He ain't nothin' but a hound dog

LINTON, KY -- Bob Luttrell got more than a companion when he brought his pet dachshund, CoCo, home 10 years ago.

The tiny dog turned out to be a natural-born performer.

CoCo's talent became apparent when he was a puppy, the day he perked up as Luttrell's daughter-in-law sat down and started playing the organ.

''One morning CoCo heard her and he reared up,'' said Luttrell, 80.

''She put him on the organ stool and he raised on up and put his feet on the keys. His tail started going like crazy, and he started singing. It's the only lesson he's had in his life.''

CoCo has been singing ever since. CoCo has three different singing voices or barks.

''It's really just a dog barking, but he has three different ways of doing it.''

CoCo barks in a different tone when he plays the organ than when he sings along to Luttrell's harmonica.

''He stands down on the stool, and I play the harmonica. I play a little tune like Home Sweet Home. He just loves that,'' Luttrell said.

Then there's his Happy Birthday bark.

''When you sing Happy Birthday, he sings with each word you sing,'' Luttrell said.

CoCo recently took his act on the road. During the holidays, he sang at the Trigg County Senior Citizens Center and at Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville.

''They all wanted their picture made with him,'' Luttrell said.

''He really loves attention. When someone comes in, he won't quit wagging his tail and making friends with him.''

Luttrell was once offered $1,500 for CoCo.

''I told him, `Mister, you don't have enough money to buy this dog.' A lot of people have offered me a lot of money for him.''

Luttrell said CoCo never tires of entertaining, but he needs a little help reaching the organ these days.

''He used to jump on the stool, but CoCo has gotten fat and gotten older. He weighs 18 pounds, and he is supposed to weigh 7 or 8 pounds.''

CoCo has been Luttrell's closest companion since his wife died three years ago.

''He's the best friend I have and I guess the closest friend I have,'' Luttrell said. ''I'm with him all the time.''