June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Cooper

We drove an hour and a half north to get him. It was a hot, scorchy sort of summer day and my madras clad legs were sticking to the vinyl. So we rolled the windows down and Jason Mraz gave us the remedy. My curly hair whipped in the wind and I squeezed Justin’s hand a little harder, as the butterflies I’d been floating turned in to a full on stampede.

For thirteen years, I had dreamed of having a golden retriever. Ever since DJ Tanner got one on Full House. And apparently, that’s the kind of show that sticks with you. Because for thirteen years I’d dreamed of him….and now we were on our way to pick him up. Just an hour and a half more north and a few more sticky legs on vinyl.

When we pulled into the drive way, I was practically frenetic. A barely audible hum of constant energy in motion, as cell after cell crashed into one another like dominoes in a chain reaction. And this kinesis moved me forward.

Up the path and through the front door. And down a winding stair case to the den. Where three golden fuzz balls stood to greet us. A boy and his two sisters. I picked him up and held him at arms length as we two sized each other up. We stared like that in silence for a long time. Then I whispered, “Hi Cooper”… and he bit my ear.

And just like that, I found my new best friend.

On Monday, Cooper turned six. Six years of belly rubs, belly laughs, gimme paw, go get it, fetch it up, face in laps, face kisses, and more nick names than any dog should ever have to endure. Coo-coo Ca Choo. And our lives would have never been the same without him. So yea, I’d say it was worth the thirteen years. And y’know, an extra hour and a half of sticky vinyl.

So in honor of Cooper’s birthday we decided to give away some Cold Stone Creamery to one of you guys so you can go celebrate with him. :) Just leave a comment below and Cooper is going to “randomly” pick one lucky winner to receive a $25 gift card to Cold Stone. But just as a tip, he told me comments involving peanut butter and/or blueberry yogurt will get instant brownie points. :) And…..Go!!

  1. Katie

    Cooper is swish-your-face cute! Happy Birthday big guy!!

  2. Derek

    Happy birthday to my little dog nephew!

  3. Katie Jordan

    We adopted two dogs in March, and I can’t believe how much they’ve changed our lives. How did I ever live without them before?! These are the first dogs I’ve ever owned (I had a cat growing up). I had no idea that dogs liked yogurt! Thanks for the tip, Cooper. Happy birthday!

  4. dawn beirnes

    Happy Birthday Cooper! You are "the dog" today! And by the way, very handsome too!!!

  5. Samantha Harkins

    This makes my heart so happy! Goldens are the BEST dogs. Happy birthday Cooper!

  6. Kate P

    Please don’t mention the words "Golden Retriever" or "Coldstone" to my husband – he’ll give me the puppy dog eyes! Your Cooper is sooo adorable!

  7. Michelle

    When I was a little girl my grandma would take me to TCBY and get peanut butter yogurt!Can’t seem to find it anymore… It was amazing. So I’ve moved on, my favorite thing at Cold Stone is birthday cake ice cream with chocolate chips, marshmallows, and almonds! YUM

  8. Sandra "I heart J&M" Costello

    Happy Birthday Cooper from your cousin Ruthie the beagle:)

  9. Abby

    Oh me, I just cried. Happy Birthday Cooper!!

    Golden Retrievers are seriously little angels from heaven. Everyday is better with one of those fluff balls in your face.

  10. Naomi Elle

    ohmygosh, Golden Retrievers + Cold Stone = BLISS. :D

  11. Lou-Lou

    Happy Birthday Cooper! You have grown since I last saw you, still as cute as ever though!!

  12. Nelly

    Cooper’s sweet face! Happy Birthday! Love golden retreivers!!! <3

  13. Karen A

    Oh Cooper! I think you would be absolutel best friends with MY furry best friend! Do you get Peanut Butter in a kong as a treat? That’s Blakely-girl’s favorite…especially frozen because it lasts a bit longer and keeps her occupied. :) You should ask for one if you’ve never tried! Happy birthday!

  14. lydia gross

    I had a golden growing up – my dad brought her home zipped up in his jacket – she was a little fur ball of delish-ious-ness. I miss her so much. Nothing beats a golden – they are the best!

  15. Jess G

    Cooper, Happy Birthday!! What a sweetie pie, he just looks so cuddly.
    My boys would love to have a dog, but it really isn’t in the cards at the moment. So we just live vicariously through our friends, and visit our favorite dos as much as possible.
    May just go and have a peanut butter sandwich in honor of Cooper’s B-Day! (With some yogurt on the side? I think so.)

  16. Julie Story

    This is so cute. Aw Copper. XOXO Love you guys! Your work is so inspiring! ;)

  17. ashley barnett

    This made me smile so big this morning! Especially because two feet behind me MY Cooper is chasing around an ice cube (he loves ice cubes). Dogs are just the best things ever. Happy 6th Birthday Cooper! (psss…blueberry yogurt is my favorite! good job on eating the light kind! gotta stay fit!)

  18. Paul Manke

    He is the most beautiful puppy I’ve ever seen!!!

  19. Jessica Norman

    The picture of him as a puppy made me melt!!! Golden retrievers are my favorite!!! And by the way, chocolate peanut butter ice cream is my favorite!

  20. Jessica Norman

    The picture of him as a puppy made me melt!!! Golden retrievers are my favorite!!! And by the way, chocolate peanut butter ice cream is my favorite!

  21. Meg Hamilton

    Happy Birthday Cooper from Oscar {who is chewing on his new bone at the moment!}

  22. Sarah Danaher

    awwww, he’s so cute!! we have two yellow labs, and I feel the same way about them.

  23. Sarajane Case

    I want a dog so badly! Cooper is beautiful!

  24. Andy & Max

    Happy Birthday Cooper!!

  25. Emily Crall

    Aw, this is the point where I begin to rethink all over again: "I want a dog." And my husband says, "You just want to dress him up." And I say, "Yes, but…" :)

    Great choice on the yogurt, Cooper! My favorite too.

  26. sharon elizabeth photography

    my 3 doggies – diesel, mya, and torque are all singing happy birthday to their long lost friend cooper… i don’t know how they met – but something tells me it involves yogurt and sand between their paws!!!! =P

  27. Nancy Wittig

    This post is so timely as Dave and I are picking up our first dog on Monday. I have anxiously been awaiting his arrival and on Monday we’re going to get our little Bernese mountain dog!!! Happy birthday Cooper! I’m sure our puppy will love peanut butter Amd blueberry yogurt as much as you do!!

  28. Irina

    Awh… this post made me tear up a little bit!! Such a sweet and wonderful story :) Happy Birthday Cooper! My dog Charlie says hello & hopes you have a wonderful new year with lots of love, hugs & belly rubs!

  29. Ellen

    There is nothing better than a puppy, except the loyal and loving dog that they grow up to be. How I miss my Rio … every single day. Happy Birthday to Cooper! What a handsome boy.

  30. Kelly V

    Ohhh I love Golden Retrievers. I grew up wtih them, and husband and I look forward to getting one (to join our current rescue!) after the arrival of our little one in 4 weeks!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY COOPER! Here is to many many more! And I promise Ill share my peanut butter anything with our fur baby Brutus for you =o)

  31. Candace

    Awww!!!! Happy Birthday handsome boy!!

  32. Karen (Mikols) Bonar

    Our pup LOVES peanut butter. I bet Cooper would love you even more if you scored him some peanut butter ice cream :)

  33. Leslie

    Aww, happy birthday cooper!! He is such a cute doggy! Someday when we get a yard, we’re want to get a little Cooper of our own to join Mr. Gizmo!!

  34. Stephanie Stewart

    Happy Birthday, sweet Cooper! You are absolutely adorable! I wish I could give you a big hug! I hope you enjoyed lots of yummy peanut butter and/or blueberry yogurt! Sounds good to me!

  35. Amanda

    Happy Birthday Cooper! Flavored yogurt, you be spoiled? Our dogs just get plain. HAHA! Enjoy your day. =)

  36. Dina

    Happy Birthday Coop! You’re a real sweetie!

  37. Realtor Dad

    Happy Birthday to our Granddog, Cooper. Since I heard you were coming for the weekend, I have stocked up on Blueberry yogurt.

  38. Nicole Robbins

    Happy Birthday Cooper!! You don’t look a day over 3 :-) And melted peanut butter is my favorite ice cream topping! yum! i’m sure you know that is a good IC topping Cooper!

  39. Collette Thomas

    Happy Birthday Cooper!! My little husky, Mamiya says hi, and no fair! The peanut butter is her FAV! :) & What a handsome fella!!

  40. michelle

    Happy Birthday Cooper!! Hope your day is filled with all kinds of belly rubs and good scratches behind the ears.

  41. Feuza

    Mary your writing is unbelievable and Cooper is the cutesy. Happy birthday Cooper and peanut butter and chocolate is my fave

  42. Jamie

    Aww!! I love it! Eat as much peanut butter as you want :)

  43. Stephanie

    I <3 big dogs. :) And I LOVE the look on his face in the middle image checking out his yogurt!

  44. Jodi

    My Golden Retriever, Scarlet, will turn one this Fall…she’s the best even if she does dig what feels like 100 holes in my yard every day ;) Happy Birthday Cooper

  45. MartaV

    Awww Cooper, so adorable. Our golden, Sundance(Sunny), will turn 9 in August and we love him to pieces. If I could really do it thru the web I would send him tons of PB and yogurt.

  46. Susan Evans

    Oh my goodness, he was the most adorable puppy ever! How did you ever put him down or stop hugging his little face? He has grown into a beautiful boy too. Happy Birthday Cooper!! I just had a Yoplait raspberry for lunch – maybe I’ll have a blueberry one in your honor tonight.

  47. Kaitlyn (Robert & Kathleen Photographers)

    SO CUTE! Happy Birthday Cooper :)

  48. Stef

    Happy Birthday, Cooper! I love the puppy pic of you! Hope you get lots of snuggles & yogurt from your mom & dad!

  49. Jil

    PUPPY!!!!!!!!! happy birthday cooper :o)

  50. Tiffany

    so sweet!

  51. Elizabeth and Ryan | Elizabeth Ryan Photography

    Happy Birthday Cooper!!! :) Maybe Ryan and Cooper could enjoy some peanut butter ice cream with reese’s peanut butter cups mixed in?!?! ;) Yep, that would be Ryan’s fav! ;)

  52. Kara Abbey

    Aww Cooper! Today is MY puppy’s birthday!! And she’s just a young thing – only 1 year old :) And peanut butter happens to be one of her favorite snacks :D She would LOVE some Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream to celebrate her special day!! :D

  53. Kristin H.

    That first picture just makes me melt!!! So cute!! You guys ever read ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’? Great book and I’m pretty sure the main character is a Golden (the dog "writes" the book).. definitely worth a read!!

  54. Christa

    Boone just turned three on Tuesday, they almost share birthdays!! They’re so meant to be doggy BFF’s…..lol :)

  55. Christy B

    I know exactly what you mean! Our English Mastiff just turned 8 years old and she’s filled our life with so much fun, love and companionship. Life isn’t the same without a dog!

  56. Meredith Perdue

    So wish I would have seen this yesterday- happy belated to Mr. Cooper!

  57. Kellee

    Happy Birthday Cooper :)

  58. ajira

    Happy birthday Cooper! I’m still dreaming about my furry friend! :D

  59. Elizabeth

    Happy Birthday Cooper – I hope you got tons of goodies from your mommy and daddy!

  60. Angie

    Happy Birthday, Cooper!

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