Dog trainer Kate Bucci has had a way with animals since she was 16 years old but Border Collie brothers Colt and Kovu are unlike any other animal she’s worked with. The high-flying bat dogs are made famous for their appearances at the Madison Mallards and Lake Country DockHound baseball games.
Kovu and Colt’s careers as bat dogs weren’t intentional. It started as a seventh-inning stretch frisbee toss and catch demonstration when someone asked if the Border Collies could retrieve the bat. Colt was an instant hit. According to Bucci, he didn’t need a lot of training and was a natural in what she describes as a big game of fetch. The dogs run onto the infield, zeroing in on the bat. As they hit the brakes to pick up the bat, you’ll see a lot of dust fly.
Bucci says she’s done things with her dogs she’s never dreamed of. The canine all-stars even have their own baseball cards and bobbleheads. But what’s really special is the connection between dog and owner. “There’s such a connection that I have with these two. Hard to explain. People who have a heart dog will understand it and they’re both very much my heart dogs.”