Feeds:
Posts
Comments

What a pleasure to discover that the AKC used a photo of Cooper, taken by Russ, to illustrate an article re-published on the AKC website on June 25, 2015. (The original article was published without photos in the July 2014 AKC Gazette.)

They used a cropped version of the photo in the header of the web page, and the full photo farther down in the article. If the link doesn’t work, you can click the image to visit a PDF of the article.

Cooper_Gazette_snapshot

Russ had taken that shot, plus others that I personally like better, back in 2011. He had just made some portraits of Tammy’s three dogs: Mowlgi (Cooper’s litter brother), Cameo, and Gosling*, and was editing those photos.

Cooper obviously felt that his input was needed. He loved the camera, and I guess that extended to the computer from time to time.

So, in a way, Russ had actually taken Cooper to work that day. Or maybe it was Cooper who invited Russ to work with him. Either way, they made a team.

In a way, I guess, they still do — virtually — through the magic of publishing.

* The three dogs:

  • Mowgli — CH Realta’s Bear Necessesities of Yo-Yo CD RE JH JHU CGC WD
  • Cameo — Yo-Yo’s Cameo Moment CD RA CGC
  • Gosling — Yo-Yo’s Not What You Think RN

Cooper, bird hunter

Cooper was accomplished in a number of venues, but the one that provided the most satisfaction for both dog and human, was bird hunting. Take one part pedigree, add another part training, provide the opportunity, and the results are a happy bird dog.

Hunting in the west is typically spending the day in photogenic territory. But this photographer likes to carry the shotgun and not a camera, so photography always was a second tier priority. Not all hunts with Cooper were documented photographically, but all are etched into our memories.

Here is a selection of photos of Cooper in his element.

Cooper sees his first waterfowl

Cooper sees his first waterfowl

110309_0071

Cooper’s first bird hunt, November, 2009.

Patrice and Cooper heading out to hunt upland game birds

Patrice and Cooper heading out to hunt upland game birds

Mt. Hood and the Irish Water Spaniel

Mt. Hood and the Irish Water Spaniel

Retrieving a chukar

Retrieving a chukar

Cooper, handing off a successful flush and retrieve

Cooper, handing off a successful flush and retrieve

111410_0223

Cooper and Russ admiring their hunting partner

111410_0302

Checking out a Washington state pond for some ducks

Stealth Spaniel waiting for ducks

Stealth Spaniel waiting for ducks

Cooper and Matt on Sauvie Island

Cooper and Matt on Sauvie Island

Ready for a pheasant flush

Ready for a pheasant flush

Cooper bringing back the bird

Cooper bringing back the bird

A day of pheasant hunting in Washington

A day of pheasant hunting in Washington

string of lakes

Cooper and his young protegé, Tooey

Southern Oregon pheasants in the rain

Southern Oregon pheasants in the rain

Cooper, taking a break with Mt. Hood in the background

Cooper, taking a break with Mt. Hood in the background

Cooper and Patrice in central Oregon

Cooper and Patrice in central Oregon

With Russ in the duck blind

With Russ in the duck blind

Cooper and a novice hunter scour an oar field for the elusive pheasant

Cooper and a novice hunter scour an oat field for the elusive pheasant

A November hunt in Oregon (2013)

A November hunt in Oregon (2013)

A cold December day, 2013

A cold December day, 2013

Cooper and his mature protegé, Tooey

Cooper and his mature protegé, Tooey

Cooper and his class of new pheasant hunters

Cooper and his class of new pheasant hunters

Cooper on the cover of Rat Tails

Cooper on the cover of Rat Tails

Near Monmouth, Oregon, 2014

Near Monmouth, Oregon, 2014

Cooper with a spring time rooster (his final bird, March, 2015)

Cooper with a spring time rooster (his final bird, March, 2015)

It came to me last night out of the dark, all in a sudden moment, as if broadcasting from the dark corner in the ceiling. It came complete with the music, the voices, guitar, percussion, and organ as clear as if the musicians were in the room with me.

If you can’t be with the one you love, honey,

Cooper_bog

Cooper

Love the ones you’re with.

TooeyCarlinbog

Tooey and Carlin

This morning, I looked up the complete lyrics, written by Stephen Stills

“Love The One You’re With”

If you’re down and confused
And you don’t remember who you’re talking to
Concentration slips away
Because your baby is so far away

Well there’s a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can’t be with the one you love honey
Love the one you’re with

Don’t be angry – don’t be sad
Don’t sit crying over good times you’ve had
There’s a girl right next to you
And she’s just waiting for something to do

Well there’s a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can’t be with the one you love honey
Love the one you’re with

Turn your heartache right into joy
‘Cause she’s a girl and you’re a boy
Get it together come on make it nice
You ain’t gonna need anymore advice

Well there’s a rose in a fisted glove
And the eagle flies with the dove
And if you can’t be with the one you love honey
Love the one you’re with
Love the one you’re with
Love the one you’re with

Not great poetry. And I never really liked the song before this — before last night, it always sounded to me like a justification for cheating.

But last night, it was a great comfort to me, and I’ll hear the song differently from here on out.

This blog was started more than 8 years ago (2007), when Cooper entered our lives. For whatever reason, we decided to document his life from the beginning, without any idea as to where it would take us. Little did we know. For two adults, well set in our ways, this dog proved to be the pivot point of lives. Our activities, our friends, and our future all changed in the Spring of 2007 when Cooper joined our family.

I am a photographer by trade. And Patrice is a professional writer/editor. Together, we started the Cooper Project with our own aesthetics and interests. There are nearly 800 posts in this blog, and over 1600 photos so far. And there will be many more.

Here are a few of the portraits of our boy from the beginning, both in studio and the field.

7 weeks (April, 2007)

7 weeks (April, 2007)

14 weeks

14 weeks

_MG_1340

Young Dog with Toy Duck, Oct., 2007

March, 2008

March, 2008

010109_0091-copy

January 1, 2009

051709_Cooper

May 17, 2009

Cooper_082109

August 21, 2009

052910_0118

May 29, 2010

A satisfied Cooper with a dry topknot

A satisfied Cooper with a dry topknot

Cooper_trading_card

Cooper as trading card

20110803_0068

Realta Rosario Cooper on his 5th Birthday

Realta Rosario Cooper on his 5th Birthday

Ch Realta Rosario Cooper CD RN SH JHU

Ch Realta Rosario Cooper CD RN SH JHU

20121204_0054

20130103_0087

January, 2014

January, 2014

July 2014

July 2014

20150617-811_blog

June 17, 2015

Cooper's final portrait

Cooper’s final portrait

I’ve been thinking about Cooper a lot today, naturally enough. Remembering him in the days before the suffering, missing him now that he’s gone, not getting much work done.

My co-workers are telling me to go home, but I don’t really want to go just yet.

When I go home and walk in the door, Russ will be there. Tooey and Carlin will run to the door to greet me. But not Cooper. Because Cooper doesn’t live there any more.

But thinking about how I don’t want to go home just yet reminded me of something that Cooper did almost every day when I walked in the front door. Something I never wrote about and don’t have any pictures of. It was just ordinary, just the usual way Cooper greeted me after we’d been apart.

He would trot up to me, and push first his nose, and then his shoulders, and then the rest of his body between my knees and out the other side. Once he’d gotten all the way through, he’d turn around and come the other way through my knees, wagging his whole butt the whole time. I would gently sway my knees and hips in time to his wagging, making our two bodies into one giant greeting wag dance.

Sometimes he’d do this just once each way, sometimes he’d repeat the maneuver several times until he decided we were done.

Cooper was never one for kissing much, and though he tolerated hugs, he didn’t love them. But his wag dance greeting? That he loved, and I did, and do, too.

Cooper’s Last Portrait

SHR UCD CH Realta Rosario Cooper CD RAE SH SHU CGC FdX WC WDX

February 14, 2007 – June 18, 2015

20150618-Cooper

This evening I took Cooper and a bumper out to the park. We found a quiet corner where we wouldn’t be disturbed, and I threw the bumper for him.

Each throw was no more than 20 yards, but Cooper ran out after each one like it was the most important thing in the world. And after each one, he laid down next to me and rested, panting, with the bumper between his feet. When he was ready for another one, he’d stand up and place the bumper near my feet.


We did about twenty of those, until the rest periods got longer and the sun finally began to set. He didn’t want to leave, but he was tired and thirsty, and it was time to go home.

But you know, the entire time, whether he was retrieving or resting, Cooper’s tail never stopped wagging.

It’s the end of a very full day, and almost the end of a very full life, and Cooper is ending it happy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers

%d bloggers like this: