2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Featured Pup – Dakota

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Dakota.

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. We’d like you to meet Dakota.

 

Dakota Love’s Story

(by Shannon Coker) I got Dakota Love when he was 4 months old. He was a birthday present from my family and my best friend. My niece instigated the whole thing and found him. We named him after a Dodge truck because we knew he would be as big as truck in the dog world and his love for everything and everyone (except the 6 foot tall pink bunny running around the pet store during the Easter season…lol).

When I brought him home for the family to meet him, my mother asked, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” I had never raised and trained a dog by myself before and she had many reservations about the breed itself due to the bad press. Here I had a very large puppy that would grow into a very large, powerful dog.

Dakota was raised with nothing but love. He grew up to be an extremely loving, smart comedian. He even stunned our trainer when she laid out a plate of hot dogs in front of each dog in class and instructed each to leave it and pointed to the plate in front of them. Dakota proceeded to get up and go to each of the other dogs’ plates and ate their hot dogs, then went back to his own plate and left it just as he was instructed to do. Our trainer was speechless. She said she just watched in disbelief; she had never seen a dog do that before.

Over the years, we taught everyone that we came into contact with that like humans, dogs are a product of their environment. If raised with love they have all the love in the world to give. People who were afraid were quickly won over by his charms. Kids of all sizes loved him and the littler ones used him as a jungle gym. All the while he would smile and lick them to make them giggle and laugh. He was even more gentle with elderly and those suffering in pain. I remember one holiday when my uncle was in such severe pain from his back that he could barely walk, Dakota gently got up on the couch next to him and waited for me to come over and grab his collar to help him lay down gently (he always flopped when he laid down) next to my uncle. It was like he knew if he flopped it would hurt him. My uncle was amazed and delighted to have Dakota comforting him throughout the day. He brought so much joy to me, my family and friends with his comedic acts and huge capacity for love.

About a year ago my best friend called me and asked me to join her in the 2Million Dog Walk to honor all who were lost to cancer (including her beloved Collie “Sydney”) and to support hope for the future. Dakota and I drove from Portland, Oregon to Auburn, Washington to join her and her companion “Dartanyan” in the walk. It was a wonderful time spent with my long time best friend and our companions and it was for a cause close to our hearts.

I didn’t know it at the time but we were also walking in honor of Dakota Love himself. As loving as he was, he was just as tough. He showed no symptoms that anything was wrong till it was too late. We lost him in February of 2011 to cancer. It came as a shock to all of us. It is a loss that is still felt deeply by everyone that he touched in his life. I miss him every day. He was truly one of a kind.

In honor of Dakota and Sydney and all the other dogs who have or have had cancer, please show your support and help raise awareness. It is not just for the dogs in our lives, as the same types of cancers that affect dogs also affect their human companions. Help 2Million Dogs raise awareness.

To vote for Dakota, please click on the link.

 

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