How did Bill Belichick’s dog, Nike, become one of the unexpected stars of the NFL draft?
By doing what any good dog should: patiently waiting for his treats.
Belichick’s girlfriend, Linda Holliday, explained how it unfolded on The Adam Schefter Podcast.
“Nantucket’s got very strict rules about who is coming to the island, so I worked with the Patriots’ IT people and I said, ‘Teach me, I’ll do lighting. I’ll do IT. I’ll do it all,'” she said.
Bill Belichick’s dog Nike
“So I’m doing lighting, and next thing I know, Bill had a couple of treats that were left over near his laptop and he stepped away from the table. And all of a sudden, he looks and goes, ‘Look at the table.’ There’s Nike just sitting there waiting patiently, and he knew his treats were there. So that’s what prompted him getting up to the table, and he was just waiting patiently for the word to take his treats.”
Holliday told Schefter that she had created an Instagram account for Nike, a 2-year-old Alaskan Klee Kai. The account quickly grew in popularity during the draft. It includes pictures of the Patriots’ virtual draft room and Nike’s picture, initially had 1,000 followers and now has more than 16,000.
“I really had no clue until my phone started blowing up and @TheSwooshDog started gaining followers,” Holliday said.
As it turns out, Nike had a challenging rookie season but has shown notable signs of improvement this year.
Nike has improved his behavior
“Nike has been through a lot of rigorous training the first year. Klee Kais are like huskies; I’m the daughter of a veterinarian, so I thought I could train any dog around,” Holliday said. “And Nike won. He won that battle that first year, was uncontrollable, unmanageable, wouldn’t behave and even nipped people.
“He did things the way Nike wanted to do things,” she added. “I had a lot of comments on how well-behaved Nike was, and Nike was during his segment of the draft. But that came with an excessive amount of training that both Bill and I still do to this day, working with him.”
This article was first published by ESPN.