Coco: The Rescue Who Rescued
Dogs have made headlines for ages displaying acts of heroism – they’ve warned families of house fires, fought off predators that could have harmed their humans, helped track down missing persons, and more.
And Coco, adopted from Nate’s, is a headline maker, too.  She was just a puppy when Jaelen spotted her within a litter.  “The oddball” of the bunch it seemed to him.  She caught his attention as he, his sister, and his mom were searching for a new member of the family.  Just a few months prior to their connection, Jaelen (an aspiring baseball player), was hit by a drunk driver.  He doesn’t have much memory of the accident itself, but with a shattered pelvis, 17 surgeries, and 29 blood transfusions, he did know the long road of recovery that was ahead of him. The once strong and talented athlete was starting the process of learning to walk again with the assistance of a walker.
Jaelen’s sister could sense his struggle and frustration and decided to do something to help – and off to Nate’s they went.  Coco needed Jaelen to walk her, so walk her he did.  At first, with this walker, and then after some time with a cane.  Finally, Jaelen was walking Coco unassisted.
One day, Coco escaped the house and Jaelen ran after her.  Jaelen’s mom was yelling “he’s running! he’s running” as he chased after his dog.  Sometimes, even in their mischief, dogs can give us exactly what we need.
Today Jaelen’s spirits are high, recognizing how fortunate he is.  Coco helped him walk (and run) again, but she also helped him find the joy he thought he lost in the accident. Sometimes true heroism is just being there, every day, alongside those we love.
Not only do we here at Nate’s absolutely LOVE Jaelen and Coco’s story, but it was also selected by PetCo Love as an award winning story submission, providing Nate’s with a $50,000 grant to help get us closer to our goal of completing construction on the new campus.  Apparently Coco’s heroism extends far beyond what anyone could have expected!