The True and Accurate Story of the Coton de Tulear (Except for the parts that are neither true nor accurate)
Once upon a time, there was a happy little dog named Laeta, which means joyful in Latin. She lived in Europe with her pet humans. She and her Doggie relatives were known as Barbets. They played with their human pets, comforted them, and chased away vermin.
Many years later, Alegre, (joyful in Spanish) traveled on a voyage. Alegre’s job was to keep the rats off the boat. She and her humans sailed to the Canary Islands, which were named from the Latin “Canis” meaning dog. The Doggies became known as Bichon Tenerife.
Many years later, Joyeux, (joyful In French,) sailed with her humans around the Cape of Good Hope to the island of Reunion. Some thought the human pets were pirates, but maybe they just borrowed gold and forgot to return it. Joyeux and her Doggie friends were called Coton de Reunion, due to their cotton-like hair.
Many years later, the pet humans continued to borrow treasure and forget to return it. Then one blustery day, a terrible storm came. The treasure ship was wrecked. Fortunately, the Cotons had fluffy hair which helped them swim to the shore. They had arrived in Madagascar.
For many, many years, Cotons had no human pets. No pets to cook their meals, brush their hair or care of them when they had sniffles. So the Cotons hunted in packs for food, swam in rivers and climbed mountains. Cotons became very tough doggies.
Many years later, all puppies learned about lemurs. “You must be a good puppy,” warned mommy and daddy Cotons, “Lemurs have opposable thumbs and they will find naughty puppies and pinch them.” So all Coton puppies were very good. (except for those who weren’t!)
Many years later, one very clever Coton was named Miramirana which means joyful in the Madagascar language. One day, the cotons wanted to cross a river, but crocodiles were hungry. Miramirana barked, “I will go down stream and yap. The crocodiles will follow me and everyone else can swim the river.” And that is what she did.
She yapped, and yapped and yapped and yapped and yapped some more. The crocodiles swam towards her, hoping to eat her. All the Cotons swam quickly across the river, then they began to yap and yap and yap. All the crocodiles swam to the other part of the river and Miramirana swam across the river.
Many years later, the Cotons found new human pets named Merina. The Merina family thought only royalty could own a Coton. This was very silly, because dogges own the humans and all humans are their little princes and princesses. But Cotons became known as the royal dogs of Madagascar.
Many years later, some visitors came to visit Madagascar. Some Cotons adopted these visitors to be their very own pets, and travel to new countries. One of these Cotons was named James. He traveled with his human pets to France, who named the breed Coton de Tulear after the capital city of Madagascar.
Many years later, Cotons found new human pets all over the world, including the United States of America. Always clever, the Cotons thought of many tricks to entertain their human pets. Some even worked doing tricks in circuses, others competed against other breeds of dogges: heeling, staying, or just looking pretty to amuse their pets.
Many years later, Cotons became part of the American Kennel Club. Now Cotons have many jobs. Therapy work, Rally, Conformation, Agility, Obedience, Barn Hunt, etc. Some Cotons just have the job of taking care of their human pets.