Leighton Beach Stroll

Hi all, Mum and I had a delightful walk in Perth’s beautiful winter sunshine this morning. We started at Leighton Beach then headed north to Mosman Park. As

As usual, many other dogs were having fun too. Mum even had a dip despite the chilly water. She said it was refreshing but I noticed she shivered a bit afterwards.

We warmed up with a coffee from Bib and Tucker, then headed home via the dog food shop to buy me a few more treats!

Woofs from KoKo

KoKo at Leighton Beach having fun

KoKo at Leighton Beach having fun

Black Dog Poems by KoKo and Helen


Every year in Australia about a million adults and a hundred thousand young people live with depression.  They live in a darkness that blocks them from feeling life’s happiness and joy.

Despite my being a dog, I understand a lot more about depression than most people. My Human Mum has spent a lot of her life struggling against its pull.

Mum told me one day that it was the main reason she searched for a happy little white dog to share her life. One who could help her keep the black dog at bay. She had no idea at that time that I would become such a vital part of her living. She depends on me for love, loyalty and laughter. I make her get up in the mornings and take me for a walk. She has to give me cuddles and take me to the park. I keep her from thinking too much.

At times I can see the big black dog’s shadow swamping Mum’s feelings. I can sense she feels his weight dragging her down. Other days she walks slowly as if struggling in deep mud. I know that he has hold of her and is trying to drag her backwards. On the very bad days, the Black Dog even tries to suffocate her and she cannot get out of bed.

When I heard people referring to depression as the “Black Dog” I thought it was a strange way to describe an illness. It gave my black dog friends a bad name. Now that I am older I realise it is a good term for some people to use. To them, depression is like their feelings are being swamped by an enormous furry blanket. It blocks light and weighs them down. It even follows them around persistently, just like a dog does to its owner.

My Mum Helen wrote some of these poems. As I am only ten years old my Mum had to help me to write the poems I told her. I would like humans who might be feeling suffocated by the Black Dog to understand that they are not alone. Please don’t be afraid to share your story.

Please don’t be afraid to share your story.

Black Dog Poem 1 – by Helen Potter

Black dog, Black dog

You give me such a fright

Creeping darkly into my sleep

Disrupting my calm night


You yap at my ankles

And nip at my heels

You surround me always

With no care how I feel


When I hear your deep growl

And your too familiar yelp

I know that once again

I’m going to need someone’s help


 Why do you keep returning

And causing me such pain?

Do you know how sad I feel
When you flatten me again?


You stop me from being

The kind person I am

You stop me from living life

And leave me feeling damned


Other dogs are full of love

And give so much

But I tremble and shake

At your slightest touch


Black dog, Black dog

You’re an awful hound

I wish for you, there was

A ranger and a pound!


Black Dog Poem 2– by KoKo ShakesPaw

My role as my Mum’s carer

is to keep her warm

Using my happy smile and love

to help her weather the storm  


It’s a continual fight against depression

But we always do it together

I make her get up out of bed

To walk me in any weather


I am Mum’s carer

And I love her to bits

She shows she loves me too 

by feeding me treats

 LSubiDogsCafeLochie18A5 copy

Black Dog Poem 3 – by Helen Potter

I’ve learned to like dogs at last

now that I’m no longer young

But there is one I wish would leave

Because he blocks my moon and sun


This bad Black dog says

He plans to sit and stay

How I wish so deeply

He would just go away


He does not care

That I’m crying and sad

He makes me feel low

And that I’m going mad


He nips at my heart

And bites at my soul

When he is around

I cannot be whole


Oh, how I wish the Black dog

Would find another home

Or get lost in the fog

And leave me alone


Black Dog Poem 4 – by KoKo ShakesPaw

I am my Mum’s carer

And her funny clown

I give her love and comfort

When she is falling down


I don’t ask her why

She feels so bad

I just sit by her side

Until she is less sad


My needs are important

I have to be fed

No matter what

I’ll not let her stay in bed


Black Dog Poem 5 – by KoKo ShakesPaw

Depression stalks people

When they are already down

The Black dog weighs so much 

His heaviness causes a frown


He grabs hold of black thoughts

And chucks them round your head

Round and round in a circle

Until you wish you were dead


He squashes your chest

So that you cannot breathe

Oh someone please help us

It is your strength that we need


 Seek help and someone to talk to at:

  • Act Belong Commit                 www.actbelongcommit.org.au
  • The Black Dog Institute          www.TheBlackDogInstitute.org.au
  • Beyond Blue                            www.beyondblue.org.au

With love and Woofs from

Helen and KoKo

Winter Warnings and Advice on Aging from Wembley Veterinary Hospital

Old age creaks

Old age creaks

Aging How does ageing affect older pets?  As a cat or dog ages, two common changes can occur. The first are age-related changes such as hearing loss, changes in vision or reduced activity.  These are normal and cannot be prevented.

The second kind is related to what we would class as disease. Commonly this would include heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, arthritis or dental disease. Often, these types of diseases can start to develop slowly, so we often make excuses or allowances for our pets getting old and miss the warning signs. The signs to look out for can include things like weight gain or loss, changes in water intake or urine output, smelly breath or difficulty chewing, increase or decrease in appetite and changes in activity levels or sleeping more than normal.

Comments from KoKo

“I’ve already told my Mum that i don’t want a CAT scan when I get older. I am scared of cats and don’t see why I should have a cat charge Mum a lot of money for just walking around me in a circle.”

“I’m not having any LAB tests either. I hear that Labrador are not all that clever so I doubt it would be worthwhile paying for their opinion. (sorry to offend any Labs!)” KoKo

Snail Pellet Poisoning

The first rains of spring often bring out that first flush of snails into the garden. Snail pellets are highly toxic and can kill Dogs and Cats by causing muscle excitement, salivation and seizures. Take care of you dog when he/she is out walking as well as in your own yard.

Subiaco Farmers Market Birthday Cake

I never pass up a little taste of chocolate cake especially if it is free!

The photo shows Mayor Henderson slicing a delicious multilayer cake made by the French Patisserie chef. Mum grabbed a plate and oohed and ahhed as she absorbed the wonderful textures and flavours of the cake. I kept staring silently at her, and was rewarded when she gave me the plate to lick. Yum Yum it certainly was a lovely treat.

Mayor Henderson and the great cake

The SFM has some great food – my particular favourite is the doggie food stall and its tiny tasty sausages. Woofs from KoKo


Save my Subiaco WeeTrees please

Hi all,

Have you seen me on Page 3 of The Subiaco POST Newspaper? (with my Mum and neighbours trying to cross Townshend Rd).

We are worried that the State Government will take away my WeeTrees and widen Townshend for cyclists.

We won’t be able to cross the road or park near our house. I will miss the chirping of the birds in the Gum trees and Jacarandas.

Please let your friends and neighbours know that they can send feedback to the City of Subiaco at www.haveyoursaysubiaco.com.au. Please submit your feedback by OCT 5th.

Look KokoTrypticlook RoadPeople Alma Dutch

We must save our leafy suburb and birdlife, while still supporting improved bike facilities on a better series of streets. Woofs Helen and KoKo Potter

A kind dog’s last will and testament

Please think about the following story.

It is truly devastating when you lose the dog that has been your life but there are many dogs waiting for your love at the Dog Refuge.

Woofs from KoKo