Most of you are probably wondering: what is a Coton de Tulear, You’d be right to ask! It’s a very small dog! History lesson coming soon!
Arrived in Madagascar – these little dogs appeared from the seas on ships where they allegedly hunted mice – who really knows, There are many stories about them, but suffice it to say that they were loved by the royal family and no one else was allowed to have them.
Maybe because they had size, apron and very pretty, mostly white, long and very beautiful!
A story that always amused me was that the dogs – that wandered in packs – not terriers that I hasten to add – came across a wide river that they could not cross, as there was no bridge and water full of crocodiles. Very clever these dogs – so they started barking (who think you’re extremely good – and strong!) And run up and down the bank until the crocodiles have started to follow them.
The main body of the herd then appeared on the edge of the water and launched itself on the other side on the back of the crocodiles! The crocodiles, stunned by this, made no effort to stop the few who were barking them too to run on their shoulders!
True or not – a lovely story to have a cunning little dog a big, ferocious crocodile !!
Back to mine – yes, I have two!
Another story, but this time it’s absolutely true about how I got my first one, Alika. I had Tibetan terriers who lived in mature age and after their death – my life was horrible! I felt so lonely – no reason to go back to walking as I felt. However, one day several months later, I was having lunch with my sister when she tapped my arm and pointed. I turned around to see what was watching and my heart melted !!
There, looking directly at me, there was this little white ball of hair with a shiny black nose and the biggest eyes I had ever seen on a dog! However, the strange thing was that they looked exactly like the eyes of my beloved Tibetan. Tears came down from my face and there followed the strangest stories of that first meeting with a Coton de Tulear.
Needless to say, I wanted to know what, where, how etc. etc. And I was horrified when I was told that a puppy would have cost me around £ 1500- £ 2000 !! To date, they are a rare breed in England and therefore at enormous prices.
Undaunted (,,) I wanted to know if there was a breeder anywhere near the area and I was told there was one about a 20 minute drive from my house – from where this puppy had come in fact.
No money, but this did not stop me! I went to the phone and I called that afternoon. In my mind I knew exactly what I wanted: small, white (ok was a given!), Female, not a puppy and with the right name – I’m not a lover of the names of dogs the same as human – I like being relevant to their origin.
Anyway, how it happened (as always!), He had a Coton family pet, called Alika (perfect!) Who was looking at home as he felt he needed to be the only dog. Alika was 21 months old at the time. Can I wait to visit, No, I could not!
I found the way for the breeder in the next two days – it was inaugurated in a large room where there was a fabulous Italian greyhound – who also bred. I was told that the dog was barking me because he was very nervous and only responded to her – wrong !! I’m very much a dog person and I think he’s really horrified here when he came back into the room and the dog was sitting at my feet being caressed! I hum!
In the end he took Alika into the room (this time I was sitting on pins!) And as soon as Alika saw me, she uttered this huge howl and rushed toward me, straight on my knees. The breeder said that he had never heard the dog make that noise before and could not understand it (I did it – it was the noise my Tibetan made if I left him alone too long!)
Alika then promptly refused to go to her owner, she would have nothing to do with her and remained firmly on my knees. Then the rest of the family arrived – about 10 of them in total – and naturally wanted to greet me. Alika did not want to know !! ‘She is mine! So he growled at all of them until he moved!
Finally, to make it short, because I do not want to bore you, it was obvious to the breeder that Alika had to be mine but wanted to think about it – as they do! When I left Alika, she followed me to the door – crying. At home I then spent the next 4 nights to send mental messages to Alika – to behave badly; be impossible, show you miserable, etc. Then I received the call: “are you still interested in Alika,” I said absolutely – she then told me that Alika had behaved once I had left! Impossible, disobeyed everything, not eating, howling etc. etc. !! Great!
So she was obviously meant for me! I went to get her and I got the deal of a lifetime because Alika was not right for anyone else – half the price with 4 months to spend the payments – and Alika and I went home and she did not even give it a shot eye back!
After 4 years together – the bond is so intense between us – I felt it had to be lightened, so I took a puppy. Careful not to show Alika less affection than usual: he has completely accepted it and they are incredible together!