Once upon a time, it was a dark and stormy night near an exotic island land far, far away.
Oh how the seas raged, pushing waves higher and higher. A small ship fought bravely onward;
but alas, she was no match for the angry tempest. Finally, tipping over sadly, in
a shuddering death spasm, she succumbed to a watery grave.
All hands were lost---------or so it seemed!
But wait! A miracle was about to take place. The small white dogs, probably Bichon Tenerife,
that the poor French sailors used to control the rodent population, dived bravely into that
frothy brine; and, swam to the land called Madagascar.
Who would have believed it possible?
Luckily (for them) there were some local dogs on this island to keep
the little dogs company. Oooooh! Soon babies were born of this friendship.
This story just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?
These little dogs' bravery and intelligence could never, ever be doubted. It is said that by using their cunning and intelligence and working
together, they were able to kill wild boar. Imagine that! But that is not the end of their heroic adventures. Not by a long shot!
Some say that there were very nasty crocodiles filling the rivers of Madagascar. Are there ever nice crocodiles?
The poor little dogs could not cross the rivers because of these reptilian beasts. So once again, they used their extremely high
intelligence. The crocodiles didn't have a chance. They're nasty, you know, but not too bright. Some of the little white dogs would bark and bark
to get Mr. Croc's attention. When he went after them, they would run like fury, as fast as their little short legs would go, and get away. In the
meantime, all their buddies would swim quickly and safely across the river. Are we talking smart here? Or what? How incredible!
Of course, the people finally noticed how bright and funny the little white dogs were.
Even the royalty of Madagascar began to be impressed. And, as is often the way of kings and rulers,
they decided that absolutely no one could own or have one of those perfect
little white creatures, except those of royal heritage. If anyone was found with one, it
was "Off with his head" all over again!
That was a good story, wasn't it? But, the stories go on and on, such as:
Ladies were supposed to use them to keep their hands warm on long sea voyages. And,
sometimes the small dogs doing tricks and dancing on hind legs relieved the boredom of these long voyages. I can just
see it, cant you?
French soldiers were supposed to breed their Bichon Tenerifes with local dogs; and, thus they developed the
brand new breed.
Also, there are stories about Muslim traders; and, the Portuguese get into the act sometimes. Even Jacques
Cousteau and Madame Cousteau make an appearance in aiding the little dogs departure from Madagascar. Was that really a picture of this
very breed of dog taken with Madame Cousteau on board ship? Ah, the mysteries and stories just go on and on! However, we do know that
permission for the dogs to leave Madagascar had to be given by the government. That is a fact!
Yes, the mystery of the little white dog that became known as the Coton de Tulear, lives on. But, as we look into those
dark sparkling, intelligent eyes of a little Coton, we can only wonder about the heritage and adventures of all the little white dogs of
long, long ago in an exotic land far away, called Madagascar.
We can only be thankful for the happenings and the people who, through the years, helped bring this wonderful little friend into our life. Nothing
else really matters; does it?
The Legends of the Little White Dog
If things went the following way, a story by my Dad,
I don't think we'd have any Cotons!