COCO – International Dog of Leisure by Genevieve Frew
By Genevieve Frew
As I put my daughter to bed the other night, she needed cheering up. So I tucked Coco into bed with her and remarked that Coco was an extremely well-travelled little dog indeed. Coco is a black Labrador puppy who came into our lives seven years ago and hasn’t aged a day since.
Coco has accompanied my daughter on many journeys, both domestic and international (she has visited Japan, twice) and yet she doesn’t need any inoculations or time spent in quarantine cages before she travels. She can be popped into a backpack or suitcase, never barks or chews, and doesn’t need to be fed or exercised. And she most certainly never disgraces herself or her owner.
Yes, dear reader, Coco is a soft toy and if she had a passport, she would be the envy of many an armchair traveller, and their dog.
She recently went on her first cruise (with Cunard, of course) where she got to luxuriate in a twin berth cabin, with a balcony! This cruise was a fifteen night leg of Queen Victoria’s 2010 World Voyage – from New York to San Francisco. Even Coco, with her thick black coat, was happy to leave New York in January, where the temperatures maintained a steady 8 degrees below freezing for our stay there, and the luxury liner had to sail through ice as she departed the Hudson Bay.
Coco revelled in the comfort of the cabin whilst the ship sailed south into warmer climes – Fort Lauderdale and Grand Cayman Island. Her fur was getting a little sweaty as we reached Cartagena in Columbia where the temperatures reached a steamy 38 degrees, but a good travelling dog is adaptable. She was perplexed by our full day’s passage through the Panama Canal as there was so much commotion on board throughout the day without any disembarkation. And the whirring of digital cameras had never been so prolific.
But Coco could not have anticipated the festivities she would share after the ship had been to Acapulco in Mexico, where we finally found our faithful, four-legged companion an appropriate gift. We gave her something any dog would gladly give up schmackos for – her very own miniature sombrero.
Coco got to met other passengers, join a conga line, and became a highlight of the official video of the voyage.
After this wonderful night of fame, Coco got a chance to rest in San Francisco where she wasn’t phased by the barking of the bay seals, or the smell of all that crab meat. She simply greeted us at the end of each day, when we returned to the hotel room, tired and hungry.
Then she compliantly slipped into the suitcase for the long flight home (with her new sombrero) and re-emerged in Tullamarine, two days and many more adventures later.