There’s Something About Cooper

Something about Cooper just makes you fall in love with him over and over again.

Maybe it’s the perma-grin? The puppy enthusiasm?  The stunning good looks or comic timing?  The tail that wags so hard that there’s a distinct thud-thud-thud on whatever surface it’s against, even if it’s a soft pillow?  The fact that he wants to please you SO. BAD.

…or the fact that he simply can’t all the time, even though he tries so hard – it’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.

When you leave the house, he will break your heart in half – the way he gets so freakin’ excited, “Surely you’re going to take me with you!” then you watch his ears droop as he realizes he has to stay home while you head out to some exiting adventure without him.  If only I could explain to him that work or the grocery store are not, in fact exciting adventures!

But when you come home again, the excitement and pure joy you see on Cooper’s face is enough to make the stress from even the worst day fade into a memory.  That’s not even fair, because it’s not just on his face – the elation Cooper exudes seems to fly off of every inch of his body – it’s contagious.  There’s just no really good way to describe it – Cooper is Happiness.

At the same time, it’s gonna take a very special kind of family for Cooper.  One that has unending amounts of love to give, and lots of patience.  I’m not gonna lie, Cooper is a handful. He’s clingy. He’s needy. He wants to be right next to you all the time.  He reminds me of this, but sped up about a hundred times, and not standing nearly as still:

He sleeps on our pillow at night – not just in our bed, but up on our pillows.  He’s still not 100% potty trained – his limit is about 5 – 6 hours he can spend alone without leaving a little puddle on the floor.  He has separation anxiety and a taste for hardcover books, remote controls, CD’s, coffee table corners, pillows, board games, leather chair arms, and pretty much anything else that’s handy.  He refuses to be crated – he’ll either escape or make himself bleed trying to.  He’s dog reactive on a leash.  He’s possessive of his toys and his People, and will snap at another dog if they try to invade his cuddle space.

“Hey, wait just a minute!  Aren’t you trying to get Cooper adopted, here?  Shouldn’t you be advertising his good qualities instead of listing the bad?”

Of course, our end game is to find Cooper the most perfect Furever home in the entire world.  That is – the most perfect home for Cooper.  We’ve already had one match that we thought was made in heaven turn out not to be the “happily ever after” we thought it would be, and the last thing we want to do is repeat that. We want Cooper’s new family to know exactly what they’re getting with Cooper – a lovable snuggly little wild man, with boundless energy and an appetite for chaos – who is utterly impossible not to fall head over paws in love with.

Cooper’s quirks could take months to work on, and will probably need a lifetime commitment of continued training and practice.  We’re taking steps to work on each and every one of them, which I’ll talk more about later this week. Every day is a learning experience with Cooper, but man, oh man…we just love this dog. 

After all, sometimes it’s the dogs that are the hardest to love, who need our love the most.

If you’ve got enough love and patience in your life to share with Cooper, please fill out an application with Agape Animal Rescue.

~

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24 Comments

Filed under Our Foster Journey

24 responses to “There’s Something About Cooper

  1. Well put. I’m glad you wrote this post, because Laynie has some of the same tendencies (being clingy, reactive on leash) and I’ve been hesitant to write about them. But, I agree that it is important to find someone who is willing to work with her, and love her through all her patience-trying issues. 🙂

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    • I think I would be doing Cooper a disservice to only talk about his good qualities – when the right family comes along, they will love him for who he is, quirks and all! Don’t be afraid to tell the whole story, I think we owe it to the dogs we foster to be their voice, and their advocate in all ways.

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  2. There are very, very few “perfect” dogs in the world, and while Cooper has his issues, his positives seem to outweigh the negatives! Our current foster is also leash reactive and overly exuberant, and uses her mouth a little too much. However, she is also EXTREMELY loving, friendly with all humans, and is a people pleaser. Dogs are complex creatures, but I really do believe there’s a perfect home for just about every dog.

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  3. Jena

    Sometimes the warts are what strikes a chord with the perfect furever. I love what you all do and the wonderful community that has been created to educate and break down the stereotyping of these wonderful loyal pups.

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  4. I feel sure that the perfect home and family for Cooper is out there … and meanwhile, he is so fortunate to be with people who love him so much and are so committed to being there fro him no matter what.

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    • Thanks so much, we think he’s lucky, too! His odds of being adopted out of the shelter, AND then someone sticking with him as his quirks emerged over time, are surely slim. Cooper is a textbook case of a dog who will really benefit from a foster situation! (Although, I think that WE are the real lucky ones to have him in our lives!) 😉

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  5. Thanks for being honest in your assessment of Cooper’s positive and negative qualities. It really does help in finding the right fit or preparing a potential adopter for changes that they’ll need to make. Some friends of ours adopted a dog sight-unseen (it was transported from the South to the Northeast), and they were not told about his aggressive tendencies. They did keep the dog, but many people would not have.

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    • Wow! That’s unfortunate that the rescue didn’t paint the whole story for them. You’re right, it’s very lucky for the dog that they decided to stick with him, because a lot of people probably wouldn’t have. I would much rather have dog in foster care just a little bit longer to make sure the absolute right fit is made, rather than not tell the whole story and roll the dice that the family is committed.

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  6. Can’t wait to hear details about your work with Cooper on his issues!!!! I’ve done a ton of work with my dog (her issues are/were pretty much the same as Cooper’s) and it’s amazing how much progress she’s made. And I just know that Cooper will do the same! Mazzie and I are SO rooting for you and Cooper, so please do keep us posted if you can.

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    • Thanks Tanya and Mazzie, Cooper is happy to have all the support (both from the real world as well as cyber space) that he can get. We’ll definitely keep everyone posted on his progress – he really is an amazing dog, the progress he’s made even so far really has been awesome.

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  7. He’s such a cutie. I might be wrong but isn’t 5-6 hours limit between walks standard? I know my babe can’t go much longer than that.

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    • It depends on the dog…Oscar can make it upwards of 12 hours – the little man has a iron bladder or something. I think part of it is his stubborness, if it’s raining sometimes Oscar would rather hold it than get his precious paws damp! Silly pup. Cooper has been doing very well on the potty training with a mid-day pee break, but if I’m ever stuck at work and can’t get home to let him out during my lunch break, I’ll definitely come home to a puddle if he’s alone for any more than about six hours.

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