Names & their Puppy Portraits...

 

With each Alika litter, we choose names for the pups that will remain with them on their Official CTCA Registration along with the name their new, forever family chooses for them. Thus if the puppy name is, say, "Tana," and their new owners choose the name "Filana," this pup's registry name would be "Tana Filana of Alika Cotons." Of course the new family may call the pup whatever they want, but in official matters, the Coton will always be "Tana Filana of Alika Cotons."

Christie Kabary's pups always have names with a strong tie to their motherland, Madagascar. For this litter, we honor the pups with the names of my colleagues who have made significant contributions to our understanding of Madagascar and to its preservation. These are contemporary scientists, two of whom live in Europe but the rest are in America.

One of the first of my colleagues we sought to honor was the ever-lovely Lee Wilson McGeorge-Durrell. I first met Lee as she arrived at the Duke University Primate Center in 1970. I was a testosterone-filled, very successful grad student in Duke's small and exclusive Anatomy/Zoology program and was very pleased when Lee's Zoology Professor, Dr. Peter H. Klopfer, asked me to tutor the young Bryn Mawr philosophy graduate in my field of primatology. Several years later I took Lee with me to Madagascar where we began an expedition to perform two intense years of field work. I studied the environmental physiology, ecology and behavior of endangered lemurs whilst Lee concentrated on bird vocalizations and communications in jungles and forests. We helped one another with our field studies. It was there in Madagascar that I first met a Coton de Tulear and the rest is, as they say, history.

It was an exciting and swashbuckling time. We endured and survived native attacks and a civil war and misguided military "adventures" by a runaway CIA operative. For months, I was held incommunicado in the aftermath of the assassination of Madagascar's revolutionary President, Col. Richard Ratsimandrava. The two years are subject of a non-fiction book that I have worked on for years. It's time for release may soon come.

Lee and I survived Madagascar, but our close relationship did not. As we parted Lee asked my advice on meeting and romancing a powerful older figure in the world of conservation and literature, England's famous Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust's Gerald Durrell. I encouraged her to give the older, chivalrous Durrell a chance and for her, the rest was history. They were married and lived happily ever after, producing conservation books and BBC wildlife films together. Lee worked hard to foster conservation in Madagascar, a role she maintains still even after the death of Gerald. So it was a no-brainer. If any Alika Coton de Tulear was to wear the name of a prominent figure in Madagascar conservation work it would have to be the beautiful Tri-color Number 5 who we affectionately call...

... Lee-Lee, after the lovely British naturalist and conservationist, Dr. Lee Durrell, shown below...

Just as for her namesake, Lee-Lee is mighty persuasive:

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(c)2006 Alika Cotons

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