iN PHOTOS: Meet Cooper, Lumby's favourite resident - InfoNews

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iN PHOTOS: Meet Cooper, Lumby's favourite resident

Driving a forklift at ACE Building Centre
Image Credit: Jerry Mason
February 29, 2020 - 7:00 AM

When he walks past the local school, the kids call out to him, and when he heads into local businesses he always gets a treat, and he’s now getting invitations from people wanting his company.

Cooper has become very popular in Lumby.

“Everybody knows Cooper the dog,” one Lumby business tells iNFOnews.ca. “It’s all about community... he engages people,” says another.

Cooper heads out twice a day for a walk with his owner Jerry Mason and over the last few years has made quite the name for himself.

“If I go into the store they look past me and they go 'where's Cooper?’” Mason says.

Outside Rusty Spur Tack, Seed & Pet
Outside Rusty Spur Tack, Seed & Pet
Image Credit: Jerry Mason

Mason moved to Lumby four years ago and Cooper has become well known over time. When Mason started posting photos of Cooper on a local Lumby Facebook group he became even more popular.

Rusty Spur Tack, Seed & Pet store owner Stuart Anderson said Cooper has been coming by the business to say hi to the horse outside for years.

"He’s very active in the whole community,” Anderson said. “He engages our community… it gets people involved.”

So what distinguishes Cooper from other dogs?

“He’s very intelligent, he’s very obedient… it’s almost like Cooper is a human,” Lumby resident Laurie Shearer said. “I would adopt him but Jerry said no.”

Jumping for joy.
Jumping for joy.
Image Credit: Jerry Mason

Shearer’s comments are reiterated by many in the community.

“The look on his face is like he understands everything you tell him,” Cooper’s neighbour Elsie Manahan said.

“He listens intensely at you and makes eye contact and I think that’s what makes everybody fall for him," Mason said.

Cooper can also do a multitude of tricks.

“I taught him to go up against the wall whenever I said RCMP,” Mason said. “That was the ultimate picture, to get him on the side of a cruiser being frisked by a police officer.”

And one day Mason found a Lumby RCMP officer to be a willing participant.

Getting patted down by the RCMP.
Getting patted down by the RCMP.
Image Credit: Jerry Mason

“First time we met him and he was showing us all of his tricks,” Anderson said. “It’s just amazing, it’s certain things you don't see dogs do."

The staff at ACE Building Centre know Cooper well.

“He’s got so many tricks, it’s unreal,” one staff member said. Another staff member says he’s “not a dog guy” but “I really like that dog.” The staff say they give Cooper treats for his performances.

Mason is no rookie behind the lens and his photos capture Cooper’s personality and demeanour.

“The posts I do with Cooper I try to have some connection with the community as opposed to just a picture of a dog," Mason said.

Helping out with the flood.
Helping out with the flood.
Image Credit: Jerry Mason

One photo shows Cooper with a sandbag in his mouth “doing his bit” during flooding in 2017. Another shows Cooper next to recycling bins when a snowfall had delayed pickup.

“He’s taking pictures at local businesses and awareness of local charities... it just really helps us out here,” Anderson said.

Cooper has been showing up across Lumby so much so he’s now started to get his own invites.

At the fire hall.
At the fire hall.
Image Credit: Jerry Mason

Lumby Fire Chief Tony Clayton saw Cooper on Facebook and sent him an invitation to visit the fire hall. Clayton said he thought Cooper was the perfect marketing tool to give the Firehall a bit of publicity.

And it seems the Lumby Fire Hall isn't the only one who wants a bump from Cooper.

Regional District of North Okanagan communications officer Ashley Gregerson said she saw the photo of Cooper with a sandbag helping during flooding, and thought the picture would be great in a public awareness campaign. The regional district provides the sand and the bags but has to remind people to bring a shovel. Gregerson said the picture of Cooper helping with the sandbags could make the perfect public information reminder. Gregerson reached out to Cooper (and Mason) who accepted her proposal. She also thought Cooper could be a great asset for information on dog licences.

Image Credit: Jerry Mason

Whether Cooper has the time remains to be seen as he appears rather busy. He was scheduled for a portrait sitting at the Lumby gallery Friday afternoon.

Mason said they called him and invited Cooper down to the gallery.

“He’s just great with anything and everybody.”

Image Credit: Jerry Mason

Image Credit: Jerry Mason

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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