Farm dog with a town job

By Daneka Hill

Coco calls a dairy farm home but she isn’t your average run-about working dog. Instead, the purebred Lagotto Romagnolo pup puts her hard yards in at St Joseph’s Primary School in Cobram, which employs her as its much-loved school dog. Owned by the school’s deputy principal, Sarah Iddles, Coco helps staff smooth over tantrums, bribe good behaviour and ease stressed children.

How did Coco get her name?

We needed a name that had two syllables and not a common human name, as Coco is a school dog. Coco has a weird and funny personality. She is very intelligent and has this look on her face that is very expressive. Her nickname is Gotti (from Lagotto), which we use among the family.

What would you do without Coco?

Coco is a large part of St Joseph's Cobram and she provides all the students, staff and community with unconditional love. Her funny ways and cute smile warm any dog lover's heart. We would be lost without her.

Garden beds and water troughs are two of Coco's favourite spots on the farm - not surprising given her breed is a type of Italian gun dog and water retriever.

How is she on the farm; is she a good worker?

Um, she’s not your average farm dog. She likes to ride on the motorbike and runs away from the sheep. Coco is great company in the garden and loves the water, swimming in the dams and water troughs.

How does she fit into your life?

Coco fits into our life perfectly. She comes to school each day and enjoys weekends on the farm. Coco is a school dog during the day, but she is our family dog as well.

Does she have any unusual habits?

Tucks her tail under and runs around really fast like a wombat when she is excited.

What is her household like?

Coco is part of our family. My husband Stuart, children Noah, Mackenzie and Jack. Our other dogs Darla and Stella, both chocolate Labradors, love playing with Coco and running around the farm and chasing the cats.

Coco enjoys jumping on bikes and riding in tractors on her dairy farm home.

Where does she sleep?

She loves to sleep on the couch during the day if we are home, or on her bed at school. In the evening on the beanbag and in her bed at night.

What is her favourite food?


Do she have a favourite spot?

Coco loves to relax in the RB Sellars beanbag that she has claimed inside. Or on any of my plants in the garden outside.