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Cancer Survivor and His Dog Now Help Other Animals

by Bethany Meissner

You would think that helping a person recover from cancer would be enough of a good deed for one dog. However, for a Bernese Mountain Dog named Davos, it was just the start. Now, he and his owner are working together to pay it forward and help pets at their local animal shelter.

According to WCCO, Al Cooper says that when he first got Davos, “He kind of rescued me.” Al was recovering from cancer and Davos was instrumental in helping him regain strength and endurance after treatment. “When I got him, it was kind of like ‘Come out, let’s get some exercise, dad,’” Al told reporters.

Photo Credit: Kare 11

They initially did the usual long walks and visits to dog parks. Then Al decided to see what Davos could do. He taught Davos how to play a cup and ball version of three-card Monte. “I got three Dixie cups and I put a ball under one of them,” explained Al. After moving the cups around, Al asked Davos to find the ball. “When he knocked over the Dixie cup with the ball in it, I’d give him a treat,” he finished. Dogs who are food motivated will do a lot for a great dog treat, or sometimes even an extra piece of kibble whether it’s from a bag of grain-free or vegan dog food!

Soon Al took Davos’s new ball-finding skills to the golf course. “It’s kind of like going on an Easter egg hunt,” said Al. Soon, Al and Davos were bringing back so many golf balls that they were piling up everywhere – even in the freezer! Al’s friend, Dusty Barrett came up with an idea.

Dusty and Al were watching television when a commercial about helping rescued and abused animals started playing. Davos began to whine. Dusty told reporters that it struck her, “I’m looking at that and he’s crying and I said, ‘You know, maybe we should give some of the money to the animals.’” Al told Kare11 that Davos would “just cry his little heart out when he’d see” animal rescue commercials.

Now Al and Davos go out and find golf balls that golfers have lost and left behind, then Dusty cleans them. Afterward, they sell the golf balls for 25 cents each near the tee box at the course. Finally, they give the money to the Animal Humane Society in the Twin Cities area. So far they’ve donated $600. In addition, Al is working on setting up a Golf for Animals fundraiser that he hopes will have its inaugural event next year.

Photo Credit: Kare 11

Halo is impressed by Davos and Al’s commitment to helping animals. With your help, Halo, GreaterGood.org, and Freekibble donate more than 1.5 million bowls of Halo food to shelter pets every year to help them feel better and find homes. We know how every bit of help matters to shelters and we’re sure that the Twin Cities pets are lucky Al and Davos are on their side.

Al told reporters that it’s a good system, “Davos is happy. I’m happy. Humane society is happy. If you are lucky enough to find a dog as good as Davos you have it made in this world.”