By Josh Saunders
A rescued peculiar pooch who lives life permanently pulling a ‘SILLY FACE’ as her tongue is constantly sticking out gets her very own mini-me replica.
Cocoa, a six-year-old Yorkshire terrier, is regularly confused for being forever thirsty, pulling an funny expression and more, due to her ailment.
It was caused by neglect that meant her rotten teeth all had to be pulled out, apart from two, while at her previous home, believed to be on a puppy mill in California.
She was adopted by Linda Facci, from Manhattan, New York, USA, last year who creates miniature needle felted replicas of dogs for a living.
The cute dog draws much attention out and about and online for her unusual look, more so since getting a replica of her own that took up to six hours to make.
Linda, owner of Facci Designs, said: “Whoever owned Cocoa before really neglected her and her teeth were so rotten that they had to be pulled out.
“Because her teeth are no longer there her tongue hangs out permanently, she has no teeth other than two little ones in the front.
“People normally remark on how cut she looks and how small she is.
“Others think she is thirsty because her tongue is always sticking out, then I have to explain the whole thing.
“With kids I will tell them that if they don’t take care of their teeth their tongue will hang out too.
“I knew I wanted to make a miniature of her, but it wasn’t until Social Tees, the rescue centre I adopted her from got in touch that I made her one.s
“She just sniffs at it sometimes but doesn’t react to it too much.
“Everyone thinks it’s so adorable, especially because Cocoa is so small and so is her replica.
“I have even taken it with me to Arizona so she could always be with me.”
Linda has created over 100 designs so far, with each one taking up to six hours.
Her creations range from three to four-and-a-half inches which she charges $280 (142GBP) for, and four-and-a-half to six inches where she charges $400 (285GBP)
Linda says it was her work that led her to adopt Cocoa in the first place, after seeing how much joy pets brought to others’ lives.
She added: “People say dogs are man’s best friend, I had dogs as a kid but there’s such a bond it’s unbelievable.
“The first weekend fostering her my husband said to me, ‘You’re not giving that dog back, I can see that’ and he was right.
“Cocoa is always on my coach next to me, she sits in a heap on my pile of wool, she’s the best companion and best decision I made.”
The process needs her to prof wool with a barbed needle and has previously strangers have confused it for ‘voodoo’.
The creations are so realistic that she claims people can’t tell the difference between pictures of the pets and her craft.
Linda said: “It’s funny when I tell people what I do and when I show them my work they can’t believe the images are not real dogs.
“When they see them people say, ‘Oh my god’ and tell me they can’t believe how realistic they are.
“I look for individual nuances and see it like a painting, there’s a little grey or black there, whether there are darker spots around the nose or eyes, some pink in the ears.
“I want people to see their dog when they look at it, so it takes a while. I can’t and wouldn’t want to rush it.”
Linda, who has recently gone full-time with her work, and has been inundated with over 125 orders this year.
Her clientele vary from dog owners longing for her barking mad creations to those longing for miniatures of their deceased dogs.
Linda said: “It’s been remarkable, the comments and notes I get about what a wonderful thing I’m doing for people who love their dogs after they have crossed over the ‘rainbow bridge’.
“I had one woman picking up her replica who cried when she saw it, it was really touching.”
For more info visit: www.faccidesigns.com