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Cooper Comes to Save the Day

February 23, 2014

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Every once in a while, I catch a glimpse of the amazing dog Cooper was always meant to be. When it first started happening, I figured I was imagining it. But I have started to realize that at almost four years old, he is really coming into his own.

I had one of those moments today.

While walking through the local park, we noticed an unmanned little white dog sprinting through the field on his way to a labradoodle on the other side of the walkway. The woman with the labradoodle called to me that the dog came from a nearby house, but she couldn’t get him to go home, no matter how many times she told him to.

In short order, the pup’s owner — a retired man who was probably in his 70s — was headed our way in his truck. I waved him down and told him his dog was on the other side of the park. He grabbed a leash and shuffled toward the dog, calling him as he walked. The pup, however, had other plans and headed the opposite direction.

While all of this was going on, Cooper was relatively calm, although he did bark several times to add to the chorus of people calling for the pup.

For his part, the pup skirted a line of apartments, trying to find a new friend. He played with a group of girls, who squealed and laughed and chased, before moving on to the patio of the next apartment. There, he found an angry and clearly hateful man who stepped out of his place, took off his belt and started whipping it at him, yelling at him to leave (side note: I don’t know who the guy was, but I’m sure that I wouldn’t like him if we ever met).

Still, the pup’s owner shuffled on.

Making a quick decision, I followed the owner with Cooper in tow. We caught up to him just as the pup disappeared between the side of the apartments and a row of tall arborvitae. The pup’s owner seemed lost, not sure whether he should follow. I told him that I would go, hoping Cooper could help lure him back.

Without even saying a word to him, Cooper knew exactly what to do.

He headed straight for the path and trotted ahead of me on the leash as I whistled for the little white dog. Just as we were going to round the corner of the building, the pup ran right into Cooper. I snagged his collar and Cooper kept him occupied while the old man made his way to us and got a leash on him. As we walked back, he told me that the little white terrier mix with black-tipped ears was a 1.5-year-old rescue from the local shelter. His name was Huey.

Huey’s crime?

He ran away from home.

And his owners — whoever they may be — never came for him.

When we reached the walkway again, it became apparent that Huey was all over the place, clearly not used to being on a leash and wanting only to play. Cooper wanted to play, as well, but he was more interested in showing the pup the right way to walk down the path. When we reached a fork in the sidewalk, where we should have parted ways, Cooper wouldn’t let me leave the pair. Instead, he headed for the old man’s truck, dutifully acting as a patient guide to the younger dog.

As the man dragged his hyper pup to the truck, Cooper gave two quick barks before turning, so that we could head the other direction.

And once again, I caught a glimpse of the amazing dog Cooper was always meant to be.

From → Animals, Cooper

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