"Kovu" made his debut over the weekend as the official "bat dog" for the Skeeters baseball team.
The 7-and-a-half year old Belgian Shepherd is in charge of retrieving the bats for the home team and bringing them back to the dugout, much to the delight of the cheering crowd.
"He is used to picking up toys," said Hamid "HP" Parvizian, Kovu's owner and trainer. "He loves being around toys so the biggest struggle we had with him was teaching him not to pick up a ball, not to pick up the knee pads, but you have to go for the bat."
Parvizian is the owner of Sit Means Sit, a dog training school in north Houston.
He tells ABC13 that several other minor league teams have a "bat dog" and the trend is starting to pick up in the league.
Kovu underwent extensive training to ensure he was up for the job of retrieving the bats and nothing else.
"We put baseballs, we put gloves, we put knee pads and we had the bat in the center," Parvizian said. "Then we had to start having people walking around everywhere they went. So, we had to send him through the people because we didn't want him knocking down the players either."
The reception from fans and the players has been overwhelmingly positive, Parvizian says.
Kovu will appear at every Skeeters home game on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
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