Cooper — Therapy
Cooper is a six-year-old Pit Bull/Corgi Mix, who has had a very rough start to life. She was found at three months old with a pack of big dogs in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, where she was abused and left for dead. She had a dislocated shoulder and broken leg and spent the first few months of her life terrified of everything. She was covered in ticks and fleas and riddled with fear. She had no clue how to play and was afraid of humans and even the cats. She was brought back from Saint Thomas to New Jersey, where she came out of her shell. We began training in late 2014, and she excelled. She became certified as a therapy dog in March 2016 by a local non-profit and started life as a working dog. She visits rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, and the local high school during finals week. Everybody she meets is left with a smile. Her abuse at a young age has caused her permanent damage. She has arthritis, a bad back, and will likely have a much shorter life; she will never walk or run like an average dog, and she can’t perform simple tasks like climbing stairs or going on walks without needing breaks, but that’s what makes her story even more extraordinary. She’s the bravest dog I know, and I’m proud to call her my best friend. If any dog deserves to be recognized for all their hard work and overcoming hardship, it’s my Cooper. She’s conquered her past, and even though she was beaten and hurt, she has forgiven, and she greets every day head on and with a big bully smile.