Coco, our little domesticated wolf, may look more like a bag of rope but he's a pedigree toy poodle underneath it all. Though, come to think of it, more than one person has remarked that he has the heart of a terrier ... you should see him with that soccer ball, tireless.
He sprung from the Scottish Highlands, but has been shipped to Australia and back and is now quite settled in Edinburgh ... where he's giving the famous Greyfriars Bobby a run for his money with the tourists. Yep, Coco stops traffic.
The most common questions are:
What breed is he? (Toy poodle, yes, really.)
Does his hair grow naturally like that? (Yes. No, we don't plait it.)
Is he hard work to keep clean? (Yes ... uh, he's a dog!)
Coco's a common poodle name, but we chanced on it by accident. We were trying a few on him for size and he seemed to recognize this one, so it stuck. Later, when we got the pedigree papers, we saw his line had a previous Coco, his great-grandawg ... it's nice to be keeping tradition alive.
The breed's known for its intelligence, second only to the sheepdog on most lists, but does suffer reputation-wise from some dumb-ass haircuts. Coco seems to like his dreads though, and they fit his spiky personality down to the ground. I couldn't imagine him running about all bouffant ... he'd have the look bust in a nanosecond!
Our little bloke's one hell of a guard dog, too. He won't let a breeze within a yard of our front door without letting rip with that bark of his. And don't think he's more careful with bigger dogs -- no -- he's been known to take running jumps at anything from a lab to a German Shepherd if they get too close to my wife ... what was that about intelligence?
That's our Coco.
-- Tony Black, crime writer, Edinburgh