'He Gives Me Purpose': Dapper Yorkshire Terrier Wins Pet of the Week

Perfect pets have been melting hearts again this week as they capture viral attention across the internet. From a cat with 25 toes captured making biscuits to some throwback family photos of a woman and her cat that were labeled "relationship goals."

Arguably inspired by the heartwarming stories, our readers have been sending in pictures of their much-loved pets and we've been working on choosing our Newsweek Pet of the Week. This week, our top dog is Yorkshire Terrier Cooper, an emotional support pup who lives with his owner in Florida.

If you think your pet has what it takes to reach our top spot, head to the end of this article for details on how to get involved.

Winner

Cooper the dog — Reader submission
Cooper the Yorkshire Terrier, our pet of the week, posing for pictures at his home in Florida. Helene Ginsburg

Cooper the dog moved in with his owner Helene Ginsburg in May 2020 when he was just 8 weeks old. Ginsburg was prompted to bring the pup into her life when her doctor suggested she look into getting an emotional support animal.

Suffering from depression and anxiety, Ginsburg is a senior citizen and had to carefully budget and cut down personal expenses before bringing Cooper into her life—a move she says was well worth it.

"He has made a remarkable difference in my life and my friends and neighbors always tell me so," said Ginsburg. "He gives me purpose and so much love and happiness. I cannot be anywhere without him."

The American Kennel Club explains that emotional support dogs or ESAs are not technically service dogs, but instead are pets that provide support to owners for whom the presence of a dog helps them to function on a daily basis.

While ESAs are not service dogs, medical professionals can prescribe an emotional support animal under the law. But for a dog to be considered a true service dog, it must be trained to support a specific task or job directly related to a person's disability—for example, guiding a visually impaired person around an obstacle or providing pressure on someone with PTSD who is suffering a panic attack.

The adorable pup helps his owner in and out of the house. Now she can't hear so well, Ginsburg says that Cooper helps alert her when her phone rings or the doorbell goes off. The clever Terrier also lets his owner know when someone is approaching.

"He knows when I'm stressed and will not leave my side," explained Ginsburg. "He looks at me and comes up to kiss my face and lays down on my chest."

Finalists

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Always difficult to pick just one favorite pet, our finalists are following close behind.

Firstly, adorable 9-year-old cat Elsie lives in Kansas with her family. Rescued from the local neighborhood, she loves to oversee her owner's crochet projects—as pictured.

"She gives us unconditional love," said Elsie's owner. "I could talk for hours about her. I just love her so much."

Our second feline finalist this week is Bootise the cat. Living with her owners in Madera, California, this fluffy black and white cat has a particular love for sitting in a cardboard box.

"She won't sit in a regular-sized moving box," explained owner Kathy Foster Yakura. "But she loves the smaller, lower ones."

Last but not least is a Double dapple Dachshund named Chakalat Chyp Cooky Doe aka Chaka. In the picture sent in by owner ​​Nancy Barber, she joked that the picture looked like a photo shoot for her dog's puppy dating site profile.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or pictures of your pet you want to share? We want to see the best ones, and they might even make it into our Pet of the Week! Send them in to life@newsweek.com and they could appear on our site.