Hero Dog Awards - Cooper


Clarksboro, New Jersey

Cooper is a nine-year-old Pit Bull/Corgi Mix, and she had a very rough start in 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. She feared humans and even cats. She was brought back from Saint Thomas to New Jersey, where she really 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. Her abuse at a young age has caused her permanent damage. She has arthritis, a bad back, chronic kidney infections, and will likely have a much shorter life than the average dog; she will never walk or run like other dogs, and she can’t perform simple tasks like climbing stairs, walking on tile floors, or even going on walks without needing breaks, but that’s what makes her story even more significant. She is the bravest dog I know, and I’m proud to call her my best friend. She has 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.