Readers, meet Cooper the Dog

Since my employment at The Herald started almost three months ago, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and greet many people of the communities that this newspaper reaches.

Cooper the Dog
Cooper the Dog

Since my employment at The Herald started almost three months ago, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and greet many people of the communities that this newspaper reaches. And though I haven’t been able to meet as many of you as I would like, I do want you to know more about me! So I’ve decided that every once in a while I’ll write something about me so you the people can get to know me through this channel.

So I want to start out by telling you about my beloved, rambunctious dog, Cooper.

Cooper is a labradoodle who is more lab than poodle weighing in at almost 80 pounds and standing just under three feet tall.

Now our (my wife Leah and I) desire to get this kind of dog dates back to even before we were married. At the time we were living in Grand Forks, and one of Leah’s co-workers put her house up for sale and she wanted to go take a look at it.

We walked in and took the tour, the last spot we stopped in was the kitchen, and there standing outside with its nose pressed up against the glass of the sliding door stood a tall, skinny, butterscotch-colored labradoodle.

My wife instantly fell in love with the tight-curled lanky dog.

Then funny enough, some good friends of ours purchased a labradoodle, and we had the opportunity to closely interact with the dog and get to know the breed. This dog (his name is Baxter) was very fluffy and mild mannered and was very obedient to his owners. We knew then that this was the kind of dog we wanted when we were ready for that purchase. Like all dogs though, not every breed shares the same mannerisms and personality traits, but I’ll get to that later on!

So, a few months down the road we became engaged and eventually wed. The next step for us, and a step which seems to be the norm for a lot of young newly weds in my generation, was to get a dog.

Now how we came to purchase and adopt Cooper is a great story, at least in my opinion!

We had already made the decision to move out west, and about a week before we packed the last box in the moving truck I logged onto the internet. As I visited the website of the breeder in which our friends had purchased their dog, we found one we liked. Given his birthdate, he had been with the breeder longer than puppies usually stay. Being in sales the previous two years I knew that sometimes not all prices are final, so my wife and I chose an amount to offer the breeder, and I called to see if they would take it. They didn’t. So we decided that it just wasn’t meant to be and moved on.

We had been moved only one week when I decided to get back on the website just to see the status. To my surprise, that very puppy we had made an offer on had dropped in price. Dropped low enough that the price was now well below what we had offered them just one week ago! The stars were aligned, this dog was meant to be in our family!

I immediately brought this to the attention of my wife and I called the breeder. We agreed on the purchase and I hopped in the car an hour later.

The breeder was in Eden Valley, Minn., which is near St. Cloud, Minn. So I went as far as Fargo and stayed at my family’s house that night, and the next day my sister accompanied me on the rest of the stretch. I made it back home the next day and so began our journey as pet parents.

Whenever we tell people that we own a labradoodle, most responses we get initially is ‘oh they don’t shed.’ Wrong! Due to the fact that he is more lab-like than poodle, Cooper sheds. Though the hair is plentiful, it does follow the air patterns in our home and end up against the walls, so the cleanup job is easy and usually there isn’t too much hair on our furniture or clothes, unless my wife is wearing black pants!

Now, back to the topic of personality! Our dog is nothing but mild mannered, usually. I don’t want to give you the impression that we have a naughty dog, but I can best explain it by saying there is more lab in him than poodle, and boy does he have energy! He loves to play and run and chase.

I remember doing some research on how to get your puppy to sleep through the night. One of the suggestions I read was to play with your puppy for about 10-15 minutes before bed, then I read the following sentence informing me that if the puppy was a lab, this might take an hour. Given that Cooper has the spirit of a lab I thought, oh man this dog is never going to stop!

But at the end of the day he does get tuckered out, and sometimes is so lethargic from a day of running you can push his nearly 80 pound body around like a sack of potatoes and he won’t even flinch. And his manner has calmed as he is now 2 years old, but to be honest there still is a lot of puppy in him, which is fun.

We have thoroughly enjoyed being parents to Cooper the last couple of years, and hope there are many more memories to be made.

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