The various voices of a miniature Australian Shepherd

Coco has earned several nicknames in the two months that she has been terrorizing living in our home. Among them: Gina, DAMN GINA!, Daffy, Cricket, That Awful Dog, and Coco Furrocious. That last one is actually engraved on her ID tag, and we like to think that if Coco were ever to take up a career as a rap artist that she’d get this name and a lightening bolt shaved into the hair on her butt. And she’d have a hit song about our corrupt government, and maybe one about all her hos.

Whenever we see another dog while we are out walking she goes out of her way to prove that she is vicious, either by huffing and puffing and blowing their house down, or by hopping up strategically to make it look like she’s taller than she actually is. And then the mad barking… my God, if that string of consonants could be translated into English we’d have to walk around bleeping every other word.

But then it doesn’t stop there, she has to get the last word in, and when these dogs walk away she looks after them and barks under her breath, like she is making sure they take her seriously. And I think she has convinced herself that it’s working by the way she prances for the next few steps, but I get the feeling that these dogs are thinking less about her magnificence than they are about the fact that they wouldn’t have to try very hard to get her entire body inside their mouths.

And then there is the other noise she makes, the one she uses to let us know that she is happy to see us. Except, it’s the same noise she uses to indicate that she is terrified or outraged. We hear it when we’ve been gone for a few hours and return to get her out of her crate, see here two separate instances of such a situation:

But we also hear it when we dare to correct her. Sometimes I’ll be in the other room and it will sound like Jon is swinging her over his head by her hind legs, and I’m all, are you trying to kill the dog? And he’s all, no, I just won’t let her lick my beer.

I heard it once last week when I was at my friend’s house and her older cattle dog had just about had enough of the ferocious huffing. I think he endured it as long as he needed to, until he was all, really? You can huff? Interesting, because watch what I can do! And with one very succinct growl that dog sent Coco YEEAW! YEEAW! YEEAWING! down the hall, through the living room and into the kitchen. That noise continued the entire time she ran though the house and didn’t stop until she landed face first into a sliding glass door.

And I love that dog so much that I didn’t fall over laughing until after I had made sure she wasn’t knocked unconscious.