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Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

American Coton Quarterly


All Cotons All The Time


Winter 2007

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Winter 2007

American Coton Quarterly

is a quarterly independent general ACQ interest Coton de Tulear publication. ACQ is an independent advocate for Cotons. It was established in the year 2000 as an educational and informative service. ACQ offers Coton owners and breeders a voice regardless of club affiliation. ACQ is for everyone. Anyone can subscribe. We assume anyone interested in ACQ has an involvement in Cotons and their welfare. We publish all the news of all the clubs and welcome Information about ACQ, how to subscribe contributions. to this quarterly and other publications, and how to contact ACC can be found on the website at About the Quarterly or by emailing Ron Hiskes at American Coton is published on March 15, or by writing to ACQ at June 15, September 15 and December ACQ 15. Send in your photos, ideas, articles 3484 Waverley Street and stories. All Cotons are welcome. Palo Alto, CA 94306 Photos will be returned promptly. We USA invite your comments and suggestions for all parts of the newsletter. Let us know how you like the cover, the format, the articles. Tell us what you don't like, It is not necessary to be a member of what you want to see more of, and what any particular Coton club to show your is missing. Please state whether your Cotons in our publications or to share comments are meant for publication. your knowledge with us. The editor has made some effort to be factually accurate and grammatically correct, but is not liable for content or for any factual errors, or inadvertent editing in any information or articles contained in this newsletter. If you find something to be incorrect, please inform the editor so that a correction can be printed in the next newsletter. ACQ endorses the practices and policies of the American Coton Club with website at

For breeders we also offer the Coton Breeders Forum on the internet at This forum is open to all Coton breeders worldwide who want to share information, ask questions of other breeders and share best practices to benefit all. All members of the American Coton club automatically receive American Coton Quarterly. It is not necessary to be a member of ACC to subscribe to ACQ.

American Coton is an independent magazine published quarterly. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents, either in whole or in part 2 may be done only with written permission of ACQ. Copyright Š ACQ 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Winter 2007

Table of Contents


Subscription Information

American Coton Quarterly $45 per year, $65 for Europe. Send check with return address, phone number, and email address to ACQ Box S1 3484 Waverley Street Palo Alto, CA 94306 or pay with VISA or MasterCard at Follow instructions and use as email address

Wondering what we’ve been up to? Back issues are available at the single issue rate of $15 each. A $45 subscription entitles you to four issues of American Coton beginning with the most recent issue.

ADVERTISING RATES black and white 1/4 Page: $12.00 per issue 1/2 Page: $17.00 per issue Full Page: $22.00 per issue Business Card ad: Maximum 40 words: $6.00 per issue Color Ads full page $75 per issue half page $45 per issue All photos will be returned promptly if a return mailer and postage are sent along with the incoming request.

Featured in this issue are Articles and Pictorials of our Cotons by our Subscribers The Joy of Cotons Lady — A Tribute — Heidi Petran Party Time Dog Scouts of America — Brenda Brennan The Truffle Chronicles — Bev Ripps Coco — the Obedient Coton — Karyl Donahue

5 6 14 26 33 35

We have All the Dog Show Information Agility Cotons — Elaine Baird Agility — Diane Burnett Show Dogs and Show People

23 34 49

With our emphasis on health and education, we offer Genetic Health A Canine Dental Vaccine — Rebecca Karliner From Leashes to Neurons — Book Review Perfect Paws in Five Days — DVD Review The Bite Stops Here — Ian Dunbar Omerta Revisted — Ron Hiskes Omerta: The Breeders Code of Silence — Sierra Milton How to Read Laboratory Tests How are we to Think About Peta… — Ron Hiskes What Will Happen to Your Cotons in an Emergency —Ron H When Your Coton is Your Heir — Ron Hiskes Estate Planning for Pets — Jane Arrington

10 13 15 15 16 19 20 24 32 40 41 45

As always we have Coton Rescue News Koa — A Rescue Story Puppymill News

36 37 46

We offer additional commentary and opinions by our regular and guest columnists News You Can Use or Maybe Not — Mona Lowd Fleabites—Emma “Ma” Barker Club News Most especially we feature happy dogs and Coton lovers. The 2008 Coton Calendar is available. Order now. Visit for details.

Send ads (and check made out to ACQ) and information for the newsletter to the editor, Ron Hiskes 3484 Waverley Street Palo Alto, Ca 94306 phone 650-494-0390

All viewpoints expressed within American Coton are not necessarily the opinions of the editor nor endorsed by ACC or any other Coton club. Contributions in the form of letters, articles, stories and photos are welcome from all in the greater Coton community.

Phoebe and Murphy— photo by Debbie Bardon


12 47 48

Volume 7 Number IV

Letter from the Editor

American Coton the shelters). ACC promotes breeding healthy Cotons and uniting them with loving families who can give them a wonderful life. Same outlook on the plight of animals, but vastly different tactics.

Winter 2007 As the number of Coton breeders in the U.S. continues to accelerate, the need for Coton Rescue grows apace. I relate the story of Koa, one Coton rescued from an animal shelter.

We are all growing older together with our dogs. What will happen if we die first? Even before that, what will happen if we face an emergency situation, a home fire, an accident, or anything which leaves our pets without care? We present several articles with specific and concrete suggestions as to how to responsibly provide for your pets. At this beginning of a ACC is a service organization. That’s all new year, why not take some time to it is. If you find it useful, stay. If not, make sure all your paperwork is in order? let ACC and ACQ know how we can become more useful. ACC has begun to set up an outside Board of Advisors. Kerri Feeney, an This issue is a bit late. We have been attorney and ACC Board Member, has granted a non-profit mailing status by the agreed to become the first member of the Post Office as a 501(3)c charitable outside Board, advising ACC in all matorganization for the welfare of animals. ters legal. We extend our heartfelt The change to the non-profit imprint thanks to Kerri for her tireless work on instead of stamps on the envelope has the Board helping to set up the Constitutaken a bit of time to implement. tion and Bylaws and the non-profit status of the club. Ron In this issue, Heidi Petran pays a fond farewell to her friend, Lady. We provide Errata: The September issue contained a updates and information on genetic test- pictorial essay by Heidi Petran about the ing for Cotons and again mention a grow- rehoming of a Coton. It may not have been ing problem, chondrodysplasia, which clear, but the introduction to that page, has now surfaced in Europe as well as in which referred to Heidi in the third person, the U.S. Genetic disease in the breed was written by me. would be so much easier to fight if breedThere’s a party on Sunday mornings once a ers would share information about their month at Crissy Field in San Francisco lines with the Coton Community. It's where the Cotons run and play on the beach. still difficult for many. In fact, at least one breeder has it in the contract that the Contact Carol Antracolli at for details. puppy buyer may not share any health information about their own dog without express written consent from the breeder. We suggest in this environment it is incumbent on the Coton owners to be forthcoming with information if we are ever to work together to solve the problem. We reprint an article entitled Omerta, the Breeders Code of Silence to once again draw attention to this dire situation. I pointed out that we don’t have a litmus test for ACC members. We don’t know if any are PETA sympathizers. It doesn’t matter. If Coton owners find ACC relevant and the information in ACQ useful in their lives, they become and remain members.

Dear Readers, A few weeks ago on the Coton Breeders Forum a few posts appeared condemning PETA for some recent shocking advertisements involving a child. I suggested that the Coton Breeders Forum was not the appropriate place for PETA bashing because it tries to remain focused on the health and well being of Cotons. I immediately received a question asking if I was a Peta member, supporter, sympathizer or lobbyist. I replied truthfully that I was not. This answer was not accepted by the questioner. I began to realize that the assumption had already been made that I was one of these and the respondent wanted to know which. The respondent wanted to know because she said she spoke for a group of people who might not want to be associated with ACC if I was. I cannot see that the concern is relevant. ACC is a service organization. It serves the dogs and the breed and does not cater to breeders as some other dog clubs. As such ACC and PETA have similar goals—the end of cruelty to animals. It’s hard not to get radicalized when facing the relentless slaughter of the animals in the U.S. PETA has become a radical organization dedicated to the end of breeding as a means to eliminate the slaughter (14 million dogs annually in

Many of our Cotons have had blood tests at the vet. They are called CBCs or Complete Blood Panels. We've got a handy guide for owners on how to interpret these tests and what the values and the terms mean. Cotons are wonderful agility dogs. We've got several agility articles and a wonderful story of 4 Coton who is a Dog Scout of America by Brenda Brennan.

Ron and Cesar. Upper left—USACTC Specialty, Bay City, Mississippi. Photo by Barbara Adcock. Above, Ron with Cesar’s son, Marcus, and his puppy sons.

Volume 7 Number IV

Winter 2007

American Coton

The Joy of Cotons

Daddy and little Blessie

Home duties — Does a paternal feeling exist in Coton males? When Cotons get a chance to live in dog family groups, we often see adults and puppies in mixed groups of play activities.


Photo by Kris Forke

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Lady — A Tribute

Winter 2007 Heidi Petran Heidi is a frequent contributor to ACQ. She and Mon Cherie live in northern Illinois.

Lady was diagnosed the end of July with a heart murmur and an enlarged heart. She fought a brave battle, but her heart stopped beating on Halloween night. She ate filet mignon for dinner and brought a carrot, her favorite treat, upstairs to bed. She couldn’t breathe well and was congested. Her mom held her in her arms and talked soothingly to her…it’s Ok, Lady…it’s Ok. She is now without pain. It is we the humans who suffer most when we think of her dying. We must not concentrate on our loss and lose sight of her life. Let’s remember how she made us feel when she was alive. We will always remember Lady and focus on her life, the joy she brought us, the love she gave us. She was a gentle soul and made us a better person. All loved her, her family, relatives, people who met her.

(May 15, 1997-October 31, 2007)

My Lady, Our Lady: Actually Lady did not belong to me. She belonged to a little girl Jacque who was 5 years old when she got her. Jacque’s family lived right around the corner and we became good friends. I took Lady for walks almost every day, because she loved to be outside and sniff. I was Lady’s second mom since she stayed with us whenever the family went on vacation. Other times she just came over to make us smile. I fell in love with Lady and her breed. I had never been in contact with dogs before, nor had I wanted one in my home. Lady changed all that. Soon I realized I had to have a coton of my very own. Lady conquered my heart completely.


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Winter 2007

This is how Mon Cherie came into my life one year later. I have to thank Lady for MC. Lady and MC became the best of friends. They never fought; she was the only dog that MC would share her mom with. When Lady entered our house, MC ran her circles and told her welcome. They jumped up on each other and wrestled. After tiring, both would lie together on the sofa to rest. Lady would demand her tummy rubs.

Lady was laid back, easy going and loved everybody, especially children. Jacque had her friends over and Lady quickly became the darling of everybody. She was not a morning dog; she came to life late in the evening. Around 9 pm, she started playing with her toys and would chase Jacque all over the house. She did have her stubborn streak, when she didn’t want to walk anymore, she just stopped and nothing could move her. Or when she didn’t want to eat something, she’d just spit it out. She loved to go in the car and look out the window. My earliest memories of her are that first winter when she and Jacque built a snowman in our back yard and Lady looked like a snowman herself, all covered with snow and ice. She would accompany Jacque to the school bus and knew exactly when she’d come home. She’d meet her at the bus stop. They’d play hide and seek then.


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Winter 2007

Another memory was when she got loose and ran along the entire street at a fast speed with not a care in the world. She was free. The only way I could catch her was with her favorite treat. I picked her up and carried her home. Many times she would just appear at our front door or on the deck in the back, pawing at the glass to let her in. She was not on a leash when she was with her folks; she’d never run away and always came back.

When I walked with MC thru the neighborhood, all of sudden Lady would appear running and finished our walk with us. She had seen us thru the window and begged to be let out. MC was ecstatic whenever she saw Lady. She would cry for joy and run in circles and jump in the air. About 4 years ago, Lady’s family moved farther west and we didn’t see them that often. But Lady and MC did not forget each other. They were best friends forever.

Other memories of Lady and MC: she helped MC celebrate her first birthday with a party at Burger King; shared ice-cream cones which both loved; play with their favorite toy, a hedgehog; both wanted it at the same time; go swimming; chase the Frisbee; do the zoomies; lie in the hammock. Although MC wanted to be the boss, Lady did teach her a few tricks: it is better to sleep on top of the bed with the humans than in the crate. MC stayed with Lady for 2 weeks while we were out of town. When we returned, MC refused to sleep in her crate. Lady was a gourmet; she only ate certain things. She told MC that it is good to stick with humans who are eating, because one never knows what might fall down.

I want to thank Lady’s family for sharing her with me during her life. And also for the one day, a week before her death, that they brought her to my house so we could spend some quality time together. They knew and wanted to give me this last gift. She was struggling that day, but she perked up after the medicine kicked in. She did her usual things: sit and look out the window, bark at squirrels, other dogs go by, sniff on our walk; sleep with MC at her side. She was too weak to walk to the car. I picked her up and carried her to the car and kissed her on top of her head. Good bye Lady, we will always love you.


Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal.


Winter 2007

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Winter 2007

Genetic Health Progress!—There now exist two Heritable diseases in Cotons for which we have a definitive DNA test. These are von Willebrands and Canine Multifocal Retinopathy. One may be relatively uncommon and the other not particularly devastating, but it’s a beginning. We urge everyone to support these DNA testing programs which are still in their infancy. In addition, two other Coton diseases are being actively worked on, but as yet there are no gene(s) or genetic markers identified which may provide clues to a simple DNA test. These are Neonatal Ataxia or Bandera’s Syndrome—an invariably fatal disease of young puppies (see ACQ Spring 2003, Summer 2003) and PRA, progressive retinal atrophy, a disease which appears as an adult and invariably leads to blindness (see ACQ Summer 2001, Autumn 2001). These diseases have been studied by groups of university and private researchers who have solicited DNA samples for Coton owners as needed. (What is desperately needed for the PRA project is the eye from a PRA positive Coton who has died. If you have a Coton with this condition please consider an organ donation after death). As indicated below, another serious disease which has entered the breed is CD or Chondrodysplasia. There is no genetic test for this disease nor any research plans. It’s up to the Coton Community to stimulate research in this area and to help support the research through contributions and supporting the DNA testing program if and when a test does become available. The Canine Phenome Project is a step in the right direction. As reported in the September, 2007 ACQ, this is a project designed to stockpile and to begin to catalogue DNA samples from Coton owners and to make it readily available to researchers should they request it. Please support as much as you can these and other projects designed to reduce or eliminate genetic problems in the Coton de Tulear. It’s primarily up to the owners with sick dogs to come forward. Only by working together can we make the progress the breed deserves.

Von Willebrands Disease (vWD) — Since we announced the discovery of von Willebrands Disease in Cotons and a subsequent DNA test in the Spring, 2006 ACQ, 66 Cotons have been tested for this blood clotting disease. The sample size is still far too small to determine reliable statistics. These statistics are skewed as with any initial study because many of the initial DNA samples came from Cotons known to be affected or carriers or in similar lines. We don’t know how prevalent this disease is in the breed, but having a DNA test is a beginning. Most breeders are loathe to release any results of negative health testing to the public, so we rely on the Coton owners to be forthright and do what’s best for the breed. This is the first really definitive DNA test for a Coton disease, one which precisely determines not only which Cotons are affected, but also which are carriers. Knowing which Cotons are carriers rather than just knowing which ones are “possible carriers” makes an enormous difference in the success of the Coton wide breeding program to maintain the breed. Please contribute your Coton’s DNA to this study until we can determine reliable statistics for the breed. There are currently: 66 clear 12 carrier 6 affected 7% affected, 14% carriers, results skewed by small sample size. Chondrodysplasia— CD is a debilitating structural problem of the front legs that occurs in small breeds with short legs and longer bodies. We’ve published several articles about Chondrodysplasia in past ACQs, including first person reports by Kathryn Salinger and Brenda Brennan. Some Cotons begin limping before a year old, and it is advisable to have surgery as soon as possible to prevent arthritis in later years. It’s been well documented in the Havanese breed for years, and is beginning to appear in Cotons. We still don’t have enough information to determine if this is a heritable disease in Cotons although with a 3:2 length:height ratio, the breed is at risk. We do have reports, mostly from owners and a very few breeders, of multiple puppies from the same breeder developing CD. We now have the first report of CD in Denmark. CD is usually accompanied by severely bowed front legs. As with other developing genetic diseases, CD may be starting to be bred into Cotons by those breeders attempting to improve the breed. Historically, Cotons have had “Eastie-Westie” front feet. They tend to turn outward while at rest, straightening out in motion. Some breeders are successfully trying to breed out this characteristic, developing a “straight front” which looks good at the shows. We don’t know—nobody knows—how various genes interact in the canine genome. While unlikely, eliminating the genes responsible for turned out front feet may also eliminate the genes which inhibit CD. It’s dangerous to try to “improve” an already very healthy breed. It has historically led to the genetic downfall of many breeds. Chondrodysplasia has already been bred into some breeds, like Dachshunds, in order to “breed to the standard”. This may turn out to be a real problem in Cotons if we are not careful. Please report any cases of Chondrodysplasia to the Coton Community so that we may act in the best interests of the dogs. Here’s an x-ray image of the front legs of a Coton diagnosed with CD. One way you can look at your Coton without x-rays is to take a picture while the dog is soaking wet and soaped so that the shape of the front legs is clear. If you are willing please send such photos to ACQ so that we can develop a library of normal and abnormal conditions. Soaping is exactly what should be done at the dog shows to make it easy for judges to examine the structure. Instead exhibitors make it as hard as possible by fluffing up the coat to extremes. Dog shows are primarily beauty contests and often there is little or no correlation between the winners and their suitability of their genes for sustaining the breed. We’ll be writing more about CD in future issues. 10

American Coton

Volume 7 Number IV

Winter 2007

Genetic Health—continued CMR—canine multifocal retinopathy—We announced the discovery of a DNA test for this heritable eye condition in Cotons in the Spring 2007 ACQ—not a really serious condition but interesting because it may link to other diseases caused by the same gene or collection of genes and definitely worth watching when considering breeding pairs. Thank you all for the overwhelming response for a call for volunteers to submit DNA samples to Optigen. The latest results are kept current on the ACC web site, and here is a summary as of December 7, 2007 from Sue Pearce-Kelling of Optigen. Dear Ron, In conversations with Dr. Aguirre, I think the most important message that he would want to relay to the Coton community is to warn people to not exclude a good dog from a breeding program based solely on its CMR genotyping. It is not at all uncommon to see a breed community that is dealing for the first time with definitive DNA test results (especially for health tests) to initially respond by excluding all Carriers and Affected animals from any breeding strategies. In a relatively rare breed like the Coton, such a dramatic restriction in the gene pool can have (and in other breeds has caused) other undesirable, or more serious disease-causing, recessive traits to arise. The DNA test information should instead be looked at as providing information as just one of the factors a breeder considers when choosing a mate for their dog. Although the disease associated with CMR is typically mild in the Cotons, it would still be advisable for people to choose breeding pairs that will result in no Affected pups (i.e. any Carriers or Affected dogs should only be bred to genetically Normal dogs.) I've just tallied the current testing results and this is how things stand as of December 2007: Total number of Cotons tested (worldwide) =304. Of these, 107 are from the USA Total number of CMR Affected = 5 (all in the US) Total number of CMR Carriers = 69 (38 from USA)

% Affected

% Carrier

% Normal





USA only




So this results in the percentages shown above: I hope this helps to give a current view of CMR in the Cotons. If I can be of further assistance, please let me know. Best regards, Sue Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this project! Discussion, progress and results for this and other diseases in the breed are available at the ACC website at on the breed health page. There are currently over 50 known probably heritable diseases of Cotons. We’ll be discussing these in upcoming issues of ACQ. If we can believe published reports, most are still present in low numbers and we still have a chance to correct the growing trend. We’ve been saying that the incidence of any specific disease is in the 1-5% range. This is true. However, the carrier statistics for CMR shown above are typical for an autosomal recessive disease in a breed and show the real trend. Although the incidence of affecteds is only 2%, the DNA results make readily visible the fact that 23% of the Cotons tested are carriers — we’d never know this without a definitive DNA test and that’s why it’s so important to support and encourage this kind of research as much as we can. In addition it is vital to work cooperatively and share results, not to work in isolation and to hide or keep negative results private as is all too often the case. Together we can make a difference. Let’s do it!


Volume 7 Number IV

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American Coton

News You Can Use or Maybe Not

this just in!

by Mona Lowd.

According to the Edmund Sun in Edmund, OK, the American Kennel Club recognizes and registers 157 distinct breeds of dogs in the U.S. Worldwide there are more than 800 distinct breeds. We are in the vast majority of dog breeds that have nothing to do with the American Kennel Club. Let’s keep it that way. According to the canine consumer information site, Expertox, a Texas lab, has found elevated levels of lead, chromium, and cadmium in two Chinese-made pet toys sold at Wal-Mart. The lab was hired by to test two dog toys and two cat toys for heavy metals and other toxins. A dog chew toy, a green monster, tested positive for what the lab categorizes as high levels of lead and chromium. The lab detected lead levels of 907.4 micrograms per kilogram (almost one part per million). Chromium was found at levels of 334.9 micrograms per kilogram. Levels of cadmium, arsenic and mercury were also found in the green monster toy. Subscribe to the consumer alert bulletins at to keep abreast of the widening problem of toxins in and around our Cotons. HSUS Virginia puppy mill — Watch our undercover video exposing these mills today, and then take action. JERKY TREATS MAY BE DANGEROUS Please forward this information to family and friends who have pets. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has recently been made aware of several complaints from pet owners and veterinarians that multiple brands of jerky treats manufactured in China have been making pets sick. Symptoms of illness have included vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. For more information about the 12 products that "should" have been removed from store shelves please visit: Get notifications within hours of new recalls and save your pet's life. Sign your family and friends up for the free pet alerts at: The full list of already recalled food can be found at:

Pet product may have diethylene glycol—PetEdge is voluntarily recalling Top Performance brand ProDental Toothpaste with Toothbrush kit because the toothpaste could contain diethylene glycol. The full list of already recalled food can be found at:

Another Scam: A Coton owner reports she received a phone call from someone claiming to be from the AVID microchip company. This person said he was checking information and to verify she was the owner of her Coton to give him the three digit security code on the back of her credit card she used to pay for the microchip. Instead, she called AVID to find out it was a phishing scheme to obtain her personal financial information and not any part of AVID. Remain vigilant! Zoe, a Coton du Tulear dog, and Belle, a Chinese Sharpei, are registered therapy dogs that spend their Saturday mornings curled up with a good book well, one that's read by a child anyway. READing Paws is an affiliate of Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ), a program that originated with Intermountain Therapy Animals in Salt Lake City, Utah. The program works to improve children's reading and communication skills by allowing them to read to the most receptive of audiences man's best friend. Visit ReadingPaws web site at to find out whether this program is offered yet in your community and how to become involved. 12

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American Coton

Winter 2007 Rebecca Karliner lives in Northern California with her Rebecca Karliner Coton, Murphy, and is a frequent contributor to ACQ.

A Canine Dental Vaccine Murphy's vet office is telling me that they have been recommending dental vaccine particularly for small dogs who tend to have more problems with periodontal disease (according to them). It does sound promising, not a replacement for regular care - but then I've been brushing Murphy's teeth since he was less than a year old—Rebecca. From the Veterinary News Web Site November 17, 2006— Veterinarians now have an additional tool available to aid in the prevention of periodontitis in their canine patients. Pfizer Animal Health launched today a Porphyromonas vaccine that gives practitioners one more opportunity to optimize their patients' oral health. The first of its kind, the Porphyromonas Denticanis-GulaeSalivosa Bacterin became available beginning on October 9, 2006. Veterinarians will now be able to provide a more complete oral health care program for their canine patients.

the education of owners and the compliance of owners in following their veterinarians' recommendations as well as having their dog examined on an annual basis. "Canine dental disease is a condition that is widely diagnosed," explained Jan Bellows, DVM, Hometown Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic, Weston, Fla. "And although canine oral health has been a low priority for many companion animal health care practices, more and more veterinarians are working to fully integrate it into their practices." Have you tried a dental vaccine to reduce the problem of periodontal disease in your Coton? Tell us about it.

"Many dog owners don't check their dog's teeth and gums until they notice bad breath or their veterinarian identifies periodontal disease, yet maintaining healthy teeth is critical to keeping a dog healthy," said David Haworth, DVM, PhD, associate director, Veterinary Medicine Research & Development, Biologicals Clinical Development, Pfizer Animal Health. "We are finally able to provide pets with an additional layer of prevention against canine periodontitis," he added. "This is a strong step toward helping veterinarians combat the problem." Canine periodontal disease continues to be a widespread issue. In fact, by the age of 3, an estimated 85 percent of all dogs have some form of periodontal disease, underscoring the need for additional canine periodontal disease advancements.

Sent to us by Sharyn Hatch, an ACC breeder in Southern California and breeder of Linus, the little cutie above.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted a conditional license, which means the product has met the requirements for purity, safety and a reasonable expectation of efficacy. Long-term efficacy studies are currently in progress. The label claim approved by the USDA for this product is as an aid in the prevention of canine periodontitis as demonstrated by a reduction in bone changes.

Orange County, California, has recently had a dramatic increase in the number of dogs infected by the deadly Parvo virus. Here at the OCSPCA, we have been receiving many calls for help from desperate dog owners whose puppies and dogs are hospitalized with the Parvo virus. Dogs with Parvo suffer greatly from this illness, and the cost of treatment and hospitalization is high.

A study published in Veterinary Microbiology in 2005, identified the prevalence of three key bacteria, yielding new insights into the prevention of canine periodontitis.(2) The study from Pfizer Animal Health, revealed that at least one of the three most prevalent bacteria thought to cause canine periodontitis were found in 76 percent of dogs with periodontitis: Porphyromonas gulae, Porphyromonas salivosa and Porphyromonas denticanis.

Many puppies and dogs are dying in Orange County because of Parvo. It is a very hardy virus and can remain infectious in the environment for several months. It can be brought home on your shoes, hands, or even on your car tires. It is not an airborne virus; it is only excreted in the feces of an infected dog. It is highly contagious and very often deadly. The symptoms of Parvo are: diarrhea (may be bloody), vomiting, lethargy, dehydration, and fever. This virus attacks the digestive system and can attack the heart. It cannot be transmitted to humans or other pets, such as cats.

Many veterinary practices already offer dental services for their patients. The core of this program is general cleaning and polishing under anesthesia. In addition, most practices recommend other oral health management items such as specialty foods and dental care products. Where the challenge arises is in

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR DOGS ARE CURRENT ON THEIR VACCINATIONS! VACCINATING CAN AND WILL SAVE MANY PUPPIES AND DOGS! Please share this infor13 mation with all of your family and friends that have dogs.

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Winter 2007

Party Time! A group of friends has established an annual tradition of spending a weekend together at a Bed and Breakfast in Eastern Pennsylvania. Here is the makeup of the group at the 2007 party.

Back row from left - Vicky Loving, Jamie Karasyk and Valerie Herts. Middle - Susan Armoni., Barbara Heere, Susan Jackson. and Sherry Stark. Front - Margaret Kittinger and Nedda Honig. From Nedda Honig in Florida: The weekend of March 29, 2008 is the weekend of my 2008 Central Coton Party... all are invited... with your Cotons.. more information will come out after the first of the year... For those who have never been to one, you can check out what happens by going to my dogs’ website (, and then clicking on the links for the parties... they are smaller here in Florida than they used to be up North as it is more difficult for folks to travel down here as compared with just driving a few hours to our former house up there. Please let me know if you are thinking about coming. Nedda Honig

Coreen Savikko will also host her annual Coton Party on March 29, 2008 in Pearblossom, on the high desert west of Los Angeles. This party always draws 50-100 of the most delightful Cotons and people you will ever meet. Please plan to attend one of these events. You won’t regret it! Coreen can be reached at for further details.


Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Winter 2007

Recommended Books for Discriminating Coton Owners From Leashes to Neurons & Psychophamacology DVD How dogs think, why this matters, and what we can learn from them about becoming more humane Karen Overall Published by Tawser Dog Videos and available from Psychopharmacology has become a popular, and sometimes mandatory addition to treatment regimes for canine and feline patients with behavioral problems; however, clients and practitioners should be dissuaded that behavioral drugs are 'quick fixes'. Veterinarians should only prescribe psychotropic medication when they have a specific idea of how the mechanism of action of the drug will affect the target behaviors associated with a specific diagnosis. The diagnosis must be treated rather than non-specific signs. Newer psychotropic medications demonstrate the extent to which truly abnormal behaviors are dysfunctions of neurochemistry; synaptic or cellular metabolism; or genetic encoding and 'learning', or LTP, hence there is a clear role for the interaction of neuropharmacology and behavioral and environmental modification. Dr. Overall has given hundreds of national and international presentations and short courses and is the author of over 100 publications on behavioral medicine and lizard behavioral ecology. She has also been a regular columnist for both Canine and Feline Practice journals and currently writes a bimonthly column for DVM Newsmagazine. Her best selling textbook, Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, was published by Mosby in 1997. Her new book,

Handbook of Small Animal Behavioral Medicine, to be published by Saunders, the end of 2007. (2 DVDs)

Perfect Paws in 5 Days Modern Dog Training Methods

Jean Donaldson A DVD Published by Perfect Paws Productions and Available from Don’t miss anything by Jean Donaldson, one of the premier dog trainers and writers in the U.S. Some reviews: I watched this DVD the moment it arrived, and it did not disappoint me. Ms. Donaldson makes everything look attainable with easy to follow instructions and common things that need to be corrected in clicker training. This DVD was produced in an easy to understand format with practical solutions and exercises for all of us to master in such a short time. In all of her lessons, home worksheets, etc., she does such a great job of presenting to the viewer the behavior and how best to introduce the task at hand, how the cue is best used (with examples), and how you can avoid preventing your dog from doing the wrong thing. Jean Donaldson’s direction throughout the DVD displays how to set the dog up to succeed on every behavior asked for. Her use of real world examples make this DVD a must view for all dog owners, trainers, beginners or professionals. I was lucky enough to study with Jean Donaldson at the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. Her supportive yet precise instructional style is present in this video, just as it was in our classes. Any dog trainer who aspires to teach people and dogs by using learning science would do well by studying this video. Listening to Ms. Donaldson as she clearly explains each concept, watching her demonstrate specific techniques to students with varying levels of skill is a pleasure and very instructive. Her ability to bring out the best in each dog/handler team is amazing and yet the viewer is always left feeling that, with practice, we can do it too! No mysteries or whispering here. Just straightforward, kind-hearted education with a bit of humor. Diane Podolsky, CPDT, CTC The Cultured Canine 15 White Plains, NY

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American Coton

The Bite Stops Here


Puppies should be encouraged to play-bite – so you can teach them when to stop. Puppies bite, and thank goodness they do. Puppy biting is a normal and natural puppy behavior. In fact, it is the pup that does not mouth and bite much as a youngster that augers ill for the future. Puppy play-biting is the means by which dogs learn to develop bite inhibition, which is absolutely essential later in life. The combination of weak jaws with extremely sharp, needle-like teeth and the puppy penchant for biting results in numerous play-bites which, although painful, seldom cause serious harm. Thus, the developing pup receives ample necessary feedback regarding the force of its bites before it develops strong jaws – which could inflict considerable injury. The greater the pup’s opportunity to play-bite with people, other dogs and other animals, the better the dog’s bite inhibition as an adult. For puppies that do not grow up with the benefit of regular and frequent interaction with other dogs and other animals, the responsibility of teaching bite inhibition lies with the owner. Certainly, puppy biting behavior most eventually be eliminated: we cannot have an adult dog playfully mauling family, friends and strangers in the manner of a young puppy. However, it is essential that puppy biting behaviour is gradually and progressively eliminated via a systematic four-step process. With some dogs, it is easy to teach the four phases in sequence. With others, the puppy biting may be so severe that the owners will need to embark on all four stages at once. However, it is essential that the pup first learn to inhibit the force of its bites before the biting behaviour is eliminated altogether. Inhibiting the force of bites

usually sufficient. The volume of the "ouch" should vary according to the dog’s mental make-up; a fairly soft "ouch" will suffice for sensitive critters, but a loud "OUCH!!!" may be necessary for a wild and woolly creature. During initial training, even shouting may make the pup more excited, as does physical confinement. An extremely effective technique with boisterous pups is to call the puppy a "jerk!" and leave the room and shut the door. Allow the pup time to reflect on the loss of its favourite human chew toy immediately following the hard nip, and then return to make up. It is important to indicate that you still love the pup – it is the painful bites which are objectionable. Instruct the pup to come and sit, and then resume playing. Ideally, the pup should have been taught not to hurt people well before it is three months old. It is much better for the owner to leave the pup than to try to physically restrain and remove it to a confinement area at a time when it is already out of control. If one pup bites another too hard, the bitee yelps and playing is postponed while the injured party licks its wounds. The biter learns that hard bites curtail an otherwise enjoyable play session. Hence, the bite learns to bite more softly when the play session resumes.

Recently, we took back a six month old female puppy because the family said she has a tendency to bite during play. The last straw came when the father was lying on the floor watching TV and the puppy lay beside him. According to the report, unexpectedly the puppy bit through the father’s ear, causing extensive bleeding. The family believed it was an accident because the puppy shows no aggressive tendencies. Nevertheless, the mother tearfully gave the puppy back to us, concerned about the possibility of her children getting bitten in the face. Ivy has been with us for a week now. She is as sweet as ever, very affectionate and playful. One of her first actions when placed on the bed with Susan was to bite Susan hard on the finger in greeting — more than mouthing but not enough to draw blood. Since then, there have been two more instances of inappropriate biting. It is obvious she has little or no bite inhibition. It’s not her fault — she doesn’t know she’s hurting and she’s still just a baby. We suspect someone encouraged mouthing during play when she was younger and smaller instead of properly inhibiting it, and she developed bad habits. We have begun the retraining and she is doing extremely well. Ron Hiskes

No jaw pressure at all The second stage of training is to eliminate bite pressure entirely, even thought the bites no longer hurt. When the puppy is munching away, wait for a nibble that is harder than the rest and respond as if it really hurt: "Ouch, you worm! Gently! That hurt me you bully!" The dog begins

to think "Good Lord! These humans are so mamby pamby I’ll have to be really careful when mouthing their delicate skins." And that’s precisely what we want the dog to think – so he’ll be extremely careful when playing with people. Ideally, the puppy should no longer be exerting any pressure when mouthing by the time it is four to five months old.

No painful bites The first item on the agenda is to stop the puppy bruising people. It is not necessary to reprimand the pup and, certainly, physical punishments are contraindicated, since they tend to make some pups more excited, and insidiously erode the puppy’s temperament and trust in the owner. But it is essential to let the pup know when it hurts. A simple "ouch!" is

Inhibiting the incidence of mouthing Always stop mouthing when requested. Once the puppy has been taught to gently mouth rather than bite, it is time to reduce the frequency of mouthing behaviour and teach the pup that mouthing is okay until 16

Photo by Valerie Herts

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requested to stop. Why? Because it is inconvenient to try to drink a cup of tea, or to answer the telephone, with 50 pounds of pup dangling from your wrist, that’s why. It is better to first teach the "OFF!" command using a food lure (as demonstrated in the Sirius video*). The deal is this: "If you don’t touch this food treat for just two seconds after I softly say "Off", I will say "Take it" and you can have the treat." Once the pup has mastered this simple task, up the ante to three seconds of non-contact, and then five, eight, 12, 20 and so on. Count out the seconds and praise the dog with each second: "Good dog one, good dog two, good dog three…" and so forth. If the pup touches the treat before being told to take it, shout "Off!" and start the count from zero again. The pup quickly learns that it can not have the treat until it has not touched it for, say, eight seconds – the quickest way to get the treat is not to touch it for the first eight seconds. In addition, the regular handfeeding during this exercise helps preserve the pup’s soft mouth. Once the pup understnads the "Off!" request, it may be used effectively when the puppy is mouthing. Say "Off!" and praise the pup and give it a treat when it lets go. Remember, the essence of this exercise is to practice stopping the dog from mouthing – each time the pup obediently ceases and desists, resume playing once more. Stop and start the session many times over. Also, since the puppy wants to mouth, the best reward for stopping mouthing is to allow it to mouth again. When you decide to stop the mouthing session altogether, heel the pup to the kitchen and give it an especially tasty treat. If ever the pup refuses to release your hand when requested, shout "Off!", rapidly extricate your hand and storm out of the room mumbling, "Right. That’s done it, you jerk! You’ve ruined it! Finish! Over! No more!" and shut the door in the dog’s face. Give the pup a couple of minutes on its own and then go back to call the pup to come and sit and make up. But no more mouthing for at least a couple of hours. In addition to using "Off!" during bite inhibition training, the request has many other useful applications: not to touch the cat, the Sunday roast on the table, the table, the baby’s soiled diapers, the baby, an aggressive dog, a fecal deposit of unknown denomination… Not only does this exercise

Winter 2007 described in detail in our Preventing Aggression behaviour booklet.*)

teach the "Off!" request, but also to "Take it" on request. Never start mouthing unless requested. By the time the pup is five months old, it must have a mouth as soft as a 14-year-old working Lab; it should never exert any pressure when mouthing, and the dog should immediately stop mouthing when requested to do so by any family member. Unsolicited mouthing is utterly inappropriate from an older adolescent or an adult dog. It would be absolutely unacceptable for a six-month-old dog to approach a child and commence mouthing her arm, no matter how gentle the mouthing or how friendly and playful the dog’s intentions. This is the sort of situation which gives parents the heebie-jeebies and frightens the living daylights out of the mouthee. At five months of age, at the very latest, the dog should be taught never to touch any person’s body – not even clothing – with its jaws unless specifically requested.

Play-fighting teaches the dog to mouth hands only (hands are extremely sensitive to pressure) and never clothing. Since shoelaces, trousers and hair have no neurons and cannot feel, the owner cannot provide the necessary feedback that the dog is once more beginning to mouth too hard. The game also teaches the dog that it must adhere to rules regarding its jaws, regardless of how worked up it may be. Basically, play-fighting teaches the owner to practice controlling the dog when it is excited. It is important to refine such control in a structured setting, before a real-life situation occurs. In addition, play-fighting quickly becomes play-training. Starting the games with a training period, i.e., with the dog under control in a down-stay, produces utterly solid stays at a time when the dog is excited in vibrant anticipation of the game. Similarly, frequent stopping the game for short periods and integrating multiple training interludes (especially heel work and recalls) into the game motivates the dog to provide eager and speedy responses. Each time the owner stops the game, he or she may use the resumption of play as a reward for bona fide obedience. Everything’s fun! Potential problems

Inhibiting incidence before force A comWhether or not the dog will ever be remon mistake is to punish the pup in an quested to mouth people depends on the attempt to get it to stop biting altogether. individual owner. Owners that have the At the best, the puppy no longer mouths mental largesse of a toothpick quickly let those family members who can effectively play-mouthing get out of control, which is punish the dog but, instead, the pup directs why many dog training texts strongly recits mouthing sprees toward those family ommend not indulging in games such as members who cannot control it, e.g., a play-fighting. However, it is essential to child. To worsen matters, parents are often continue bite inhibition exercises, othercompletely unaware of the child’s plight wise the dog’s bite will begin to drift and because the pup does not mouth adults. At become harder as the dog grows older. For worst, the puppy no longer mouths people such people, I recommend that they reguat all. Hence, its education about the force larly hand-feed the dog and clean its teeth – exercises that involve the human hand in the dog’s mouth. On the other hand, for owners who have a full complement of common sense, there is no better way to maintain the dog’s soft mouth than by play -fighting with the dog on a regular basis. However, to prevent the dog from getting out of control and to fully realize the many benefits of play-fighting, the owner must play by the rules and teach the dog to play by the rules. (Play-fighting rules are 17 Photos left to right by Terri Tyler and Avril Mortellite

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of its bite stops right there. All is fine until someone accidentally shuts the car door on the dog’s tail, whereupon the dog bites and punctures the skin, because the dog had insufficient bite inhibition. Puppies that don’t bite Shy dogs seldom socialize or play with other dogs or strangers. Hence, they do not play-bite and hence, they learn nothing about the power of their jaws. The classic case history is of a dog that never mouthed or bit as a pup and never bit anyone as an adult – that is, until an unfamiliar child tripped and fell on the dog. The first bite of the dog’s career left deep puncture wounds, because the dog had developed no bite inhibition. With shy puppies, socialization is of paramount importance, and time is of the essence. The puppy must quickly be socialized sufficiently, so that it commences playing (and hence, biting) before it is four-and-ahalf months old. If a puppy does not frequently mouth and bite and/or does not occasionally bite hard, it is an emergency. The puppy must learn its limits. And it can only learn its limits by exceeding them during development and receiving the appropriate feedbacks.

Photo by Annette Woods.

Dr. Ian Dunbar has a doctorate in animal behavior and is a regular contributor to American Coton Quarterly by generously giving ACQ reprint rights to his extensive collection of pithy and helpful articles on canine behavior and training . * Dr. Dunbar’s books and videos are available at After many years, Ian Dunbar's classic Sirius Puppy Training is now available in DVD format. While filmed twenty years ago, this ground-breaking video is still considered by many to be the best on the market for puppy training and early socialization. Recommending Sirius Puppy Training to your friends and clients who are new puppy owners is one of the best things you can do!

Aunt Rosie and puppies from Aisha Cameron.

Even cute puppies must learn the soft bite. Photo of Clicquot by Ron Hiskes. 18

Puppies from Gloria Drew.

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American Coton

OMERTA revisited Omerta is the Code of Silence of the Italian Mafia. What does this have to do with Cotons? There is a pervasive Code of Silence widely prevalent among dog breeders regarding genetic problems . Omerta is directly responsible for the downfall of many breeds. When breeders don’t share health problems in their lines, genetic diseases mushroom in the breed. A few breeds, like the Havanese, have addressed this problem and by freely sharing information are gradually reversing some of the horrors, like rampant Chondrodysplasia, (ACQ, Autumn 2005) in the breed. Coton breeders are happy to share any positive health information regarding their dogs. We have published much of this on the ACC web site. A very few share negative information and this is also available on the ACC web site at Registries like OFA, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and CERF, Canine Eye Registry Foundation, also publish positive results. These are useful for breeders to make sure lines they may be considering are free of any knowable bad genes. It would be so much more helpful if breeders would also share negative information. We could quickly trace genetic diseases back through generations and determine how to move away from these diseases. We could very quickly generate genetic pedigree charts to aid breeders in determining desirable matches to promote the health of the breed. We would all realize that every breeder has genetic problems in their lines. It would put an end once and for all the rumor mills. No breeder would be stigmatized or discredited by a few misguided rumor mongers. A dog with a genetic disease does not mean that all lines and certainly not all dogs from that line from a particular breeder are bad. It just means we can all be more aware. The breed benefits if we cooperate. So do the breeders. The breed suffers if we practice Omerta. So will the breeders in the long run. Why don’t breeders share health information? It seems short sighted and is not productive. Is it ethical to be more concerned about one’s presumed reputation than about the health and progress of the breed? In fact, breeders who are open are generally viewed with respect and admiration. Those who are not are viewed with suspicion for hiding something because everyone knows that all Cotons have more than one undesirable gene (as do we all) and that no lines are perfect. Why is there caution and hesitation? For one thing, it’s only human nature. Some breeders have in their contract a clause forbidding a puppy owner to discuss ANY problem with anyone unless given express permission by the breeder. Presumably there is an exception for the veterinarian. This is a step in the wrong direction. Of course breeders should be the first to know but only by pooling knowledge can we work together for the breed.

Ron Hiskes ACC was formed in the hope that concerned breeders would work together to help forestall and solve the genetic problems which plague every breed as it matures. We offered an open health registry based on breeder cooperation. It doesn’t look like this is going to happen any time soon if we rely on breeders. It’s up to you, the owners, to come forward. We know of two definite cases of tremors. Diagnosis and determination of possible causes can cost many thousands of dollars for each individual case for the extensive neurological tests involved if each case is treated as an isolated incident. There may be 50 cases we don’t know about. The incidence of genetic diseases in Cotons is said to be very low for any individual disease. I don’t know that we can say that any more. Most cases we hear about are anecdotal and isolated. For every one we hear about there may be 10 more that some breeder and some owner know about but those breeders refuse to share the information, and there is a natural tendency for owners to protect their breeders. Pooling knowledge among veterinarians, owners and breeders alike makes good sense because not only does there not have to be duplication of effort, but these cases may not be solvable without comparison of symptoms and knowledge of the genetic heritage. It’s not about protecting breeders, it’s about preserving the breed. Don’t buy a dog from a breeder who forbids you to tell anyone about any problems with your dog. Patronize breeders who are open and dedicated to the preservation of the breed rather than protecting their turf. Many breeders have abdicated their responsibility. Part of it is only human nature, wanting to believe your dogs are perfect and concerned about what someone may say if they learn they are not. Owners have a wonderful opportunity to help the breed by contributing to the pool of knowledge. We published an article from the Canine Chronicles about OMERTA — the Breeders’ Code of Silence by Sierra Milton in the Summer, 2004 issue of ACQ. It is still relevant and we publish it again on the next page. This article reflects my opinions. I welcome any comments, rebuttals and counter opinions. There are many fine breeders who don’t hesitate to share any and all health information about their dogs and lines. This article is not intended to reflect badly on anyone but to emphasize once again the urgency of the need to protect the breed, not breeders. Ron

For example, there are two Cotons known to have tremors — the head shakes uncontrollably. There are 5-10 Cotons known to have Chondrodysplasia. Do we learn about this from the breeders so that we can examine the lines for any possible correlation? No, we learn about it only from desperate owners who are seeking help for their babies. 19 It’s more fun to fight over toys!

Photo by Terri Tyler

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Simplistically, breeders cannot see defective genes and what they don’t see must not exist. Therefore using that logic, all the untested dogs must be as beautifully healthy inside as they are structurally beautiful outside. If only that logic were true! Unfortunately, far more emphasis is placed upon structural and superficial beauty simply because it is something that is easily seen, acknowledged and obtained. It’s also something without any “unnecessary” financial investments. One doesn’t need to pay for x-rays or blood tests or specialists’ knowledge in order to evaluate how a dog conforms to a physical standard.

By Sierra Milton—Canine Chronicles— What do most modern-day breeders and the Mafia have in common? What a strange question, you may say. It is, sadly though, a very real commonality. The answer is simply what Padgett, a well-known geneticist refers to as the “Code of Silence” for breeders and perhaps more commonly discussed as “omerta” for the Costa Nostra. Both are deadly silences. It’s easy to understand the reasons for the conspiracy of silence when it refers to criminals, but what reasons can a breeder possibly have for maintaining “omerta”? The reason most often given for not sharing genetic information is the fear of being made the object of a “witch hunt.” It lies much deeper though. It begins with ownership and the human need to see what one owns as being the best. Remember the “keeping up with the Jones” mentality? Everyone wants the very best and the accolade of owning the best. Admitting that what one owns or has bred may have faults is difficult for most people. Also at fault is the huge financial and emotional investment that breeders have in their dogs. Discovering that there may be defects in the sires and dams that breeders have so much of themselves invested in becomes frightening and causes many to refuse to even contemplate that their dogs may possess defective genes. Egos and fear of being labeled “poor breeders” are ultimately the reasons for breeders maintaining this detrimental code of silence. Even more dangerous than the Code of Silence though is the refusal to contemplate defective genes may exist within a breeding program and be present for generations, quietly meshing through many bloodlines before manifesting itself. Could it be possible that dogs which appear healthy can actually be spreading dangerous, sometimes lethal genes throughout the breed community until finally two healthy, but gene-defective carriers combine to produce that first tell-tale affected by offspring?

The real danger, though, comes not from those dogs who are tested, but from those breeders who keep their heads in the sand and refuse to believe that their dogs could be less than 'perfect'. We can begin to fix that which we reveal, but that which remains hidden is a threat to the future. But here omerta, that “Code of Silence” is very evident. Not only do these breeders hold fast to the belief that their dogs are untainted by defective genes, structural defects or temperament problems, but they also believe that no dog that they choose to bring into their breeding program through mating with their dogs could possibly be carriers either. After all, they only “breed to the best,” and of course, that best just has to be perfect. Now the truly criminal act occurs. These breeders are quite often very successful in the show ring; their dogs are thought to be the best – after all, they have ribbons and placings and titles to prove how worthy their dogs are! Because of their show ring success, they are seen as breed authorities, people that newcomers to the breed trust for knowledge and information. And the information these newcomers get is that there are no genetic problems to be concerned with, no need to do that “expensive testing when the dogs are all healthy.” Even more disastrous to the breed’s future is that these breeders’ attitudes begin to prevail. The newcomers see the success of these breeders’ dogs and buy them (even though few, if any, have had even the most rudimentary testing for structural faults, poor health or defective genes). The newcomers then have a financial and emotional investment to protect which begins to spread this attitude, with predictable results. Soon, because these breeders are the “powers” within the breed (quite often judges, people selected to discuss the breed at seminars, breeders who command respective prices for puppies and stud fees, breeders seen winning), they use this “power” to ensure that it becomes unethical to discuss any defects, in either health or temperament, found in any of the pedigrees of their sires, dams or progeny of their sires or dams. All too often one hears “I don’t dare say anything if I want to win” or “there are three lines with epilepsy (or heart or eye or pick a health problem), but you don’t need to know about them.” Of course we need to know about them, how else are we to make intelligent decisions about which dogs would best benefit the future we plan for our dogs unless we consider not only the structural beauty, but also the hidden genetics that we are attempting to also improve? What about the breeders who openly discuss the defects found in their own dogs? Unfortunately, they are all too often labeled as “poor breeders” and their dogs said to be “defective”.

Of course it is and time and again the geneticists tell us how this is possible.


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They are shunned and spoken of in whispers and sneers. The very fact that these breeders are striving to share knowledge openly and to scientifically test their dogs make these breeders the subject of witch hunts by the very people who are either too cheap, too unconcerned, too egotistical, too uncaring about the future to even test their dogs, much less have the courage to honestly discuss their dogs. Instead of applauding these breeders who choose to share information, these breeders become shunned and hounded. As a result, and because human nature makes us want to be part of a group instead of outside the group, breeders begin to do what they do best – they maintain silence and lie or refuse to admit what they do know. As more and more newcomers join a breed and inexperienced breeders and exhibitors all jump on the bandwagon of showing, owning and practicing the art of breeding, they turn to the breeders who are winning, equating winning with superior quality dogs. The breeders are, therefore, more determined to have nothing bad revealed about any of their dogs, further establishing in their minds the perfection of the dogs they breed and further increasing the financial and emotional investment that they have in perpetuating this theory. Winning in the show ring has nothing to do with genetic health. Indeed, a number of the winning dogs are carriers of genetic disorders at the least and, in some instances, are known to have genetic health disorders. While a genetic disorder itself, depending upon type and severity, should never preclude the dog from the genetic pool, it is absolutely mandatory that people be aware of any area of concern in order to breed intelligently. At the very least, the dogs that the dog is bred to must be tested and their backgrounds looked at carefully to limit the possibility of affecting more dogs or making more dogs carriers of the disorder. Yet, because the winners don’t want to be labeled as “poor breeders” and lose the accolade of being the best (as well as the possible financial loss in not being able to sell puppies or stud fees at as high a price), the “Code of Silence” becomes even more firmly embraced. The newcomers, because they want to be accepted, avoid talking about the sires and dams that produce poorly, whether it is structure, health or temperament problems. Also, they too now have a financial and emotional investment in addition to wanting to be accepted into the “winners club.” They may even recognize trends in one or more lines in their own pedigrees, but refuse to acknowledge these trends and keep them secret for fear of being labeled. Often, the breeders, while not openly acknowledging that there are any problems, will attempt to dilute the possibility of the disorder rearing its head by out-breeding to another totally different line. Dr. Jerold Bell, a well-known geneticist, has this to say about this method: “Repeated out-breeding to attempt to dilute detrimental recessive genes is not a desirable method of genetic disease control. Recessive genes cannot be diluted; they are either present or not. Out-breeding carriers multiples and further spreads the defective gene(s) in the gene pool. If a dog is a known carrier or has high carrier risk through pedigree analysis, it can be retired from breeding, and replaced with one or two quality offspring. Those offspring should be bred, and replaced with quality offspring of their own, with the hope of losing the defective gene.” 21

Winter 2007

Unfortunately, refusing to acknowledge or test for genetic disorders doesn’t make them go away. What we can’t see still has a huge impact on the breed and continuing to breed these carriers of defective genes allows the defect to take a firmer hold in the breed. Those breeders who try very hard to breed healthy dogs and take every scientific precaution to ensure genetic health are shunned for the very passion that should be applauded; the efforts they take are trivialized at best and more often ridiculed as “unnecessary” or “fear-mongering.” As a result, these breeders work alone and, outside of their own kennel, their efforts make little impact on the breed as a whole. Omerta can only be broken by people who have the courage, conviction and passion to ensure that the breed as a whole becomes stronger and healthier. Instead of witch hunts for those who have the heartache of dealing with the problems, the goal of applauding those with the courage and determination to speak out openly should be taken up by every breed club in every country. Awards in addition to those given to breeders who have the most winning dogs should be given to those breeders who work tirelessly to improve the breed. Prettiness and beauty doesn’t improve a breed; genetic health and the ability to live a pain-free, healthy life far surpass beauty, but are more difficult to obtain. The cost of genetic testing is not high when one looks at the effects that refusing to test may have on the breed. Ask any knowledgeable breeder whose breed has rampant heart, blood disorder, eye or hip problems whether they blame the lack of foresight and the refusal of past breeders in making a further financial investment in the breed for the almost insurmountable problems now and the answer is predictable. In the UK, it is possible to do testing by certified specialists for hip, elbow, eye, heart, blood, immune disorders for around a total investment of £295.00 (far less in the United States), less than a cost of a puppy or a stud fee. It’s possible to do far less testing, but at what cost? Will the breed suffer from heart problems in the future because a simple £7.50 stethoscope test (done through one of the breed-sponsored heart clinics, in this case the Boxer) was not important at the time? Will the breed be faced with trying to eradicate blindness years from now because a £16.00 eye exam (done through one of the many eye clinics held each month or free if done at Crufts dog show at the clinic they hold each year) was thought unwarranted? Will the descendants be filled with pain from bad hips and/or elbows because the breed moved well in the show ring and didn’t look dysplastic to the naked eye? (X -rays necessary for hip and elbow evaluations are the most expensive testing at a cost of approximately £110 for hips and an additional £80 for elbows when done with the hips; unfortunately it takes six different films to evaluate elbows and the cost reflects the number of films necessary.) Testing for things such as von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) and thyroid testing (immune system) can be done inexpensively as blood tests at perhaps £30 and £50 each. Granted, testing for these genetic disorders won’t guarantee that a problem won’t occur in future breedings, but testing will greatly reduce the chances of problems and that is a good place to start. If a breeder cannot provide proof in the form of veterinarianissued certificates or reports that genetic testing has been done, the buyer should be aware that they purchase at their own risk!

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Caveat emptor! Breeders may claim that their dogs have never limped or that there is no need to do any testing because the breed is healthy. Some may even claim that their veterinarians have said that genetic testing was unnecessary. Those stances are irresponsible. Once again, genes are not visible and carriers of defective genes may themselves appear healthy to the naked eye. It is only with testing that we really know whether our dogs are affected or not and only then with honest evaluation of pedigrees having tested or affected dogs that the potentiality for carriers are realized. What can we do to break the deadly Code of Silence? The majority, if not all, breed clubs have a code of ethics that require members to breed healthy dogs. One of the places to start is with the clubs. Instead of being social institutions or “good ole boy” clubs, these breed organizations could begin upholding the very real goal of protecting the future of the breed by demanding and requiring that genetic testing be undertaken prior to breeding. Far more serious than breeding a sixteen-month old bitch is the practice of breeding without taking every possible safeguard that genetic health is a priority. Yet, in many clubs “poor breeders” are identified by the age at which they breed or the frequency in which they breed rather than the very real criteria that proof of health be mandatory. Take the emphasis off winning – how many clubs determine “breeder of the year” based on the number of progeny that wins? Are there clubs that actually require that the breeder also must show proof that they are doing all they can do to ensure the future of the breed?

One of Angel’s puppies by Susan Hallums.

We can break the silence by commending those with the courage and determination to talk about problems, share successes and knowledge instead of ostracizing them. Omerta fails if every puppy buyer and stud dog user demands that proof of genetic testing is shown. The Code of Silence fails when we realize that it is not enough to breed winning dogs or to command the highest price for puppies or to have a stud dog that is used fifty, sixty, a hundred times; we must take back the passion with which we all first embraced our breeds and passionately work with determination toward a future where the numbers of genetic disorders are reduced each year. If those you know breed without testing, ask yourself why – is it lack of courage in perhaps finding a carrier within their breeding stock? Is it because they fear a financial loss if they test? Is it because they truly believe that their dogs couldn’t possibly be less than perfect? Is it because they fear they will lose their “top breeder” standing if they admit that there are problems that need working on? Is it because they fear that it will be harder to breed beautiful and healthy dogs? Or have they lost the passion with which they first loved the breed while they were climbing the road to winning success? Or, more sadly, is it because they really just don’t care about that which they cannot actually see? It’s hard work and takes great courage to develop a breeding program using scientific methods and tests, but the hope of a better future should drive us all to that very commitment. The key is being able to work together without fear of whispers or silence. Omerta, the code of silence, can be broken if more of us decide that we are not going to tolerate the quiet any longer.

Attitude is my middle name—Terri Tyler

22 Lady and her daughter—Brigitte Jespersen

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American Coton

Agility Cotons

Elaine Baird

Elaine and Julian Baird live with their Cotons in Massachusetts.

I started training Dante about 15 months ago with Catie Williams, a really good trainer about an hour from my home. The quality of her training has made such a difference. Dante is the first dog I have ever trained in agility or obedience, and I do think it is her influence, along with the Coton's natural willingness to work, that helped bring us along so quickly. We go to a weekly class for small dogs, and practice 10-15 minutes twice a day on non-class days. I entered him in his first competition at the Cape Cod Kennel Club in Oct '07. We earned three qualifying scores in two days, and received two second place ribbons, and one third place ribbon, for those three runs at this Show. He is a wonderfully happy worker, loves being at my side, with his tail wagging back and forth, and his mouth smiling away. Dante has done well, not because he's the fastest little guy out there, but because he is accurate. He goes where I tell him. This is known as a "Clean Run." — Elaine

7 year old Dante (Valentin de la Cotonnerie) with the ribbons he has won along the way to receiving his first agility title recently.

13 month old Comet (Cowboy’s Lucky’s White Comet), who is just beginning his agility career.


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How to Read Laboratory Tests A wide variety of tests are used to certify good health or indicate the presence of infection or disease. The major tests and some of the common vocabulary in lab reports are explained below. A Complete Blood Count (CBC) indicates the number and type of cells in the dog's blood. This standard test can identify anemia and leukemia, as well as the presence of many infections. A Serum Chemistry Profile includes a variety of tests that examine the functioning of organs, such as the liver and thyroid. If these tests indicate any abnormality the veter.

Winter 2007 Douglas Island Veterinary Service White blood cells (WBC) - The body's primary means of fighting infection. Decreased levels may indicate an overwhelming infections (viruses), or drug / chemical poisoning. Increased levels indicate bacterial infection, emotinal upsets and blood

disorders. Lymphocytes (L/M) - These smooth, round white blood cells increase in number with chronic infection, recovery from acute infection or underactive glands and decrease with stress, or treatment with steroids and chemotherapy drug.

CBC Values Red Blood Cells (RBC) - Responsible for carrying oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the body. Iron deficiency will lower RBC count. In more reduced count, it may indicate hemorrhage, parasites, bone marrow disease, B-12 deficiency, folic acid deficiency or copper deficiency. RBC lives for 120 days so an anemia of any kind other than hemorrhage indicates a long standing problem.

Calcium (CA) - Blood calcium levels are influenced by diet, hormone levels and blood protein levels. Decreased levels indicate acute damage to the pancrease or undersctive parathyroid. Muscle twitches may occur in decreased level. Increased levels can be an indicator of certain types of tumors, parthyroid or kidney disease. Dr. Goldstein mentioned in his book, Nature of Animal Healing that low calcium level may indicate deficiency of pancreatic enzymes, and high calcium level may indicate poor metabolism of fats and protein. Phosphorus (PHOS) - Affected by diet, parathormone and kidney. Decreased levels shows overactive parathyroid gland and malignancies, malnutrition and malabsorption. Increases with underactive parathyroid gland and kidney failure.

Hematocrit (HCT) or Packed Cell Volume (PCV) - Provides information on the amount of red blood cells (RBC) present in the blood. Decreased levels means anemia from hemorrhage, parasites, nutritional deficiencies or chronic disease process, such as liver disease, cancer, etc. . Increased levels are often seen in dehydration.

Electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium, Chloride) - The balance of these chemicals is vital to health. Abnormal levels can be life threatening. Electrolyte tests are important in evaluating vomiting, diarrhea and cardiac symptoms.

Hemoglobin (Hb) - The essential oxygen carrier of the blood. Decreased levels indicate the presence of hemorrhage, anemia, iron deficiency. Increased levels indicate higher than normal concentrate of RBC, B-12 deficiency (because there are fewer cells). Reticulocytes - Immature red blood cells. Decreased count is usually associate with anemia. Increased count is associated with chronic hemorrage or hemolytic anemia.

Platelets (PLT) - Play an important role in blood clotting. Decrease in number occurs in bone marrow depression, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, systemic lupus, severe hemorrhage or intravascular coagulation. Increased number may occurs with fracture or blood vessel injury, or cancer. MCV - Measurement of the avarage size of the RBC. Elevated volumes can be due to B-12 folic acid deficiency and reduced volumes are from an iron deficiency.


Cholesterol (CHOL) - Decreased levels are found in an overactive thyroid gland, interstinal malabsorption. Elevated levels of cholesterol are seen in a variety of disorders including hypothyroidism and diseases of the liver, kidneys, cardiovascular, diabetes, stress. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) - An enzyme that becomes elevated with liver disease. Alkaline Phosphatase (ALKP) - An enzyme produced by the biliary tract (liver). High levels indicate bone disease, liver disease or bile flow blockage. Total Billirubin (TBIL) - A component of bile, bilirubin is secreted by the liver into the intestinal tract. High levels can lead to jaundice and indicate destruction in the liver and bile duct. Total Protein (TP) - Increases indicate dehydration or blood cancer, bone marrow cancer; decreases indicate malnutrition, poor digestion, liver or kidney disease, bleeding or burns. Globulins (GLOB) - Decreased levels indicate problems with antibodies, immunodeficiency viruses or risk of infectious disease. Increased levels may indicate stress, dehydration or blood cancer, allergies, liver disease, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes.

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American Coton Normal Value
















Tot. Protein
















Alkaline Phosphatase




















Total Bilirubin










not valid














Direct Bilirubin




Uric Acid
























Gravity - 1.007 ~ 1.029 occurs with diabetes mellitus, insipidus, overactive adrenals, excessive thirst and pyometra. Over 1.040 occurs with high fever, dehydration, diabetes mellitus, vomiting, diarhea and severe homorrhage.





Anion Gap








PH Levels - It should be 6.2~6.5, little on the acidic side.





















































Albumin (ALB) - Produced by the liver, reduced levels of this protein can point to chronic liver or kidney disease, or parasitic infections such as hookworm. High levels indicate dehydration and loss of protein. Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) - BUN is produced by the liver and excreted by the kidneys. Decreased levels are seen with low protein diets, liver insufficiency, and the use of anabolic steroid drug. Increased levels indicate any condition that reduces the kidney's ability to filter body fluids in the body or interferes with protein breakdown. Creatinine (CREA) - Creatinine is a by-product of muscle metabolism and is excreted by the kidneys. Elevated levels can indicate kidney disease or urinary obstruction, muscle disease, arthritis, hyperthyroidism, and disbetes. An increased BUN and normal creatinine suggest an early or mild problem. An increased creatinine and increased BUN with elevated phosphorus indicate a long standing kidney disease. Blood Glucose (GLU) - High levels can help diagnose diabetes and can indicate stress, excess of the hormone progesterone, an overactive adrenal gland. Low levels can indicate liver disease, tumors or abnormal growth on pancreas, an underactive adrenal gland.

Amylase (AMYL) - The pancreas produces and secrets amylase to aid in digestion. Elevated blood levels can indicate pancreatic and/or kidney disease. Urinalysis Color - Normal color is yellow to amber. Red is caused by Blood, Dark yellow to brown with yellow form are caused by bilirubin, reddish brown is caused by hemoglobin / myoglobin. Transparency - Normal is clear. Cloudy urine is caused by crystals, cells, blood, mucous, bacteria or cast.

Notes When you have the blood work done, make sure your pets has fasted for at least 12 hours before the test. Some difference in clinical chemistries exist between breeds. You should always establish what is normal for your pet. Their bodies are all different. The abnormal reading may be normal for your pet.


Volume 7 Number IV

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Winter 2007

Brenda Brennan and Lucy by Lucy as told to Brenda Brennan live in Southern California. Brenda has written of Lucy’s recovery from Hi, my name is Lucy and I am a member of Dog Scouts of activities, like Painting, Water Safety, Chondroplasia surgery in America. I am proud to say I am the FIRST Coton in the world Backpacking, Agility, and Search and the Summer 2007 ACQ. to earn the title of Dog Scout! The last two summers my mom Rescue. To earn merit badges, the Scout has taken my two human cousins and me to Dog Scout Camp in and owner work together as a team, under the guidance of a St. Helene, Michigan. I have so much fun there and I learn so certified Scoutmaster. If there is no recognized Scoutmaster in many new things. I want to share my experience as a Dog Scout your area, you can begin training to become one (which is free), so maybe you will want to joint me. We need more Coton Dog and start a troop in your area, or you can try to pass a written Scouts! and videotaped test for some of the badges.

Dog Scouts of America

First, let me tell you a little more about Dog Scouts of America (DSA) and what they stand for. DSA Helps You Learn New Things “Let us learn new things, that we may become more helpful” is the Dog Scout Motto. The more a dog learns the more welcome that dog becomes in more places. That dog becomes an ambassador for good training and responsible dog ownership everywhere he or she goes. Dog Scouts participate in their communities, just as the Boy and Girl Scouts do. There are Dog Scout Troops all across the nation, and these people and their dogs become involved in helping in the community. Dog Scouts have conducted clean-up efforts, raised money for service dog organizations, purchased bullet-proof vests for police K-9 officers, and each year raise thousands of dollars for the Salvation Army, through the Christmas season bell-ringing campaign. The troops have raised money for shelters by holding art auctions (selling artwork that the dogs have painted), and collected donations and delivered holiday packages for the pets of seniors and shut-ins, in conjunction with the meals on wheels program (these folks often feed their meals to their animals, because they have nothing else to give them). Many Dog Scouts regularly visit elementary schools to help children learn to become better readers. Other Dog Scouts volunteer their time at nursing homes, spreading love to the elderly or infirm, or visiting schools to teach non-violence education, responsible ownership, and other important lessons to the kids. Sometimes they just show the kids how dogs can paint. When a child sees how the owners talk to their dogs in full sentences, and the dogs completely understand and cooperate with their humans during the demo, without leashes, loud commands, or threats of punishment, it teaches the children a lesson that goes beyond just one of, “dogs can paint.” It teaches them that dogs are intelligent, loving creatures, who can be wonderful friends and companions, if you’ll just take them off that chain in the back yard, and teach them something. It teaches them to treat dogs with respect, and to value all life. DSA Recognizes Merit DSA has a recognition program whereby owners and dogs work together to earn merit badges in various areas of training or service. There are badges for Community Service, Therapy Work, Clean-up America, and Fundraising, as well as many dog 26

DSA Offers Dog Scout Certification at Camps You can also get free Leadership Training or earn merit badges at Dog Scout Camps, or Mini-Camps. DSA has camps in Michigan, Texas and Missouri. The Dog Scout Certification is also offered through mini-seminars, which you might be able to host in your area, if you have enough people interested. DSA Has a Junior Scout Program for Kids This is a wonderful program for children to become involved with. It teaches kids responsibility, and some very important life lessons. It helps them build self-esteem, and how to reach success with goal-oriented steps. It’s not always possible for a child to be a responsible dog owner. The child is not usually in a position to make decisions, like whether the dog will live inside or out, whether or not to fence the backyard, or if and when the family dog will be spayed or neutered. But the child can train the dog, and learn all that he or she can to become a future responsible owner. Children aged 6-18 can teach their dogs obedience and good manners, so that the dog can pass the training requirements for the DSA badge. Various elements of the DSA badge requirements are made more lenient for the Junior Scout certification. Some of our Dog Scout Troops actually cater to kids, and are a group of adult dog trainers, mentoring kids.

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My Experience at Dog Camp My first summer at Dog Scout camp was in 2006 and I was only 10 months old! I went with my mom and 12 year old cousin Tiffany. My mom and I flew from California to my cousin’s house in Ohio. After visiting relatives there for a week, we rented a car and drove to Michigan for a week of camp. We didn’t know what to expect, but boy was it fun! I learned lots of new things. My first lesson was how to meet other dogs politely. There were lots of big and little dogs there and I learned not to stare directly at them and to only sniff in “that area” for a short time and then to move on. We all went for a walk around the area and practiced our greeting skills. By the end of that walk we were all friends! Some dogs wore yellow scarves and that meant they had some issues with other dogs, so we were supposed to keep a distance from them. Some dogs wore a rainbow scarf and that meant they had issues with humans, so humans were supposed to be aware not to scare them and approach only with the consent of their mom. My mom made me put on a rainbow scarf because she wasn’t so sure about me. By the end of the second day she took my scarf off because I was doing so well with the other humans! Before I could get any other badges at camp, I had to earn my Dog Scout Badge. I had to show I could heel, sit, stay, come, and “leave it” with food and prey. Mom was nervous about me leaving food or prey, but I was a star and earned my DSA badge with just a little practice. We had already gone to puppy class, so I knew some of that stuff already. Next, I learned how to swim! My cousin Tiffany helped me go out in the water and practice since I had never been in the water before. I earned my Puppy Paddler badge in one day!

My next badge was for backpacking. I had to put a backpack on make sure it had things like poop bags, an extra leash, a compass, a first aid kit and water in it. Each day we hiked a little farther and by the end of the week I earned my badge. I loved hiking with all my buddies.

I also earned my Obstacle Course I badge. That’s where you start learning the agility apparatus. I had to learn three pieces and be able to run them without a leash.


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We also had a costume party and a talent show and lots and lots of fun and play time. I even went Kayaking! I met Stuart, a Westie, and he was my boyfriend for the week. He was a soldier at the costume party and I fell in love. We even took a bath together in the bathtub. Our moms were so mad that they didn’t get a picture, but I would have been embarrassed, so I was glad! We took a nap each afternoon, but I was still exhausted by the end of the day. I would crawl in bed under the covers with my cousin Tiffany and be asleep the minute my head hit the bed.

Winter 2007

Lucy and Stuart


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Last summer at camp we brought my other cousin Crystal to camp with us too! She is 10 years old. We started camp by meeting all the other doggies politely and having our meet-andgreet walk. I didn’t even have to wear the rainbow scarf this time! This time, since I took an agility class at home, I earned my Obstacle Course II, Obstacle Course III and Agility I badges with no problem. I must say, I am a natural at Agility. It’s real fun. Then we went to a class called the Art of Shaping. They talked to the humans about learning how to shape behavior through Classical and Operant conditioning. I had no idea what they were talking about, but then they started demonstrating by showing how they could teach us dogs how to paint! I got great treats every time I waved and put my paw on the paper. Next thing you know, I had created a beautiful painting and earned my Art of Shaping badge! Since I earned my backpacking badge the year before, I earned my off-leash hiking badge this time. Since there were lots of dogs earning their backpacking badge (onleash), I had to say in back so the other dogs didn’t get jealous of me being off leash. Mom was worried I would run ahead and tease the other dogs, but I listened to her and kept back with her and my cousins. Mom was proud. Mom didn’t worry about me running away because she calls me her “Velcro” dog.


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Winter 2007

Next, I earned my Steeplechase badge. That was a total surprise to everyone. Mom thought I would have no interest in wearing a muzzle and running over jumps chasing a fake rabbit while racing other dogs. She was just going to have us watch the other dogs race. Then they asked if I wanted to try it and I said “yes”! I ran so fast and flew over the jumps. The first time I didn’t even look at the rabbit. I just saw my mom waiting at the end of the race course and I ran like the wind to get to her. The next time I saw the rabbit and I had to beat the rabbit in the race. I wasn’t interested in catching it; I just needed to be faster than it! It was soooo fun and I earned my badge!

I also earned my Beach Buddy badge this summer. In craft class we got to make weave poles for agility. Stuart was there again too. He showed us how to start working on our Letterboxing badge. He dressed up as Harley Biker Dog at the costume party and boy was he handsome!


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Now I have 11 badges and we are going to go back to camp this summer to earn more. Mom wants to work on some at home too. We will work on a “Community Service” badge and “Clean Up America”. Mom tells me all the time that the badge she wants most is the Therapy Dog badge. She says it will be very hard to get that badge because I still have people “issues”. I don’t know what she is talking about! I tell her the only “issue” I have is that I am so cute and adorable; people think they can run up to me and grab me any time. I make sure those people know that is inappropriate behavior! I ask mom why can’t all humans go to Dog Scout Camp and learn how to meet and greet dogs the right way? If everyone could do that, there would be no more “issues”! I hope you will join me and become a Dog Scout. I’ll be going to camp in July again. This time my cousins are bringing their new Chihuahua named Flower. I’ll show her the ropes and make her feel comfortable. Maybe we’ll work on the First Aid badge, PhoDOGraphy, and Dog Care and Maintenance badges together and finish Letterboxing. If you want to know more about Dog Scouts of America, you can get information on the Dog Scout Website at:


Editor’s note: ADDU is an acronym for “All Dirty Dogs Unite, a club for dirty Cotons with photos maintained at the web site

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American Coton

How Are We to Think About PETA

Winter 2007 Ron Hiskes

and HSUS and AB1634 and the Pet Protection Acts and….? PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has been in the news and has attracted the interest of Coton breeders recently. PETA was castigated for a video in which a child actor is about to receive a new puppy but is told that first a shelter dog which has been euthanized must be buried. This is a shocking ad, and the tone of the discussion was that PETA is exploiting children. PETA was castigated for providing a troubling comic book to schools advising children to tell their parents not to buy puppies from breeders but rather from a shelter. PETA has been castigated for comparing the rights of animals in the killing of 14 million dogs in U.S. animal shelters every year with the rights of Jews in the Holocaust. PETA has been accused of euthanizing animals placed in its care even as it decries the euthanizing of 14 million dogs in the shelters each year. PETA has been accused of terrorism because the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), sometimes lumped together with PETA, has torched animal testing laboratories and threatened animal research workers. PETA has one goal—to end the suffering of animals at the hands of human beings. To that end it has carried out some remarkable and courageous investigations to expose atrocities in the animal business. It has used many shocking techniques to rouse the blasé public’s attention. PETA volunteers for years have demonstrated to try to stop the abuses of the fur trade. PETA also has announced that the only way to stop the slaughter of dogs is to ban the breeding of dogs and works toward that end. Jay Russell, President of the CTCA, has stated that “it cannot be logically argued that everything PETA has done is wrong”. He also writes that PETA is “a huge threat to all of us who love our dogs” and that Ingrid Newkirk and PETA “have become the enemy of all of us who love dogs, love Cotons and who want to preserve and continue the breed”. This is a false dichotomy. We don’t have to hate PETA or Ingrid Newkirk because we dislike some of the tactics PETA employs. We don’t have to hate PETA because it has gone on the attack against all breeders. PETA and organizations like HSUS exist because there is a need. They hear the distress of the 14 million dogs killed every year in the U.S. Do we? These organizations are trying to do something about it. We may not like their tactics. It should inspire us to become as active in our own way to solve these problems. Instead, what breeders all too often do, is to crawl inside their cocoon and cry that “we treat our dogs OK, we can’t help it if puppymills don’t care for their dogs properly”. When legislation like PAWS, the Pet Protection ACT, and most recently 32

California bill AB1634, which seeks to place restrictions on dog breeders to help solve the problem of 14 million dogs killed every year in the U.S., breeders almost as one rise up with a mighty onslaught of diatribe, public relations and enormous amounts of money paid to lobbyists to thwart these attempts to help dogs. We have so far been successful. The bills have been defeated. PETA has not achieved respectability. HSUS is looked upon as a suspect organization. When we set up this false dichotomy, we miss the real problem. Any mention by anyone of any actions taken or proposed to alleviate the suffering of animals is greeted with great passion. It always seems to divide the world into the breeders versus the organizations who have a passion for saving the animals. We of all people, should first have compassion for the dogs, rather than insisting we have everything arranged solely for our convenience. If we can’t solve the larger problem, we must realize that it will eventually be solved for us, by organizations whose tactics we might not like and in a way that may be unpalatable. Is Peta a terrorist organization? The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) may properly be described as a terrorist organization because of threats on human life and wanton destruction of property. Ingrid Newkirk does not condemn this organization but makes clear that PETA is not involved. Indeed, ALF, like some other terrorist organizations is largely propped up by provocateurs in the U.S. government and by the FBI. It is reported that when communist cells were in vogue in the U.S. and there was a communist cell of about 40 people in a small Northern California city, 32 of the members were actually FBI agents and informers. The remainder were dupes and misguided idealists egged on by the provocateurs. We may properly hate some of the things PETA and HSUS do, but isn’t our goal the same? Don’t we all believe deep down that the lives of all dogs are important? Wouldn’t we all feel better if we got together and really brainstormed and focused on this problem to solve it instead of wringing our hands and complaining? Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let’s use the wake up calls given us by PETA and HSUS and the pet preservation bills to work toward real action more to our liking. If we solve the problem of cruelty to animals, there will be no need for organizations like these. A new year is beginning. It’s time for a new start. What will we have to say about our efforts at the end of 2008? That we continued to bash every attempt by every organization to solve the plight of dogs or that we personally and collectively made some real progress toward alleviating this unconscionable cruelty? Ron

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American Coton

The Truffle Chronicles from Tucson, Arizona September 2007

by Truffle as told to Bev Ripps

and they run really fast in the road…great name, huh? I like to chase them, but they are too fast for me !

I was so embarrassed when, for some reason, I had to get a buzz cut. Like, when it was over, I was half my normal size! Mom said we were going on a trip to Tucson, where it was really REALLY hot and I would be grateful for this embarrassing “do”. I love traveling on the plane in my little “car” because usually, at the end of the trip on the plane, there is a new adventure. Well, I can tell you…I have traveled to North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, and New Jersey…but this was REALLY different! There were cacti (and they can hurt a delicate dog like me if we’re not careful), blazing heat, and worst of all, not a blade of grass at all. Where in world would I pee? Where was my grass???

We went to a dog park today. It was sectioned off into a small dog area and a large dog area. This was the first time I saw grass. It was pretty dried but it was grass. I was the only small dog and there was one large dog in the big dog play area. Mom didn’t think people here are very polite because they didn’t use poop bags. Yuk….I don’t see many dogs playing here…maybe they have to play indoors because of the heat. We left in a hurry to play with my toys in the air conditioned house. Truffle in Tucson

After a few days in the condo, we got used to a different life. I learned – with great reluctance – to pee on stones. (can you believe?). We had our big walks early in the morning (at 6 am) and later in the day (7 pm) when it wasn’t too hot and the sun wasn’t making the pavement too hot for my delicate pads. Our exercise was in our air conditioned condo chasing that ball from room to room. Mom found a pet store that has small dog gatherings every Thursday evening --so maybe I can make some friends. They even have dog parks here that separate the big dogs from the small dogs. I think that is a GREAT idea since big dogs are not my favorite!! We went to the dog gathering. No one here knew what I was, so I was given a lot of attention. Now they know all about Cotons, even with my short hair do, they thought I was totally adorable. Someone even thought I was a Maltese until Mom set them straight. Really!!!!!! When we go on walks, I can’t get over all of the new things to see and smell…lizards of all sizes, jackrabbits with big tall ears, strange bird sounds that I do not recognize, but I still have the urge to chase them! Mom’s bed is really, really high and now I can just jump up from the floor on one try. It took a few days until I could do it with one jump. I was really proud of myself…I may be short, but I sure can jump. Okay … I finally got used to peeing on stones, the heat, the lizards, the cacti…but snakes? There was this funny looking thing on the stones in our front yard…it wasn’t moving but I sniffed something different and went to check it out with mom. I know when she is scared and she sort of screeched too. It was a snake but it was dead. Mom was relieved and I just thought it smelled funny. From now on, whenever we are out, we are on the lookout for snakes. We found out that the birds with the funny pom pom on the top of their heads are called roadrunners. They are all over the place 33

Truffle at home in San Franciso.

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Diane Burnett

Winter 2007 Diane and Jim Burnett live in St. Paul, Minnesota and own 2 Cotons; Molly, 4 ½ years old and Gracie who is 3. They are probably known in the neighborhood as a ‘Pair of Hoodlums’. They are much loved and bring joy to many people.

We are hooked on agility! A few years ago, a trainer suggested that our oldest Coton, Molly and I enroll in some agility classes. I knew nothing about the sport but was told that it is a fun activity to do with your dog. We needed to build her confidence so we signed up for classes because she is shy, although she has lots of energy; in fact she’s very spunky!

Living in Minnesota, not many people have heard of Cotons, so they are very intrigued by Molly. I have to spell the name and describe the origin of the breed to them. They love to watch her run because of her speed and spirit. When she’s ‘on’ she’s great, but when she isn’t she’s liable to run off the course or refuse to do something (weaves, table, etc). People say she has the heart of a big dog; in fact she thinks she is a big dog! We started competing this year in AKC Agility Trials, so we have had to work on managing both her nerves and mine! We get better each time we compete and she gets less distracted by all the activity going on around her. When she runs, she barks all the way round the course! We are currently in Excellent ‘A’ for ‘Jumps and Weaves’ but are stuck in ‘Open’ for the Standard course, because she doesn’t like stopping for 5 seconds on the table. Her sister, Gracie, is 18 months younger than Molly and has a completely different personality; loves people and is very outgoing with them and wants their attention. However, she doesn’t really care very much for other dogs! I am now starting her in agility trials, or at least I plan to in the New Year. She runs very differently than Molly so I need to handle her differently; she is very deliberate and slower than Molly. Agility is a great workout for both the dog and the handler, and I’ve met some great people over the last years. While it’s nice to do well, the real point is to have fun, so at the beginning of the course I always kiss her and tell her to run like the wind! 35 seconds or so later, we’re done, the onlookers applaud, I scoop her up, give her more kisses and treats and tell her she did a great job!

So fast! Go Molly!

Gracie (left) and Molly were bred by ACC breeder Coreen Savikko in Southern California. 34

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American Coton

CoCo — the Obedient Coton

Karyl Donahue

Karyl Donahue and CoCo live in Coral City, Florida.

In July 2007 Karyl's CoCo Puff of Dynasty (CoCo) graduated from her Obedience Class presented by the Inverness Florida Kennel Club. She learned everything so easily and did her lessons perfectly. CoCo was also tested for the AKC Canine Good Citizen and received her Certificate and CGC Title. I was so proud of her accomplishments. We are hoping to continue our training in the Fall with the Advance Obedience Class. CoCo was 16 months old when we did this in July.

Editor: Congratulations, CoCo! We salute you! The first step along the road to becoming an a champion in life skills is to successfully complete a basic obedience class. Canine Good Citizen CoCo has done so with honors.


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Coton Rescue News

American Coton

Editor’s note: UCARE is independent of any Coton club and works for rescue and education of all Cotons, owners and breeders. ACC supports UCARE, which is helped by donations and the unstinting time and effort put forth by its network of volunteers. If you would like to help in any way, whether it be monetary donations, fostering rescue dogs before they are permanently placed, joining the network of transporters to move rescues to their foster and permanent homes, or by placing the UCARE flyer identifying Cotons in your local animal shelter, (or if you need help or would like to join the Coton Rescue discussion list on the internet,) contact Jane Arrington at phone 972-788-4216 — email: — web site: or Jeri McLees at and let them know

what you’re willing to do. UCARE has an ongoing desperate need for more Foster Homes. It’s a fulfilling and rewarding experience — Please help! UCARE always needs financial assistance. Send your donation through using the address OR they will always take checks – which you can mail to UCARE, 9142 Laguna Lake Way, Elk Grove CA 95758.

Winter 2007

Jane Arrington is the founder and National Director of UCARE, and works constantly to rehabilitate and place small breed rescue dogs. Jane has retired as the Director of Finance for Michaels Arts and Crafts Stores and now devotes her time to dogs in need.

If you have friends or family who are interested in adopting a rescue Coton, please visit our website at and complete the application. We’re pretty picky as we feel it’s imperative to match the dog and its particular circumstances and problems or personality traits with the forever family!

The 2008 Coton Rescue Calendar is available for immediate shipment. Calendars are available for $22 US, $25 (US) in Canada and $26 (US) in Europe. Send a check to UCARE, 9142 Laguna Lake Way, Elk Grove CA 95758 or use your VISA or Master Card credit card through PayPal, the secure internet credit card payment service. Paypal is secure, free (to you) and easy. Just go to the website and follow the instructions. The email address for payment is If you decide to use PayPal, we'd sure appreciate an additional $1 contribution for each calendar you order - to defray our administrative costs and allow more funds to go to the cause. The full price for each calendar purchased is a tax deductible donation to UCARE. Remember, the Coton calendar project is our MAJOR fundraising activity each year – we hope we can count on you to participate! Calendars are available year round. They are collector's items and you may also order calendars from the previous years 2002, 2003, 2004 or 2005, 2006, and 2007. You can’t help but look at any of them and a smile automatically comes to your face. Remember The calendars show our dogs identified by name and owner! Have you checked out the UCARE store? Thanks to the great folks at Ali’s Treasures, there is now a wide variety of products available (including those great mints that were such a hit last year) featuring our very special UCARE logo, designed by the talented Carol Porter! We’re sure that you’ll find a number of things that you or your friends just can’t live without! Or, at least that’s our hope….And the best news of all is that a minimum of 20% of the proceeds from each sale will be We are accepting photos for the 2009 calendar. Send to ACC, donated to UCARE. So, don’t delay, take a look at the 3484 Waverley Street, Palo Alto, CA 94306 or email to now – And just think each time you order you’ll Include name of dog and date of birth. 36 be doing a little bit for UCARE.

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American Coton

Koa Jane Arrington received a call about a possible Coton de Tulear in the animal shelter in Santa Clara, California. He had been there about a week. Southern California Rescue Volunteer, Gale Sostek, said she would take him if someone could go and take a look to confirm, and arrange transportation. The Santa Clara animal shelter is about 10 miles from my home, and I agreed to check it out. The shelter worker was waiting for me and I found a beautiful white male Coton named Koa in one of the large pens. When he saw me, he jumped up on the wire fencing, wagging furiously and wanting out. The shelter worker put a lead on him and let him out into the corridor. He was friendly, but largely ignored us and began searching for the fastest way out. His paperwork indicated he was one year old and came from Jaco kennels in Oklahoma. His family had relinquished him. They had several young children and planned to adopt a baby from China. They employed an animal behaviorist to determine if Koa would get along with a baby. The behaviorist advised them to remove Koa from the house before introducing a baby into the family. They said Koa loved children and loved playing with them. However, Koa committed the crime of casually peeing on the children’s toys. In addition, when they had guests over, after the guests left, Koa sometimes jumped on the bed in the guest bedroom and peed on it. For this he had to go.

Winter 2007 Ron Hiskes friendly and well mannered in our home and on walks.

Jane gave me the names of two potential adopters and I invited them to our home to become acquainted with Koa. He was friendly with both and willingly sat on their laps to be petted. The first already had an older Tibetan Terrier rescue in her teens and wanted another companion. She was put off by the story of his peeing prowess. The second lived in Marin, just north of San Francisco and had Koa wants out! two large black and older Labrador rescues. This family, Girija and Larry Brilliant, had fostered dogs for years for the Marin County Humane Society. Girija fell in love with Koa and wanted to take him home. However, Jane requires a thorough investigation of potential adopers as well as a home visit.

I had intended to go to the shelter to confirm he was a Coton and Koa leads Sophie on a merry chase in our back yard. then arrange transportation to Southern California. I had three week old puppies at home. However, at the gentle nonverbal persuasion of the shelter worker, I agreed to take him home with Girija and Larrry Brilliant have an interesting story. They me immediately. It took about 20 minutes to gather together all graduated from the University of Michigan about the same time the paperwork for me to sign. During that time I held Koa on a I did. They are both epidemiologists. It was the sixties and leash in the busy office as other large dogs came and went. He they, as many others, were interested in saving the world. They tentatively approached one to touch noses. went to India and studied with the same Guru as Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computer. Larry’s Guru gave him a mission He seemed very nervous in the car, standing up and looking out to eradicate smallpox in India. Larry formed a group of volunthe windows. He was searching for his family. Once home he teers to go from village to village in India, many thousands of met our other Cotons without incident and explored the house them, with smallpox vaccines. Larry told me he vaccinated himand yard. By this time I had decided to foster him. There was self with the smallpox vaccine well over a thousand times just to no need to spend the money and time for a plane trip to Southern show the villagers it was safe. California. He was up to date on all his shots so I was not concerned about the young puppies. They still have plenty of natuThey were successful. Larry and Girija returned to the United ral immunity from their mother at States where Larry’s best friend, Vint Cerf, founded the Interthis age anyway. net. Larry is directly responsible for the formation of the first Internet forum, The Well. That night Koa made himself right at home on my bed. He fit right in. Living in Marin County, Larry became the personal physician of We were babysitting one of our Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead band. Today they live next puppy buyer’s young females, door to Bobby Weir of the Grateful Dead. Sophie, while the family was out of town, and he found an instant playGirija and Larry cofounded the International SEVA Foundation mate. He proved to be quite — — which has for 37 Koa playing with Cody before bedtime.

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nearly 30 years served people around the world who are struggling for health, cultural survival and sustainable communities. Larry is a former Director of the SEVA Foundation and Girija today serves as the Secretary. Recently Larry became the Executive Director of, the Philanthropic arm of Google. Larry says Google requires applications for taking dogs to work and set a maximum of 175 on the campus. He immediately filled out an application to make sure Koa would be able to go to work with him. When I did the required home visit and stepped out of my car with Koa, Larry picked him up, hugged him and carried him into their home. Koa raced through the house to one of the outside patios where the giant black Labradors waited. Koa immediately engaged them in play with a wonderful play bow, and then led them on a merry chase across the patio. These were geriatric Labradors and Girija said it had been a long time since she had seen one move like that. Koa was home! He set off on an exploration of the multilevel one acre grounds, racing down an extended set of steps to a patio about 50 feet below. There was a swimming pool on that patio, loosely covered with a plastic top. Koa didn’t hesitate. He jumped right into the middle of the covering, which sank under his weight. He jumped and waded to the edge, jumped out again and continued his exploration. Girija prepared tea for us and we visited on another of the patios overlooking the San Francisco Bay. This patio was fenced with a slatted gate at one end. Girija wondered if Koa could escape through the narrow slats. Larry said, “naah”. I smiled. Koa went to the gate, sniffed, looked back at us and in a flash had squeezed through and was gone. Girija ran after him to bring him back. Larry and I talked and when he found I was a scientist, thought I might be interested in a standing invitation to the regular visiting lecturers hosted by at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, easy biking distance from my home in Palo Alto. I eagerly accepted.

Winter 2007

So far, I have been to a talk by Dr. Seth Barkley, President and CEO of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative discussing the technology challenge of the 21st Century, and a seminar by Dr. A.T. Ariyatne, founder of the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement of Sri Lanka. Dr. Ari won the Gandhi Peace Prize and other awards for his work in peace making and village development. Upcoming events include a Presidential Debate by the candidates when they come to California. I left Koa in good hands. A few days later, Girija called to say that Koa had begun holding one of his hind legs up on their daily walks and what could be wrong? I explained the problems of patella luxation in small dogs in general and that it appeared in Cotons. I said it may not be serious but to watch it and tell the vet on their Koa with Girija. next visit. Girija called a few days later to say that she had seen the vet, who told her that Koa had bilateral patella luxation and needed surgery. I told her that he didn’t exhibit any symptoms while he was here, and to bring him back here so that I could get a second opinion from my vet and if necessary, take care of the needed surgery. I told her he could stay here for his convalescence. Jane and UCARE were also informed, and Jane said that if necessary, UCARE would pay for the surgery. Jeri McLees, on the UCARE Board, thought that my gang of Cotons might be too boisterous for him during convalescence, and offered to care for him at her home near Sacramento, CA, and in fact to have the surgery done by one of the best veterinarians in the country, Dr. Griffin. Girija agreed to deliver him to Jeri instead of to me for a second opinion. Here is Jeri’s story. (I usually report any health problems with Cotons to the Coton Breeders Forum and ask for advice and opinions — this is the list to which Jeri is referring). Several weeks ago Ron asked whether anyone on this list had information regarding luxating patellas in Cotons as he had just fostered a dog (Koa) who manifested a problem after he went to his forever home. I was one of those who stepped forward and described my experience with my Naomie and also, in behalf of UCARE, offered to care for the dog during his surgery and recovery, as it was our understanding that his new family was unable to do so.....From firsthand experience, I was very aware of the time it took to recover from such a surgery and given the reports we were receiving from Koa's new veterinarians, it seemed like there was going to be no choice. In fact, the new vet said that both of his patellas were impaired, one was "rated" at about a 1.5 and the other was somewhere between a 2.5 and a 3.

Thanksgiving at the Brilliant home. Koa gets lots of attention. Girija says Larry loves him to pieces and he sleeps on Larry’s side of the bed.

Interestingly, Ron had discovered that there was no sign of any problem previously nor was there a sign of any distress when 38

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Winter 2007

Koa was visiting his home -- which is full of wonderful, active Cotons. I was in contact with Koa's new mom and said that I wanted him checked out by the orthopedic specialist in Sacramento with whom both Diane Callison and I have had experience and whom we believe is one of the tops (at least on the West Coast). With all that said, she contacted Ron and me a few days before the appointment and said that he was no longer limping and her vet said "just monitor it"....I talked with her and insisted that we have another opinion from Dr. Griffin. She agreed. When I met Koa, he was exactly as Ron had described, friendly and loving -- and no limp! We went in for the exam and Dr. Griffin very thoroughly attempted to luxate the bad patella...he eventually was able to do so, but only when he turned the knee inward and it immediately popped back into the joint. He pointed out from the x-rays that Koa's mom brought that the groove on the inside of his knee was not quite as pronounced as the "perfect" dog but that it was his opinion that no surgery was necessary at this time -- and maybe never for the patella! He did say that if the dog was active there might be a time when he would pop it out of the groove but he felt confident that it would pop back in naturally and that any future surgery probably would stem from a ligament issue, rather than the patella -although if they did ligament surgery he would probably incorporate a bit of patella repair as well. As to the second knee, no matter he did, he was unable to luxate it out of position.

Koa made it into the 2008 UCARE calendar. He’s second from the left in the top row in the January collage.

Lessons learned by Koa's new mom (and me) was that it does pay to go to a specialist even if your own vet (who is a generalist) diagnoses a particular condition and, most importantly for Koa, because we went the extra step, she feels very comfortable in what to watch for (including prohibiting Koa from playing racquetball) and what to do if a problem occurs AND he didn't have to come to our house to recuperate from his surgery -- he's back at his new home enjoying his new life. Jeri McLees Girija writes: Two year old Koa was raised in Silicon Valley in California. He was surrendered by his owners to the Humane society there and put up for adoption, listed as a Bichon mix because the shelter’s software did not have Coton as a breed category. Ron Hiskes, who monitors local listings of rescue dogs, thought Koa might be a Coton, and went to the shelter. He found that Koa was indeed a Coton, and took Koa to his home and entered him into the UCARE adoption database. I soon spotted Koa’s winsome face. I had been looking for a young Coton to adopt, and nearly every morning would scan the online rescue listings to see if there was a Coton seeking a home. Koa was the first Coton available in California, and a few days later I drove to Ron’s house to meet Koa. We bonded right away, and within a week Koa was living in Marin county in a large home set amidst the redwoods, getting acquainted with the two older dogs who lived there. Koa quickly won everyone’s heart, and rejuvenated the older dogs as well. He celebrated his first Thanksgiving with his new family, and is looking forward to Christmas there. Thanks to UCARE for giving the Brilliant family the best holi39 day gift ever. Girija Brilliant

Koa’s Christmas. He’s wearing a blue-silk dog coat that a son brought home from Shanghai where he is on a Fullbright scholarship.

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American Coton

What Will Happen to your Coton(s) in an Emergency? From the Riverdale Press December 27, 2007: Firefighters rescue two pets from burning home By Tommy Hallissey Firefighters quickly extinguished an apartment fire on Arlington Avenue last week just in the nick of time to save a dog and a cat trapped inside. As neighbors congregated Mauvi carried to safety. outside the building, after the flames were extinguished, firefighter Mike Novak, of Engine 81 on Bailey Avenue, came running out with the owner's dog, Mauvi, a Coton de Tulear, a rare breed show dog, who was hiding from the flames. A 10-year-old cat, Roxy, a domestic short hair, was also found alive, but in critical condition. A second cat, Hamlet, did not survive. Three firefighters were treated for minor injuries at New YorkPresbyterian Hospital/Allen Pavilion. Mauvi and Roxy were rushed to Riverdale Veterinary Group on Riverdale Avenue for treatment. The fireman rushed back in only because a neighbor had the presence of mind there was a dog in the apartment and to look for something that resembled a small white mop. Mauvi and Roxy the cat are expected to fully recover thanks to the prompt action by neighbors and the firemen.

What happens if there is an emergency, like a fire, at your home when you are away. Do the fireman know there are any pets in the building? Will any neighbors be able to provide information as they did to save Mauvi’s life? Do you have PET ALERT stickers in the front window, by the front door and particularly prominent at the electrical panel and utilities shut off locations —where firemen go first? Do you have pet information on file at your local fire department? We’re entering the new year and it’s the very best time to review your emergency procedures and all your important documents, and to make sure you have copies in appropriate safe places where designated friends and family can get to them in an emergency. Here are samples of emergency contact cards from You may copy them, fill out. cut and fold, then place it in as many places in your home and car (and wallet and purse and in a container on your Coton’s leash) as you can. You may save a life. 40

Winter 2007 Ron Hiskes

Volume 7 Number IV

Winter 2007

American Coton

When Your Coton is Your Heir

Ron Hiskes

companion afterward. You can and should make provisions for your pet in case something happens to you. Planning will not only prevent your pet from being homeless, it also will prevent tension among other family members who may not want to adopt your pet.

Help! Donors, transport people and new homes needed for two female Maltese, 1 year old and 2 years old. Their owner died in a car crash leaving these bewildered babies all alone. Call San Francisco Bay Area Rescue if you can help. An email with this message appeared on the Coton Rescue Internet List a number of years ago. A young woman in the prime of life left behind two adorable, bewildered and grieving Maltese. What if these were Cotons? The Coton Rescue group, UCARE, is always ready to assist Cotons in need if necessary. However, it is prudent to make arrangements for all your loved ones when you die, including your pets. It’s becoming easier. It’s more and more convenient to include your Cotons in your estate plans. In many states, pets are regarded as property. They are part of your estate’s assets so they can’t inherit anything. There are several options:

Now is the time to investigate what your local community has to offer. Now is the time to get your friends and relatives involved with your wishes. Now is the time to make sure adequate funds are available to ensure a comfortable life for your Coton for the rest of his or her life. It’s essential that your planned caregiver meet your pets before the transfer and that he/she genuinely loves them and is in a position to give them the best possible care. Now is the time to make your wills current and to get your Advance Medical Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney up to date. Here’s some information from to help you get started.

1. Leave your Coton to a designated beneficiary and to list alternatives to that person. Money could also be left for the beneficiary but there is no enforceable guarantee it would be used for the care of your pet. 2. Name someone to inherit your pet(s) and name a trustee to administer the money held in a pet trust. This is a legal document in some states, including California, as part of probate law. However, there is no way for the new pet owner to enforce the contract if the trustee doesn’t live up to its terms. 3. Name the new owner as the beneficiary and legally require the trustee to provide money for care as long as the pet is living. This type of trust is enforceable because it has a human beneficiary. 4. For those who have purchased their Coton from a reputable breeder, many of whom feel responsible for their puppies for life, talk it over with your breeder as to what is possible. Breeders must be the first responders to help find new homes, whether they do it themselves or work with organizations like UCARE. 5. Leave your Coton to an animal care group along with an adequate donation to ensure funds are available to care for your pet and find the best possible replacement home. For example, the San Francisco, CA Peninsula Humane Society has a formal Continuing Care Program. Here’s what they say about it: What if your pet outlives you? How would you provide for him? If for some reason you are no longer able to care for your pet and you are concerned about your pet’s future, please consider our Continuing Care Program which will provide peace of mind for you and a comfortable, natural lifetime for your pet if and when it is needed. If arrangements are made in advance, you can enjoy the company of your pet until your situation changes, and not worry about what will happen to your beloved 41

Will Planning and Pet Trusts What will happen to your companion animals if something happens to you? It's important to have a will and/or trust document that addresses the care of your animals. Unfortunately, not all will and estate planning professionals are experienced with provisions for pet care. In any case, be sure to allot money in your will for the care of your pets in case you die or are incapacitated. Appoint a person you can trust to serve as caretaker of your animals, and appoint an alternate as well. Make sure these individuals will accept the responsibility before finalizing your will. Choosing a Caregiver: Decide if your animals should go to one person, or whether different pets should go to different people. Try to keep animals who have bonded with one another together. Try to select two caregivers, in case something happens to one of your choices. Consider only trustworthy adults who have some familiarity with your animal and who have experience caring for pets. Discuss the responsibilities with your chosen caregivers and once you designate them, stay in touch. You'll need to be aware if their plans or personal circumstances change. The caregivers should be identified in your will. In case something happens to your chosen caregivers, you can direct in the will that the executor of the will (also referred to as personal representative, administrator, or trustee of your estate) can place your animal with another responsible person. Many wills specify that a new animal caregiver (sometimes referred to as trustee for the animals) can be chosen if necessary and approved by a majority of the beneficiaries. A temporary caregiver may have to be designated, so that the

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American Coton

animal has someplace to go while the search is on for a permanent caregiver. Provide practical, realistic and somewhat flexible instructions in your will. Also, authorize your executor to expend funds from your estate for the temporary care of your pet as well as for the costs of finding a new home and transporting the animal to it. The will should also grant discretion to your executor for decisions about the animal and in expending estate funds on the animal's behalf.

Winter 2007

your death or incapacitation. You would designate your estate executor to act as your agent in administering the contract. Legal Assistance:

Setting Up a Trust:

Get assistance from legal professionals when making formal arrangements. An attorney can review complex issues regarding wills, trusts, complications in carrying out animal care instructions, and any additional documents you may need. For example, a trust can provide for care for a pet immediately if you die or if you become ill or disabled. A trust can be written to exclude certain assets from probate so that funds are available sooner to care for your pet.

Many animal guardians/owners are now setting up legal trust funds for their animals, in which the appointed trustee is tasked with monitoring the designated caretaker over time, ensuring that he or she provides adequate care for the pets. A trust must explain how you want to dispose of the remainder of the fund after the animal dies.

You can also set up a Power of Attorney that authorizes a designated person to conduct some of your affairs if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. You can add provisions to authorize the person designated to handle your affairs to take care of your animals, to make available money for their care, and to place pets with permanent caregivers if need be.

The federal tax code doesn't help companion animal owners who want to set up pet trusts, since it limits its definition of beneficiary to a human being, a trust, estate, partnership, association, company or corporation -- no non-human animals. However, an increasing number of states have adopted laws that allow companion animals to be named as beneficiaries of trusts, and most of those states support enforcement of a trust on the pet's behalf if the trustee does not take appropriate action.

Who Gets the Documents?:

The resources listed at the end of this article include a link to sample text for will provisions regarding pets.

To find out what states currently allow pet trusts to be established and enforced, contact your state's attorney general or the Humane Society of the United States via How Much Money for Animal Care?: Whether you're setting up a will or a trust, you need to provide a reasonable amount of money for both the trustee and the pet caretakers. Keep in mind that annual costs for care vary with the health and age of the individual animal. You need to cover food, grooming, vet care and many other expenses. You may even want to factor in money to cover boarding the pet for those times that the caretaker cannot travel with animals. Costs might run $500 a year...or into the thousands. Consequently, you might need to develop investment plans for your money so that it lasts for the duration of the pet's life. Since finances could be affected by future inflation, some people phrase the funding text along the lines of 'X percent of the balance of my probate estate or $X,000, whichever is greater.' While it is critical to provide sufficient funds, avoid grossly overfunding a trust, since some courts have cited overfunding as a reason to overturn a pet trust fund. Instead, try to calculate the amount based on the cost of boarding the animal at a good kennel for his or her maximum expected life span. Contracting for Animal Care: If setting up a trust fund is impractical, you can write a contract with someone able to take care of your animals, effective upon 42

Leave copies of all documents with the executor or trustee of your estate and with your animal's designated caregivers. Make sure caregivers also have copies of your veterinary records and details about the individual pet's behavior and dietary needs. Entrusting Care of Your Companion Animal to an Organization: Most animal welfare groups and humane shelters do not have the space or funds to assume care for pets whose owners have become incapacitated or died. In addition, such groups cannot guarantee that an individual animal will be adopted. Occasionally, some groups may board and care for a pet temporarily until the designated caregiver can get the pet, but that's not something you can count on. Some organizations and sanctuaries offer pet care and placement programs, typically for a per-animal fee or bequest detailed in your will. Before making such an arrangement, visit the facility to see how animals are cared for, who looks after them, whether the animals can receive adequate attention and exercise, and adoptive placement criteria and practices. Also discuss what might happen if the organization faces funding or staff shortages. Be sure to draw up the agreement in writing before putting it into your will. Requesting an Animal be Euthanized if the Owner Dies: Some owners may decide it best to have an animal companion euthanized upon the owner's death if they cannot find a responsible person who can commit long-term to accommodating the special needs of the animal. However, when an owner puts this provision in a will, it can be ruled invalid by the legal system, particularly if the animal is young or in good health. In any case, chose a responsible caregiver and discuss the animal's condition and needs so that the caregiver can make the best decision after you're gone.

Volume 7 Number IV Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Facilities:

American Coton

A few do allow residents to bring their pets with them, so this may be a consideration when choosing a facility. Research your options. Designate Temporary Caregivers and Prepare an Emergency Wallet Card: Here's a relatively simple step you should take now: make plans in case you are involved in an emergency. This way, if you suddenly fall ill, get injured or otherwise incapacitated, your neighbors and coworkers will know that you have companion animals waiting at home, how many pets you have, and who they should call to take care of them. First, ask two responsible friends or relatives to serve as temporary caregivers in the event something happens to you. Give them keys to your home, feeding and care instructions, your vet's name, and details about the permanent care plans you've made for your pet. Make sure they know where you keep your rabies certificate, vet records, pet supplies and first aid kit. Next, make a pet emergency card listing your emergency caregivers and their complete, current contact information. Carry the card with you at all times. At work, provide your personnel department and coworkers with your emergency contact information and update as necessary. Let your vet know that your emergency contact people are authorized to take your animal in for medical treatment. Buddy Systems and Petsitters: Another idea: set up a buddy system with neighbors, so you can check on one another's animals in case something comes up. Exchange phone numbers, vet information and house-keys. Have a permission slip put in your vet file so that your vet will know who can authorize necessary treatment for your animals. If you use a petsitter, provide him or her with a plan to be used to care for your animals in case of emergency.

Winter 2007

* When choosing which charities to support, do your homework. Make sure you understand the mission and goals of each charity and learn about its current activities. While it's common for charities to spend money on fundraising and administrative costs, consider the ratio of each charity's expenses. You can obtain enlightening financial information on most larger nonprofit groups through various resources such as and In addition, the nonprofit group Animal People, Inc. monitors the major animal welfare and protection charities on a regular basis, and issues Standards for Ethical Charities and Fundraisers. See their website at * When choosing an executor, trustee, or personal representative for your will or trust, try to designate someone who shares your concern for animals, or at least someone who you can trust to respect and carry out your wishes. Explain your commitment to animals and make it clear that you want your assets to be used to directly help animals. Note special interest you have, such as supporting programs that actively work to reduce the population of companion animals through humane means such as sterilization...programs that actively work to fight animal cruelty...etc. * Be sure to use the specific, official, legal name and current contact information for charities listed in your will. * Remember that some animal charities might not be in existence at the time distributions are made according to your will and other estate documents. So if you have named several nonprofit charitable beneficiaries to receive specific or equal shares in your will, include language covering this possibility. For example, note that in the event that one or more of the listed charities no longer exists, that the sum total of the assets should be redivided among those remaining in existence. Also, you might want to research and specify alternate choices for beneficiaries, especially if you are designating only one or two charities in your will or trust. If you can trust the selection to someone else, you might add the wording, 'Should three or more of these charities no longer exist, my Executor (Personal Representative) or Trustee may, at their discretion, choose up to eight similar charities for such distribution.' * Notify your chosen charities, so that they can inform you or your estate executor if their contact information or charitable status changes. Same goes for any charities mentioned in a life insurance policy.

Post Signs on Your Front Door: Post 'in case of emergency' notices on your front door or most visible window listing how many and what kinds of pets you have. This will alert rescue personnel during a fire or other emergency. When you move, be sure to remove such notices from your former home and post them at your new residence.

* Some larger charitable organizations are able to accept gifts of stocks, mutual funds, personal property, even real estate. Some nonprofits have set up plans such as charitable gift annuities and pooled income funds, where you receive an income stream for the remainder of your life in exchange for your contribution of cash, stock, or other property. Upon your death or the death of any spouse or other beneficiary named in your trust documents, your contribution belongs entirely to the charity.

It also helps to post an additional notice inside your front and back doors listing emergency contact names and phone numbers. Bequests to Animal Charities: On a related note, you may want, through your will or trust documents, to donate some of your money and/or other financial assets to charities that help animals. Here are a few pointers: 43

* A charitable remainder trust can be set up with you or another individual receiving regular income, with the remainder, or principal, of the investment going to your designated charity when the income interest terminates. In contrast, with a charitable lead

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trust, your chosen charity gets income for a set time period, and you or another noncharity beneficiary of your choosing receives the principal after that time period.

Winter 2007

Bequests...Leaving Assets to Charities Background Details and Reviews for Specific Charities BBB Wise Giving Alliance

* Another tax-advantaged option is investing some of your assets in joint or pooled charitable trusts such as donor advised funds and community trusts. Most charitable annuities and trusts and pooled fund options are irrevocable. Consult a financial expert or attorney for details.

National Database of Nonprofit Organizations Standards for Ethical Charities and Fundraisers

* Note that charitable gifts are usually valued at their fair market value at the time of the gift.

Articles about Making Bequests to Animal Charities

Related Reading:

Estate Planning, Wills, Online Legal Primer, Legal Resources, Pet-Related Will/Trust Language, Nonprofit Organizations, Forum, Euthanasia Provisions, Tax Considerations and More animalwelfare/index.html Sample Language for Companion Animal-Related Provisions of a Will

Other Will and Estate Planning Resources for People with Pets

Books About Providing for Your Pets in the Future

When Your Pet Outlives You by David Congalton and Charlotte Alexander. Easy-to-use, up to date resource guide designed to help pet owners deal with one of their major, overriding fears: if something happens to them, what will happen to their companion animals? Covers planning for the chance if you are no longer there for your pet, choosing a caregiver and setting aside money for the pet's care. Combines personal stories with step-by-step information on how to prepare today, along with examples of legal documents, pet law specialists, pet retirement homes across the country and other resources. Organizations Providing Animal Care After Owner's Death Animals_More_Information.htm#Organizations%20Providing% 20Animal%20Care%20After%20Owners%20Death:

PerPETual Care by Lisa Rogak. A concise yet thorough resource for making plans in case you ever become incapacitated or otherwise unable to take care of your pets. Petsitter Arrangements

All My Children Wear Fur Coats -- How to Leave a Legacy For Your Pet by Peggy R. Hoyt, J.D., M.B.A. Addresses issues related to estate planning for your pet and ways to memorialize and cope with the loss of a pet. To order a copy, visit DogTip_Petsitter.php Supplies Emergency Contact Notice for doors and Emergency Pet Care Instructions form for use with designated emergency caregivers. Contact the Humane Society of the United States at 1-800-8087858 or


Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Estate Planning for Pets

Jane Arrington

None of my family members or friends are qualified/able to take care of my babies in the event of my death. Also, because of the advanced age of my dogs who are all 9 years old, I don't want them to languish in a rescue/foster situation (and I don't want to break up my pack - they will need each other for comfort if I am gone). I directed in my will that my executor enroll them at this facility so they can all stay together. There are several such lifecare facilities associated with vet schools out there. This one just happens to be in my state, Texas A&M University Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center. If you haven't already provided for your pet(s), please consider something like this. Given our limited number of foster homes

Winter 2007 Jane Arrington is the Director of UCARE.

and the difficulties I encounter in getting additional foster homes, I decided that this would be the best alternative for my babies. Also something to consider -most dogs are fairly unadoptable after they reach about 4 years of age since the general public only wants puppies or "teenagers". More information regarding estate planning for your pets can be found at: The information is reprinted below. Assisi Animal Foundation, Crystal Lake, Illinois, web site:

Permanent Care The following is a list of organizations that have formal programs for the care of a variety of pets after the death of the owner:

Best Friends Sanctuary, Kanab, Utah, is a no-kill sanctuary for homeless animals located in Kanab, Utah, that places pets in adoptive homes, web site:

Godot Animal Sanctuary, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, (814) 938-1052, web site:, email: (nonprofit sanctuary with perpetual care program providing a loving atmosphere, quality nutrition, and excellent medical attention) Kansas State University Perpetual Pet Care Program, Manhattan, Kansas, web site: development/index.htm

Bosler Humane Society, Baldwinville, Massachusetts, web site: Humane Society of Marin County Guardians for Life Program (California) keeps track of information concerning members’ pets, will take over for the care of a member’s pet immediately after death, and will place the pet in an adoptive home, web site:

Oklahoma State University Cohn Family Shelter for Small Animals, Stillwater, Oklahoma, web site: http://

Humane Society of Marin County – Side-By-Side Program (California) provide pet care assistance to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities, web site: http://

Purdue University Center for the Human-Animal Bond Peace of Mind Program, West Lafayette, Indiana, web site: html3month/

National House Rabbit Society fosters and re-homes abandoned and homeless pet rabbits, web site:

Rainbow Ranch Pet Retirement Home, Inc., Candler, Florida, (352) 680-0685, web site: (nonprofit offering loving home-based alternative when older pet has no place to go after the passing of his/her human) SPCA of Texas Life Care Cottage Program, Dallas, Texas, web site: pagename=ABT_services2 Texas A&M University Stevenson Companion Animal LifeCare Center, College Station, Texas, web site: http:// University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Perpetual Care Program, (612) 624-1247; email: Adoption

SPCA of Monterey County Guardian Angel Future Care Program, near San Francisco, California, guarantees placement of pets for deceased and disabled members, web site: http:// SPCA of Texas Pet Survivor Life Care Program guarantees the placement of pets in a suitable adoptive home, provides regular follow-up visits to the adoptive home to ensure that the pet is being provided sufficient care, and provides free veterinary care for the life of the pet with a $10,000 bequest to the SPCA of Texas, web site: SCPA of San Francisco Sido Service guarantees the placement of members’ pets in an adoptive home and regular veterinary care; web site: Rescue and Disaster Shelters

The following is a list of organizations on the web that will guarantee placement of your pet in a suitable home:

The following is a list of organizations on the web that provide rescue and shelter services for all types of companion animals in the event of disasters:

Animal Healers, Los Osos, California, web site: http://

Noah's Wish, Placerville, California, web site:


Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Puppymill News

Winter 2007

We’ve explored the problem of puppymills in past issues. They may get worse before they get better unless we make a concerted effort to stop them. Here’s some of what is being done. How can we help?

Udate on Maria Yordan — Maria Yordan was arrested at her home in Virginia in January, 2006 after a dead Coton was discovered in her front yard. A subsequent raid uncovered 19 malnourished Cotons in cages in the basement in unsanitary conditions. Coton Rescue volunteer, Robyn Rosenthal, covered the story for ACQ at the time. Robyn was familiar with Maria Yordan, having previously rescued four lucky Cotons from the basement mill in 1999.

animals in cramped, overcrowded and unsanitary conditions—a violation of state animal health standards. We also found one puppy mill operator who had been convicted of an unrelated animal cruelty charge. And we found untold breeders selling directly to the public over the Internet or through newspapers ads—breeders who escape regulation through a loophole in the Animal Welfare Act. See more about the investigation on our website.

The Coton world waited with bated breath (for a while) to hear if justice would be done as Maria Yordan was charged with 11 counts of inflicting pain and suffering on an animal and 21 counts of failing to provide the animals with nutritious food in sufficient quantity, necessary veterinary care, proper drink, air, space, shelter or protection from the weather.

Almost two years have passed. The case is finally closed. Maria Yordan pleaded guilty to five counts of animal cruelty. She served 10 days in jail on consecutive weekends. Despite her infliction of pain and suffering on living beings and her slap on the wrist punishment, she continues to teach Spanish at Montgomery Blair High School, much to the disgust of the students and some of the parents. It’s not known when and if Maria Yordan will resume her breeding activities. Fighting puppymill activities remains an uphill battle. HSUS, the Humane Society of the United States is rousing itself according to a recent press release following another sensational puppymill story out of Virginia recently. Here’s the news from HSUS. SICK BUSINESS EXPOSED By: Wayne Pacelle, The Humane Society of the United States Today (November 1, 2007), USA Today broke in print a fivemonth HSUS investigation into puppy mills in Virginia. Tonight, Entertainment Tonight breaks the video, and tomorrow we'll have it available for other television press. The results will shock you. And this comes on the heels of an investigation we conducted into dog auctions, where puppy millers sell breeding dogs to other puppy mill operators. We've long known about Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Ohio and Pennsylvania as enclaves for puppy mills. But no one thought Virginia was in their league. Now we know better. Our investigation determined that there are only 16 commercial dog breeding operations in Virginia licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which enforces the Animal Welfare Act and requires the licensing of operations that have more than three breeding females and that sell puppies to pet stores. Yet, there are nearly 1,000 commercial dog breeding operations in Virginia, many of them large-scale mills churning out puppies for the pet trade. We found puppy millers selling to pet stores not registered with the USDA—a violation of federal law. We found


Two Coton Cuties from Carol Baker—Bonnie Blue and Sprightly Fellows.

Volume 7 Number IV Fleabites

Winter 2007 American Coton guest columnist Hail Cesar, President of the Hair Club for Dogs

His Bark is worse than his Bite.

Hail Cesar, Bad President

Cesar is on vacation—who knows where but taking a much needed mental rest. We present his column from March, 2004. It’s all about me!

Dog Language—What does it all mean? Speak, Cesar.

Multi Champion USACTC, SKC, ARBA, ACC, IABCA, ACTA, AKC CGC Cesar: “I’m not only the President, I’m also a hairy member.”

!!Double True!! “The only Parent Club by Dogs, for Dogs”.

Many books have been written about how dogs “read” each other and how you can interpret their bodily gestures, postures and grimaces — But what can you make of this story of confrontation and dominance? Recently, Cesar heard of a visiting European Coton champion, Belgian Jean-Claude VD, who could be seen disporting himself in the Stanford University You can’t make Arboretum (only two miles from Cesar’s home in me say yes. I say Palo Alto, California) No, No, No! Eight pound Jean-Claude VD is renowned for his stamina. He has been featured in 3 short (90 second, 2 minute, 2 1/2 minute) Coton films, and boasts a “kick-ass”, “muy macho” street cred.

Notice: The Federation Cynologique Internationale does not test for performance-enhancing substances.

Predictably, Cesar views himself as an ambassador from the Hair Club, and a gracious host to Cotons visiting the San Francisco Peninsula. So he made himself available to the foreign notable with as much dignity as he could muster.

They met near a marked tree. Face off!

Why can’t we all just get along? Capes? Club regalia? Dog talk? Too much time, too much hair. I’m from a self-respecting working breed.

Brandishing his club regalia, wearing a cape, Cesar presented himself confidently, tail up, relaxed smile, hoping for contact, perhaps a sniff of recognition. J. C.-VD raised his front paw and gave a sharp bark, “Let’s play”, but did not perform the customary and polite “play bow”. [The “play bow” is almost obligatory in some American Coton circles]

Do you wonder what Cotons are supposed to do? I’ll bet that walking around in a cape is not part of the job description.

Pridefully, Cesar stiffened and walked backward, while watching J.C.-VD’s eyes. Encountering no further friendliness, J.C.-VD turned tail and walked away, slowly and stiffly. He paused, glanced over his shoulder, and resumed walking away. He did not look back. Was there no chemistry between Cesar and the international competitor? Or did these independent dominators experience a diplomatic standoff which allowed both to save face?

A pedigreed member of another breed opines about the problem of Cotons.

There are no informed comments we could make that would make sense of these absurd characters. Don’t be so defensive, Cesar! Warning! For mature audiences only.

Johanna Gristle: “Sorry to hear it has come to this. Why am I never surprised? Can you believe it?


From the staff at ACQ, “We kid you not—we do not make this stuff up. Our apologies.”

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Club News

Winter 2007 Mona Lowd, contributing columnist

The AKC Foundation Stock Service is a registry available to most rare breeds. The Coton de Tulear has been eligible for AKC-FSS since 1996. The numbers have grown dramatically in the last four years. Cotons from the puppymill auctions and large scale breeders, as well as “Cotons” which have only a single generation pedigree are welcomed into AKC-FSS. These Cotons are not eligible for registration with any of the U.S. Coton clubs. AKC-FSS is a bonanza for the puppy farmers who know the public still associates a certain cachet with “AKC registered”. New breeders appear almost daily on the Internet on the puppies for sale web pages. Many ads for Cotons on the Internet proudly proclaim “AKC Registered”. They are not, of course. Mari-Beth O’Neill, AKC Assistant Vice President for Special Services, reports that as of October 7, 2007 there are 950 Coton de Tulear registered with AKC-FSS. Of these, 77 have only a one or two generation pedigree. AKC reports there are more than enough Cotons in AKC-FSS for any club to gain full admittance. “The three clubs who are listed on our site can request to move forward at any time; however they have not requested it yet”.

Dear Carol, The number of Cotons currently enrolled in the AKC Foundation Stock Service is 950 of which 856 have three generation pedigrees. If I can provide any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely, Mari-Beth O'Neill AVP Special Services5580 Centerview Drive Raleigh, NC 27606 919-816-3594 The American Coton Club, ACC, has received a non-profit status from the Federal Government. ACC is a 501(3)c nonprofit charitable organization for the welfare of animals. The Federal Identification Number is 42-1556266. ACC has formed an Outside Board of Advisory Directors. The first to accept a position as an Advisory Board Member is Kerri Feeney, an ACC Board member and a Code of Ethics breeder in the state of Washington. Kerri has been with ACC from the beginning, and has given unstinted and valuable support to the club. Kerri developed the Articles of Incorporation, the Constitution and Bylaws, and has guided ACC through the process of becoming a non-profit, obtaining and filling out the extensive paperwork and directing exactly what had to be done to make What’s happening in the CTCA, the Coton business of Jay Russell?—The President of the CTCA, Jay Russell, has been speaking more and more of “Malagasy Cotons” versus “EuroCotons”. He has used “EuroCotons” primarily as a derogatory term when speaking of the puppies imported by brokers from Eastern Europe. What exactly do these terms mean? All Cotons originated in Madagascar. Some went to Europe to be bred there and some (Jay Russell’s original four Cotons from which much of the early breeding stock of the CTCA originated) went directly to the United States. As the clubs developed and the number of breeders in the CTCA grew, Cotons from European Cotons were added to the CTCA breeding stock, including Jay Russell’s own breeding stock, obstensibly because they were all Cotons and it was good to maintain a reasonably large gene pool to avoid too much inbreeding. Today, some of the CTCA breeders have a mix of (1) Cotons which are direct descendants of those born in Madagascar and imported directly to the United States and (2) Cotons imported from Europe which are direct descendants of Cotons born in Madagascar and imported to Europe. Does “Malagasy Cotons” imply the former? If so both CTCA 48 and ACC have breeders who can supply puppies from these

A report from Carol Hughes, the ACC-AKC liaison.

the process flow smoothly. Kerri has also been a contributor to ACQ with wonderful stories of her experiences with her therapy Cotons in the Delta Society. Kerri’s law practice and its involvement with children and special education has become very successful, and Kerri has volunteered to become the first member of ACC’s Outside Advisory Board. Kerri will formally stay on the Board until ACC recruits a replacement and will always be available for advice and consultation. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done. Ron Hiskes for the Board Cotons. Does “Euro Cotons” imply Coton lines which have passed through Europe. If so all the clubs; CTCA, USACTC and ACC supply puppies from these lines. It’s not so simple. Several years ago, Jay Russell closed the registry so that business associated CTCA breeders could only breed Cotons either directly from him or bred by other CTCA breeders. Apparently, the term “Malagasy Cotons” as defined (erroneously we think) by him as only those Cotons which have a CTCA registration. It doesn’t matter if their ancestors came from Europe or directly from Madagascar, they only have to be CTCA registered. Therefore, a Coton like Cesar of Maison des Cotons, who has a triple registry—CTCA, USACTC and ACC— is according to Jay Russell’s definition both a EuroCoton and a Malagasy Coton. We suggest that all are Coton de Tulear, even though the CTCA standard and the FCI standard differ somewhat. We suggest that these terms are meaningless, not helpful and confusing. Jay Russell is beginning to call CTCA Cotons a different breed. Maybe they will become a different breed after many generations of inbreeding within the CTCA, but don’t get confused by semantics or wordsmanship as an attempt to differentiate the dogs. Ron Hiskes A Coton by any other name sniffs as well.

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton

Winter 2007

Show Dogs and Show People 2007 conformation show calendars may be viewed on the ACC web site at as they become available. You may also visit individual web sites. Canine Kennel Club ARBA Federation of Rare Breeds email or call 810-735-4076


IABCA States Kennel Club call (601) 583-8345 United Kennel Club

Canine Federation of Canada

We are pleased to inform you that Club Canofilo Caliente will hold it's next International FCI All Breed Show next January 10th through 13th 2008. This is a four days show and we'll offer Mexican and International FCI Championship, as well as Temperament Test. A complete Premium List can be downloaded from the Club's home page Feel free to contact us for any aditional information you might need. Hot Harrington of First State with Karen Carpenter at the Harford Classic on Oct 20, 21 2007

Cory Williams and her dog Charlotte earned two first-place ribbons in their very first Novice beginner runs on September 9, 2007 at the Durham Kennel Club agility trial.


Show fanciers, be sure to get your 2008 Win Sheets (on the ACC web site at to Hailey Parker at on a timely basis so your ranking points can be posted on the web site.

Volume 7 Number IV

American Coton


Winter 2007

ACQ Winter 2007  

American Coton Quarterly