Life Is Better Lived With A Dog

From day one, Cocoa has traveled with me while I researched material for books and blogs. In the above photo, we are on the hot trail of a character for a novel. I’m a writer, an editor, and I love dabbling in photography. But I equally love dogs. There is just no other way to say it. I love their paws, their tails, their ears, their ability to communicate what they are thinking and feeling with their eyes (dogs do actually smile), and the joy they bring.

When Buffy my first Cocker Spaniel died in 2003, I vowed not to have another dog for a very long time. I wanted to travel more, and I falsely believed I would be able to do this now she was gone. I have heard others say the same thing after the loss of their beloved pet. They instantly recoil at the idea of getting another pet because the loss is too difficult.

I managed to make it a couple of years without a dog, but my determination came at a price. I eventually realized I was battling feelings of loneliness that only a dog could fill. I had lots of loving people in my life, but the halls in my heart and home were empty. A leash hung beside the back door as a reminder of happier days. The dog “toys” were packed away, the furniture was perfectly arranged, and there was no real need to vacuum the floors two or three times a week. I was “dogless!”

I was supposed to celebrate my freedom from vet, grooming, and kennel bills, but I never did. I had been given a new lease on life. My mother would come for a visit and open the door proclaiming, “I’ll never have another dog. Your Dad and I can go any place at anytime and never feel tied down.” Sigh.

Finally, a friend had the courage to tell me the truth: “You need to get a dog before you go completely crazy!” She was right and that is when I began to search for Cocoa. I visited shelters where I was tempted over and over again by the big soft eyes of homeless mixed breeds that were mostly made up of Labrador Retrievers. I knew I could not handle their 70-lb size when they were fully grown. So, at the advice of a vet, I turned my attention back to familiar ground—Cocker Spaniels—and this is where my search ended. I found Cocoa Joy (Cocoa because she is chocolate and Joy because from day one this is what she has been—a joy).

This is “supposed” to be her Web site, but it actually is a place where I can post and write about many of life’s experiences. I do post plenty of dog adventures that also include my second dog addition: Chip the Cocker Spaniel. So, thank you for visiting my website and please check back often. There’s always lots of new posts and many center of Cocoa and where we live in beautiful Stephens County.