A member of the rescue crew revealed that Cooper was found nestled up to a young boy who was caught in the water and desperately holding onto a wall.
A six-year-old dog named Cooper is being hailed a hero after he reportedly swam through floodwaters to the aid of a young boy with autism. According to Daily Mail, the Great Pyrenees-Labrador mix was swept into the water during last month's massive flood that left at least 22 people dead and hundreds of homes and businesses ruined throughout the region. The story of Cooper's heroic rescue first came out in a Facebook appeal to find his owners. Zaneta Warren, who explained that she watched the canine until they could get him to the clinic, revealed that "he has a bit of a story behind him told to me by a young autistic man who was on the boat with him."
"He said that when he was hanging onto a pole, the dog came down the creek and managed to swim over to him. He said this dog saved my life, he swam to me and made me hold on. He held on to this baby too until the rescue boat got to them. He is such an awesome, well-mannered dog, he deserves steaks and bacon," she told Cooper's owner, Caitlyn Rochelle, in the comments. Meanwhile, a member of the rescue crew revealed that Cooper was found nestled up to a young boy who was caught in the water and desperately holding onto a wall.
Thanks to Cooper, the unidentified boy was brought to safety. Although the hero dog suffered a scrape on his rear, his energy is said to have been still intact when he arrived at the clinic, enthusiastically licking the staff, while his tail flopped about endlessly. "We've been calling him Big Hero Dog all week long," said veterinarian Dr. Jessica Peek, who owns the Waverly Animal Clinic where Cooper ended up after the exhausting events of the flood.
"He's a living sweety and we've been giving him lots of treats, telling him he's a hero," she added. Recalling the moment she first came to know of Cooper's heroic actions during the catastrophe, his proud owner Rochelle said: "It made me cry. It was no surprise that he saw someone else in distress and went after him. He's always been a good dog, a great emotional support animal. When my dad and I get depression, Cooper senses it and sits and lays his head on us." She explained that Cooper was staying with her father when "he got swept away."
Dr. Peek revealed that Cooper's incredible story was just one of several emotional moments from the flood. "You feel a little helpless and don't know what to do when people are trapped and looking for their pets," the vet said. "We've tried to give pets a safe place to be so owners could deal with other things they have to deal with." She shared the story of one elderly woman who initially refused to be saved without her two cats, even as her house started shifting from its foundation during the flood. "She would not leave with rescuers until someone took care of her cats," said Dr. Peek.
Meanwhile, another elderly woman and her small epileptic dog were forced to sleep at a shelter after getting flooded out of their home. "I take him his seizure medication that was washed away," the vet said. "Her pet is everything to her. She's now staying at a local church, but she's got her dog Bo George and his seizure medicine, so she's okay." Rochelle and her family also lost everything they owned when a tree crashed through her roof and the water flooded into her house. A GoFundMe has been set up to help them get back on their feet.