My family lost our leonberger, Cody, to cancer in 2012. It was heartbreaking to loose a part of our family -- we would have celebrated his 10th birthday that November. We rescued Cody as a puppy & absolutely fell in love with the Leo breed. We decided if we ever did get another dog they would be a rescued Leonberger like our beloved Cody.
After almost a year since loosing my sweet boy I happened to pull up petfinder.com to search any Leos. There was never any near Alabama & the Leonbergers that were listed where already in the hands of great rescue groups for their own kind. That day I remember seeing these beautiful, sad brown eyes looking at me through his picture. He looked identical to my Cody & my heart just melted with love! They had "James" listed as a Leo-mix, but thought he may also be chow. He was a two hour drive from me, but once I saw he was listed as an urgent shelter dog, (meaning he could have been put to sleep at any time), that two hour trip was nothing! A few days later I made the trip from Alabama to GA to meet James. I was so nervous the whole way there I don't think I touched my radio. When I arrived at the shelter they walked me back in a room full of barking dogs in large crates & in the very back sat James -- quiet as could be, sitting so still in the corner. When they opened his door he greeted me with a little wag of his tail & a gentle lick on my hand. I was in love. I signed all the adoption papers & in a week he was on his way to his new home with me. "James" was tested positive for heart worms. His first month home he had several procedures done to kill the worms & was cage ridden for most of it. We also started him on doggy Prozac to help cope with whatever he had been through. It was obvious this sweet dog had never been shown love or kindness. After he was cleared of heart worms & settled in at home we started morning runs which are now ritual! We renamed him Cooper which he picked up quick. He's our super sweet Coopie boy & now it's hard to remember a time without him. It's been 6 months since we brought Cooper home to be with us & he is just an angel! It's so wonderful to see the changes he's made and how far he has come. His personality just shines through & every time I watch him play fetch with us I'm so happy to know we were meant to find each other. Thank you petfinder!!