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‘Toots always has my back’

Berlin resident - and the town - bond with his service dog

Tootsie Pop, Cody Boyle’s Australian Shepherd, came from a family that no longer wanted her.

Cody Boyle and his 4-year-old Australian Shepherd, Tootsie Pop, share a bond and a love for adventure that has captured hearts. Tootsie – known as “Toots” – has become a local celebrity in Berlin.

Tootsie’s story began when Boyle rescued her from another family.

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“Her name is Tootsie Pop,” Boyle recalled. “She started off as a Tootsie Roll when she was small, but just popped up everywhere. She is 4 years old and I got her at six months … I rescued her from a family that didn’t want her …

“How could you not?”

The journey of dog and owner started with surfing and kayaking.

“Her love for the outdoors came from my love for it, and of course, she wanted to be with Dad, so everywhere I went, she wanted to tag along,” Boyle recounted. “If something moved and I was on it, she had to do it, too. Started on a surfboard, then kayaking. So since she had her sea legs, I decided to make her a seat on my bike and see what happens.

“She loved it and so did I, and she hasn’t left my side since.”

Tootsie’s presence is felt everywhere in Berlin.

“A typical day starts with a potty break and then a ride around town,” Boyle noted. “A lot of people know her. I can’t show up anywhere without someone wanting a picture. She loves the wind in her face no matter what we do. The second I grab her helmet or her vest, she is in ride mode.”

Safety is a priority for Boyle when it comes to Tootsie. The dog is well protected with a helmet and a vest that has a lanyard Boyle wraps around himself to prevent Tootsie from falling.

“Not to mention she has amazing balance,” he added.

Tootsie is not just an adventurous companion; she is also Boyle’s seizure service dog.

“Toots … always has my back,” Boyle acknowledged. “I had a seizure once, and she stayed right by me, making sure I was okay. From the moment I came back, I knew she was a keeper. So I got her trained so she can go everywhere with me to keep me safe.”

Tootsie’s training has proven invaluable.

“If I am about to have a seizure, she wraps her leash around my legs and lays on the ground to cushion my fall,” Boyle explained. “This dog has saved my life and is the best thing to ever happen to me. And she brings so much tension relief. It’s amazing.”

Tootsie and Boyle have traveled through 14 states together, strengthening their bond.

“She definitely helps me get through my days,” Boyle said. “I know when I come home, I have my Tootsie Pop ready and full of life.”


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