Posted 27d ago
Chocolate Labrador Coco is much more than an assistance dog to Marie - she is her rock, her life saver and most importantly, her best friend.
Marie praises Coco for being her physical and emotional support, and for helping her get through the hardest hurdle in her life - overcoming the death of her mum.
“It’s so hard to describe how amazing Coco is,” Marie said.
“I would have been lost without her at my mum’s funeral.”
READ MORE: A day in the life of an assistance dog
Marie Kentell, 35, from London, adopted chocolate Labrador Coco three years ago, when she was just seven weeks old.
“I bought Coco with the intention of training her to become an assistance dog,” Marie said, after being diagnosed with numerous health conditions, including seizures, asthma and carpal tunnel syndrome.
“I trained Coco myself. We started with the basics, like sitting down and rolling over. Then we gradually built it up,” Marie said.
Now Coco can help load the washing machine, assist Marie in getting dressed, alert Marie to her medication and pick up objects that Marie cannot reach in her wheelchair.
Coco even alerts Marie to her seizures and blackouts before they happen.
Coco and her best friend Harmony (Image: Marie Kentell)
Coco has changed Marie’s life in so many ways - and she also made a huge impact on the life of Marie’s mum, Doris Kentell.
“My mum has always been scared of bigger dogs. She wasn’t sure about Coco when I first got her as a puppy,” Marie said.
“But to my surprise, they found a deep bond. Coco changed Mum’s opinion of big dogs and made her realise that they aren’t scary at all.
“Mum used to tell everyone how amazing Coco was.”
On New Year's Eve last year, Doris unexpectedly passed away at 70 years old.
“I was heartbroken. We were so close. I knew Coco would miss her too,” Marie said.
“Coco was my main support during that time. We got through everything together. Always there for comfort and a cuddle when I needed her most.”
Coco was by Marie’s side through every step of the grief, including her mum’s funeral.
“I could tell she was looking around for her nanny,” Marie said.
“She was absolutely amazing. She kept coming up to me and stroking my hand. Our family was in awe of her.
“Coco is my rock and I would have been lost without her at my mum’s funeral.”
Coco is always smiling (Image: Marie Kentell)
Just two months ago, Marie lost her cavalier King Charles, Lily, at the age of eight.
“Coco has saved me physically and emotionally. She is so much more than an assistance dog.
“It is so hard to describe how amazing Coco is.”
Marie calls Coco a “goofy dog” and says she is always “laid back and smiling”.
“She makes me laugh when I feel sad and she is always there for me.
“Coco has helped me in more ways than I realise and know.”
When Coco is off-duty, she loves playing ball, swimming and chilling at home - and always loves being by Marie’s side.
Keep up to date with TeamDogs news by following our social pages. As well as videos, tips and advice, we’ll also be sharing your fabulous photos of your very best pals so follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.