Ever since Bianca Andreescu burst on to the scene in 2019, it's been clear she isn't the only star in her family. Toy poodle Coco has become a fan favourite, most often seen peeking out of her bag in the player's box to watch Bianca put on a show.
Coco has been visible at some of Bianca's best tournaments -- while winning Toronto and the US Open in 2019 and during her run to the 2021 Miami final. Now 4 years old, the very good girl is accompanying the Andreescu family on a jaunt around Europe as Bianca seeks to regain her place at the top of the game.
En route to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarterfinals last week in Rome, Bianca walked wtatennis.com through the challenges and joys of a typical day in Coco's life.
Early morning wake-up
"She'll always wake up between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. for attention," Andreescu said. "After six hours, she's like, 'I need cuddling.' So she'll just cuddle up between me and my mom and demand attention for maybe 10 minutes, then she'll go back to bed. Usually she stays with my mom, but when we're in the same room, that's when I experience it. That 10 minutes isn't lovely, but you gotta do what you gotta do with a lil' baby like that!"
A mid-morning promenade
"She's actually really smart. She has a specific way she asks for certain things. If she's thirsty, she'll actually look for a water bottle and tap it with her nose. If she wants food, she'll cuddle up in you and get you to rub her belly. And if she wants to go out for a walk, she'll scratch the door or bark really loud.
"I try to walk her as much as I can. It's a great way to explore cities, because she loves walking. She can walk for three hours, even though she's really little. Usually I'll let her do the leading and exploring, unless there's a specific thing I want to see.
"Yesterday, I went to get my nails done. We were walking by the Castel Sant'Angelo and she was really tired. At that point we'd been walking for an hour and a half, maybe two hours. You know she's tired when she starts trying to trip you. Jumping on you, going between your legs. Just so we have to pick her up.
"It doesn't happen that often, but when it does, it's the funniest thing. Then we obviously have to carry her and put her in her little bag. But any time I see her in a frickin' bag she just looks so cute, because you can just see her head and her whole body's in the bag. Just seeing her fluffy little head is the cutest thing."
Arrival at the tournament
"Usually, tournaments allow dogs. Sometimes ... I don't necessarily sneak her in. But I'll talk to some people, and they'll be like, 'OK ... and let her in.'
"She's a great practice companion. When she's on the court, she'll help out with the balls a little bit. Well, not exactly help. She'll run and get the balls, but she won't necessarily bring them back to us. She'll put them all in her own little corner. But she collects all of them, so it's kind of the same thing.
"She's not that friendly with other dogs. She met another player's dog -- this was two or three years ago, I don't remember who it was -- and it wasn't the best experience. But we're hoping to help her interact with more and more dogs when she's out on walks. I don't know what it is, though. Maybe it's the breed. She's a little sassy."
Match time in the player's box
"During my matches she's the best. She's super quiet, she stays in her little bag. My mom will hold her up sometimes so I can look at her, so I can smile if I'm stressed out. It really helps. It's more for me than the cameras!
"I don't know if I need Coco more, or if she needs me more. Obviously, when you get a dog, it's for your own self. But you can tell when a dog just becomes super dependent, especially a small dog that you have to take care of and needs constant attention. But at the same time she brings the same love back, so it's the best feeling ever.
"Whenever I'm in her presence, I'm never thinking anything negative. It's about being in the present moment, too -- all I'm thinking about is the dog."
A dog's dinner
"There's always different arguments over whether you should feed your dog regular food or dog food. We're in conflict with that and don't know exactly what to do. We kind of mix it up.
"She's picky, though, so we have to have the right food with us all the time. What my parents always have is bread and butter. She absolutely loves that. They can't be separate, though. The butter has to be on the bread. If it's peanut butter, that's even better. And she can eat meat any time of day. She doesn't eat that much of other things, but meat she can eat legit whenever.
"She'll have her food, then she'll want to play. She'll play until she gets tired. But it's weird, she knows the exact time of when to do that, because she knows when we go to bed. I usually try to go to bed at the same time every day. So she'll play and then just fall asleep with us."
On to the next city
"She's the best when it comes to different time zones. She's just so happy to be with us all the time, and she'll literally do whatever we do. If we're in the car, she has no problem being in the car as well. But I think it also helps that she experienced it all when she was younger. We started travelling with her when she was maybe six, seven months, so she's used to it.
"Some flights obviously don't allow dogs. My dad's sometimes on the phone for hours trying to find a flight that will allow Coco, and obviously you have to get documents for her to travel; she has her own passport, all her vaccinations. That's the only difficult part of travelling with her, though. It's not hard, it's just time-consuming.
"But in the plane, my parents have to hide her from other people walking by. Because she thinks they're attacking us, and she's very protective. She'll just start barking and try to jump at them. There have been some mishaps. But only in the plane! Never anywhere else. Maybe it's the altitude that makes her like that."