Big Man, Little Dog? We Thought Little Dogs Were Just For Her…
She gave me a warm look that I happily returned. She stood up and walked, determined, in my direction. There was a beautiful cadence to her steps, a mesmerizing one. She then looked up at me, jumped into my lap, and started licking my arm. Her name is Coco and she’s my four pound Yorkshire Terrier.
When we imagine what kind of dog a “man’s man” has, we think of golden retrievers, bulldogs, hounds, Scooby, and Cujo. We think of studded collars and muddy paw prints, evidence that the dog has been out in the rough with his owner. The names for a man’s dog include Butch, Killer, Tiny (an ironic name given to a big dog), and Rocko. These dogs furiously chomp away at their kibble, and a man gives them chicken skin or bones from spare ribs as a treat.
Not me. My name is Robert, and I’m Yorkie addict.
I’m not embarrassed to say it. I have Coco lick peanut butter off my finger, one tablespoon at a time. I cut up a low-fat chicken breakfast sausage for her daily meal. After I bath her, blow dry her hair, and brush her, I hold her in a tight embrace until she’s warm and comfortable again. Very often when I pick her up, I kiss her delicate head. I even painted her portrait. Yes, I certainly do love my Yorkie, my Coco.
Even stronger than my love for Coco is her love for me. She’ll only sleep on my lap or in between my legs when I’m lying down. When I get up, she follows me. She’s a stalker. Coco’s an adorable version of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Unfortunately, my little gal has epilepsy so I have to give her two pills a day. To do so, I wrap them up in a slice of her favorite food—cheap corned beef—and she wolfs it on down from my fingers.
There are neighborhood kids that giggle when they see me walking her. Neighbors wave but I can see their twisted and bewildered faces even from a distance. I suppose it does look a little odd. I’m 205 pounds, which means that I am over 50x bigger than her. On one particular Buffalo wing night years ago, I ate more chicken than Coco weighs.
Despite our odd pairing, I’m proud to be the owner—nay, boyfriend of a toy dog who has a protective nature that eclipses a grizzly bears. (I say boyfriend because that’s undoubtedly how she perceives me.) I don’t need a Butch or Killer to make me feel secure about my manhood.
I like to imagine that God designed Yorkies because he was feeling playful that day. I mean, think about it: a Yorkie has the same intelligence and genes as a German Shepherd, though I’ve never seen a Yorkie representing the K-9 unit. Even though she’s not endangered of detecting drugs and weapons at the airport, Coco is my own personal K-9 unit and represents me. In the end, much like the typical guy and his devoted best friend, I just love my dog, my Coco.