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The Papillon – The Butterfly Dog

Click here to read the complete article
204 – February 2019

BY LEE CONNOR

We are very fortunate to live in Devon on the south coast of England. Just at the end of our road is a large beach – a considerable plus point for any dog owner. There are few greater pleasures in life than simply letting your dogs off their leash and watching them running completely free, crazily chasing the gulls or cowardly racing away from the incoming tide.

I have just returned from one such walk with my Boston girls where we met a lady walking her six Papillons (of varying ages) all enjoying the bracing sea air. What a pretty picture they made as they ran with gay abandon across the expanse of beach. Their gleaming white coats glistening and contrasting against the bright red sand (a curiosity of the area) and the vivid blue of the sea.

Watching them noisily play brought back memories of my childhood.

Back then I lived in North London and our neighbors were refugees from the Ukraine. They were a very polite, middle-aged couple with two identical twin teenage daughters and they owned a Papillon called ‘Jacque’.

I was completely fascinated by this little dog. He was bred by a leading kennel of the time and was sold because he had gone ‘over-size.’ That little detail didn’t bother his new owners of course, all of whom absolutely adored, spoiled and doted upon the little fella.

Jacque certainly knew that he was special. He carried himself around the neighborhood with an obvious air of self-importance and, rather fittingly, had something of a ‘Napoleon complex’ about him, as he screamed abuse (from the safety of his bay window, of course) at any passing dogs; the larger the dog, the louder the screams of indignation were issued.

However, putting this particular anti-social problem aside, little Jacque was certainly one of the smartest little dogs I have ever met, as his loving owners taught him all kinds of incredible tricks, and even to pirouette and dance on command!

Click here to read the complete article
204 – February 2019
 

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