The dog friendliest place


Posted by in December's Magazine

Wuff! Dis be pug Coco from da street of Balfour. Deres lotsa stinky bins and sometimes I find bitsa Storries pies on da floor too.”

“My hooman ask me to write dis story cos I knows many of yooz. So here’s me. A lucky pug who lives amongst yooz. Dere’s lotsa places aroond da big street, da Walk, dat I wuv. Happy James at Tattie Shaw’s always has a huuuuge bikkie for me as he wuvs me bestest. De nice lady at Oddbins also has tweats dat I wuv. But my mum says we cannae go in dere all da time as it makes her tubby. I like to sit on da hooman, and if dey are squishy I can get well comfy.”

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“Wuff! I iz a Therapet, dis means I get to cheer hoomans up. I iz a member of da Canine Concern a local charity. Dey wuv me dere and I get lotsa yummy tweats. Mainly I iz a fitness pug, so I sit in my fluffyfluff beddy bed and snoozle as de humans leap around de fitness studio. Sometimes I show dem da proper way to do Step. I jump up. I jump down. I jump up. I jump down. I jump up and sit. And den I get a tweat. And den I go back to fluffyfluff beddy bed.”

It’s true, Coco the fitness pug loves to eat, get patted and sleep. She would be happy to do nothing else all day. As the Coco curator, my days consist of getting a very reluctant pug out of bed (‘lift and shift’) and getting her walking. Once she’s out and moving, she’s happy. Humans are pretty similar.

Helping in the fitness studio is Coco’s main vocation, she helps put nervous newbies at ease and regulars look forward to seeing her.

“Wuff! Wuff! Some other doggos say ‘woof woof’, but I wuff becuz it makes me sound biggest. I met Editor’s doggo Thomas who has de waggiest tailbit in Leith. He be very squiggly and happy doggo. Dere be other doggos in Leith who seem big and scary but they smell my botbot smell and decide I be happy doggo, no scare dem.”

Leith must be the dog-friendliest place in the UK, we think. Coco is welcomed into so many of the local shops – other than supermarkets. This means we mainly go shopping at small businesses.

“Wuff! I wuv crunching on dry macaroni from da floor Weigh To Go. Sometimes my hooman goes in to buy da fancy milk dat I also wuv. Big big trees in park of Pilrig be vewy good for many tings. I iz sad when street trees go away, why no more street trees? I wike gwass, tis happy making to eat. Cark park floor pizza walking to Leith Depot is vewy good. Once I got a huuuuge bonio from Depot. I always remember food. Foody food yummy yum.”

Coco is totally obsessed with food (as many of us are), so a brisk lunchtime walk up Calton Hill is often on the cards. There we see the seasons change, the influx and reflux of tourists, the built landscape growing week on week. Sometimes we sit on a park bench, cranespotting.

“Wuff! Hills are my fwend. I iz small so can go up quick quick. Da hill Calton is bestest cos I wike to photobomb tourists photoz. Also dere is lots of food on da floor. I wike to stay up dere for looooong time but hoomans have to wurk, so dey lift and shift me back down hill. Wuff!”

Australian Aboriginal people have a phrase ‘three dog night’ meaning a cold night where they need three dogs to keep warm

We joke that Coco is short for Constant Companion, as she is pretty much always with me. My unofficial emotional support dog, Coco is entertaining, loving and most of all, warm. Perfect for snuggling on the sofa after a busy day in the studio. 

Australian Aboriginal people have a phrase ‘three dog night’ meaning a cold night where one needs three dogs to keep warm. Well, I have a one pug recovery, a few hours of rest and snuggling on the sofa and we’re ready to go again.

“Wuff! I wuv to snuggle on da sofa on top of a hooman. Dey call me snuggle bunny, cos I snuggle into warm and comfy blanky, and curl up in wee ball. I iz warm. I iz pugwaterbottle to snuggle. In Leith Festival meetings, sometimes I sit on Rita, sometimes on Mary. Dey be fwendly dere and I run in and out of Citadel Arts rehearsals next door too to say hewooo. I not meant to do dat, but da hoomans are vewy nice and clap me. And I can run through da office kitchen which is the bestest place. Lotsa dropped biccy cwumbs.”

Yes, Coco will be joining me for the 2020 Leith Festival season. It’s gonna get busy as we dash between the fitness studio and festival office (a nine minute fast walk for Coco) as we take on role of festival coordinator. Coco’s hoping the dog-friendly events in the programme will be marked out (no pun intended) and dearly hope EDCH will run a Dog Show again. Coco my constant companion will always be my top dog. Wuff!

Info: Twitter/Instagram:
@cocofitnesspug

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