On the 19 end of October it was Coco Pop’s fourth birthday. I call it her birthday but really it should be called her forever home day… It’s the date she chose me. It’s been 2 years since she came home to live with me. I try and write a piece on the year that was to remember her forever home day but this year the words didn’t want to come easily….

Goodness I had such grand plans when I brought my girl home over 2 years ago. I had visions of us wandering off to cafes for breakfast, daily walks by the beach, doggy play dates at the park, and of course my pocket princess would be perfectly behaved when we were out in public! If you’re not laughing at the above then you’ve never owned a dog!!!

The reality is coco pop is perfectly imperfect dog:

  • She hates cafes (I’ve tried a few times and it’s been so awful for both of us I don’t whether to laugh or cry);
  • Doesn’t care for children;
  • Considers ibis birds a national threat and it’s her sworn duty to chase and bark at them;
  • She is either indifferent to other dogs or she tries to dominate them;
  • She has a particular issue with black Labradors;
  • If lunging, barking, jumping around, trying to pull off her halti, and cutting other people off while walking is considered good public behaviour then Coco Pop is a star!

Even though she is imperfect, she’s perfect for me. This crazy dog who was such a timid girl when she arrived has blossomed this past year. I’ve spoken to experts, asked friends, reached out via Facebook, and even done a bunch of my own research to address some of Coco’s behaviours; specifically her barking while I’m at work.

Despite 2 big walks a day, sleeping inside my room of a night, and a weekly visit to doggy day care it would seem that the pocket princess likes to be kept company all day. I don’t blame her; it gets boring when you’ve only got yourself for company. Unfortunately until my work agrees to become a pet friendly hotel I can’t take her to the office with me and home she must stay.

Thanks to some great feedback I’ve brought Coco Pop a radio for background noise when no one is home, she’s the new owner of a range of fun interactive toys including the foobler where she pushes it around until food falls out of it, plus we’ve been doing some new training. The awesome trainer/owner at doggy day care told me that unless Coco Pop is going with me I should walk her before I get ready to leave, then feed her and put her outside, shutting the door and telling her goodbye. Then I get ready; he said she’ll know I’m in the house but she isn’t going with me. So far these techniques are working and the barking has stopped.

This past year has helped me to find my feet as the person of a crazy GSD too. I’m still working on remaining calm when things don’t go exactly to plan……I don’t care what people think when they see me trying to walk her and she’s too busy trying to lunge at a seagull, I love that she snuggles into me and tries to lick my face when I’m sad, I like that she barks when people come up to the front door (she’s just saying hello),  my favourite thing to do is to take her to the beach and let her run wild (she used to be terrified of the water) and chase pesky seagulls, I laugh when she yet again destroys another stuffed toy or chases around her ball, and every day (even on the days when she wakes me up at 4am to play) I am so thankful she chose me. She is my perfectly imperfect dog and I’m her perfectly imperfect person.

Perfectly Imperfect Photos of the pocket princess

Coco Pop, River, Mr Forrester and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year x