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Cooper jumps into his new family’s hearts

Hold after hold expired on sweet Moses, a 2-year-old Australian cattle dog while he was at the Dumb Friends League Leslie A. Malone Center. Some people were reluctant to adopt using the virtual adoptions process, and others were not interested after learning that Moses had a few behavior issues. More often than not, though, things work out just like they’re supposed to, and pets end up exactly where they’re supposed to be in their forever homes with their new families, just like Moses.

Ashley and David wanted to adopt a dog for a while, and with Ashley now working from home courtesy of COVID-19, she had more time than usual to spend with a new family member. “No time is ever a good time to make a drastic change in your home life, but we thought why not bring a little joy to our home during this weird time,” said Ashley.

Moses arrived at the League after exhibiting aggressive behavior toward livestock on the family’s property. His previous owner noted that Moses spent his days outside and was friendly, although he did bark at strangers. During his evaluation, staff noticed Moses was tense, avoided eye contact and kept his tail tucked tight, so he was enrolled in our K9 Courage program, which works with dogs to increase their tolerance for situations that caused the fear or aggression.

It didn’t take long for Moses to show progress, and when he was ready for adoption, staff knew the pup would thrive with new parents who would be patient, give him a chance to approach and warm-up, use positive reinforcement and weren’t shy about doling out treats!

Ashley and David knew they wanted an active dog who could share in their outdoor adventures. The couple noticed Moses on the League’s web site and called to learn more. “We heard he had some behavioral issues and had been in two different homes, and we knew he needed a good home with owners who would be happy to work with him and love him no matter what,” said Ashley.

Once the adoptions process was complete, and Ashley and David met Moses – who is now known as Cooper – the sweet pup showed no signs of hesitation and hopped in the car and warmed up enough to jump in their laps while still driving home.

“It’s been almost four weeks, and Cooper is more adjusted every day,” said Ashley. “He is comfortable at home alone now and realizes that we are always coming back home soon. (We have a little camera to keep an eye on him, and he just lounges around on the couch and sometimes plays with the ball by himself.) In working with a trainer, Cooper now understands when we are leaving and goes to his spot on the couch with some treats or a toy while we leave instead of blocking the door like he used to. He now sleeps comfortably through the night and engages in playful behavior on his own, which I feel like is a sign of comfort in our home.”

Cooper’s favorite things include kisses, running around like a maniac and his feeding ball. Who doesn’t like the challenge and success when a piece of kibble pops out? “More than anything though, Cooper loves playing with the chuck it ball thrower in the backyard, going on morning hikes with his mom and dad in Boulder or the Golden area, being on the leash with his dad while his dad rides his bike and trying to catch water being splashed at him in his mouth. He loves snuggling and has to be laying on one of us at all times,” said Ashley.

Copper and his parents are working with a behavioral trainer once a week, and he’s already warmer to strangers and other pups. Patience, love and positive training and reinforcement do remarkable things!

“We just love Cooper so much. I didn’t know I could be so attached to another living being in such a short amount of time,” said Ashley. “He fits in so well with our lifestyle, and I love seeing his goofy smile and run. David is a firefighter/medic and has been working extra hard during this time and coming home to Cooper at the end of every shift has done nothing but relieve a lot of his work stress. I’m happy we didn’t let his “behavioral issues” deter us. We are both so, so thankful for him.”

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