Meet Cooper, the three-year-old Labradoodle of Washington, D.C. SALT Partner Todd Lard and his partner, Brian. Cooper lives in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of D.C., and his biggest claim to fame (and Todd’s greatest life accomplishment to date) was being named “Best Dog” in the annual pet photo contest in his neighborhood paper, The Hill Rag. The contest is a cutthroat competition among Capitol Hill’s numerous doggies; after he received the award, several neighbors jealously pointed out that their dog had seen Cooper’s picture in the paper.
Apart from being a local celebrity, Cooper’s favorite pastime is catching and fetching his green soccer ball. He could fetch the ball all day, and when he knows it’s time to go home, he grabs the ball and prances around to avoid Todd. Cooper also loves the water, especially swimming and fetching floaties in the Potomac River and in the U.S. Capitol building fountains.
On the weekends, Cooper likes to go to nearby Congressional Cemetery and play chase with other dogs. He loves weaving in and around the tombstones and finding mud holes to scope out. While it may seem weird to play in a cemetery, the Congressional Cemetery dog-walking experience is remarkable. Historic Congressional Cemetery houses the graves of many important Washington figures, such as John Philip Sousa, Matthew Brady and J. Edgar Hoover. It became run-down and neglected, but in the 1980s, dog walkers cleaned up the property. Now, the cemetery is a great place to explore local history, and it still has a strong and large dog-walking program in what amounts to a 35-acre, off-leash dog park.
Cooper was a frequent visitor to the offices of Todd’s former employer, the Council On State Taxation. Here’s hoping Capitol Hill’s “best dog” can make an appearance at the new Sutherland office as well!