Madison Mallards Program 2019 Program - Page 36

THE BAT DOGS COLT & KOVU

Suiting up for games, hanging out in the dugout and wowing the crowd are actions performed not only by the Madison Mallards baseball players, but brothers Colt and Kovu, the Mallards’ official bat dogs.

Wearing their custom made Mallards uniforms, Colt and Kovu are highly-trained border collies who help pick up bats from home plate and bring them back to the dugout after each Mallard at-bat. Colt and Kovu function as only two of three border collies that operate as bat dogs in the country and are currently the only pair of bat dogs working together.

“Every other team with a bat dog has only one and I’m the first to have two,” Kate Bucci, the dogs’ owner said. “Colt was actually the first border collie in the country to be a bat dog.”

Serving as the star of the show last summer, Colt, who is four years old, is returning for his second season with the team. However Kovu, who is one year old, is preparing for his first time at the Duck Pond and will work alongside his big brother.

Colt and Kovu’s human, Kate Bucci, is the only female bat dog trainer in the country and the owner of KC-K9 academy. The past four years Colt has been Bucci’s demo dog for obedience school. She took notice of him being a hit with the crowd after showing off his frisbee fetching skills in an exhibition show on the field, during the 2016 bark in the park event hosted by the Mallards.

After Colt made his debut, she was able to gain a connection with the Mallards and further discuss her idea of Colt performing as the bat dog during more games.

“A year later (after the event) they asked if we wanted to do one inning as Colt being a bat dog,” Bucci said. “After he did got the hang of it, I talked to the Mallards about doing more games next season.”