Cooper — Therapy

Location: Clarksboro, New Jersey

Cooper is a seven-year-old Pit Bull/Corgi Mix who’s had a very rough start to life. She was found at three months old, running loose with a pack of big dogs in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, where she was abused and left for dead. She had a dislocated shoulder, a broken leg, and she 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, feared humans, and was even terrified of the cats. She was brought back from Saint Thomas to New Jersey in August of 2014, where she came out of her shell. We began training in late 2014, and she excelled. She’s learned both English and German commands and loves people. Cooper 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. Her abuse at a young age has caused her permanent damage. She has arthritis, a bad back, walks with a limp, will be on pain medication for the rest of her life, and will likely have a much shorter lifespan. 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 inspiring. She’s the bravest dog I know. She’s conquered her past, and although she was beaten down and abused, she has forgiven, and she greets every day head-on and with a big bully smile.

Round 3 of voting for the 2020 Hero Dog Awards is now closed. Stay tuned for the announcement on Hallmark Channel in October.