GIVE HER A ROUND OF APPAWS!
Family celebrate as Coco the dog gets christened
IT was the family christening that had everything. Dozens of guests were dressed up and in party spirits. The buffet was lavish and there was wine and beer on tap.
Ahead of the christening, little Coco wore a new dress and was being pampered by the guests who’d brought gifts.
Everything you’d expect from a standard christening... except this was all for a dog.
Owner Elaine Lyons, 57, initially came up with the idea as a bit of a joke.
But, a few weeks later, friends and family gathered around the three-year-old Pugalier as an officiator poured holy water on Coco from a plastic bottle in the shape of the Virgin Mary.
Elaine, from Merthyr Tydfil, said: “I never thought I would be like this.
“My neighbours always buy her things and bother with her. They come over with dog treats and look after her, so one day I just said ‘why don’t you become Coco’s godparents?’
“It started off as a bit of a joke but here we are.”
Dressed in a pink tutu, Coco seemed content with everything going on around her, as the officiator poured a splash of water over her head while guests stood around watching.
We l l-w ishers applauded and later lined up to present their gifts to Coco and Elaine.
The godparents, couple Debbie Smith and Emidio Franca, who live across the road, stood by like any other proud godparents at any other christening.
The ceremonies officiant Karen Meyrick, a friend of Elaine’s for around 23 years, said: “I have never done anything like this in my life – I only just found out today I’d be doing this!”
Despite the obvious amount of love for Coco, Elaine admitted that she previously never bothered about owning a pet.
Mum-of-three Elaine, a worker at the Prince Charles Hospital, said: “My son’s dog had puppies and Coco was the runt of the litter. She was so little she could fit in your hand.
“I said to my son, ‘Please can I have her?’ It’s been three years now.
“I can’t imagine life without my Cocopops now.”
Elaine’s husband Colin died suddenly from a heart attack around eight years ago, aged just 46.
The couple had been together for 28 years and married for seven years.
Elaine said: “He had a heart attack when he was 38, and then he died suddenly when he was 46. I was left in the house on my own and it was horrible.”
But now Coco is clearly very much a part of Elaine’s family, with pictures of her dog up on the wall next to pictures of her family.
Elaine, who has four grandchildren, said: “I never bothered with anyone else after my husband died. I have got beautiful friends around here and a lovely close family, plus Coco. What more do I need?”
She added: “Give me a dog og over a man any day!”
Elaine presented Coco’s godparents with an engraved keyring each, marking the day.
Godmother Debbie Smith, 56, said: “I fell in love with Coco when I first saw her.
“We love seeing her, she came around for Christmas dinner last year. She was dressed up as Santa.”
Although she’s only just been christened, a ‘wedding’ is on the cards for Coco, with Elaine planning a marriage with her neighbour’s dog Alfie in the coming months.
Elaine said: “Coco has turned my life around. It can be a very lonely life sometimes, but not with her.”
Elaine Lyons with her dog Coco
Elaine with guests at the christening. Below, some of Coco’s gifts
Godparents Debbie Smith and Emidio Franca