Jake & Cooper's Bark Park honors Jacob Schaffer, a beloved son, brother, uncle, and dog dad.
Although some would call Jacob quiet, he was quick-witted with great humor. He was compassionate, often feeling the pain of others' struggles, reminding those around him not to judge others. Jake also liked to be a little "boujee," which dictionary.com defines as "luxurious in lifestyle yet humble in character."
Jake struggled with social anxiety, depression, and addiction. He had a fighter's spirit that never quit, attempting rehab and sober living several times, as many addicts do.
In Jake's sobriety, he decided that he needed a companion. After searching the internet high and low, he found one puppy left out of a litter in Cygnet, Ohio. Jake, his dad, and his sister drove to Cygnet on a cold February night to meet the puppy. On the drive, the three tossed out different names for the puppy, but it wasn't until Jake met the little guy that he knew his name should be Cooper. Cooper wasn't ready to leave the litter, so Jake had to wait another week. On February 23, 2021, Jake and his sister picked up Cooper. Cooper became Jake's constant companion on that car ride home.
Jacob began to struggle with his addiction again. On August 20, 2021, his addiction took him too soon, with Cooper never leaving Jake's side until the very end.
The community surrounded the family with support and donations to honor Jacob. A few months later, as Larry was trying to find a place for Cooper to play, it dawned on him that Oregon needed a dog park. What better way to honor Jacob, who thoroughly treasured the companionship of Cooper, than to give the community a fun, relaxing, and safe place to enjoy their companions outdoors?
So, the Schaffer family partnered with the City of Oregon, the YMCA, and Toledo Unleashed to open the city's first "boujee" dog playground. The Bark Park will serve as a lasting memorial to the love that family and pets can bring to our lives.