This week, I’ve been spending lots of quality time with my little canine buddy Coco. This company of the girl who puts the adore into labrador partly consequential from the sad passing of her owner Sam’s mother (Cokey’s nan) in the early hours of Monday morning.

Footnote – To clarify, I know the ‘putting the adore into labrador’ reference doesn’t quite scan properly. However, as it nearly did and I deem it poetic, I’m gonna leave it in.

Quite understandably grief stricken, Sam’s mind and priorities are focussed elsewhere as a result of this melancholic life event. So much to organise by herself; a dreadful task made tougher by the mental trauma resultant from losing her much loved mum.

With head in the clouds and heart in the pit of her stomach, the unwanted mission she’s had no option but accept is to arrange the funeral, sort fiscal/admin matters, along with putting in place a strategy to empty her late mother’s bungalow. With Angela (her mater) being a habitual online bulk buyer, the latter a major challenge in itself.

Despite the starkness of the prevailing situation, Sam and I were able to impart a little gallows humour over her forebears spend thriftiness. Commenting her passing would majorly impact the Chinese economy. Our jocularly going on to concur the lack of Angie’s custom would impart a degree of retribution for China bequeathing the globe coronavirus.

Anyhow, in light of these circumstances, I’ve undertaken the role as Coco’s walker, waiter and poop scupper. The latter being the only downside to this engaging lab’s company.

Old Cokes is an absolute pooping machine; not only in frequency, but also in quantity. Yesterday, I’m pretty sure I caught sight of the Rochdale Mountaineering Association climbing her pooh mountain. As only a medium sized dog, her bowel must be like Dr Who’s Tardis.

The pluses of her company, though, far outweigh the fact yours truly has to take poop bags the size of parachutes when Coco and me go for a meander amongst Heywood’s avenues and alleyways.

My little canine buddy’s loving, if not overly giddy, nature is utterly endearing. The lack of jeopardy she projects during unconvincing attempts at protecting her pack hilarious.

Despite Cokes’ overpowering sloppy kisses making me feel like I’ve been waterboarded, her affection, loyalty and demeanour melt my heart. As someone who’s never owned a dog, the esprit consequential from this little lady’s company drives home to me what I’ve missed.

That being said, I may’ve been late to this party, but at least I got there eventually. My life is infinitely enhanced from being around Cokey, who provides a refreshing injection of positivity and happiness. The very antithesis of the living environment experienced prior to leaving my marital home, and moving in with my mother, in 2019.

Anyhow, as it’s time the lady had a walk, I’m going to bring down the curtain on this narrative paying deference to the furry one….. Incidentally, has anyone got a shovel?!