Fond memories of Coco

Coco brightened our lives with her intelligent eyes, her elegant walk.


We got Coco when she was a cute black fluffy ball of five  weeks. Actually, as Alex my son put it, we did not find her, she found us. Of the eight nervous little pups, she boldly walked up to us and we lost our hearts. We lost her when she was a majestic 10-year old. She died suddenly and unselfishly as she had always lived.

One day she was playfully running around as usual chasing sticks, the very next day she was gone. Cancer of the heart, we were told, but she never showed she was in pain. She never gave us the anguish of making the decision to put her to sleep.

Those who have loved pets and lost them can understand the bereavement and loss of a dear friend, family even. To my husband, she was his best mate, his faithful companion who shared his life day in and day out. To me, she was my third and last child. She herself thought, we are sure, that she was our child, a sibling to my other two children. She grew up playing and sharing her life with them. Although she towered over everyone when she got up on two legs, she was gentle as a baby. She was also gentle with babies. There wasn’t a vicious bone in her body.

Yet, when I think of it, she was more a parent in her later years. She was fiercely protective of the family and would have given her life to save ours. She ‘shepherded’ us when we went on our regular walks in the woods and valleys and never let us out of her sight. She gave the same intense loyalty, love, protection and care I’d got from my mother. And she taught me the same thing that my mother did.

If we could only learn such deep trust, such unwavering love and such fierce loyalty as our four-legged friends are capable of. Coco brightened our lives with her bright, gentle, intelligent eyes, her warm soft fur, her elegant walk. Her loss has left us with a huge gap in our lives. I asked my husband why should we have pets to only go through this agony in the end. The answer is simple: for the sheer joy they give us during their lifetime, and for the lessons of true love and loyalty we can learn from them.

Maybe we should be urging humans to behave more like animals instead.

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