This senior Chesapeake Bay retriever’s loving family went the extra mile to help make the best out of her golden years. When Cocoa turned 16, they found that she had trouble making it out to some of her favorite haunts, so owner Tom Antonino and his wife devised an ingenious method to ensure that this Chessie could still enjoy the smell of the beach or a beautiful day in the park, even when mobility became an issue.
Chessies usually live 11 to 13 years, so Cocoa was certainly well cared for. To help get her out and about from the family home in Georgia – including all the way out to Virginia Beach, where a passerby spotted her on her mobile bed – Antonino and his wife combined a mechanics creeper, some rope, and a bed with blankets. A woman snapped a photo of Tom and Cocoa on the boardwalk, which amassed over 28,000 likes and 55,000 shares on Facebook at the time of this writing. “I had to stop & express my love for his extraordinary care…” she wrote. “…compassion kindness, love. I need more people like this in my life.”
Antonino is not on Facebook, and so had to be told about his viral moment by a brother-in-law. People began to ask, “Is this you?” and he admitted, frankly, “Yeah, that’s Cocoa. That’s Cocoa and I going for a walk.”
The viral post came ahead of Coca’s eventual passing. While it’s sad news, it’s encouraging to see how Cocoa’s family did the utmost to ensure that joy remained in her life until the end. Now, that joy connects her memory with countless others.
Video coverage of this feel-good story below…