Have you ever loved someone with all your heart and then found out they didn’t quite feel the same way about you? Well, it happened to me when I least expected it. It was also when I needed love more than any other time in my life. I’m 4-year-old Cooper, and I’ve become known as “the boy who loves to ride shotgun,” but more about that later. First I need to tell you why I’m a Golden Angel. It all started one day when I wandered off. I should never have been out exploring by myself, but the opportunity presented itself and off I went for some adventure. In my enjoyment of all the new things to see and smell, I forgot to look both ways before crossing the street. I’m a happy-go-lucky fellow and didn’t realize that cars are dangerous. In fact, I love cars because they’re so much fun to ride in. I don’t think there is any pain that could possibly be worse than having a dislocated hip – except maybe finding out family and love isn’t necessarily forever. My hip was dislocated, and for two whole days I was in agonizing pain before I was taken to the vet. After my examination the vet called my owner and explained I would initially need closed reduction surgery on my hip but that it would likely not stay in the socket because it had been dislocated for such a long time. If that failed, I would need open reduction surgery by an orthopedic specialist. I was very eager to get back home as quickly as possible, but sadly that never happened. When the vet called my owner and told him what I need and the estimated cost, his response was he didn’t have that kind of money but would come pick me up and…………shoot me!!!!!!!!!!!! The kind vet (who was the first of many human angels I encountered) immediately explained shooting me was NOT an option. My owner’s options were to either come to the clinic l by 5:00 p.m. to sign me over to them, or not show up by 5:00 p.m. and I would be considered abandoned and neglected for failure to obtain medical treatment in a timely manner. My owner never showed up. This was all getting very, very scary for me. What would become of me? How much longer could this pain go on? Why wasn’t I loved? At 5:30 that same evening Sandra Rector and Jim Br????, volunteers for GRRR, came to my rescue. I remember very clearly how kind and concerned they were. I just knew everything was going to be okay. Sandra and Jim took me on a long ride to meet another wonderful volunteer, Robert, for the rest of my journey to Denver. In spite of my pain, I even managed to climb up into the front and ride shotgun right next to my new friend Robert as we headed off to Arvada West Veterinary Hospital. I was seen after hours to get stabilized and on pain medication. Then I had the closed reduction surgery, but that didn’t work so I was immediately scheduled for surgery with Dr. Allen at Veterinary Specialists. Things sure happened fast, and I couldn’t believe the outpouring of love and care from all these wonderful new people in my life. I guess I won their hearts because I’m such a happy, loving fellow who had been abandoned when I needed help the most. My recovery required two weeks of “down time” in a splint, and Stephanie, an incredible vet tech from Arvada West, took me home to care for me. She wanted to give me every chance at a successful recovery she could, so she sent her own Golden to stay with her parents while she nursed me back to health. I will always love Stephanie! Now I’m in a foster home, and I’m getting stronger every day. Soon I’ll be ready to find a real forever home of my own. I’ve made lots of trips to the vet, and every time I insist on riding shotgun just like I did on that first trip with Robert. Even when the fosters would fix up a comfy bed for me in the back, I would always manage to find my way to the front. I’m famous for being Shotgun Cooper! I’m a great rider and will just rest my head on your leg as you drive along to your destination. I hope my new family will have a special place for me in their car – and hearts — too. Not only did I escape being shot, there have been so many incredible people who have come to my rescue. Everyone at GRRR has been there for me from the minute my Good Samaritan vet contacted you. The Golden Angel Fund has given me a new, pain-free life with a hip that will allow me to run and play and swim and love life as a Golden should. You’ve also given me a second chance at finding a loving home. When one doggie door closes, another one at GRRR opens! There are not enough woofs in the world to properly express my love and appreciation for all you’ve done. Tracy O’connor sent this update on Cooper’s (nka Oggie) wonderful new life. Shotgun Cooper (now known as Shotgun Oggie) is still riding shotgun! (Well, okay, in the backseat on the way home from the adoption with GRRR!) He LOVES going for rides in the car. Every time we pick up a set of car keys he gets sooooo excited! Upon arriving home from our first meeting with the friendly folks at GRRR, he immediatelyfell right in place with our family—almost as if he’d been with us his whole life. He’s well behaved for the most part and knows his place in the household. Oggie sleeps on his new bed positioned at the end of ours. He’s fine with this now that he understands he cannot sleep in the same bed with us! We’re getting ready to enroll him in obedience classes to allow for “fine tuning” and better leash walking. He also still needs a bit of work on some of the more basic commands, but we’re getting there! You might remember that Oggie had surgery because he ran out in the street and got hit by a car, dislocating his hip. Unfortunately, it turns out the first surgery was not successful as the toggle pin broke and Oggie’s hip dislocated once again. We took him this time for a Femoral Head Ostectomy. Oggie’s one month post-op now and we’re happy to report he’s doing extremely well. We worked diligently at his physical therapy and he’s walking on all fours again without pain. The doctor says he should do fine now as he’s in very good shape. Nobody should ever have to go through multiple hip procedures and surgeries—especially in a matter of just a few months. He is a trooper, that’s for sure! Everyone he meets says he’s a special dog—don’t we know it! Oggie is enjoying his new backyard. He loves to roll (and roll, and roll) in the grass. He’ll just lay on his back with all fours in the air and a big smile on his face. We’ve also found out that Oggie is rather fond of bagels. We made the mistake of leaving some on the counter one day and came back inside to find he’d eaten the entire package! Now every time we make bagels for ourselves, he’ll start barking at us. He enjoys playing with his new Kong giraffe and sock monkey, and also loves just sitting at our sides holding hands (yes, he loves to hold hands…). Oggie loves being the center of attention. Oggie has filled a hole in our hearts and lives with his love. He doesn’t give kisses but loves to give hugs. He keeps smiles on our faces with all his quirky habits, including bringing shoes to us, one at a time. He’s our little golden angel. Thank you, GRRR, for introducing us to Oggie and allowing us to adopt and give him a good home. We’re all very fortunate to have found one another. And thank you to everyone who donates to the Golden Angel Fund to give these special dogs another chance at love.