Special to DogTrekker, by John Poimiroo
Cooper loved to travel. You might say DogTrekker.com was created for Coop. In his ten years, this Lab/border collie/cattle dog mix traveled to seven states, but most of all he loved going anywhere DogTrekker recommended. Coop teamed up with Niki Frost when he was just eight weeks old. His mom had been rescued by Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue when she was pregnant with 10 puppies.
Niki relates that at seven months she took Coop to the vet, worried that his rough paws might need ointment. She recounted, “When I asked the vet, she grabbed his paws and looked at me in the eyes and said, ‘This dog is not a house cat! His paws should be rough. He is made to swim in oceans, run in sand, climb on rocks and go on adventures. I would be concerned if they were not rough.”
And so, Niki set out to assure that Cooper’s paws never softened. Only her heart would do that. She and Coop became avid DogTrekkers, though the jury is still out whether Coop loved the beach or the mountains more.
Nothing made him happier than being out with Niki for an adventure. And, true to being DogTrekkers, as Niki recounted, she and Coop “frequented restaurants, stores, bars … being dog-friendly truly dictated the last 10 years of my life.”
He was a regular at the Bay Area Pet Fair and Adoptathon for half a decade, did the Splash Dogs competition and jumped 19′ 2″. Cooper even greeted DogTrekker co-founders Dave and Roxanne Kendrick after his accomplishment. Niki was so proud. She beamed.
Cooper and Niki were also regulars at the Gundlach Bundschu and Medlock Ames wineries, hung out in Olympic Valley at Le Chamois in winter and hiked Shirley Canyon in summer. They could be seen trekking the Hill 88, Tennessee Valley and Land’s End trails and would romp on the sand at Crissy Field, Dillon Beach and Half Moon Bay. That’s what DogTrekkers do.
Throughout all their adventures, Niki and Coop traveled to high peaks and low valleys – literally and figuratively – always together. She was there for Cooper and he was there for her.
Some of their fondest memories were when, much later and more happily, Coop honeymooned with NIki and her (other) love, Patrick O’Brien, at the Westin Monache in Mammoth Lakes, then joined the couple on many camping trips to Cooper’s favorite sites: at Fashoda Campground in Pollock Pines and others along the Russian River. His most recent adventure was a bit closer to home, hitting the local beaches in Half Moon Bay and being a big brother to the newest family member, Jack.
It’s always tough losing your best friend, especially one with whom you’ve had so many adventures, but Niki O’Brien has those happy memories always in mind when she thinks of her travels with Cooper. —John Poimiroo
From the DogTrekker editors: Rest in Peace Coop!Posted on: June 30, 2022