I christened my pug!
Some things are just worth celebrating, like the love for my four-legged fur baby...
Elaine Lyons, 57, Merthyr Tydfil
There was a time when, whenever I welcomed guests into my home, I always greeted them the same way.
‘Welcome to the mad house!’ I’d tell them grinning.
Because, more often than not, our house was abuzz as there always seemed to be something going on.
But time passed and, before long, me and my husband Colin were left with an empty nest.
Our kids, Lisa, Andrew and Daniel grew up, moved out and started their own families.
And when I lost Colin suddenly to a heart attack in April 2010, I realised how quiet the house truly was.
I had no idea what I could do to fill the silence.
‘You should get yourself a dog, that’ll keep you busy,’ one friend suggested.
‘Perhaps not,’ I laughed a bit nervously.
They were cute enough – but to look after one 24/7 wasn’t for me.
It wasn’t until October 2015, when something made me think about it again.
Andrew’s pug Pepper had just had a litter of four.
With their teeny tiny paws, their fuzzy little squashed faces and adorable yaps, even I had to admit they were pretty darn cute! I even had a favourite. Tiny, scrawny and definitely the runt of the litter – but little jet-black Coco Pops was the sweetest of the bunch!
The first time I held her in my hands, I was smitten.
‘Oh please, Andrew, can I have her?’ I begged.
‘Thought you didn’t like dogs?’ he teased.
I didn’t really, but I could see Coco being my fur-baby.
When she was 3 months old, I got to take her home.
She cosied up to me on the sofa, plodded up and down the stairs after me.
I was her mummy and she was my baby.
In fact, before long Coco had become everyone’s new baby.
Friends and family doted on her, and my neighbours love her, too. ‘She’s so sweet,’ they’d fuss. ‘Oh, I love her so much!’
And the little madam lapped up all the attention, preening this way and that.
All the fuss that she was getting took me back to when
Scrawny and the runt of the litter, but also the sweetest!
my children were babies.
It’s like having a newborn again, I thought.
Which prompted me to make a joke to the most doting of my friends, neighbours Debra and Emidio.
They loved her like she was their own…
‘Do you two want to be Coco’s Godparents?’ I laughed. But they took me seriously. ‘We’d love to!’ they said. That should have been the end of it. Only...
Every time I saw them, they hounded me about when Coco’s Christening would be.
I’d had her for two years by this point and I’d had a little birthday soiree for her when she’d had her first birthday... but a Christening?! That was barking mad. Wasn’t it? But, after a while, I thought,
What’s the harm?
If anything, it would reaffirm how much we all loved her. So I started planning. Bought balloons and a little pink tutu for Coco to wear. I’d picked her Godparents, now I just needed a venue. ‘Let’s do it at home,’ I said, worried about people judging. And of course some people did exactly that when I told them what we had planned. But I didn’t care. While another neighbour officiated the ceremony, I even got a bottle of holy water from our local church. We baptised Coco surrounded by our friends and family. It was a proper party with cake and presents. Coco even gave her Godparents a thank-you gift. But for me the best present of all was Coco. I can’t imagine life without her, she’s paw-fect in every way!