NINA comes to us from the suburbs of Phoenix, AZ.  She was born in September, 2015 to GCH Cowboy's Buffalo Hunter, CM and CH Jespersen's Melancholia CM.  She is a darling  little princess with super white coat, very black nose pigment and an ultra-feminine expression.  Has exactly the temperament we want in a Coton; playful and active, yet still easy to settle down and very cuddly.  Nina  began her show career with a weekend in Wheaton, IL, in June, 2016, with a Best of Opposite Sex win over "specials" (dogs who have already earned their championships)!   She finished her AKC Championship on August 27, 2016, exclusively owner-handled by me, at the Elgin Kennel Club Show in St. Charles, IL and went on the next day to earn her first Grand Championship major win on her first day out as a new "special"!  Nina then went on to finish her Grand Championship title less than three months later, in mid-November, 2016.  Nina completed her Bronze Level Grand Championship on 12.12.17, by going Best of Breed on the first day of the 2017 AKC National Championship Royal Canin cluster in one of the largest coton entries of the year!   Nina is also the 2017 AKC Coton National Specialty Show winner, again taking a Best of Breed over one of the larger entries of the year outside St. Louis, MO in September,  2017!  Nina  had a stellar year in the show ring in 2017, was ranked in the Top Five in National Breed Points, All-Breed Points, and Grand Championship Points, and was invited to both the 2018 and 2019 Westminster Kennel Club Shows in New York City (she won Select Bitch at WKC 2018, we retired her from the ring prior to the 2019 show) and to the prestigious Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, England!  In 2018, Nina continued her winning ways, earning a SILVER Grand Championship, and ending her career at the end of the year as the NUMBER ONE COTON ALL-SYSTEMS, which means she came in at NUMBER ONE in every single way that the AKC keeps statistics on conformation achievement.  She also finished her career as a Top 40 Non-Sporting Dog, the only Coton included in that group!  She was also the top group winning coton for both 2017 and 2018!! It was remarkable ride; Nina exceeded all of our expectations and then some; you can read about her various exploits as they happened if you click on the "News" tab, and there are also many more photos there. Nina  has been fully health-tested and has a CHIC certification. You can click HERE to see the extensive testing we have done on her, as well as see the extensive health testing that HER breeder has performed on each of her parents!  We brought Nina back home for good in December 2018, and she has been enjoying life again as our housepet, taking long walks and playing with the other dogs at home.  In May 2019, Nina became a mother for the very first time to our "Mamma Mia" litter (3 boys and 1 girl); daddy is our own Hamilton, who is himself a two-time National Specialty Show winner, and the Number One Coton all-systems for 2019. The two of them made a wonderful combination.  We kept the little girl, whom we named Sophie, and she became an AKC Champion at the age of 10 months, also completely owner-handled by me!  Sophie is now a Bronze Grand Champion, and is more than 3/4 of the way to her GCHS. Two of Nina's and Hamilton's other sons, Louie (Sophie's littermate) and Sunny (repeat breeding in 2020) have also gone on to earn AKC championship titles, Sunny is also a bronze grand champion. Nina is a great mom, and loves having her daughter Sophie around.  Nina had a third litter in 2021 with our Artie, that produced another AKC grand champion, Vanessa, who is currently (early 2024) the No. 1 Owner-Handled Coton, showing with my co-owner Marilyn Thompson. We love having Nina back home with us, she is an amazing dog in every respect! I can't imagine life without her <3

LEFT,  Nina as a little pup, just arrived at our house, December 2015.

ABOVE , Nina's 3-generation pedigree. 

ABOVE, Nina clowning around in typical Coton de Tulear fashion, in November 2016, outside on the grounds at a show in Ohio.

ABOVE, Nina at 14 months old, as captured by professional photographer Christina Freitag.

Please enjoy a little video of our Nina and Murphy at play!  These two are absolute best friends, and so totally display the "joie de vivre" or "joy of life" that a properly-bred Coton de Tulear pup should have.  I can watch these two enjoying each other's company for hours..... 


ABOVE LEFT and RIGHT, Nina in motion in the ring during the 2016 AKC National Championship week in Orlando, Florida, and seeming to glide across the floor during a show in the summer of 2017 in Topeka, KS, where she received a Non-Sporting Group 1 (first place among all Non-Sporting Group dogs entered in the show).  These are both favorite photos of mine, as they really highlight how beautifully and fluidly she moves.

In addition to earning many Best of Breed wins, and earning an AKC Grand Championship, Nina has accumulated a large number of regular Group Placements as well!  After a dog competes and wins the top spot in their breed at a show, they are entitled to go on to complete in 'groups' competition.  AKC divides all of its recognized breeds (approximately 190) into seven different groups.  The breed winner in each breed goes on to compete against all the other breed-winning dogs in their assigned group, and  first through fourth place honors are bestowed by the group judge at each show.  All of these placements (first through fourth) accumulate what are called "all-breed points" for the winners, but the First Place dog in each group (called the "Group 1" winner) gets to go on to the final and most exclusive part of the competition at a dog show, which is the Best In Show Competition.  Only seven dogs (one from each of the seven groups) out of all the dogs entered at a show compete for Best in Show, and a winner and a reserve winner are picked from those seven by the BIS Judge.  Cotons de Tulear are a part of the Non-Sporting Group in AKC.  Nina won over 80 regular Non-Sporting Group placements (as opposed to Owner-Handled group wins, a separate competition described in more detail on the "News" tab with regard to some of my other dogs), was also the Number 1 Group Winning Coton (more Group 1 placements than any other coton competing in AKC) for both 2017 and 2018.  She  won a grand total of FIFTEEN Group 1s and a Reserve Best in Show in her specials career.  Just a few of photos are shown below; there are a few more on the "News" tab, and quite a few more on my computer that I haven't had time to upload here.  We are very proud of this very pretty, sweet little girl and everything she accomplished!

ABOVE CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT,  a grouping of Nina's "Group One" or "Group Winning"  photos; from Little Fort Kennel Club of Waukegan, IL, on June 16, 2017 (her very first), to Berrien Kennel Club (South Bend, IN) on July 23, 2017, to The Greater Emporia Kennel Club (Topeka, KS) on August 18, 2017 to the Kankakee River Valley Kennel Club (IL) on October 15, 2017.  Many thanks to Judges Mr. Joseph Gregory, Dr. Steve Keating, Mr. Randy Garren, and Ms. Betsy Dale, respectively, for these amazing honors!  Nina ended her career at the end of 2018 with a total of FIFTEEN "Group One" honors; some are scattered elsewhere on this website, and some remain to be posted. She was also the recipient of a mind-boggling EIGHTY-TWO career group placements (1,2,3 or 4), which is currently a record for a Coton de Tulear in AKC.

 Here is some video of our Nina in the Non-Sporting Group ring at the Key City Kennel Club show in St Peter, MN over Memorial Day weekend, 2017.  Nina received a Group 3 placement from Judge Luc Boileau for this performance.  A lady who follows me on Instagram and who was at the show that day realized she was watching a dog that she follows, and was kind enough both to videotape this and to send it to me!  You can read more about the exciting show ring wins Nina has recently received and see more photos on the "News" tab!  

NO. 2 Coton Bitch/No. 5 Coton 2020
No. 1 Coton Bitch all-breed/No. 4 Coton 2021!
DOUBLE invitee to Westminster 2022

2020 USACTC National Specialty Show Winner!

Now also both a Canine Good Citizen  AND Canine Good Citizen Advanced titleholder!!


NBISS GCHB CH Morninglow's Thank You For The Music CGCA TKN

SOPHIE is our own breeding, the only female in our "Mamma Mia Litter" born in May, 2019 to our own fabulous Hamilton and our beautiful Nina!  Sophie was one of four puppies born right after Mothers Day, and there are a few snaps of Sophie and her brothers as very little ones on the 'puppies" tab.  Two of the three boys went on to pet homes, where they are adored, and Sophie's one littermate, Louie, is in a show home with a friend, and has also finished his own AKC championship!  Very proud of both of them. <3  Sophie was shown to her championship, completely owner-handled by me, from a special class called "Bred By Exhibitor."  It's generally considered an honor to finish a dog from this class, especially as you can't get any kind of professional help to do it, and AKC rewards you with a special medallion to commemorate the achievement.  I took Sophie to her first show in December 2019, just before the AKC National Championship, came back for a weekend of showing in January, and then traveled with her to Nashville, TN, where she took Winners Bitch (Best Female) from the bred-by class for three major wins in a row to complete the championship.  Once finished with the championship I moved Sophie up to champion class for the last day of the show cluster, and she came out with a big 5-point major Best of Breed, winning over an older, much more experienced champion, for Sophie's first grand champion major!  I got to watch her from the stands (first time I ever got to see my dog move from anything other than directly above her, lol) and I was thrilled with what I saw.  Sophie had never so much as been taken for a walk around the block by anyone other than me, and yet she immediately lit up the ring with a pro handler she had never met before. In the fall of 2020 after the initial run of the pandemic began to wane and some shows began to start up again I sent Sophie out with another handler to get some more experience in the ring, where she very quickly finished her Grand Championship.   Sophie is also a graduate of Advanced Level Obedience training, has earned a Novice Trick Dog title (TKN), like her dad and mother, uncle Besito and her grandmother Ruby, and is now also the holder of both Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Canine Good Citizen Advanced (CGCA) titles.  I didn't have a lot of professional photos of Sophie until recently, but this is a new one just taken a few weeks ago (September 2022) at the age of 3. I got several nice photos of her from this shoot, and will post some more of them soon. A couple of informal iPhone snaps follow below.  I'm very proud to have bred Sophie. Sophie is also the winner of the United States of America Coton de Tulear Club 2020 National Specialty Show and is the proud owner of not one, but TWO invitations to the 2022 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as a result!  Sophie had her first litter in April 2023, there is more information on the "Puppies" tab. You can check out the extensive health testing that we have performed on Sophie (and that she passed with flying colors) right HERE!
SIDE BY SIDE ABOVE, Baby Sophie at 9 weeks old, July, 2019; and growing up, after a grooming end of October 2020, 17 months old.
SIDE BY SIDE ABOVE, Sophie's AKC Championship certificate; and Sophie learning the dog show game with me, only her second time ever in a show ring, in January 2020.  She also took best female on this day, winning two points towards that coveted championship title.

SOPHIE finally made a return to the show ring after seven long months of COVID cancellations, going down to Oklahoma for a few weeks beginning the last weekend in October, and did not disappoint!  On her first solo trip without me, she took two GCH Best of Breed majors, each time over top specials, and collected 12 national breed ranking points and 13 Grand Champion points in just a single weekend!  Over the three weekends she was away, she accumulated a total of 20 national breed ranking points, 21 Grand Championship points (more than enough to finish her GCH), and vaulted up the national breed ranking chart to No. 5 Coton de Tulear overall and No. 2 bitch (female), as of 11/30/2020. She was even awarded a couple of regular group placements, which pushed her up into the top echelon at the all-breed level as well! Sophie's entire 2020 run took place in just a handful of show weekends (five I think to be exact), between being out only twice prior to COVID shutdowns to finish her championship, and then my only wanting to put her out sparingly while her uncle Artie was still out doing his own campaign. Our big thanks to our friend, pro handler Lisa Bettis, for taking Sophie on a wonderful trip for us, introducing her to life beyond showing with mom, and piloting her to her Grand Championship so quickly!  Lisa used to show our now-retired Besito for us during his own show career, and took him to No. 1 male Coton in breed rankings in 2016. Sophie went back out with Lisa for a second trip at the beginning of December, and placed with major wins all four days of the 2020 AKC National Championship Week in Orlando, FL in mid-December.  

ABOVE PHOTOS CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT, Sophie winning a Best of Breed with Lisa in Chickasha, OK on the day she turned 18 months old, 11.14.2020; Sophie up on the table, looking serious and ready for the judge's exam in Oklahoma City, just a few weeks earlier on Halloween; Sophie being awarded a Group 3 in Chickasha, OK the day after that pictured BOB; Sophie focusing on her handler in the ring in Oklahoma City. In the two lower photos, Sophie is being handled by Lisa's assistants Caroline Clegg (left) and Natalie Taylor (right, group placement).  Caroline showed Sophie to one of her major Best of Breed wins on the OKC trip, but I don't have an official win photo for that one  All in all, a big success, and glad now to have my sweet girl back home again <3.
FOLLOWING Artie's retirement from the ring at Westminster in June, we decided to let Sophie have a spin as our primary "special" and she did not disappoint!  In just her first month out, she  racked up pointed Best of Breed wins, and multiple group placements, including a Group First in Monroe, MI in early July in a huge entry! Sophie had a relatively short show career between COVID and some other issues, and was only in the ring as a primary special for six months in 2021, and despite this limited showing, she managed to finish the year as the No. 1 all-breed bitch (female) and the No. 4 Coton (both males and females) all-systems. Sophie placed both days in that early show in Michigan and one of the very nice win photos is below.  She continued through the rest of the year, racking up 15 group placements (including four Group 1s), for a career total of 17, and also was the winner of the United States of America Coton de Tulear Club 2020 National Specialty Show (held a year in arrears in 2021 because of COVID). We are super proud of the great job she did in a very brief career.  At the start of 2022, I wanted to end her career handling her again on my own, the same way we started, and we finished up at our last show at the end of February in Madison, WI, with a 5 point major Best of Breed win over professional handlers, and went on to an Owner-Handled Group 4 placement later in the day.  A really nice way to go out in style! 
 I have personally found Sophie to be an amazingly multi-talented dog; an excellent representation of the breed, as her conformation awards have shown, but also a really smart dog who likes to learn, to please me, and to try all kinds of new things.  Since she came home to me at the end of 2021, in addition to the show awards mentioned above, she went off and passed both the AKC Canine Good Citizen and Good Citizen Advanced Tests without any training or practice whatsoever! And then just because I know she enjoys the one-on-one time with me and learning new things, we took and finished both intermediate and advanced level obedience courses before the middle of the year.  Sophie's mom, Nina, is currently studying for her intermediate trick dog title, and I'm trying to teach Sophie at home what Nina and I learn in class, and when Nina finishes, I will take Sophie again to a class of her own.  I also enjoy that Sophie has a beyond superior temperament and I can take literally anywhere with me; classes, shops, hotels, you name it--anywhere you can legally bring your dog.  She rarely barks or startles and loves meeting new people and also other dogs when we go out walking. For me, she is a dream come true; I'm fully aware that there is no such thing as a perfect dog.....however Sophie has turned out to be the perfect dog for ME! My eternal gratitude to her parents, Hamilton and Nina for this really special gift <3

Looking forward to lots more fun together!

ABOVE LEFT, Sophie's lovely Group 1 official win photo from the Ann Arbor Kennel Club in Monroe, MI under Judge Helene Nietsch.
ABOVE RIGHT, another Group 1 award received later in the year from Judge Brian Meyer, also in Michigan.
BELOW LEFT, An iphone snap of Sophie and her ribbon from the 2020 USACTC National Specialty win in Lexington, Kentucky, awarded to her by Judge Jan Paulk 
BELOW RIGHT, one of my favorite new shots of a now all grown-up Sophie, taken during our recent photo shoot in mid-September, 2022.



VANESSA is our keeper from our 2021 "In The Heights Litter" sired by our Artie (GCHS CH Morninglow's Arthurian Legend) x our Nina (GCHS CH Whispering Lane's Just Right for Morninglow GCGA TKN).  We had a litter of three, Vanessa was our only female, and I fell for her hard.  Adorable personality, with an extremely feminine expression and ultra-white coat. We decided to place Vanessa in co-ownership with our good friends Marilyn and Doug (who also co-own our Sunny with us), and she lives primarily in their home out in California.  However, it's hard to find Coton competition out west, so just like we did with Sunny before her, we brought Vanessa back here towards the end of 2022 to give her a chance to show her stuff and earn an AKC championship. Fortunately our cute little one did her job quickly, finishing her title within just about six weeks of the first time she showed against competition.  Vanessa's first 12 points were all earned through three "majors" (wins of 3, 4 or 5 points).  Her first major win was taking Winners Bitch for a full 5 points (the most that can be earned in any show, regardless of number of dogs showing) at the American Kennel Club National Championship presented by Royal Canin in December 2022! The Royal Canin show is the final show of the year each year, and usually also draws the largest entries of the year in most breeds, including Cotons.  We were just thrilled to see Vanessa take this win during her very first week of competition against other class (non-champion) animals!  The very next weekend that Vanessa was shown (first weekend in January 2023) she took two more major wins, each a Best of Breed and in one of them she was selected for the honor over an older, beautiful, and much more experienced show champion!  She won her last three single points in Indianapolis first weekend in February.
Vanessa was handled during her championship run by pro handler Lisa Bettis. Lisa and her team have helped handle many of my dogs over the years, going all the way back to 2014, when she helped us to finish Besito's AKC GCH. Most recently, Lisa handled both Sophie and Sunny to their grand championships in 2020 and 2022 respectively. 
Vanessa is back home now in sunny California with her primary family, but we had her stay with us here at home over the Christmas holidays, and she just charmed the pants off us from the moment she walked back in the door. I love her super sparkly personality and her sweet spunk. While Vanessa was here at my house over the holiday break, I ran all of her health testing, she passed with flying colors, and received her CHIC certification, you can check it out HERE. Vanessa is a living doll, and I look forward to seeing her again soon!
As of this writing in mid-July, 2023.....Vanessa finished her AKC Grand Championship on 6.18.23, completely owner-handled by her main momma Marilyn!  She is currently (per AKC stats through 6.30.23) both the No. 2 Coton de Tulear bitch in breed win points, and also the No. 2 NOHS Coton (National Owner-Handler Series).  We are extremely proud of this amazing duo!
CLOCKWISE from above left, Vanessa's official win pic with Lisa at the American Kennel Club National Championship show in December, 2020; Vanessa as a 6-week old puppy in my kitchen, October 2021; Vanessa's CH finish photo, February 2023; and Vanessa's official AKC CH certificate. Our thanks to Judges Elizabeth Muthard and Eva Berg for the wins pictured immediately above and below, to Judge Timothy Catterson for the Best of Breed win pictured in the large photo up top, and as always, to Lisa Bettis for her wonderful care and presentation of our girl!


 GCH MULTI-CH Spirit Bear Jewel of Versace CM TKN


RUBY is our very special international Coton princess, who came to us from British Columbia, Canada.  Ruby is the first daughter of both Multi-CH Cotonkiss Versace, a 2010 Crufts winner, and Canadian CH Spirit Bear Lil' Snow Drop.   Ruby won Best of Breed at her very first competitive AKC outing in the show ring, at the prestigious International Kennel Club of Chicago  show, in February 2013, the week she turned six months old!  She is a striking beauty, with her mom's gorgeous face and the faded tri-color ear shadings of her magnificent father.  Ruby LOVES to boss the boys around at home, and to snuggle with us in bed at night.  Ruby  finished her American Kennel Club (AKC) Championship on August 9, 2014, among the first ten Cotons de Tulear in history to earn such an honor!  She is also the very first foreign-born female to finish an AKC Championship!!.  At the end of the first month of regular AKC class competition, Ruby was ranked as the Number 7 Coton de Tulear (and Number 3 Coton de Tulear bitch) in the entire country!!  Ruby has been a multiple AKC BEST OF BREED and BEST IN MISCELLANEOUS CLASS winner, and successfully completed her AKC Certificate of Merit (CM) title in December, 2013.   She is a United Kennel Club Champion, and is almost halfway to her UKC Grand Championship. She is also a USACTC  (AKC Parent Breed Club) Champion. We are also pleased to announce that Ruby is a CHIC (Canine Health Information Center)-certified bitch.  This means that she has completed all health testing required by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for the Coton de Tulear breed.  In Ruby's case, we have also performed a great number of additional DNA-based and other health tests. And Ruby has passed them all!  Ruby finished her  AKC Grand Championship on August 27, 2016, at the Elgin Kennel Club show in St. Charles, IL.  She is also the mother to our 2015 "Irish LItter,"  our 2016 "Hamilton Litter",  our 2017 "Chicago Cubs" litter, and her final litter, our 2018 "Camelot Litter" pics of which you can find on our "Puppies" page. She has been an amazing show dog, favorite pet of mine, and wonderful mother to seven little boy puppies and  three little girls.  Ruby is retiring from active mothering; however, a few of her kids continue to live here with us, and she dotes on them constantly, they can do no wrong!  We hope to start Ruby in some other activities and we continue to look forward to great things from her; she never disappoints!  She remains the best bed partner any human can ask for, and I love her dearly. You can check out Ruby's very complete health testing  HERE. 

ABOVE, Ruby's 3-generation pedigree.

RIGHT,  My absolute favorite Ruby photo, taken at the summer 2014 Canfield, OH cluster later in the day on the day she took Best of Breed over ten other Cotons, including specials (win photo from earlier that day is just below).  She just looks so happy and pretty in this photo and the colors are so lovely.  Many thanks to pro photographer Krista Droop, who shot this photo for me.

LEFT and RIGHT ABOVE, posing for some professional photos in March, 2014. Thanks to Lynda Beam of Canine Candids by Lynda for her great work!

Ruby in the Show Ring! 

ABOVE, LEFT, Ruby's AKC Grand Championship certificate, and RIGHT, her GCH finishing photo, taken at the Elgin Kennel Club in St. Charles, IL on August 27, 2016.  Many, many thanks to Judge Beverly Capstick for awarding my princess the final points to finish this title. 

LEFT,  Ruby wins Best of Breed with me on the first day of the Canfield, OH cluster, July 2014, just shy of her second birthday.  Many thanks to Judge Bradley Jenkins, who chose her for this honor over ten other Cotons de Tulear who were in the ring with her that day!

ABOVE, Ruby wins Best of Breed at the Cudahy Kennel Club show in South Milwaukee, WI,  in August 2016, the same show where she finished her championship in 2014!  She took this award just a few days shy of her fourth birthday, and after having been a two-time mother.  I am so proud of the beauty she has become.  Thank you to Judge Richard V. Miller for this special award!

LEFT, Ruby struts her stuff in the ring at Springfield, IL in October, 2014, winning Best of Opposite Sex three out of four days of the cluster!

RIGHT, Ruby wins Best of Opposite Sex with me at the Waukesha, Wisconsin, Kennel Club cluster in July, 2013. Many thanks to Judge Douglas  Johnson, who chose her for the honor

ABOVE, Ruby with her very first ribbon from a novice puppy competition in UKC at the age of four months, in January, 2013 

ABOVE,  Ruby took Best of Breed for a four-point Grand Champion major win at the Old Fort Cluster in Ft. Wayne, IN, on November 1, 2015. Many thanks to Judge Mrs. Gloria Geringer for selecting Ruby as BOB. Ruby was handled to this victory by Ryan Wolfe.