LIVING WITH THE PAPILLON By Jan Paulk T he world fell in love with the Papillon when the Supernatural Being, AKA Kirby, posed inside the Westminster Kennel Club bowl after being
named Best in Show in 1999. However, many of us were already in on the secret! Queen Marie Antoinette of France took one to the guillotine with her in 1793. Her family in Austria, the Hapsburgs, favored the Papillon and she brought the breed into prominence in her adopted France. After her death, the sta ff took care of her Papillons until they died in the Paris abode still known as “ Th e House of the Papil- lon.” Marie Antoinette’s favorite, “Coco,” slept in a splendid velvet covered “kennel” which now resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. While it is a very old breed and member of the continental toy spaniel family, the Epagneul Nain Continental, the Papillon was not introduced into Great Britain until 1905 nor recognized by the American Ken- nel Club until 1915. It is believed that the origin of the breed was Italy and they were transported on the back of mules through Spain to France. Th e original variety of the breed is the dropped ear style, the Phalene (fay-lyn) which is French for moth. Legend has it that the Phalene was bred with the Pomeranian resulting in erect ears which became dominent. While no one really knows, we do know that Papillon (papy- yon) is French for butterfly... and the breed is the Butterfly of the Dog World.
“Fine-boned, dainty, elegant” is the take-away phrase from a seminar on the Papillon. Add the requisite “happy, alert and friendly” and you have a good begin- ning understanding of the breed. Th e sur- prise to many is the extreme intelligence and amazing athleticism of this small dog. Th is breed is not Barbie-without-a-brain; it is Miss Universe with a PhD, an M.D. and a Miss Congeniality title too! Beautiful and Bright.. Elegant and Athletic... Papillons are very small: 8" to 11" with weight proportionate the the height.... which means in the neighborhood of 5 to 9 pounds. Th e AKC Standards calls for fine- boned 4 times. Included in the hallmarks
of the breed are the fine-boned structure and the dainty, light appearance. Th ink of a ballet dancer: very athletic, but still ethereal looking. Th ese are small dogs with a big dog mentality. Th ey are seldom afraid of peo- ple or other animals; sometimes to their detriment. Papillons often rule the home as they have no problem outsmarting their owners. Remember the film All About Eve ? Paps have a charming way to get their way! It will happen subtly, almost before you know it. Th is breed is widely known as the Do It All Toy Dog. Favorites of performance aficionados, Papillons excel in agility,
“This breed is not Barbie-without-a-brain; IT IS MISS UNIVERSE WITH A PHD, AN M.D. AND A MISS CONGENIALITY TITLE TOO! Beautiful and Bright.. Elegant and Athletic...”
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