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  • G. L. Gooding

Cooper Capers: Snooper Cooper


Our new house in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, has three levels and two staircases. Cooper quickly learned that he has to wait for permission to go up or down thus avoiding one of his parents taking a header and ending up at the ER. Once given the okay, he’s up or down in a flash.


Because it has been just Sarah me in the house most of the time, we don’t venture to the top floor, which has two extra bedrooms and a full bath. There is a door at the top of the stairs that lets us close off that portion of the house from prying paws. So Cooper seldom goes up those stairs, though as he grows older, his curiosity has increased, especially when we occasionally venture in that direction.


Recently one of us left the door open unintentionally. Thankfully, Cooper had a good time exploring without getting into puppy trouble. After that experience, Cooper took to checking out the stairway a few times each day. Last week while fetching his favorite red ball for me to throw yet again, he suddenly headed up the stairs with it in his mouth. After a short stay at the top, he began the return trip. As I watched from my comfy chair, he stopped halfway down and sat on a step.


Apparently, he had discovered the window at the bottom of the stairs that looked out on the front yard, busy sidewalk, and street. For a minute or so he held the ball and looked out observing the outside world. Then the ball dropped from his mouth, bouncing slowly, step-by-step to the bottom. Cooper’s head bobbed up and down with each bounce while remaining on his lofty perch weighing the choice continuing to watch the world go by or fetch his ball. Inevitably, Cooper chose to descend and keep me busy.


Since that first time, I can expect Cooper to repeat this ritual several times a day. The toy may change, but his pause to snoop the neighborhood never does. While he looks outside, I watch him, drink something, and smile.