Meet Pepper, the baseball playing blue heeler!
- Pepper is a social media superstar with a love for playing baseball
- She’s a blue heeler and part of the team at an auto workshop in Massachusetts
- Pepper’s team are involved in BMW racing and wear Steel Blue in the workshop and at the track
While many tradies start young, most haven’t mastered their skills by the age of six and a half. But then, Pepper is pretty extraordinary.
Pepper is a blue heeler and she’s the workshop dog and team mate at Precision Motor Werks in Marblehead, Massachussetts. While the auto technicians are busy doing oil changes and replacing brakes, Pepper is on stand-by, ready for a game of baseball or hockey with any of the team who might have a few spare minutes.
You read that right. Pepper doesn’t just fetch a ball, she loves nothing more than hitting a ball with a bat or stick. Little wonder, then, that Pepper has become an internet sensation, with some of her Instagram videos clocking up millions of views.
Pepper’s quick to pick up new skills
Dan Martin is a technician at the workshop and manages Pepper’s social media accounts on behalf of Pepper’s owner, Dave. He said Pepper joined the workshop team aged just six weeks old and it quickly became clear she was “unbelievably smart”.
“She’s always been good at catching on to any new tricks or games,” he said. “She would love to carry a small child’s toy baseball bat in her mouth, so we just started off throwing small objects for her when she had the bat in her mouth. It started as a small hit where she tapped an object and everybody was cheering for her. Once she caught on to the concept of, ‘oh, I should swing this bat and try to hit it’, it just grew from there.”
Dan said over the next couple of years, the workshop team developed Pepper’s skills by throwing objects for her to hit.
“You watch her now and she’s really focused on it and she’s putting every ounce of strength into her swings,” Dan said. “Some days she’s really on fire and she’ll just hit one after another.”
Pepper and the BMW racing team
Dan and some of the Precision workshop team are heavily involved in BMW endurance racing and when they’re not working on customer’s cars, they are building and preparing vehicles for racing—mostly BMW M3s and M4s, including a factory-built 2019 M4-GT4. Dan is the Lead Mechanic for the team, and the crew chief.
“I left the shop last year for two weeks at a time to go to Florida for longer races and for testing an entire race series,” Dan said.
“One of the things that people don’t realise is really important for auto mechanics, especially when it comes to traveling and when you’re at the racetrack, is definitely having good footwear,” Dan said. “Auto mechanics are on their feet all day and you’ve got to wear rugged footwear that’s going to protect your toes.
“For the longest time, I was always wearing hiking boots, but they weren’t necessarily the greatest thing at protecting your toes if you drop something that’s heavy. Then if I go to a bigger racetrack, like Circuit of Americas, which is in Austin, Texas, that facility is massive and I’m on my feet for the entirety of the weekend.
“You can do 20,000 steps or more in a day and if you don’t have good footwear, then your feet are going to be really sore.”
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Why Dan chooses to wear Steel Blue work boots
Dan said he now wears Steel Blue work boots both in the workshop and at the racetrack because they provide excellent comfort, support and protection. Which is more than can be said for the box his Steel Blue work boots where packaged in when they arrived at the workshop.
“Pepper opens boxes all the time, but she’s very good, she only opens boxes she’s authorized to open,” Dan said. “So, when the Steel Blue boots arrived it was a no-brainer to record Pepper opening the box.”