For many of us, the best part of the day is leaving the dreary workplace behind and greeting our pets at the front door. They make all our frustrations about boring meetings and endless emails go away. And we’re not the only ones.
It turns out that professional athletes also can’t get enough of their furry friends, either. As much as they love competing for championships, they love their competing for their pets’ affection even more. Some of these superstars aren’t necessarily coming home to your typical cats and dogs, either…
1. Colin Kaepernick shows incredible patience as he waits for the phone call asking him to rejoin the NFL, but he knows slow and steady wins the race, thanks to his 115-pound pet tortoise Sammy! He’s had the reptile since he was 10 when Sammy fit in Colin’s hand.
2. Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, so it makes sense that his dog Rigsbee is one of the best boys in the world. Rigsbee is so photogenic that he got to c0-star in a State Farm ad with Aaron and his teammate Clay Matthews.
3. When it comes to professional sports, being normal just isn’t good enough. Carmelo Anthony knows that. In 2011, he proudly announced, “Everybody’s got dogs and cats as pets. I got a camel!” As a bonus, he rarely has to share his water bottle with his pet.
4. If you had as many trophies as Serena Williams, you’d want someone to share them with! Luckily, Serena has her Yorkshire Terrier, Chip, spending time with her both at home and at tournaments all over the world.
5. The Atlanta Braves’ Freddie Freeman stays pretty calm in the batter’s box, so it makes sense that Nala, he and his wife’s cat, is just as chill. This cool cat didn’t even have a problem driving out to spring training in Florida with Freddie!
6. Surprisingly, soccer superstar Lionel Messi isn’t the most notable thing in this photo — You probably can’t help but stare at his massive Dogue de Bordeaux, named Hulk! Messi posted a photo of the two of them playing soccer, but even the 100-pound beast couldn’t top his owner’s finesse.
7. Why lift weights when you can lift cats? That’s the training philosophy of point guard Ben Simmons, though he came to regret it. Besides costing $10,000 to adopt, Ben’s rare Savannah cats were absolutely wild and tore up his place.
8. Then-Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant made headlines when he adopted a capuchin monkey. He named it Dallas, but soon had to give it away after PETA called animal control on him. Dallas now lives with one of Dez’s good friends.
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9. In 2017, Steph and Ayesha Curry filled out their already perfect family with an adorable puppy named Rookie. They picked him out because he’s rocking a pair of beautiful green eyes, just like Ayesha.
Instagram / Ayesha Curry
10. Mike Tyson gained a reputation as the fiercest boxer in the ring, but that doesn’t mean he lacks a sensitive side. The former world champ loves nothing more than raising and racing pigeons. He’s loved the birds ever since he watched them flutter around his apartment building as a kid.
11. With a whopping 28 medals, Michael Phelps is an Olympic legend — and he knows it. That’s probably why he even named his dog “Legend.” The pup is even a decent swimmer, as he’s figured out how to get in and out of the swimming pool on his own.
12. Tennis ace Andy Murray doesn’t always stand out as the most verbose guy in interviews. Luckily, his terrier Maggie May does a lot of the talking for him. She regularly shares stories about Andy and the other dog Rusty on her Twitter channel. Maggie even published a children’s book!
13. This point guard’s pooch is on point. Russell Westbrook stands at six feet, three inches, but he gets another foot taller when his dog Brodie perches on his shoulder. That should make it even easier for him to dunk.
14. When she’s not hitting the links, you can usually find Michelle Wie hanging out with her Pomeranian, Lola. We can only hope that after a few years together, that dog has learned how to stay quiet on a golf course.
15. Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz loves to chuck balls way downfield, so it’s a good thing he has a Golden Retriever to bring them back. His dog Henley recently gave birth to eight puppies too! It seems Carson’s on a quest to have as many dogs as he has passing yards.
Twitter / Carson Wentz
16. You might remember seeing Maria Sharapova’s Pomeranian, Dolce, appear in a Canon camera commercial with her. Dolce means sweet” in Italian, which is perfect for Maria. Off the court, she runs her own candy company called Sugarpova.
17. Not only is Lindsey Vonn the top dog in American skiing, but she also has three dogs of her own: Lucy, Leo, and Bear. When Lindsey struggled with depression after hitting personal and professional rough patches, she says her pups got her through that difficult time.
Instagram / Lindsey Vonn
18. When Klay Thompson first entered the NBA, he decided to celebrate by getting an English Bulldog. His pal Rocco has been with him every step of his basketball career. The Golden State Warriors even made a Klay and Rocco bobblehead for their fans.
19. Plenty of football fans argue that Tom Brady is the GOAT — Greatest Of All Time. For better or worse, he doesn’t own an actual goat. He’s instead got three dogs, but he’s not shy about the fact that Lua is his favorite. She gets scratched behind the ears with multiple Super Bowl rings every day!
Instagram / Tom Brady
20. Flashy wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. once infamously pretended to urinate like a dog in his rivals’ end zone. He was probably following the example of his three massive hounds. Odell brings them everywhere, even on private jets.
Instagram / Odell Beckham Jr