Earlier this month, award-winning author Louis Nowra wrote a beautiful article about his dog Coco’s cancer. Coco, a ten-year-old Chihuahua, had a splenectomy and is undergoing chemotherapy. Nowra marvels at just how attached he and partner Mandy Sayers have become to Coco.
“Sometimes I cannot believe that for 10 years this canine, weighing all of 3 ½ kilograms, has dominated our lives. Because she’s a gregarious dog and adores humans she has gained friends everywhere she goes in and around Kings Cross. Those she especially likes she will greet with her version of a wolf howl. She likes to sit on laps and be patted. At our local pub she seems to know when people are stressed because she jumps onto their laps and, before too long, the human is absent-mindedly stroking her and, in the process, calming down. Since she has been sick we take her out rarely and I’m often stopped in the street by people, ranging from pensioners to drug dealers, asking how she is faring.”
Coco, like many dogs, is a social facilitator. She is better known in the neighbourhood than Nowra and Sayer, and has introduced them to colourful characters and incredible events that appear in their stories.
Sayer wrote Coco:Autobiography of My Dog. The latter is a revealing book, examining the lives of Coco, Nowra and Sayer through the lens of Coco (as viewed by Sayer). If you can get your head around that, it is actually a brilliant essay on the attachments we form to animals. The degree to which Coco is involved in the lives of Nowra and Sayer, from dog-friendly holidays and associated dramas to afternoons in the pub