Canine Companions puppy in the Texas Blue BellsWaldo has a lot of friends in his life, from the staff at the Kinkeade Campus where he’s being raised, to his dog pals that he plays with every day. But there’s one friendship that’s extra special – his best friend Cooper.

Cooper is a cat!

What makes this friendship special? Cooper is a 10-year-old year old tuxedo cat who lives with Waldo and his volunteer puppy raiser. Black tuxedo cat lying on a couchWhile some cats might not be interested in dogs, Cooper thinks he’s one of them and enjoys play time, cuddles and kisses.

Waldo and Cooper have a nightly ritual where Waldo tells Cooper goodnight, complete with plenty of puppy kisses.

Cats are good for training

Canine Companions puppy standing with a black cat

While all of this is adorable, it’s also a great tool for Waldo in his training. Because we don’t know exactly where a Canine Companions puppy might end up, it’s important for them to be used to all types of animals and distractions while working. Cooper can help with training sessions by providing a distraction, where Waldo must keep his attention on his puppy raiser. These are important skills for a future assistance dog, and Cooper is helping Waldo get there!
Continue following Waldo’s journey here, as he gets ready to enter professional training in November!

If you are interested in raising a puppy like Waldo, visit cci.org/puppyraiser.