Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 14, 2013

Local canine getting some affection for Valentine’s Day

BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

ANAWALT — Today is Valentine’s Day, and one of the coalfields’ most beloved four-legged friends — Cobalt the coal mining dog — has been receiving well-wishes and love for Valentine’s Day this year.

“He got 25 Christmas cards last year and he has already received 2 Valentine’s Day cards,” Linda Woolridge wrote in an email up date concerning Cobalt’s on-going recovery from the back surgery he underwent last summer. “He was sick for two weeks in January, but has recovered fine.”

The 4-year-old mixed breed dog that had a short brush with fame when the coal miners featured in the Spike TV series, “Coal,” suffered a back injury last summer. Woolridge took Cobalt to the Green Valley Animal Hospital where Dr. Ray Gracon worked with the staff of the Virginia-Maryland Region College of Veterinary Medicine on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., to get Cobalt back on his paws again.

During the course of his treatment and recovery, Cobalt attracted a following of friends. “I still hear from some of the people who helped Cobalt,” Woolridge wrote. “I think it’s wonderful that Cobalt is so very much thought of. There are still a lot of people out there that care for the well-being of animals.”

According to Woolridge, Cobalt “just showed up at the Westchester Mine,” about 3 years ago, soon after the mine opened. The coal miners started feeding him and adopted him. Cobalt developed a spine injury that prevented him from using his two hind legs. Woolridge worked with Dr. Gracon, the staff of the Green Valley Animal Hospital, as well as the staff at the College of Veterinary Medicine where he was treated.

Woolridge said that Cobalt hasn’t been back to the mines, but said that, “when we are outside and a coal truck goes by, he barks as if ti say: ‘Here I am.’ Cobalt will have a forever home here with me and my pets,” she wrote.

Woolridge expressed her thanks for the Valentine’s Day wishes from Cobalt’s friends.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com