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To Aave An Autistic Boy Clinging To A Pole, A Dog Swims Through Floodwaters

On August 21st, 2021, unprecedented floods struck Waverly, Tennessee. The region was pounded by 17 inches of rain in a matter of minutes, killing at least 20 people and damaging 250 houses and businesses.

In the middle of sadness, a ray of hope arrived in the shape of Cooper, a 6-year-old Great Pyrenees-Labrador mix. After assisting a kid in surviving floods, the dog has been hailed as a hero.


The young man, who has autism, recounted how Cooper helped him in surviving the water after being saved. Zaneta Warren, a Humphreys County resident, published the boy’s tale on the Concerned Citizens of Humphreys County Facebook page:

“He says the dog came down the water and managed to swim over to him as he was clinging to a pole. This dog saved my life, he stated, because he swam to me and forced me to keep on.”

Zaneta Warren via Facebook

Later, the child and Cooper were rescued by rescue boats. Cooper and the child he assisted were both alright, save from a little scrape on his back.

Dr. Jessica Peek, a veterinarian, operates the Waverly Animal Clinic, where Cooper was treated later that day. Cooper was treated like a hero while in their care, she told the Daily Mail.

“All week, we’ve been called him Big Hero Dog. He’s a real sweetheart, and we’ve been loving him and telling him he’s a hero.”

Screenshot, Daily Mail Online

In the aftermath of the flood, Waverly Animal Clinic posted on Facebook that all of their kennels were filled. Cooper’s story is just one of several involving dogs that were harmed by the weekend flooding, according to Peek. During the storm, some animals were separated from their families.

“When people are stranded and searching for their dogs, you feel helpless and unsure of what to do. We tried to provide a safe place for pets so that their owners could focus on other difficulties.”

A Proud Family Reunites With A Hero
When Caitlyn Rochelle read a Facebook post about her dog Cooper, she realized he was at Waverly Animal Center. She soon shared her pleasure in her lovely puppy to the Daily Mail, saying, “It made me cry.” It was unsurprising that he noticed another person in suffering and chased him.”

When Cooper was swept away by the sea, he was staying with Rochelle’s father. A tree had come through Rochelle’s roof early Saturday morning, causing her home to flood.

Cooper’s return brings joy to both Rochelle and her father. He’s an emotionally sympathetic dog, as he proved with his rescue of the stranded boy.

“He’s always been a lovely dog, a wonderful emotional support animal,” says the owner. Cooper notices my father’s and my depression and sits with his head on our shoulders.”