Coco - Sarah Lean's puppy

The other day I opened up the newspaper and there was an advertisement for something I had been looking for over the last several months. I telephoned and arranged to go and see a lady that evening.

I still thought it was possible that what she had advertised might not be exactly what I was looking for, and I was prepared to come home empty-handed. I arrived at a house and shown what I had come to see – puppies.

I looked at the wriggling, jumping puppies but the lady said only one of them was available. I didn’t have a choice, only whether to take her or not. I crouched, let the mother and pups greet me, played with them, fed them, and waited to know if this was the puppy for me. But how do you know if it’s the puppy for you? I wasn’t sure, and I didn’t want to choose her just because she looked nice – I needed something else. I asked if I could pick her up. I held the puppy for a moment and she was gentle and calm. I looked at her, deep into her soft brown eyes. In that moment, something happened. I felt something stir in my heart, just like that, quite instantly. And I knew. I said to the lady, I love her already. She laughed, because she also knew in that moment I had no choice but to bring the puppy home with me.

I’ve called her Coco. She’s the colour of honey, funny, sweet and gentle, and follows me and my other dog, Harry, around all day. The bond that was made in that moment has continued to grow.