It’s Monday evening, and I just got back from a walk with Cocoa—a walk where she grabbed a dead squirrel laying helplessly on the side of the road. If that wasn’t bad enough, she forgot that I was on the other end of the lead and started to take off with it!

I was horrified, squealed, and demanded that she drop it “right now.” Then I wiped her mouth out with the sleeve of my jacket.

What was she thinking?!! “No more reading Jack London novels for you,” I snapped. As we walked away, Chip slipped up beside her and whispered, “What was it like, Cocoa Joy, having a dead squirrel in your mouth, if only for a moment?”

Sunday, we were out with friends. I looked up and noticed that Evan had Cocoa. But then she went off the back of the rock into the arms of Frances, who was ready to press on down the trail. Years ago, Cocoa learned how to “go with a stranger.” It was something she was taught to do at Dog School 101 in case of an emergency, and I was not with her.

I think Cocoa’s love of people adds new meaning to this command. In this photo, Chip looks on as Cocoa gets ready to leave the area with Keitha and Frances.

Sharon Morden had promised that the walk would be easy—a nice rolling, walk along a small white water stream. (Smile!) Not! When we made it back to the parking lot, all of us collapsed under the trees, broke open the water and the soft drinks. That’s when I turned and found that Cocoa was in the middle of assaulting my Coca Cola can with her tongue!