Aldous Huxley said, "To his dog, every man is King; hence the constant popularity of dogs."
On a recent trip to Pearlington, Mississippi, I met a great dog. Coco is a chocolate lab with a heart as big as all out doors. You see Coco survived the flooding of Katrina and made it home under his own will power. Coco's human, A. J., told me of Coco's experience.
A. J. and his family had stayed behind because his elderly mother was afraid to leave her oxygen supply and that she may not find any at a shelter. A. J. got a call that a wall of water was on its way. The boat was prepared and everyone got in, except Coco. A. J. told his family that Coco had a big heart and a strong will and that he would be back.
A few days after the flood had subsided, Coco came dragging up into the yard. He was "dog tired", dirty, hungry and happy to be home. Coco's family got him cleaned up, fed and rested. Later in the week Coco stepped out in front of a military vehicle and was hit. Coco had a broken hip. He had to be taken to Hattiesburg for surgery. Coco has a pin in his hip now and gets around with ease.
Coco's human almost comes to tears relating this story and his heart pounds with pride in this honored member of the family. After meeting Coco, I am convinced of his will, his heart, and his love of his family. Sometimes we might wish that Coco could tell of his trial, but that would change our own relationship with dogs. Andy Rooney said it best, "If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one."
When I returned home, I was joyfully greeted by my friend, Jack, a Boston terrier. I told Jack about Coco. Perhaps Jack understood my story. That really means little, I just got a chance to tell him that he, too, has the heart and will of Coco and that he is loved just as much.
Gilda Radner summed it all up, "I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
I am thankful for the privilege of having new friends such as A. J. and Coco and for my special friend and confidant, Jack.