VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Georgia man devised a way for his aging dog to enjoy the beach. And even though Cocoa has died, Tom Antonino’s invention for his pet still elicits smiles.
Antonino built a mobile bed so Cocoa, his 16-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, could enjoy the outdoors, WTKR reported.
“My wife and I — we came up with a way to, with a mechanics creeper and stuff like that, to take her for walks,” Antonino told the television station. “We had rope and a bed and we’d bring her out.”
Antonino and his family travel often to Virginia Beach, and several months ago he was pulling Cocoa on the boardwalk at the Oceanfront when a woman stopped him, WTKR reported.
The woman asked to take a photograph of the pair. Since Antonino does not have a Facebook account, he was unaware that the mobile bed had gone viral on the internet.
“I found out from my brother-in-law,” Antonino told WTKR. “He said, ‘Is this you?’ and then other people asked, ‘Is this you?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s Cocoa. That’s Cocoa and I going for a walk.’”
The bed was a sweet gesture for man’s best friend. Cocoa died recently, Antonino said, but his pet’s legacy lives on.
“It hit a chord with people that the bond we have with our dogs and our pets,” Antonino told WTKR. “It’s strong.”