Canine Therapy

In an highly emotive and sad week, they were the first tears of joy I’d witnessed for a while. The water welling in my little lab/retriever buddy Coco’s eyes those borne from sampling the Guinness Beef Casserole I’d made for her mum Sam and my tea.

My canine chum’ll admittedly trough anything and, if truth be told, her fodder doesn’t necessarily even have to be food, but if Cokey’s fur surrounded peepers water you know that you’ve produced a meal fit for a queen. Which, of course she is. Admittedly not quite as fragrant (or quiet) as our own Elizabeth II, yet her heart is every bit as large as the nonagenarian monarch.

I’d not seen Coco for a while; yesterday’s visit a consequence of my friend Sam wanting to spend time with yours truly after my mum’s passing on Sunday. In addition to uttering goodbye for a while as she moves next week to a North Wales cottage. The people of Cymru soon to be exposed to the furry force of nature that is Coco Yates; a whirling tsunami of love and affection whose impending arrival is ordinarily heard before seen.

As strange as it sounds, I’ll miss her slobbering on me, shedding hair all over my clothes, being exposed to her horrific flatulence and unceremonious gorging on food….. And I’ll miss Coco as well!

Seriously, though, spending time with my larger (or should that be noisier) than life fur buddy provided a lift to my current flagging spirits.

Cokes was confused when unable to locate my mum after bombing past me into the house on arrival, however her loving greeting was as magnificently over the top as ever despite that befuddlement.

For a few hours while she explored the house, carefully avoiding the shower wet room in the event we slyly showered her, old ‘fat arse’ (as her mum lovingly labels her) provided a great distraction from the starker elements of GJ Strachan’s life.

Coco got to meet my son Jonny, who called on his way home from work, for the first time. A meeting which’s resulted in my eldest offspring now owning a blue anorak bearing more slobber and snot than West Yorkshire Sneezing Champion Al Choo.

During the last months of her life, even my mum’s indifference about dogs was thawed by my exuberant fur friend. The wonderfully comedic sight of both sitting either end of the sofa, snoring with amazingly accurate synchronicity is something which’ll always stay with me.

When the emotional collateral damage of the familial matriarch’s passing isn’t as raw, as a newly signed up member of the fur ball fan club, I may get myself a dog. That being said, being a fella who always errs on the jocular side of life, for a laugh I’d probably label my pooch something ridiculous like Borussia Munchen Gladbach. Hmmmm, perhaps for the sake of dogmanity it’s best I love them from afar.

Anyway, thanks Coco for the unconditional love and joy you’ve bequeathed me since first meeting you on a bright Sunday morning in 2019. Hopefully it’ll not be too long until our paths cross again. A sanguine occasion where once again my tears will form from joy, like yours yesterday after sampling my Guinness Beef Casserole.

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