A short story by Cooper

by Lorin Michel Friday, April 25, 2014 10:49 PM

Our Cooper is a rescue, as I’ve mentioned. He was five or six when we got him; he’s seven now. According to the rescue group where we found him, he had been with one family for nearly five years until they had a baby and decided they couldn’t have a dog and a baby. It’s entirely possible that there were issues with Cooper and the baby, though I doubt it. He doesn’t seem to have any issues with people though we’ve never had him around small children simply because we don’t know any. We’ve passed a number of them on the sidewalk, usually in a stroller and he pays them no attention whatsoever.

I suspect what happened was that, after the baby came along, he was relegated to the back yard, tied up or kenneled. He didn’t have any human interaction, and he’s the type of dog who needs people. It’s possible that his original owners never paid much attention to him, which could explain why he’s very anxious when he’s alone. Whatever happened, his people gave him away.

The rescue group had him for 15 months. He was passed from home to home to home. I don’t know how he was treated though my understanding of rescue groups is that most people involved tend to like animals more than people. I can’t imagine anyone mistreating him.

He does, however have a pathological fear of other dogs. He hears one and he gets very stressed. He speeds up on his leash, he whines and when he sees another dog, he both stares and then turns away, like he’s afraid to make eye contact. There’s a dog here in the ‘hood. I think she’s a golden doodle. Her name is Lily, and often she’s in her people’s backyard when we walk in the morning. She stands at the gate and as we walk by, she starts to bark and then she promptly runs to the other side of the yard. She’s just a big, dorky dog who seems impossibly friendly.

Cooper is terrified of her.

It breaks my heart that he’s so afraid. It breaks my heart that he’s so stressed about being left alone that he can’t allow me out of sight for more than about 30 seconds. I feed him, and if I leave during the 43 seconds that his head is buried in his bowl as he inhales his food, he leaves the laundry room where his bowls are and races though the house until he locates me. Once he does, he stands for just a couple of seconds, staring at me, then he leaves to finish his food. As long as he knows where I am, he’s fine.

Like I said, his anxiety is heartbreaking.

I was talking to him this morning, after we had passed Lily, on our way back home. I said Cooper will we ever know what happened to so damage you, baby?

Then Kevin began to narrate:

Well, mom, I think it all started when I was a puppy. I don’t remember much after that. I was small for my age. My fur was red so some of the other dogs made fun of me. Then there were people and moms and dads and other dogs and a yard and and and and and.

Oh, never mind. It was a dark and stormy night.

The end.

By Cooper

Celebrating my anxiety-ridden dog, wherever he came from and whatever his past, because I love him, scaredy pants and all. 

Comments (1) -

4/26/2014 4:33:55 AM #

Awwww.....coop de ville
Try Bach's rescue remedies. (Natural food store)  Mom uses them for her cats.
A few drops in water. They have different remedies; I think she uses calming. Smile

Pam United States

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