photo credit:

For those new to my blog, I have a dog, an 8 lb Coton de Tulear (pronounced Tulea). Tulea is the name of my dog. Tulear is a town in Madagascar where the breed originated. I got mine 6 1/2 years ago when she was 2 months old. I didn’t want an all white one, too chi chi, so I found a breeder in Montreal called Sara France, who breeds cotons that have color (Though it tends to fade as they get older—the call of the gene pool! Half Tulea’s face was black when I got her.)
The Sara France website is

Anyway, at a dinner party in Ann Arbor last Friday, a couple at the table asked me what kind of dog I have and I said, “Oh, never mind. It’s an unusual breed and no one’s ever heard of it and it’s too complicated to explain.” (I’d had a drink or two).

The man insisted saying, “We’re dog people. Tell us.” So I said, “I have a coton.” and he exclaimed, “so do we!!”

And we did the whole “OMG- this-is- too- amazing- No- one- ever- has –one” thing. “Where did you get yours?” I asked. “From a breeder in Montreal,” he answered. “Not Sara France???!!!” I asked. Again, “OMG, yes, from Sara France.” It was a great coincidence that made us all so happy. Like me, he and his wife bought the dog in the Montreal airport. His is much bigger…about 13-14 pounds, if I recall correctly, while Tulea is 8 pounds. The runt, just what I wanted.

Here are a couple of pictures of their coton named Shaggy. I love the one of the two cotons dancing together! We have since found out from the breeder that Shaggy is Tuleas cousin!.

Shaggy Tulea's Cousin, Photo credit: Nathan Upfal

Shaggy Tulea's Cousin. Photo credit: Nathan Upfal

Shaggy Dancing. Photo credit: Nathan Upfal

Here is a video of how Tulea greets me when I’ve been away. I adore the sounds she makes. Such happiness it sounds like pain. Enjoy!

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  1. We absolultely love, love, love our Coton – CoCo Chanel! We met a Coton in Toronto Ontario, fell in love with him, then looked for a breeder in Michigan. We found one – in Grand Rapids and a month later, little CoCo became a member of our family. We are training her as a therapy dog – she has the best disposition and loving manner! I am a pastor and plan to bring her to nursing homes and some hospital visits. She is 11 months old and weighs 8 pds, just like Tulea! More and more people are hearing about Cotons – many people at the off leash dog park we go to have heard of the breed. They are little love balls!

  2. Extremely cute!!! The pictures make me want to go out and get a coton, but I know Nigel, my dog, would be very upset . . . . and he would eat the puppy. I love the video! Tulea sure does love you! As for meeting another coton owner from the same breeder, that is wild! What are the chances of that happening?!?! Wow! A family reunion is definitely needed . . . . except that you will have to explain to Tulea that she is adopted.

  3. Your voice is unique…instantly recognizable.

    And what a GREAT pup! Thanks for sharing–

  4. What a great post. I often see similar dogs to Tulea on the street and they are really cute. But not sure if it’s the same coton de tulear breed. Will have to ask their owners one day.

    Would love to have a dog, but have always had a dog allergy. What a shame. A dog’s friendship must be wonderful. Priceless even. I mean how many people do we know who love us and love to see us no matter what mood we’re in? Or how we look? I’m very envious.

    Best regards from Hamburg, Germany.

  5. Well, it’s nice to see that you love your dog so much. It’s so nice to see such connection. They look really lovely.

    I, myself, suffer from very serious cynophobia (fear of dogs) and it’s quite paralyzing for me. It all came from traumatic childhood experiences and it’s very hard for me to battle. People keep laughing at me because of that though I feel it’s something more than that for me.

  6. Nice to see another Cotonnerie Coton… I have two of them, and my others are her bloodlines. All in the family. Tulea is adorable, as is her cousin Shaggy.

  7. Jane,

    Your video was absolutely precious, Jane! Tulea is so adorable. Shaggy’s face is very beautiful.

    Is this Tulea as a puppy, correct? It shows half her face is black. Please see the link:!/2009/05/cotonnerie-tulea-jane-fondas-coton.html


  8. There is nothing like a loving pet to make your day. I’ve had many over the years.

    “Jesus always spoke the truth and always in love. He exercised the greatest tact and attention when communing with the people. He was never rude. He never pained a sensitive soul needlessly. He did not censure human weakness. When He denounced hypocrisy, unbelief and iniquity, tears were in the scathing rebukes. He wept over Jerusalem. They had rejected Him, but He always had gentle regard for them. His life was one of self-denial and thoughtful care for others. Every soul was precious in His eyes. While He ever bore Himself with divine dignity, He bowed with most tender regard to every member of the family of God. In all of us He sees fallen souls whom it is His mission to save.” EGHW

  9. OMG! My Coton looks just like the one in the photos ‘shaggy dancing’
    always so fun to see other cotons 🙂
    Love love them!

  10. I can totally understand your love of the cotons. We bought bought our puppy from a breeder in Boca Raton Fl. His bloodlines are from the Cotonierre in Quebec. captain mcdreamy has peach ears and spots, he’s now 5 mos old and a bundle of joy. He is expected to be on the larger size about 15 lbs but remains a great travel companion and is so easy to be with 24/7. Hope to read more stories about Tulea

  11. Hello Jane
    It is always so much fun to see you and Tulea.. and her cousin too. I am sure that she is enjoying life as much as you do.
    Congrats on all your work, it is giving all of us the little something needed to move forward.
    Sara France

  12. Hi Jane, I loved your video! Tulea is such a cutie!
    Looks like you adore her! I an a Coton breeder near Los Angeles and I have a Sara France Coton also! Miss Lucy is my Canadian Cutie Pie! I have 5 Cotons, they are little love doggies for sure. Take a look at some of my darling babies on my website, It is my passion to take pictures of my Cotons and I’m working on a Coton book. I love the way you blog about your furry best friend! Wags, Susan and the Bluebell Bunch

  13. Hi Jane,
    I’m back home and in the UK city of Gloucester in a fabulous hotel where Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed queen in 1553. Just blows your mind how old the place is. Didn’t I read somewhere that you were related to her?
    Take care from the stunningly beautiful Cotswolds.

    • Jason, yep, Lady Jane and I are related. So is Quncy Jones. The latter happened at the plantation of george Washington…or so say the Mormons. 🙂

  14. Hi Jane, Tulea is truly beautiful! I have a Cotonnerie sweetheart too. Her name is Lorié. They aren’t related though.

    I was inspired to design some graphics for our wonderful breed. If you look on the Coton de Tulear facebook page, which can be found below, you can see them. My avatar is from the same graphic that will be used on tee shirts and magnets.

    Hope your Tulea is enjoying her quite famous life!


  15. Tulea is beautiful! There is helpful information about the Coton de Tulear breed on the American Coton Club website at –

  16. Hi Jane, The American Coton Club just released the new 2012 Coton de Tulear Calendar. It features pictures of Cotons from around the world. For a peek at the main pages here is the link. There are lots of smaller photos throughout the months as well.

    It is always nice to hear about you and Tulea. It seems like yesterday when you were making Monster-In-Law and met your first Coton. Time does fly by. It is quite amazing how they become an integral part of your life.


  17. Hi Jane. Thank you so much for posting this piece on your Cotonnerie Tulea. As our breed is still so rare in comparison to others it is truly appreciated when a person of your celebrity status shares with the world information about this beautiful dog. I would like to invite you to join our Coton de Tulear Facebook Group. We have as of today 1882 Coton owners from around the world who share their photos, ask questions …and boy do they talk about everything Coton there. Lots of grooming advise, health matters etc. The link to the friendly Coton group is
    Thank you for all you do we are so happy to have you in our Coton family!

  18. Jane, I too have a Coton, actually 2 Cotons. My boys also have bloodlines to Cotonnerie Cotons. This breed is so wonderful that I couldn’t settle for just one, I just had to have two. They are so loving, and so much fun to be around. I love you video of Tulea, she is quite beautiful. And obviously loves you dearly. . Thank you for sharing her with us. She clearly brings so much happiness to your life, as my boys brings so much happiness to me.

  19. Dear Jane,

    Earth Hour 2012 is coming this Saturday – March 31st at 8:30 PM>

    We will be once again celebrating EARTH HOUR Over with our Global Coton friends at the Coton de Tulear Facebook Group . We encourage our Coton family from around the world to participate by shutting off their lights/tv/ etc for one hour and sit by candle light and share a photo on our group’s wall. I just wanted to ask if you might join us and share a photo of you with Tulea by candle light this Earth Hour. Thank you Jane…take care be well and know we love you and Tulea!

  20. What a small world indeed! I too am a Code of Ethics Breeder of Coton de Tulear- in Vermont- and Sara-France St Pierre was my mentor for several years! As a matter of fact, several of my Cotons are from Cotonnerie bloodlines. I knew you had a Coton from Sara-France but I had no idea the father was Pirate! Pirate has lived with me for the last several years now. What a wonderful boy he is! I love him dearly… His puppies are wonderful! Sara-France and I now both serve on the Board of Directors of the American Coton Club, Home of the Rare Breed Coton de Tulear and advocates for the health and wellbeing of the breed.

    By the way, I’ve always admired your work and your advocacy. Thank you for being who you are.


    Amber Alert! Please help us reunite Kris and Tanner! The search still continues for Tanner in the hi

    Amber Alert! Please help us reunite Kris and Tanner! The search still continues for Tanner in the high Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Tanner, a white rare breed Coton de Tulear was lost near a rest area…

  22. I came across a darling blog “by” the coton of two entertainment attorneys from Beverly Hills. I have no connection with them, just thought of Tulea when I saw it. A must-see:

    Jackson is darling — as is Tulea. The blog is always a good laugh and promotes dog adoption, as well.

  23. Hi, Jane. Being an old-time Viet Nam war protester, I’ve always felt an affinity with you. You are a very talented and courageous woman. When I discovered that you have a coton named Tulea, I thought how cool is that because we have one named Tula. She has a playmate that is coton/bischon named Sophie and they are inseparable. We also have a standard poodle who is their protector from the coyotes that roam the Wisconsin countryside. He even tries to get in on their play sessions. It’s pretty hilarious. I loved your article on the prairie dogs. It really touched my heart. Kudos to you and Mr. Turner for all you do for the animals. By the way, so much for those right-wing hate nuts that tried to thwart your latest movie!

  24. Hi Jane,
    I too have a beautiful Coton purchased from Sara France of La Cotonnerie. I believe that your Tulea and my Coco are litter mates!

    Coco was born on March 20,2006. The name of her sire is Reggae and the dame is Diva.

    We were living in Nantucket when we originally adopted(?) Coco by way of Burlington, Vermont and she has been the light of our lives ever since. (and much less stressful then any of our combined 7 children)

    My husband and I are now living in Vero Beach, Fl with Coco and I can happily report that not one of us has slowed down a single bit.

    Coco is delighted to meet everyone, and she has a special fondness for women of a certain age. (me) We have been working on conquering her fear of the vacuum cleaner, thunderstorms and suitcases on wheels but alas, she still runs for cover if she encounters either a suitcase on wheels, a vacuum cleaner or a thunderstorm. (hard to avoid, here in Vero)

    Coco sends her love to her possible brother Tulea.
    (great name btw)

    • Jamie, sorry to say my Tulea’s father is/was Pirate. don’t remember her mama’s name but it was not Diva. Possibly Chloe. Glad you are enjoying yours as I am mine. They are the sweetest.

  25. I have seen pictures of you out and about with Tulea having a service dog vest on. What tasks does she perform for you?

  26. I am getting my first Coton on 02/25/15 and stumbled onto your site, however could not get the video to work so I was unable to view it, thanks for the lovely pics.

  27. Hi Jane, I don’t really write on celebrity blogs, but had to write to let you know I am one of the owners of Sara France’s original dogs, Since I’m a French Canadian originally from Montreal, now living in LA, I had researched the dog before AKC reg, and happened to find Sara France on her newly created website. I’d never consider getting another Coton from anyone else. She’s awesome, and produces the highest quality Coton on the planet. My Sasha and her late older cousin Bisou. Sasha is 18 yrs old now, and still going strong, not a thing wrong with her, save for the occasional “senior moment stare” and cute and lively as ever, I will not be prepared for her to pass, but know she won’t live forever. For now she’s the light of our lives, and I can see you feel the same, our little circus potato chips can’t just have one! à la joie de vivre le petit Coton de Tulear!

    • Ah what good news, Patricia…that yours is 18 yrs and still going strong. Tulea just turned 10 (ie 70 in human years). I’ll b 85 when she’s 18. Do you think I’d be too old to get a new dog? They are hard to housebreak, these little ones, aren’t they? Tulea is the runt of the little. Only weighs 9 lbs which I like.

  28. Hello Ms Fonda, I am an editor/writer with i5 Publishing (DogFancy, now Dogster, ww.dogchannel, etc). A few years back I wrote the Coton de Tulear profile for Dog Fancy and now we have come back around and I’m writing a new profile for Dogster (print, scheduled 2016 late winter/early spring). We often highlight the breed with a historical account (That is my expertise being a historian as well as attorney) but of course like to add fun color as well — i.e, celebs that love their breed etc. Specifically I would like photos (not simply stock ones) of you and your Coton — especially if she “smiles” — I heard all about that from the Club people but no one yet has a high res photo of such a smile! If you do have a comment or photo that you would be willing to send to celebrate the breed (and have it published in Dogster), my emaill is [email protected] My bio is Thanks in advance. I take breed profiles seriously and would let you see finished copy as well as chosen photo prior to publication. Lynn M. Hayner

    • Lynn, my coton does smile n occasions when she sees an old friend. Oddly, she never does this for me. I’m an intimate. She dos it for close friends but not me. I will do my best to capture the smile. Not easy. xx

      • That is quite interesting – -that your Coton smiles for old friends, not her most intimate companion. If you happen to have captured a photo, please let me know ([email protected]), and also if it would be okay to quote your story in the Coton Profile for Dogster (i-5 publishing). I have top agility coton folks giving some input, and have the piece just about completed, but would enjoy a quote about your experience with smiling — Thank you (I highlighted the Coton in Dog Fancy a few years back and became acquainted with the akc parent club officers — who are/have been remarkable sources of knowledge on this fascinating breed! But my readers enjoy a little color too — and your story about smiles would be perfect. Lynn M. Hayner [email protected], Dogster, http://www.dogchannel

  29. Dear Ms. Fonda, let me start my saying that I have always been a great fan of yours! You are an amazing woman and actress. I am French Canadian, I live in Montreal and like you I have a little Coton from Sara France Saint-Pierre’s La Cotonnerie. I know you must have a million more important things on your mind but I thought you would like to know that Sara France just had her very last litter. She is retiring but will still be producing her incredible organic Maple Syrup. I am certain she would be honored to hear from you. 🙂

  30. Finishing up the coton profile for Dogster, although I won’t send it til mid November, so if you catch a Smile photo, please do share (via my email [email protected]). In the meantime, I can share the entire profile with you via email, but the section that I would like to quote you in (from our exchange herein) would be along these lines: Sidebar Coton-Admiring Celebrities
    Celebrities and non-celebrities alike revel in the cottony dog with the island history. Barbara Streisand, Debra Messing, and Catherine Zeta-Jones all adore Cotons. Looking for male celebs with a heart for Cotons? My guess is quite a few of them cuddle Cotons too, but maybe not in front of the paparazzi lens.
    Actress Jane Fonda shares her life with a 10-year-old Coton named Tulea. “Tulea was the smallest in her little, and still only weighs 9 pounds today,” Fonda says. As for smiling, Fonda confirms the renowned Coton social skills. “My Coton does smile on occasions, especially when she sees an old, close friend,” Fonda says. “Interestingly, she rarely smiles for me, although I am her most intimate companion.”

    Please let me know if we have your permission to quote you as such, or if you would like to add to, or modify, any of the above. Also, if you do have a fun photo of you and Tulea, we would love to share it with our readers. I have some photos from the club folks, including one (rather blurry but could work) one of a Coton up on his hind legs with his smile in full gear! Thanks. We will send you a copy of Dogster with the Coton profile of course if we use your quotes and/or photos. I spent a long time studying the history of the breed, as I do with any breed, but this one has some very colorful history! Lynn

  31. Hi Jane,I’m leaving in a few minutes to pickup my 8wk old Coton De Tulear so I’m so excited.I’m 80 in May & hubby 85 so I guess you are never too old.I’m sure I’ll have a few nights of whining & crying until she settles down.I’m not sure if you can post pics on this site or not but she is a sweetie that I’ve named Kensi.She is not all white but other colours as well.

  32. My love for Coton de Tulear is HUGE. My Tiny Dancer Monet, looks a lot like yours, and she’s now silver too!

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