It’s not as bad as it sounds folks.
I’ve been decluttering my cottage and rearranging rooms over the last few weeks and things get moved around.
I had a lovely wee buddha that I bought when I visited my brother Marc in Singapore at the beginning of the year.
It sat in a perfectly huge round white bowl that an artist friend gave to me.
Since moving the bowl … buddha has gone … and the only living being in this cottage that will chew and eat anything is … Coco the puppy.
I have asked her where Buddha is (as I’m sure millions of people have done over the centuries) and she just sits looking enigmatic and says with a look ‘I don’t speak or understand English’.
Yeh right … she knows these words … Coco, Come, No, Bally, Find the ball, off the bed, outside, now, stop, Good Girl, Best girl, No bite, Find the Fly (she’s obsessed by them and will chase a fly around the house or sit and just watch one) …
Coco has lived here for nearly 4 months … and she has grown from cute puppy to cute/not so cute teenager puppy.
See the bed? It was made of cane … and I speak in the past tense because over the last 3 months … Coco has chewed it down to it’s base … which I used as a fire starter over the weekend.
Recently she has developed a new hobby … chewing only 1 shoe of the pairs of my fave shoes … 4 in all.
I took her for a walk last week to the canal at the end of the street.
All was well and she got to play with another dog … hi Jonathon and dog.
When it was time to come home I called her … nothing.
I called and called and shrieked (yup … I think I raised the dead in the cemetery a few streets away … and … the small children in the primary school are probably wondering what a Coco is … and why it’s getting screamed at more than they do at home!) … and walked away … and offered chocolate doggy treats … and walked away … and swore (quietly under my breath) … and called again …
For 45 minutes.
She kept coming close enough to nearly grab and then she’d run off.
I got to the point where I decided to just walk away and hoped she would follow and stop at the gate before the traffic.
She did follow … but didn’t stop at the gate.
She ran onto the path and nearly into the traffic … I screamed for her to come back … and she did … and then ran away.
At this point I just started crying from the shock and anger of it all … folks … men don’t make me cry and a puppy reduces me to tears.
I eventually cornered her … resisted the very strong urge to throw her in the river … put her on the lead … showed immense restraint … and walked her quietly home.
We went for a walk yesterday and I got her by playing tug of rope.
Other dog owners have shared their puppy running away stories so I feel much better … I liked the one Mags and her Mum Mary told me …
Once upon a time … John Joe used to run away every time he saw Mary put on her coat … that meant she was going somewhere without him.
One day she tried to sneak out to go to a family funeral … but John Joe ran away … and Mary had to stay behind and wait for bad dog to come home.
Was Mary happy? Not a bit.
I can’t believe Coco has grown from the first photo I took of her in July … to the great lump she is now.
Look … she points … because? … she’s a pointer.
I love when she just runs for the sheer joy of it … even when she doesn’t come back … I’ll just relax and watch the clouds go by.
She gets a look on her face when I’m chatting away … she’s trying really hard to understand me … join the line.
She’s a bit of a model though and always seems to know which way to look at the camera … she’s a pretty gorgeous dog.
Is it easy having a dog?
Would I give Coco back?
Yeh – on some days.
But I love her most of the time and we get along pretty well … better than if I was living with a human … at least I have no expectations that Coco will clean, cook, or earn a living … I do all that and she gets to eat, play and sleep.
And … she’s famous.
Every day that I walk her someone will stop and say what a lovely dog she is … then they ask ‘is she Coco?”. I say ‘yes’ … and then they look at me and say ‘oh … you’re that blog writer’.
I do the work and she gets the glory.
Believe it or not Dad … I’m up now every morning between 7 and 8am!!!!!! This is the woman who used to sleep in until noon or so … because I could.
Coco needs to go outside and if I don’t get out of bed I end up with a doggy face peering into mine and asking ‘Are you awake yet?’.
I’ve just been thinking … Coco never needed to eat buddha ... dogs just have a way of being in the present that we could learn from … they have an infectious joy and enthusiasm that makes me laugh out loud.
So … here’s to COCO … a woman’s best friend.