"Those who have experienced Paris have advantage over those who have not. We are the ones who have glimpsed a little bit of heaven, down here on earth." - Deirdre Kelly

Friday, May 06, 2011

Show & Tell Friday: Coco

Coco-Lulu Hills (3 months old, 2lbs)
Our 1st day together - Mother's Day, 7 May 2009

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures;
they give unconditional love..."
- Gilda Radner

I realize that this Show & Tell Friday offering is 'unique.' But considering the date, it's perfectly fitting for Mother's Day...

Coco-Lulu Hills is my beloved 3 year old Tiny Toy Poodle/companion. She's about 10 inches tall and weighs 6 pounds. Although my husband, children, and mother adore Coco (and she adores them), she's my dog and I'm her person. She was supposed to be my 40th birthday present to myself. But I became so excited about getting her, I couldn't wait and she became my Mother's Day gift instead:

As my 39th birthday approached, more and more, I thought about the fact that my 40th birthday was barely one year away. As I'm sure several of you ladies can attest, 40 is vastly different than 21, 30 or 35. It signifies a significant milestone in a woman's life. While some look upon this milestone with understandable dread, I did not. That spring, mom gave me a bookmark that said: "Real women don't have hot flashes, they have power surges!" All of the most intelligent, accomplished and beautiful women I admire are well over 40 (my mother - Dorothy Tsenes, Tina Turner, Catherine Deneuve, Michelle Obama, Judith Dench, Dianne Carrol, Patricia LaPlante Collins, Dr. Anyana Karanja, Dr. Cheryl Johnson-Odim, and on and on). So, I saw my 40th birthday as a rite of Diva-tude passage. For this birthday, I wanted to do/try something new - completely out of my wheelhouse. I decided that one of the ways I wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday was to get a dog. What better way to celebrate this milestone than to realize a girlhood desire?

I'm with Coco!

I began to seriously think about what breed of dog would work for me: child friendly, small enough and game enough to travel anywhere and everywhere, smart, spunky but easy going, loyal, loving and adventurous.  After months of research, I found the perfect breed: the Tiny Toy Poodle. Although all of my cats have been strays, I literally plucked off the streets, I knew that if I wanted to get my dog, I'd have to go to a breeder. - thank Goddess for the internets. I found a woman, in a neighboring state who breeds Tiny Toy Poodles in her home (Nakole). From the moment I saw my Coco, it was love! And having her as a companion has been better than my wildest dreams.

Coco at one of my classes - 2009

Coco goes everywhere with me: she sleeps on her blanket on my desk while I teach (my students adore her), quietly watches the kids and I do their nightly homework, hangs out through little league baseball, football, basketball and tennis practice and games/matches, and travels everywhere with me.

I'm with Coco - Paris 2009

Coco is my constant companion and is wildly happy to be so. She loves to travel and meet people, experience different places. She's always friendly, rarely yips, and takes to car and air travel like a pro - laying on my lap.

At the grocery store in Paris

At our favorite restaurant - the owner fell in love with my kids and Coco!

Of course, Paris is our favorite place to visit - she can pal along everywhere with me: cafes, the Metro, restaurants, shops, the grocery store...

But the best thing about having Coco in my life are the quiet times. When Mr. Gorgeous, the kids and mom go to bed and I'm up working in my little home-office, Coco curls up at my feet or on my lap. When I work too long, or my brain is stuck, she seems to know it. She walks up to me, lifts her paw, and gently scratches my leg until I stop what I'm doing, pick her up and cuddle for awhile, collect myself. Sometimes we go for a late night walk. When I'm flying around the kitchen in the morning, getting the kids ready for school, Coco is completely non-ruffled by the chaos - patiently waiting for her turn. And Coco and I especially like to wander Paris: doing the day's grocery shopping, popping into a particularly interesting boutique, stopping for a cafe creme at a little sidewalk cafe (there's always a bowl of water and a bit of meat offered), sitting on a park bench watching our babies run and play.

Yes, my beloved Coco is a unique offering for Show &; Tell Friday. But I offer my relationship with her as an instance when one can take a tangible piece of the comfort and solace of their home and life with them wherever and whenever they go. Coco is one of those Mother's Day gifts, in addition to being a mommy, that keeps on giving. I'd love to hear about your 'Coco.'

Happy Mother's Day!

Previous Show & Tell: Vignette

Vivre! Rire! Aimer!



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