It is during the first 3 weeks of July 1999 that we
undertook our trip to Madagascar, firmly decided to see Cotons
Our tour was the following: a short halt to Tana (Antananarivo),
which is located at center-east island on the high plateau, then a small
hour of plane bound for Tolañaro (Fort Dauphin) on the south-eastern coast.
It was really the first contact with Mada (Madagascar).
In this July beginning, the weather wasn't so warm, the
landscape was majestic and wild.
Fort Dauphin is a small city with the obsolete charm,
people light with the candle, the children have fun with what they find.
Again the plane to go on the West coast, towards a port
which made me dreamed during years: Tuléar. Change of scenery,
the weather is hot, the sky is blue.
Not question to doze off, it is time to go and find
So we are going to be in search of without really knowing
how we were going to make inquiries. We get on a rickshaw, the means of
transport more used in Tuléar, which leads us to the center of the city.
It is on foot that we arrive on the shells market.
Randomly of our walk, we enter in a small shop called
" Art Malgache " (Malagasy Art).
A very likeable couple presents their dog to us: our
first Coton de Tuléar ! She is a small sandy female, with the birth she
was entirely beige.
In spite of her coloured coat, the pigmentation of the
eyes and nose are very light. She is a small harmonious specimen.
a small shy lbitch in Tulear
After investigation, we succeed in getting the address
of Madame CARLIER Cotons breeder in Tuléar.
Without wasting one minute: Telephone, appointement,
rickshaw, and here we are at her home.
She has about fifteen Cotons, all living at home. She
entertains us in the garden surrounded by her dogs: they are all very timid.
All the dogs of the breeding, are prognathes, with awful set teeth.
She works exclusively with inbreeding for years
and years. Her goal is not to improve the race but rather to perpetuate
it by keeping its qualities and its defects.
The dogs which I have under the eyes
are indeed very homogeneous, the females weigh between 4 and 5 kg (8.8 and
11 pounds). Leon the male a little bit more.
The coats are white dominant colour, the heads are
rather slender, and pretty (if they don't open the mouth). The muzzle
is short, the eyes very dark and very expressive. The ears could be more
pressed against the head and a little shorter.
The back lines are correct and the tail a little bit
on the back. The skeltons are light. The height is between 24 and 26 cm
(9.44 and 10.20 inches) to the withers. The coat texture is good.
please Leon, don't smile !
Needs to go back to the hôtel, tomorrow we carry
on our road: 1000km (621.5 miles) by car to return to Tana !!!
From Tuléar to Antanarivo, the Coton is everywhere,
often living in the street or as companion of the Malagasy
who have 2 or 3 of them.
In Antsirabe, we go to Joseph who is lapidary. He speaks
to us about the precious stones which it works, and as usual I ask to
him whether it has Cotons in his entourage.
He then hurries to present his three females to me
who live with large Malagasy tortoises. One among is very
beautiful: complete teeth, a marvellous character. The two others have
oddly positioned ears and are broad like "little benches" (french
idiomatic expression, meaning that they are a little bit fat).
Seem they like the Malagasy kitchen...
We will not speak about the furs, one of the three had
the hair twisted like a Puli dog !
pretty bitch, a little bit twisted like a Puli !
On a market we crossed a Coton
which had all of a Papillon dog: he was black and white, without hair
on the cheeks nor on the bottom of the legs.
It made me think of cotons which
I had crossed in the 1980's.
made me think to Cotons from 1980's
Back to Tana, I met an important stockbreeder. I discovered
litters of 2 months old pups very surprising: without hair on the cheeks,
strongly stained of honest black, heads which looked like to the head
of rat dogs, with ears carried high and broken!
Contrary to the breeding from Mrs Carlier, any homogeneity.
No desire for bringing back one of these specimen to France.
a breeder in Tana show us his cotons
Now its time that I speak to you about Nosy Be :
magic island which is located at the North-West of the red island (other
name for Madagascar), paradisiac island, with perfume of Ylang Ylang,
colors like postcard, where it seems so nice to living here, and ... with
a lot of crayfishes!!!
Coton's kingdom who act the fool together on the beaches.
So OK, they have very few hairs and resemble more to dogs living in the
streets than dogs we can cross in the show rings, but any doubt: when
you cross them, they are really Cotons.
what a straight front !
Just before our departure of Nosy Be,, I met "La Ouate",
a very high quality specimen.
He goes with his Malgasy mistress to the vegetablegarden.
As he was very sociable (and very cuddle), I did not resist the desire
to examine him like a judge do (under the unsympathetic and anxious eye
of his mistress).
Frankly he has a lot of quality: :back line slightly
arched, the tail set low, complete dentition, strong boned, large chest.
He must weigh between 6 and 7 kg (13.22 and 15.43 pounds).
Here is in some sentences the summary of our Madagascar
As soon as possible we'll go back to Madagascar ...