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Cooper’s Story

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My name is Scott Miller and I have been a Foster/rescue volunteer for two and a half years. I mostly fostered for Diane Shearer who serves as the Eastern Pennsylvania rescue coordinator. Diane gave my number to Stephanie Fischer of the VCLI.

In mid November I received a call from Stephanie about a boy who was being kept in a cage in a garage in Reading PA. I was in Florida at the time. I volunteered to pick him up and foster him as soon as I could get home to New Jersey. He was alleged to have house training problems and have snapped or bitten the owners eight year old son. The preliminary information was that he had possession issues and was treated with a heavy hand. After Stephanie arranged a vet checkup and some medication by the owner who was giving him up, I arrived in Reading and took possession of Cooper. He was a skinny, shy, playful dog that was extremely submissive and hand shy. He also would only relieve himself in the woods, not on grass or any other surface. This was not all bad as he has not had an accident in the house.

Cooper turned out to be a dog who loves all people and other dogs. He also has a face that can soften the coldest people. I am still amazed anyone can mistreat such gentle loving companion. I have seen many Vizslas come and go. Four days after picking up Cooper I approached Stephanie about the possibility of keeping Cooper. Stephanie had already approved a family in New York City as the potential family for Cooper. It soon became apparent that a dog from the country who loved to chase deer and pee in the woods was not going to make it in the big city. At the same time Cooper was charming all in his path. In his first two weeks with me he traveled to Ocean City, New Jersey and Chestertown, Maryland. He was awesome!

Many people offered to adopt him, though it was not up to me to decide where he goes.

Stephanie called almost every day those first two weeks to make sure Cooper was well and I was OK with him. I connected with Cooper instantly and started re-training him for his next family. His issues were: submissive peeing, light food and toy guarding, and of course his strange requirement of only relieving himself in the presence of wooded areas. After three weeks of dog parks, leash training and learning the basic commands Stephanie told me I could keep him. I was so happy.

Since then, Cooper has decided he doesn’t like guns or fishing rods but loves bird hunting, boating and fishing, and the beach. He is now spending the winter in Florida where the temperature is more to his liking and the outdoor activities are endless. Cooper has made great improvement with his issues. He has been to South Beach, the Keys, and many dog parks in the first two weeks. He was also fishing with me the day we caught four sailfish in two hours. I think he likes it here.

My many thanks go out to Stephanie for introducing me to Cooper and ultimately for letting me adopt him. Fostering has introduced me to many Vizslas. It is a good feeling to see a dog go from a bad situation to a loving family. The best part is that I met an awesome dog in a bad situation who is now having the time of his life.

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