Of the wonderful
Coton de Tulear
We are Jim Murdoch and Maggie Hirst and together we are owners, breeders and exhibitors of the wonderful Coton de Tulear. Our 'Cotonalba' kennel name is a combination of two words, ‘Coton’ and ‘Alba’. Alba - the old name for Scotland - is where we were both born. For Latin scholars, the word for white is albus or alba [feminine version]. Consequently, the name captures the breed, our birthplace and the colour of the dogs!
Back in 2002, following Maggie’s early retirement, we decided to get a dog. Up till then we had had cats as they could cope with us both out at work. One day I returned from work and Maggie introduced me to a picture of a Coton de Tulear on the computer! She had also found a breeder who lived less than four miles from us. A telephone call later, having established that I had worked with the breeder a few years previously, we had arranged a visit to see several real Cotons!!
We were introduced to Nautilus – a French international champion – from the famous Cartoonland’s kennel run by Brigitte Damman near Paris. She had been a breeder of Cotons since 1988. He was impressive with a huge coat and lovely temperament. We also met Lizette who had been imported from Sweden’s Chanfree’s kennel where Anita had been breeding since 1994. Their daughter from an earlier litter was also living there.
Lizette was pregnant and the breeder, Isabella Godfrey told us that she had already promised four puppies but if there was a fifth puppy, we could have it. On 17th November 2002, the litter was born and puppy number five - Cotonbells Star of Gigha entered our lives!
Our Coton adventure had started and we are still enjoying ourselves with this delightful breed!!