by Kevin & Joan
“Looks just like a teddy bear” are the most common words used to describe our Australian Labradoodle. Cobber, which means ‘buddy’ in Ozzie slang, is a 35-pound ball of energy, cuteness, and fun, yet he is able to sense the amount of energy that is suitable for the occasion. From the day he entered our lives, he has given everybody who meets him enormous pleasure and seems to be able to understand much of what is said and what goes on. We always knew Cobber would be an ideal dog to share with other people, not just because of his temperament and the smile on his face, but because he is hypoallergenic and so suitable for contact with everyone. The teddy bear look and his super soft coat make him an attraction not only to children, but to adults as well.
Cobber goes with Kevin weekly to a forensics unit for clients undergoing mental health assessments. His appearance gives the clients a real lift to their day and often triggers conversations of happy memories of their own family dogs. Even some of the patients who are afraid of dogs have ventured into the room where Cobber is, and one has even petted him — quite a positive milestone for a person who has a fear of dogs. The supervisors have mentioned on a number of occasions that Cobber’s visit is one of the few times for which even the most sedentary patients get themselves up.
Cobber also visits youth with mental health problems at a secure treatment centre and has a similar effect on the people there. He loves the energy of the youth and whimpers in excitement as we walk up the path. The youth enjoy touching and interacting with Cobber in the one-on-one setting and often talk about their own experiences with animals.
Once a week, Cobber and Joan visit a day program for adults with developmental disabilities run by the Ottawa-Carleton Association for Persons with Developmental Disabilities (OCAPDD). Cobber loves the excitement and buzz and enjoys walking with the clients, showing them his tricks, and teaching them the best way to interact with him. Cobber knows how to smile and he will give a kiss if asked, giving a thrill to all who interact with him.
In his spare time, Cobber loves to walk, run off-lead at the cottage, and chase balls, Frisbees, and sticks. He plays an excellent game of hide and seek, adores all his doggie friends, and gives a tail wag to everyone he meets. He is so patient — always waiting for us to notice when he wants something by staring at it. If we are remiss though, he will give a little bark just so we do not forget. Cobber is altogether a most lovable dog.