I believe that friends come in all shapes and sizes and bonds can span the gap between beliefs and species, etc. That being said, I think my boy, Cooper, is about as cool of a dude as they come. The Hotness and I have been down with Coop for nine years now and the night that we picked him up is still vivid in my mind. We drove about two hours to pick him up from a rescue and he was all of ten pounds of awesome. He is the first dog that I have trained and he surely did make it easy on me. The cats also quickly taught him where he stood in the household (he still abides by those rules) but he is still able to buck the system from time to time.
It was always important to me that he listen to everyone and not just me so I always had visiting friends and The Hotness give him commands. He took everything in stride but still managed to give Hotness grief during the puppy teething phases. Throughout it all it has been abundantly clear who he looks up to and it is awesome to bear that cross. Admittedly, it can be hard some days when he looks at me like I have let him down but Lil’ Man can be demanding of my time. Now that Lil’ Man is old enough I make sure I have him give Coop commands as it is important that they have a relationship as well. I think Coop resisted the idea of a new member to the family but he has come a long way. He wasn’t ready to give up his place in the pecking order (the cats still think we all serve them) but is realizing that Lil’ Man is an addition to the fold and not just a new model to replace the old one.
Ol’ Coop has a good heart that has been scarred by a pit bull about eight years ago. I used to take him to a dog park daily after work and he was friends with everyone there. One day we went and it was raining so not many people were present but a pit bull and his teenage owner showed up. The pit bull attacked young Coop but I pulled the pit bull off him (Coop did a great job defending himself even though the pit was able to get on top and was going for the throat) and handed him to his teenage “minder” suspended by his collar in the air.
On a side note, not all pit bulls are bad but that one and his owner were. That is definitely not a combination that makes for a good experience for anyone.
Sadly but understandably that day changed Cooper forever. Dogs that he knew before the attack were still considered friends but anyone new that he met was considered a foe. We had to give up going to the dog park due to his anxiety but he is overall a totally happy fellow. He has a big ol’ soft heart when it comes to other animals and I love watching him watch the deer in our backyard. He just admires appreciates them for who they are. Same with birds.
While being super badass and cutting down arborvitae next to our house a couple baby birds fell out of their nest. They were hiding under fallen branches and ol’ Coop was very interested. He’d sniff ’em out and keep guard. Unfortunately one of the babies died when the arborvitae fell and it broke my heart to see that happen and see my buddy watching over the body.
He’s a great soul and I am proud that he is so watchful. I can’t shake the guilt that comes along with not being able to walk him as much as I used to but I know that he still has a loving home. He knows where he belongs and is a great cog in the wheel of this family.
Knee surgeries, accidents, and life have made him slower and more wary than he used to be but when I look at him I know that he knows we still have many more adventures to come.
Just two dudes takin’ it one step at a time.