Alika Cotons, since 1974

Dorothea W.W. of Alika Cotons, our beloved Dottie

May 18, 1995 - March 20, 2010

Ahhh, Dottie. Your life for us -- and for you -- was a hundred thousand smiles. From the day you were born in the Santa Ynez Valley of California (scarcely more than a five-ounce "wiggle wort" -- hence your "W.W." name), you showed the grit and strength and loyalty and devotion that inspires others.

You pestered the heck out of your big, tall brother Fozzie…

...and you never stopped being a scamp. You loved your travels, the fresh outdoors, a perch atop the couch (where you'd lay upside down and watch the snowflakes fall outside the window). In fact you loved the snow so much that every year you'd rush outside, flip in mid-air, land on your back in a snow bank and immediately make a perfect set of snow-dog angels. Those were the days, my Dot-Dot.

Who could ever forget your vice-grip like jaws when they clamped on a squeak toy? We used to call you "jaws of death Dottie" for that unyielding grasp. It was just one of many manifestations of your great strength and speed. Fact is, at little more than 14-pounds of muscle and determination you were the fastest Coton de Tulear I have ever seen, bar none. I'll always remember how you teased your mother Josephine. She'd chase you and chase you to no avail. Josie barking madly for you to stop and you so fast that you'd actually turn your head around in mid-stride to see where Josie was (I could almost detect an all-knowing smirk as you bounded ahead). No one -- especially not me -- could catch you, to your great, great delight!

You were always a rascal par excellence. Dottie, you consumed, at several times in your life, at least two pounds of absolutely forbidden, hidden chocolates. And we were panicked to take them from you after the fact! How you got them will forever remain your secret.

In your salad days you produced many beautiful, happy puppies. Christie Kabary, Long-Tall Sally, and Tarika Blazie live on here to bring us immeasurable joy and love. Still more of your kids are out there making other families happy. That's a hell of a good legacy, sweet girl.

Dottie, if you had a "failing," a hamartia -- and I do not consider it such -- it was your unrelenting devotion to your own Coton mother, Josephine. That love and support was completely reciprocated. Your were both joined at the hips. You were a faithful, obedient Lieutenant to Captain Josie. She was your heroine. Where there was Jo, there would be you, Dottie. And she would, as any good captain would, send you on her bidding. Some strange sound around the corner? Josie would bark and orient, and you would fly ahead at her behest to check it out. There was nothing you would not do in support of your mother.

So when Josie died in my arms on my birthday, you and I were understandably devastated. But you, Dottie, quickly became a lost ghost ship on the sea of life. Without your captain, you were never able to recover either your sails or rudder. It was extremely sad to see. And it was then that we watched a long, slow inexorable decline begin. You were never the same. There are some losses, alas, from which we cannot rebound. That was your Waterloo, no matter how hard we tried to convince you that life -- much of it very good -- goes on.

Ahhh, Dottie. We know you had to leave. We all have to leave eventually. But that does not mean that we won't remember your smiles every single day, and that we won't grieve that you are not here to give us many more. Most of all, we will miss that, except in memories, we can no longer hold you near. Rest in Peace, dear Dottie. Run free. Veloma...

The Spring moon, the night that Dottie died.
Our little snow angel is running with
the gods tonight.

Dottie's theme:

[NOTE: after listening to the song, please hit your browser's back button to return here]

copyright 2010 Dr. R. J. Russell & Alika Cotons
This tribute appeared on the CTCA's CotonClub e-ZINE, a free internet magazine for Coton lovers. To subscribe to the CotonClub e-ZINE, just send an email, using the email address where you want to receive CotonClub articles, to:

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