Tom and his family, along with Cocoa, live in Georgia but spend a lot of time in Virginia Beach. During a recent trip, the duo was walking along the boardwalk at the Oceanfront when a woman stopped to talk to them.
Tom said she was kind and impressed with Cocoa’s transportation. She asked to take a picture and post it online. Soon the shares on Facebook exploded, and unbeknownst to a Facebook-less Tom, the photo went viral.
“My wife and I – we came up with a way to, with a mechanics creeper and stuff like that, to take her for walks. We had rope and a bed and we’d bring her out,” Antonino said.
At 16 years old, walking became just too much for Cocoa, once an energetic Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
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 said “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.”