Today was the real little dog Koko’s last day on this earth. If you’ve read the Koko books, you know J.R. Hardin wrote them in honor of his feisty little, one-eyed, black Shih-Tzu, Koko. Randy( J.R.’s family name) and his wife Bobbie adopted Koko from a shelter. He showed definite signs of neglect and even abuse, but their loving care soon saw him blossom and take over their home and hearts. His nickname became ” His Royal Shortness.”
The book LITTLE DOG KOKO depicts an abandoned dog who faces many hardships and adventures while demonstrating resourcefulness, courage, friendship, loyalty, and even forgiveness, as he seeks a forever home. The character Koko is truly an amazing canine.
That’s because the fictional Koko reflects the real little dog. Koko overcame his past experiences to become a bright, happy, fun-loving pet who welcomed visitors with kisses, especially the ladies!
He loved to play hide-and-seek with Bobbie and would watch out the window for Momma and Daddy to come home so he could chase after his “squeekums.” Most of all, he loved to go with them in the car anywhere they went. He enjoyed his pal Mushu ( Moochee in the books) and even defended the larger Corgi-mix when other dogs threatened.
When Bobbie died in 2007, Koko’s constant, devoted companionship was an irreplaceable comfort to Randy. Even as old age and infirmities took their toll, Koko’s indomitable spirit was an inspiration to all who knew him. He may not have caught any criminals like the fictional Koko, but, in his own way, he saved many lives. We will miss you, Little Dog Koko.

Guest Blog by Betty Hertenstein, Koko’s aunt