‘Living his best life’: Catching up with Cosmo, the star of Ground Dog Day

single-meta-cal June 23, 2023

Those who remember the City’s annual “Ground Dog Day” event at Huntsville Animal Services in February 2023 would likely recognize Cosmo, the mixed-breed pup that accurately predicted an early spring.

Dr. Karen Sheppard cheers as Cosmo picks "Early Spring" on Ground Dog Day 2023. His leash is held by Mayor Tommy Battle.

Huntsville Animal Services Director Dr. Karen Sheppard cheers as Cosmo selects “Early Spring” in his Ground Dog Day prediction.

Cosmo’s journey at Animal Services began when he arrived a few days before Ground Dog Day.

“He was such a happy, enthusiastic, truly joyful American bulldog type,” said Huntsville Animal Services Director Dr. Karen Sheppard. “He loved to play outside, but as spring came, our poor boy hadn’t found the right match.”

Cosmo was first adopted in early March, but was returned to the shelter two weeks later through no fault of his own. That’s when Haleyville resident Ashley Thomas saw his photo on the Animal Services Facebook page. 

“I messaged my husband and told him ‘Look at this sweet baby’,” Thomas said. “Later that evening, I got home after work and made plans to go the following Saturday and adopt Cosmo.” 

A bad rep

Thomas said her family previously had a blockheaded breed named Theo, which ran away during a move. They also own Chipper, a miniature schnauzer.  

Cosmo, an adopted dog from Huntsville Animal Services, sits on a colorful rug alongside his "brother," Chipper.

Cosmo sits on a rug alongside his “brother,” Chipper, a miniature schnauzer.

She said pit mixes like Cosmo have a terrible reputation, but in her experience, they couldn’t be sweeter. 

“Both pit/blockheaded dogs we’ve had are nothing but babies,” she explained. “Dogs are definitely trained to be mean or have been abused, so that’s the only answer they know.” 

Thomas said Cosmo’s best personality trait is his willingness to make sure you’re loved. 

“He loves to cuddle and make sure you know he loves you,” she said. “He is always trying to kiss on us when we get home from work and when it’s bedtime, he wants to be right there beside you.” 

A star in the making

When Thomas went to adopt Cosmo, she wasn’t aware of his star power.

Cosmo became well-known across social media for his accurate prediction on the City’s “Ground Dog Day,” an Animal Services tradition that sees one pup chose between bowls marked “Early Spring” and “More Winter.”

Dr. Sheppard said Cosmo was “cunningly brilliant about the weather.”

“We learned [about Cosmo’s prediction] the day we adopted him,” she said. “I think it is so cool that he was a part of that! He doesn’t do much forecasting now; he mostly runs around playing and acting crazy.”

Fur-ever home

Cosmo, a rescue dog from Huntsville Animal Services, snuggles with his adoptive dog mom, Ashley Thomas.

Cosmo, a rescue dog from Huntsville Animal Services, snuggles with his adoptive dog mom, Ashley Thomas.

Settled in with his new family, Thomas said Cosmo’s “doing great and living his best life!” 

She and her husband have five children who also love to spoil him. He’s even got his own mini swimming pool for hot days.

Thomas chose to “adopt, not shop,” because Cosmo needed to be loved.

“Cosmo was the missing piece to our family,” she concluded. “The shelter babies need just as much loving as any other dog. When you go to adopt, just ask questions about the dog you are looking at adopting.” 

Ready to find your Cosmo? Click here to see photos, ages and descriptions of available animals.

Animal Services is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 256-883-3782, visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/Animal or visit their Facebook page to learn more.