Dog Born With Short Spine Syndrome Finds His Pawfect Family


When you look at his face, you may think he’s just like any other dog… any other American Foxhound. 

But, Cooper’s side photos tell otherwise. A frontal close-up doesn’t even begin to describe what happened to this pooch.

Cooper didn’t go through an accident or something like that.

Cooper was born this way, with short spine syndrome. 

And, he couldn’t be more special! 

Even when everyone avoided him and ditched him to the curb, Cooper stayed pawsitive, hoping he would find a loving family. 

Miracles do happen because Cooper eventually got a happy ending.

Cooper’s Early Life

the dog is lying on the carpet and looking at the camera

Ever since his beginning, people thought of Cooper as that weird dog without a neck. He looked like something that stepped out of a cartoon. 

But, Cooper was still a dog with a happy temperament just like any other.

He didn’t realize he was different. He never looked at his deformity as something gruesome or terrible. 

He already accepted himself the way he was, and now it was time for hoomans to embrace him with all his differences. 

As a little pup of only 2 months, Cooper was abandoned near Halifax, Virginia. The Animal Control found him and offered him a shelter in Minnesota, at Secondhand Hounds. 

Soon enough, Cooper was put in a foster home because Elly and Andy Keegan saw the potential in this unusual pup.

As soon as Cooper arrived at the Keegan home, something terrible happened. The poor pup fell and broke his neck in several places. Given the fact that he already had a non-existent neck, you can only imagine how tricky the fall was. 

Short-Spined Dog sits with tongue out

A couple of months later, bone infection struck Cooper, but even that didn’t break his bouncy spirit.

Cooper bounced back rather fast. With a little surgical help, he was now able to go to the bathroom on his own without any major issues. His foster mom would say he’s pretty much low-maintenance like most dogs are.

Cooper’s Furever Family

The Short-Spined Dog is standing on the pavement
Source: Facebook

Six months with the Keegans went by pretty fast. Cooper was growing into a wonderful dog, completely unaware of his disability and ready to conquer every obstacle.

It was time for Cooper to finally get his furever home. It was the moment the Keegans dreaded the most. 

“I couldn’t imagine just handing him over and saying, ‘Ok, now be Cooper’s family.’”, said Elly. 

So, the Keegans did what their hearts were telling them: they decided to adopt Cooper officially!

Since Cooper didn’t have any applications besides one potential adopter, it was pretty simple to complete his adoption process and welcome him into the Keegan family. 

It was the right decision and the best one for Cooper because his mom and dad knew him from his early days. They were there for him when he was down, and they helped him rise above everything.

“Many dogs with conditions like Cooper’s are euthanized, which makes me so, so sad,” she told Fox News. “They have so much living to do and Cooper is a real example of that. He has a happy, normal little life now, and is a key member of our family,” told Elly.

Short-Spined Dog is sleeping on the armchair
Source: Facebook

There’s only a handful of dogs like Cooper in the world. According to one research, about 30 dogs with short spine syndrome are known today. The condition is limitating, but these dogs still lead a normal and happy life.

Of course, playing certain games like other dogs isn’t quite possible because of their hunch and short neck, but there are alternatives. The quality of life of these dogs is almost as good as with any other pooch. |1| 

Cooper, as the world’s most popular short-spined dog, has its own Facebook page where you can follow his adventures. You’ll see what a nice, loving life Cooper has with the Keegans. He went from a rejected pup to a beloved family member despite all odds.

Sources: |1| Hans-Jorgen Hansen. (1968). Historical Evidence of an Unusual Deformity in Dogs (“Short-Spine Dog”). DOI