Cooper is man's best friend.
Meet Howard Morton. Meet Cooper, his dog. Guess which one has a social media following and a "baseball card?" Cooper the Therapy Dog may be the star of this duo, but in the past six years, together they've made 300 visits mainly to 9-1-1 call centers, airports, and hospitals. Check out the pair on OCN Live video:
It started almost seven years ago when, just weeks before Morton picking up his new puppy, Cooper, a dear friend of Morton's committed suicide. The trajectory for both of their lives changed when he brought Cooper to work, and a co-worker told him how much "dogs make people so happy." She encouraged him to keep doing this. The co-worker was the stepdaughter of his friend who he had just lost. And that set their mission into motion—Cooper would become a therapy dog and Howard would be the one to make that happen.
After 18 months, the young pup officially became certified as a therapy dog and the two have been going strong ever since. And then came COVID.
Obviously, no more in-person visits, but the two—including Morton's daughter and unofficial therapy cat, Moose—would take walks past the Arbor View Senior Living facility in Colorado, which houses independent and assisted living apartments and was completely quarantined from outsiders during COVID-19. The residents were isolated, lonely, and panicked, but Cooper and his gang would visit every weekend, come rain, snow, or shine; providing outdoor visits where residents would eagerly look out their windows.
Cooper the Therapy Dog and Moose the cat, Courtesy of Howard Morton (Facebook)
Cooper and Morton have visited places and spaces where high stress, trauma, or pain are present. When there are no words to bring comfort, Cooper steps right into the arms of those who need it most and becomes the conduit of amazing kindness and care that transcends the lines between human and animal. Dogs are amazing creatures, and Cooper definitely leads the pack as one! And Howard's not so bad either.
Have you seen Cooper (and Howard) out and about? Share your good thoughts in the comments.