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Cocoa

Cocoa

By Harry Burrus

When we’d drive from Houston to Austin to play in the Texas Major Zone Tennis Tournament, we always stopped at the DQ in La Grange on North Jefferson. I enjoyed its soft-serve vanilla ice cream with a variety of choices for toppings, a sienna-colored one being a particular favorite. Cocoa’s markings, a light-caramel ochre swirl starting in her face and becoming a dance of light yellow/browns across her back and legs with white highlights, remind me of that delicious treat.

When I head towards Cocoa’s casita, I savor the anticipation of just going—our walk is not how far we go but that we go. It’s an arcadian moment. Our stroll is a mini-road trip, scattered with walk-candy—sniffing a wall, smelling a bush, chewing a little grass, even dipping into reverie. She defines herself against this varied backdrop. She calmly but fully engages.

Often, when we encounter a street dog, my interpreting skills are challenged. Like the troubadours of the Middle Ages, Cocoa has a poetic song. She emits a high semi-squeaking sound. My first inclination is it’s a song of invitation, a greeting. She comes in peace and wants to meet, strike up a friendship. This is quickly followed by the same sound, twice—which I think might be conveying, “I may sound friendly, but stay away.”

I tend to be prudent, so without breaking stride, we continue our sensory inventory. She’s fine with that. No glancing backwards.

Cocoa informed me that the source of her name goes back more than 4,000 years. Cocoa comes from the Spanish word cacao, which is derived from the Nahuatl indigenous language. Our lovely girl, however, points out that she’s a young 6-1/2-year-old.

This beauty is temperamentally hospitable—a fine quality. She’s open to diversity—she’ll walk with a new person. She’s willing to go and go fast to the street. Come see this attractive lady with the King Tut gold eyes at the SPA, Los Pinos 7, 152 6124, Monday–Saturday, between 11 and 2. You can also meet our other cats and dogs available for adoption and highlighted on our website’s “Adopt me” pages at spasanmiguel.org

 

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