A Georgia couple came up with a creative way to transport their elderly dog during his final months so he could still enjoy his favorite things – walks and family beach trips .
Many dog owners understand that they are lifelong companions and that when they grow up, owners will do anything to accommodate them.
Tom and Lauren Antonino did exactly that for their 16-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Cocoa. “This is a simple story about love. She benefits and so do we,” Lauren said in an email.
Lauren and Tom have raised Cocoa since she was a puppy and since then they have gone on many adventures together, visiting local breweries and going on cruises.
“She loves to be outside, loves the music at Monkey Wrench in Suwanee, Georgia, and enjoys being with us. She also enjoys sitting on our porch or on our lawn with our other dogs, Kimbal , Matcha and Frankie (the children’s dogs who visit us regularly). )”, Lauren wrote.
But like most dogs growing up, traveling became difficult for Cocoa, and her parents didn’t want to take away her love of traveling — so the couple got creative.
Lauren continued: “Cocoa hasn’t walked since last August but she’s not in any pain. “Tom had the idea of buying a wide-body mechanic’s creeper (like what mechanics use to slide underneath cars) to help move her. At that time I will take care of her myself while he is away. town and I couldn’t carry her like he could. Then we bought an Orvis dog bed that we put on a climbing tree and we could move,” Lauren said.
During a trip to Virginia Beach in late January, a local resident, Carrie Copenhaver, saw Tom and Cocoa on one of their daily walks and was intrigued when she saw the portable bed.
After Copenhaver learned the reason behind it, she was so moved by Tom’s love for his furry companion that she took a photo and shared it on Facebook.
The post shared in late February has garnered more than 55,000 shares and thousands of comments praising Tom and the love he has for his best friend.
“I had to stop and express my love for his exceptional care…compassion, kindness, love,” Copenhaver wrote. I need more people like this in my life.”
“When we were in Virginia Beach with Cocoa, Tom walked over 100,000 steps in one week on the boardwalk and surrounding area,” Lauren says. That man really knows what it means to walk a dog.”
Both Tom and Cocoa received a lot of love from Virginia Beach locals, with one restaurant even footing the bill for Tom’s lunch and treat for Cocoa.
“I think he and Cocoa shared the meal,” Lauren said.
Lauren added: “Even though Carrie’s photo shows her lying down, she often lifts her head up, looking like a lioness, enjoying fresh air and places with people and other dogs passing”.
Cocoa passed away on March 5, but both Lauren and Tom are grateful for the memories they had with their beloved dog.
“We miss her so much but are so grateful to have had her for so long. We were hoping that we would still have more time with her, but God had other plans,” Lauren said. “We’re happy to be a part of the story. Cocoa is the star.”