Happy Tail: Cooper wins friends — and the cat

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Cooper has been around. Literally. The 3-year-old Catahoula Leopard Dog, then called Henry, was relinquished to an animal control facility in Mississippi. Janeen Jackson, way off in Roundup, MT, got wind of it. She has been rescuing Catahoulas for years, and the distance didn’t discourage her from getting involved. She networked and found the dog a foster home in Alabama. She keeps her “ear to the ground” about her rescues and learned the placement wasn’t working out, so she coordinated a transport for Cooper to another foster home in New York State.

Cooper wags his whole body when it's time to go for a walk.

Cooper wags his whole body when it’s time to go for a walk.

Meanwhile, Theresa and Mark, who live in New York State, had a cat but were looking for their first dog. “Initially, it was Cooper’s eyes that drew me in,” Theresa says, but his Petfinder pet notes indicated he was cat friendly, and that clinched it. She arranged to meet him at his foster home.

To get acquainted, she walked him around outdoors. “The property had a pond with geese,” she says. “I walked him to the pond, sat down, and observed his behavior toward the geese. He did not bat an eye while the geese walked around and splashed in the pond.” She then touched the inside of his ears, paws and tail and even put her fingers inside his mouth. He didn’t mind one bit.

He had passed her “temperament test,” and once adopted, he has proved to be very charming as well. “He could be mayor of our neighborhood because everyone who meets him loves him so much,” Theresa says.

Cooper’s still amassing travel miles, but with Theresa and Mark these days. “We wouldn’t think of planning a vacation or weekend getaway without including him,” Theresa says. When they stayed at a pet-friendly bed and breakfast in Pennsylvania, he was a big hit with the staff. “They didn’t know our names, but they sure knew who Cooper was.”

As for being cat friendly — when Penny the cat saw Cooper for the first time, she walked over and swatted him in the face. “Cooper immediately turned around and walked into his new crate,” Theresa says. “His only reaction was to get away from that mean cat!”

Cooper has won Penny over, and the two of them often sleep next to each other. She still knows who’s the boss, but he’s just part of the family.