Dogs. We love them. We can’t live without them.

It was Christmas morning of 2010 and as the day usually starts out, my
parents told my sisters and me to wait at the top of the stairs until they were ready. We didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary that year since we were right on schedule. As they quickly set the camera up midst the savory smell of maple bacon on the stove, it was sure to be one of the best days we would experience. We slowly walked down the stairs as ordered by our mother, while our dad took pictures of us — quite literally — at every step. We walked into the family room with the great big tree standing tall, surrounded by all the colorful presents. 

Coco and Bella on Christmas morning

My youngest sister, then four years old, noticed my dad near one present in particular, almost fighting to keep it shut. “Dad, what u doin?” Bella, ‘daddy’s little girl’, said while running in his direction. It was as if he knew he either couldn’t keep the box shut for much longer or Bella would ultimately peek and see what was underneath, because he just lifted the box right up. Our immediate reactions had my parents in shock and rolling on the floor laughing.

The month or so leading up to Christmas, the three of us (my sisters and
I), were trying to convince our parents to get a dog for the family. With much research and countless phone calls made, our parents told us it was not the right time. Boy, did they trick us! With my sister being quite young – just about four years old — it was suggested not to get a puppy too small and delicate, as they were nervous to see how she would treat the dog.

Turns out, they bought our little Coco Chanel, a toy-sized Yorkshire Terrier,
the night they told us it wasn’t going to work out. In fact, it was
living at our aunt’s house for a good week after flying in from Arizona
with one littermate, Coco Chanel was our Christmas surprise!  It was one of the happiest days of my life, but, boy did I not show it! It wasn’t just me that was completely terrified of this small little dog, but my sisters were trembling and running away from her as well. It took some getting used to, but I now cannot imagine my life without that sweet, boujee dog!  Since
Coco isn’t registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), she can’t be
entered in any competitions, but I’m convinced she would have been
great. You see, as part of my internship with Vizion Group, in suburban Philadelphia, I’m working behind the scenes of the National Dog Show. That’s the one that draws a total of over 20 million viewers on NBC on Thanksgiving Day, and our 2,000 dogs annually.

It would have been a lot of pressure for Coco to be a show dog, but she gives off the vibe that she loves to be the center of attention.  So, my team and I are having fun doing public relations and marketing for the National Dog Show and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, looking forward to Nov. 16 and 17 at the Expo Center in Oaks, PA. It’s a can’t miss event for the family and
Coco, my family and I will be watching on Thanksgiving Day.

There are a lot of beautiful dogs in the National Dog Show, so I’m not sure if Coco would’ve won.

But I’m sure Coco would’ve been great!

Gianna Hoyos is a Junior at Immaculata University majoring in Communications with a concentration in Journalism and Public Relations. Her love for dogs (especially Coco ?) has brought her to an internship at Vizion Group, where they work year-round at the National Dog Show events in Philadelphia and the Thanksgiving broadcast on NBC. Gianna can be reached at

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