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A Heart Of Gold

A Dog's Story of survival

by Brooks Gardner
February 27, 2006

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A Heart Of Gold

Aldous Huxley said, "To his dog, every man is King; hence the constant popularity of dogs."

On a recent trip to Pearlington, Mississippi, I met a great dog. Coco is a chocolate lab with a heart as big as all out doors. You see Coco survived the flooding of Katrina and made it home under his own will power. Coco's human, A. J., told me of Coco's experience.

A. J. and his family had stayed behind because his elderly mother was afraid to leave her oxygen supply and that she may not find any at a shelter. A. J. got a call that a wall of water was on its way. The boat was prepared and everyone got in, except Coco. A. J. told his family that Coco had a big heart and a strong will and that he would be back.

A few days after the flood had subsided, Coco came dragging up into the yard. He was "dog tired", dirty, hungry and happy to be home. Coco's family got him cleaned up, fed and rested. Later in the week Coco stepped out in front of a military vehicle and was hit. Coco had a broken hip. He had to be taken to Hattiesburg for surgery. Coco has a pin in his hip now and gets around with ease.

Coco's human almost comes to tears relating this story and his heart pounds with pride in this honored member of the family. After meeting Coco, I am convinced of his will, his heart, and his love of his family. Sometimes we might wish that Coco could tell of his trial, but that would change our own relationship with dogs. Andy Rooney said it best, "If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one."

When I returned home, I was joyfully greeted by my friend, Jack, a Boston terrier. I told Jack about Coco. Perhaps Jack understood my story. That really means little, I just got a chance to tell him that he, too, has the heart and will of Coco and that he is loved just as much.

Gilda Radner summed it all up, "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."

I am thankful for the privilege of having new friends such as A. J. and Coco and for my special friend and confidant, Jack.

Comments (6)

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Gayle from Missouri writes:
February 28, 2006
This is lovely and makes me miss my two Saint Bernards, Penny and Biscuit. I share my children's dogs at whichever of their homes I'm visiting or residing, but nothing beats having a dog that loves me above all others.

Nathan from Burlington, NC writes:
February 28, 2006
What a great story. And yes, they do possess a heart of gold. It's amazing, my dog, Siyaisha, can brighten my day even when I feel at my worst. Her smile and cheerful attitude make everything better when I come home.

Nancy from Mebane, NC writes:
February 28, 2006
A truly touching story and my heart goes out to all of the animals who suffered during the terrible storm. It would be wonderful if we would feel this compassion all the time for our best friends and not just when a disaster strikes.

Carol from Mebane writes:
February 28, 2006
You might have guessed that since I am from Mebane, I know the fellow who wrote this article. In fact he is my husband. I am so proud that he has had two articles published in The Partial Observer. Concerning this story, he is so right about his relationship with Jack. If ever there were a twosome, it is Brooks and Jack. We have two other very special dogs since we have been married. One was Junior who grew up with our older son. The other was called Blue because he looked like a blue-tick hound. Both were very special in their own ways. And so is my husband very special in his way.

Marty Burke from Portland, Ontario, Canada writes:
March 1, 2006
Really enjoyed Mr. Gardner's article! Pets (whether dogs, cats or others) always take on such a special relationship that they easily become family members. As such, it's heart rending to hear their epic stories - especially the traumatic ones. Nice to read that this one had such a happy ending. Look forward to hearing more from your Mr. Gardner.


Ken Weaver from Mebane,N.C. writes:
March 3, 2006

I am from Mebane,N.C. & I do know Mr.Gardner. His story touches the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.

As someone once said God please help me to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am !!

Excellent article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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