Cheeky dog hoarder amassed 100-strong tennis ball haul

  • 26 days ago
Meet the cheeky dog hoarder - who amassed a collection of more than 100 tennis balls before its owner gave them back.

Light-pawed Jack Russell Buddy has picked up loads of balls hidden in bushes over the past three years.

And his haul got so large owner Shauneen Fowler, 42, decided she had to give the balls back recently - to Buddy's disappointment.

Shauneen, from Rochester, Kent, said: “He's been obsessed with tennis balls ever since he had his own balls taken off him.

"He wasn't really interested until then!

“They're known to be cheeky dogs, but apparently when they're long-haired they're even cheekier.

“He definitely knows what he wants and he will talk to you until he gets it. He's very intelligent, if I may say so myself.

“He is very playful and friendly and thinks everybody should love him.”

Shauneen would walk down to a local field every day with Buddy, who would venture deep into the bushes near the tennis courts - and rarely came back empty handed.

She believes the pooch has collected around 100 balls that had been previously lost or discarded.

She said: “At first I was quite surprised because I didn't think he would go as deep into the bushes as he did.

“He doesn't normally let me out of his sight. After a week or two when I realised what was happening, I started to expect it.

“If he didn't go look for them I would be shocked.

“Occasionally I thought he was stuck in there because he took forever to come out.

“As long as I could hear him, I was happy.”

Shauneen says she would try and throw the balls back into the court, but Buddy would just go and retrieve it or find another one.

In the end, she decided to give in and take them home.

She added: “I started putting them in my cupboard. But then it got full and there was no space for my shoes. So they landed up in the fireplace.

“Quite often he bought three or four back each day. He is always very chuffed with himself.

“He comes out with a big grin on his face – tail wagging away – with a tennis ball in his mouth."

After recently moving house, Shauneen decided to gather up all of the balls Buddy collected and return them to the courts.

She posted a message on a local Facebook group, explaining her dog's quirky obsession and telling players to help themselves.

One person commented: “Oh look at him, he's so proud of his collection.”

“My first giggle of the day – good doggie,” another added.

Shauneen said: “Everybody I think either found it funny or cute. I wasn't expecting as many reactions as it got.

“He's got an amazing nose. If he could still smell more balls hidden in the bushes, he would bring as many as he could find.

“I've always wanted to try and get him into search and rescue – I think he might be a little bit old for that now!”