We received some Christmas money from Nana and Grandpa with their request that we use it for something the whole family would enjoy. Now, my parents were probably thinking of some new games for the Wii, or maybe tickets to a play or movie, new light fixture for the front room (wait, no, that would be a gift for the Mommy, hehe), or any number of things, but most certainly never imagined we’d use their sweet gift for this:
Yes. The Hornes have a new family member. She is bigger and older and FLUFFIER than any other baby we’ve brought home before. We are all in love with Shasha (a couple of the kids are calling her Sasha since it is easier to say), and hope she feels the same about us.
Here is some back story:
We have mulled over the idea of a second doggie for some time. Jay has always loved cats but is allergic. Still, he missed the “lap pet” type of animal a cat is, and he’s yearned for a lapdog of sorts to round out our pet menagerie.
The children love playing with Lucy the Lab, but also have expressed interest for some time in a smaller doggie that they could cuddle and love on. As the kids have shown themselves so willing to help care for Lucy (they bathe her, feed her, pick up the backyard now almost all on their own) we felt it would not be a ton more work to consider adding a relatively manageable pet to our busy household.
So, we have spent time researching various breeds, wanting very much to acquire a small dog if we were to have a second join our family, but one who would have a good chance at being friends with our lab too. We learned about a somewhat new breed to the U.S., called a Coton de Tulear, Coton for short. Pronounced Cuh-tawn’. If you’ve never seen one, think Old English Sheepdog, but about a third of the size. Very cute.
You can read all about them here and here …but suffice to say they are wonderful family dogs, playful, affectionate, smart, great with children, long-lived with few health issues, adaptable to a variety of living situations, and perhaps most of all, Hypoallergenic. They also do not shed!! Jamison, this might be a dog even you could get lovey with!
Anyway, for the past little bit we have looked at a couple dogs here and there, and it’s never worked out, but we’ve kept our eyes open. Then last week, we learned that we had an opportunity to acquire a breeding dog who was retired very early (at four years) due to her propensity to have litters too large for her own good. The owner was a wonderful lady here in Dallas whom some friends bought a Coton pup from recently, and recommended highly. She hated to part with her beloved dog, but as a breeder she can only keep the dogs she is currently breeding, since she has them plus the puppies to keep up with.
Well, we went to meet Shasha/Sasha, and the rest…well, you know the rest. The children are thrilled, and Jay and I are happy to have found a beautiful dog who comes from a good situation, was obviously very loved and cared for, is up to date on shots, spayed, etc.
After a couple of days together, both dogs are getting along pretty well considering this is all new to them. I believe that at first Lucy thought we’d brought her home a Christmas pet of her own; Shasha made certain to communicate to Lucy that this was not the case in pretty short order.
The children are in love with the little white fluffball – she submits to being cuddled, dressed up, having her hair done in bows by Abigail, carried around like a baby, and appears to be just an all-around wonderful dog.
We are very thankful for our Christmas Coton.
As an aside, if anyone in the North Texas area is interested in learning more about Cotons, or possibly thinking of getting a puppy, we recommend Cotons of Fircrest in Allen.