat next to my son, watching old football highlights on the television, when on ran the dog.
It magically transformed the play: the ref blew his whistle and there was a jovial air to the crowd’s banter. It appears this is not an isolated incident. Dogs get onto pitches with more regularity than one might suppose.
My favourite incident has a Polish commentary. It is a Polish Premier League game between Polonia and Wisla, and the play is all at one end, near the goal. It’s quite fierce. And then it all goes belly-up as the most exuberant hound appears from nowhere, bounding happily on to join in the action.
Where would something like that come from? Did some fan forget to ask their mate to look after the dog, and end up with a four-legged companion in the stands? Has it just wandered in off the streets? How did it get past the stewards?
Whatever its source, it clearly finds one aspect above all others enlivening: this is more space than a city dog is used to in a month of Sundays.
If you look carefully, you can read the body language. This is a multi-directional unfettered sprintfest.
Add to this the fact that 23 malodourous men are running around too; toss in a crowd which seems to be having a party in a handy nearby seating area and you may suppose this hound is in doggie Utopia.
It takes the well-built Polish players some time to remove their delighted visitor from the pitch.
Eventually the goalkeeper falls into step beside it, and runs companionably away from the game. The goalie sits it down and gives it an affectionate headrub. The dog has clearly found a friend: a makeshift lead is located and the dog led off to the cheers of the crowd.
There’s a lovely instance of a great black shaggy hound stopping play at an Indian league one-day cricket game. Time ticks on as around 35 staff attempt to rein him in, but to no avail. Cricketers charge after him and throw themselves prostrate in his direction, but he is agile and nimble as only a dog can be, and he evades capture.
Eventually he takes himself off, straight into the VIP stand. The commentator notes: “That’s one way to get in without accreditation.”
Into the order of a top professional game, a little four-legged chaos must charge: and television cameras, moneymen and highly paid players are compelled to stand and concede national, and sometimes international attention to one who has probably never known scrutiny like it.
What a breath of fresh air.
Image source here