“That’s right, throw the ball…”

More: Cooper was five weeks old, underweight, and sick when I rescued him from a shelter after witnessing an employee abuse him. In that moment, he became mine to protect, nurture, and love—an experience that continues to be my life’s greatest joy and his companionship my greatest treasure. He's OBSESSED with balls and loves chasing birds that, when combined with running, might as well turn his spirit neon. There's no such thing as too much fetch or bolting through too many flocks of birds before recharging with a nap in his Orvis beds and cuddling with with me. His tender, emotionally-attuned, and teachable spirit also made it possible for him to learn how to become an unexpectedly necessary PTSD service dog. Seven years, 50+ flights, six moves, and three states later, he continues to give my life purpose, days sunshine, heart delight, and mind rest... he saves my life every day.