Kodak, his standard Poodle service dog, has made a big difference in his life by picking up dropped items, opening doors, and helping the boy to stand.
"My dog makes my life just a little bit easier," Cooper said. "I see an easier future."
But the Calgary Board of Education doesn’t seem to realize the value of the dog in helping Cooper deal with his physical disabilities. Cooper will miss the first day of school because they are not allowing his service Poodle into the classroom.
His mother, Eyvis James, is planning to take a letter to school officials from the Lions Foundations of Canada Dog Guides, where they got Kodak who has been trained as a Service dog. She also plans to file a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission.
Connie Pratt fought a battle years ago for her own son to have a service dog with him. "It just makes me angry someone who sits behind a desk and pushes paper all day doesn't understand how important a dog is to a disabled person," Pratt said.
The story from Alberta
Read the letter from Kodak's foster parent.
UPDATE: Thursday, Sept. 7. The Calgary Board of Education reversed its position and will allow Kodak to accompany Cooper to his classroom. They had stated that the children should be protected from a dog and possible allergies.
Cooper's mother, Ayvis James argued allergic reactions shouldn't be an issue because Kodak is a standard poodle and does not shed. Plus, the dog was hand-picked for its non-aggressive behavior.