Posted in Blogging, Dog, KoKo, newshound, Photographs, Photos Subiaco, Subiaco

KoKo – Your trusty newshound

Do you have something to howl about?

  • Do you like any of my posts?
  • Do you think my Mum Helen’s dog photos are cute?
  • Have you found any worthwhile helpful information?
  • Most importantly – have you laughed at my shaggy dog stories or KoKo Shakespaws’ attempts at poetry?

I would love to read what you think. Please let me know.

KoKo being vocal as usual

How to contact KoKo


  1. WeeMail  me in you live in Subiaco (I’ll WeePly as soon as I find your message)
  2. Email me c/o for an instant response
  3. Or leave a comment on this page

Many thanks,

from the pawsome dog blogger,


Posted in Black Dog, Depression, Dog

Black Dog Poetry by KoKo

Every year in Australia about a million adults, and a hundred thousand young people, live with depression. Allow your friends, collegues and family to talk about their darkness so that they can see that you care.

My Mum helped me write  these poems for humans who might be feeling a bit pressured by the Black Dog.



Poem 1 – Black Dog 1 – by KoKo ShakesPaw

Black dog, Black dog

You give me a fright

Creeping into my sleep fog

Disrupting my calm night

You yap at my ankles

And nip at my heels

You run tightly around me

Not caring how I feel

I hear your deep growl

And your  too familiar yelp

And I know that once again

I need someone’s help

 Why do you keep returning

Causing me such deep pain?

Do you know the sadness you bring

When you suffocate me again?


You stop me from being

Who I know I can be

You stop me from enjoying

The peace and joy that is me

Black dog! Black dog!

You ‘re an awful hound

I wish for you there was

A ranger and a pound!


Poem 2 – Black Dog 2 – by KoKo ShakesPaw

My role as mum’s carer

is to keep her warm

With my happy smile around her

  She can weather any storm  


Poem 3 – Black Dog 3 – by KoKo ShakesPaw

I like dogs now

But there is one

I wish would go away

Because he blocks my sun

The big Black Dog

says he plans to stay

he doesn’t care if I’m sad

He makes me feel

That I am going mad

He nips at my heart

And bites at my soul

When he is around

I cannot be whole

Oh, I wish the big Black Dog

Would find another home

or get lost in the fog

And leave me alone

Posted in Dog

KoKo’s Recipe for a Happy Dog’s Sleep


Take a dream – of smelly odours

and a few whiffs of cooking meat

Add a large portion of fresh chicken

and a few crunchy dog treats


Flavour with some stinky old fish

and stir with an excited paw

Bake it in the sun for an hour

Until it smells even better than before


Let the smell travel up your nostrils

as your tummy juices flow

Eat as much as you want to

as dreams don’t have calories you know!

KoKo ShakesPaw

Koko thinking food






Posted in Black Dog, Depression, Dog, KoKo

KoKo’s Black Dog Tail

Black Dog
X A Real Black Dog

(From the KoKo’s Blog Archives)

I used to  think that the term “Black Dog” was a strange way to describe a feeling. It gives my black dog friends a bad name. But now that I am older and have seen my human Mum battle depression, I realise it is a good term.

Winston Churchill first called depression “The black dog”. He explained that just as faithful dogs always follow humans around, so also does depression. It can appear out of the blue and bite like a nasty dog, for no real reason.

No matter how much a person tries to run away, deny the problem or move to another country, depression stays with them. At times it hides and the person thinks they are OK, but then they find it nipping at their heels again. Occassionaly Mum thinks that the black dog has left her for a new home, but he suddenly arrives at the back door again.

My Mum has told me some of what she feels and of course I can see her sad face. At times I can see the big black dog’s shadow swamping Mum’s happy feelings. I can sense she feels weighed down. On the very bad days the Black Dog even tries to suffocate her and she cannot get out of bed.




My Antidepressant Role (My Black Dog recipe for helping)

On Mum’s bad days I have to take action. I stand on my little back feet and reach up to tap her firmly with my front paw.

She hides her head under the pillow. “Go away KoKo” she grumbles “There is a BIG BLACK DOG under the bed. I feel scared.”

I know I must not let her stay in bed: I have to be fed and taken to the park for a play!

I move on to my more advanced strategy: I drop to the floor and peer under the bed.

“Mum listen to me” I growl, when I reappear with my fur a little dusty.

“All I see are a few tiny spiders and the black sock you were looking for last week”.

“Yip, Yip, Yip” I try to softly reassure her, “Mum, there is no black dog under the bed. Please get up.” 

If she is still hiding under the blankets, I bark loudly…..WOOF WOOF WOOOOOOF! “You have to get up NOW”.  She sighs and curls further under the doona.

It is then time for my ultimate “never fail” technique. I jump up on the bed and lick Mum’s toes with my pink tongue.  Mum finds it very hard not to giggle and finally has to get out of bed to stop me.

I am very clever to beat that Black Dog for just a little while.

Here is a poem I wrote (I use my pseudonym KoKo ShakesPaw as i am not a very good poet!)


A Black Dog Remedy by KoKo ShakesPaw

I am my Mum’s carer

and her clown

I give her comfort

when she is down

I don’t ask her why

she feels half dead

I just sit by her side

on her bed.


Eight years ago, when Mum decided to take me into her home, she had no idea that I would become such a vital part of her life. She depends on me for love, loyalty and laughter.

If you need some human help, please contact: or



Posted in Dog, Subiaco

KoKo in Subiaco streets

Sam 2011

Mum and I never miss our twice daily walks – exercise is the most important part of my day – apart from eating of course! As we walk from our Townshend Road home, we say hello to my friends.  This is a photo of Sam, a happy little puppy, who was my next-door neighbour but now lives in a different suburb. I miss his cute face and long curly ears.

Across the road Sparky, an older dog, is at Helen and Boyd’s house. Then old black Molly sits on Brian and Diane’s veranda.


Some days I take Mum up Bedford Street so I can say hello to Jim’s dogs Tina and Tags. Jim also has another dog called Top Dog in Axon St. He is a very quiet dog because he is a statue!


In Park Street, I say “Hi Bandit” to a dog who has tiger stripes and if Adele is staying there with her grandparents I might give her a kiss on the ear. She laughs.

RDParkBandit KokoAdele2people

When we are nearing My Park in Park St I feel shivers of excitement running from my whiskers to my tail. I smile and pant with ANTICIPATION and my little legs feel springy. When I see that some of my friends are in the park cannot stop my legs from jiggling. I am keen to run across Park Street… “Stop, Look, Wait” says my mum.

When there are no cars, Mum says, “GO”. We all have to be careful when we cross a road. Some cars go very fast and they will squash you or me into a squelchy mess.

The Subiaco Primary School kids made this tile to remind all the school kids to be careful crossing the road too. It is in the pavement in Bagot Rd.

look Road

One day I wrote a little poem about crossing the road. I hope you like it.

                                           Look KokoTryptic

 I Can Be Safe

Whenever we get to a road

I know to obey the code

“Look right, look left, look right again”

I keep these words in my brain


Mum makes me practice and practice

So that there will be no malpractice

When I get to the road I must never run

I don’t want to end up a squashed one


“Look right, look left, look right again”

I try to keep these words in my brain

But what is that I can smell?

Maybe beef or pork – I can’t tell


There’s a Nando’s box on the road

Why have all the cars not slowed?

My ears perk up, my nose twitches

My mind is full of lovely pictures


Then I hear my Mum’s loud command

“KoKo, don’t move, just stand”

My plan of a feast fades from my dreams

all that I hear are my Mum’s screams


I put my brakes on with a squeal

I concede I won’t get that road meal

Saved from being squashed flat as paper

Staying with Mum at the kerb will be much safer


From now on I will use my brain

look right, look left, look right again


                                                Thank you Mum!

                                            by KoKoShakesPaw

Posted in Dog

My Hearing Skills by KoKo


Most dogs only know the words “sit”, “food” and “fetch”, but I understand many words. My favourite words are “treat, food, walk, food, run, food, cuddles, walk, food, park and food”. You will discover more about what these words mean to me later in my tale.

I also know three firm words – “No, Stay and Come” that my Mum says very clearly. However, just because I know these words does not mean I always obey! I have been known to become suddenly deaf if Mum calls me to go home when I am still busy playing with my doggie mates.

 A Poem by KoKo ShakesPaw

What I Can Hear

I can hear the quiet

whispering of crickets

and the buzz of happy bees

I can pick the crackle

of dog biscuits

It brings me to my knees.

I don’t hear “Come”

 if I want to “Stay”

But if there is a treat

in Mum’s pocket

I will rush to her

as fast as a speeding rocket!

Late at night I can hear

The classic tinkle of tiny feet

Out in our backyard

The rats are looking for a treat.

I can hear my neighbours barking

and know what they need.

They are saying they are hungry

and waiting for a feed!