The Rescue of the
Coton de Tulear
 Shih Tzu

Hey, please don't click the mouse yet to leave this page. Take a minute to learn about the Coton de Tulear. . We may not look too gorgeous right now but when we're adopted, loved, and groomed you may have a great little dog in your home. 

This breed's temperament is similar to the Bichon Frise - very gentle, friendly, affectionate and alert. Our breed usually becomes very attached to our home and master, always wanting to please but we haven't been able to have a chance to experience that yet. We Cotons are normally a very sociable dog. We are very intelligent and learn quickly but we can be stubborn. Being stubborn isn't all bad. It can be a good trait IF owners take time to do the proper training. Another endearing trait about  Cotons are we often like to jump up and walk on our back legs. The best part of that is listening to the humans laugh at us. Remember, we like to please so whatever it takes. 

How about taking a few more minutes and use the Google search engine to learn even more about the Cotons. Then click back to Furbaby Rescue and see if one of us Cotton Balls couldn't be just what you need in your home.

(This is what we will look like again)

Our moment of freedom from a horrendous puppy mill arrived a few weeks ago, and our journey to happiness, love, warmth, and understanding began.  A  special rescuer, Karin of Scottie & Westie Rescue, found out about our horrendous plight. Even though she did not know how many of us there would be, what she would do or how, she took a brave step and did it.  It was a monumental task, but our angel helped us.  We don't know how we'll ever be able to thank Karin for what she did. We think if we can each be adopted and present her with a photo of us in our new forever home with our forever humans, that would be a great thank you. And perhaps at Christmas time if our new forever humans sent her a Christmas card with an updated photo and report, she'd know we hadn't forgotten what she did to save our lives. Would you help us do that?

There are now 17 of us with Furbaby Rescue from this puppy mill which includes thirteen Cotons and four Shih Tzu.  Several  pictures of us have been sent to Coton Rescue which have rescued our  breed for many years and they have confirmed  we are Cotons.  

We are now slowly getting ready to find forever homes. Furbaby Rescue is VERY CLEAR about this - do not apply unless you have another well socialized dog in your home.  This is absolutely critical for our well being. Preference will be given to homes, that have other like breeds, such as Havanese, Bichon, Maltese, Shih Tzu etc.  we will do best with similar breeds.   We have been through hell. You can't even begin to imagine.  All of us started out painfully shy but with SMALL STEPS,  we are coming around, wanting human affection.  Foster homes have started the process of rehabilitation, but an adopter must COMMIT themselves to continue. Patience, commitment, love and the understanding that this won't happen overnight will be rewarded with a very devoted doggie friend in the future. We also request that there be no children under 12 in their forever home, as they are too shy at this time to deal with small children. Also another requirement is a fenced yard.

"The Cotons"

First step "Grooming Day"

All the Cotons are males, ranging from 2-4 years old. 

(Adopted Jan.28/10)
Coton de Tulear
App. 2 years old
10 lbs

Ernie is a playful and busy little boy. He loves toys and chews and delights in shredding any paper and joyfully tossing it in the air. Ernie is an explorer. He loves to find new places to get into. He is good at following the other dogs in and out. He loves to run out into the yard and explore and to play (especially with Andy) and is learning to come running in when called.

Ernie is still very shy around new people and will hide until he starts to get comfortable. He loves treats but still can't quite bring himself to take them from my hand. Ernieís natural curiosity is one of our best weapons in helping him learn to trust people. He hates to be left out of anything. Ernie would do really well in a home with an  older brother or sister dog. He really doesnít care about breed but will play with any dog he can entice to run with him.

Ernie is still working on leash and house training. The house training is getting better. He is still a bit scared to do much on a leash but is learning to walk in the yard on a leash. As with all of the puppymill dogs Ernie still has a long way to go to be the happy little boy he was born to be, but if you have the time and patience to give to him, Ernie will be a wonderful addition to your family, keeping you in stitches with his antics and filling your home with doggy joy. 

Please enjoy the slide show:

Ernie is being fostered in Kirkland, WA email Sandra
  for application.

(Adopted Jan.28/10)
Coton de Tulear
App. 3 years old
15 lbs


Can you offer a bushel of patience, a truckload of compassion, and endless love for a puppy mill survivor? It will take longer than most dogs who come out of rescue but Andy will pay you back in time. Do you have another dog in your home to help teach Andy the doggy way of trusting a human? Or are you willing to adopt Andy together with another dog so he has what is critical to him being the best he can be? Do you have a fenced yard so he can run and play safely? 

Currently he loves to play with his squeaky toys and will chase a ball but hasn't yet learned to bring it back. At times he will get so animated that you'll think you have your own cartoon character. Andy is smart and does well at the groomers which is surprising considering his puppy mill start in life. Perhaps he knows that even the groomer cares more than anyone else ever has. Imagine what Andy can be in time with the right patient person. To top it off, Andy is cute, cute, cute. 

Andy needs your patience until he learns to trust humans and not run and hide if a human approaches him. It can happen but the human needs to be the patient one and not push. Andy still uses pee pads because he hasn't found the right human to trust enough to go out on a leash for the potty breaks. Thus the requirement of a fenced yard and another dog to help teach. There is hope but again, patience and doggy knowledge is key. 

If it seems like we've painted a picture of doom and gloom about Andy, that's not true. Andy is like an investment. Sometimes you have to make a decision on which stock to invest in and then be patient while waiting for it to mature which results in a great outcome.  

There's much more information we can provide to the right adopter but first we need to find the most patient doggie angel on earth for Andy. You won't be able to push, or expect too much too fast, or expect to leave Andy with just anyone for quite awhile. We believe that the exactly right person is out there. You just need to come to us and tell us why you are the most perfect match for Andy. If you don't have all the answers about how to deal with Andy's sad beginnings in life, let us know how you intend to find those right answers. 

Please enjoy the slide show:

Ernie is being fostered in Kirkland, WA email Sandra  for application.

(Adopted Oct.4/09)
App. 2 years old
10 lbs

App. 2 years old
9 lbs

Robbie now (Oct.09)

(Adopted Nov. 15/09)

Darling Robbie is still a little shy, but he has really blossomed and come a long way in his foster home.  He has learned to trust his foster humans and has bonded well with them.  He loves to run and play with the other dogs and can be quite the clown when he wants to be.  We are working on walking on a leash and he is improving daily.  We are so proud of him and what he has learned while in our care.  Robbie is a sweet, sweet boy!  He will need another dog in his new forever home to help him continue to gain self confidence.  Robbie is going to be a lovely little companion to a family that has patience and can give him the love he so deserves.  We are seeing more and more of the real Robbie everyday!  A fenced yard is required and also please no young children under the age of 12 yrs old. 

Chip and Robbie are being fostered in Sedro Woolley, WA.  

Chip and Robbie are making progress in their foster home.  They are learning to trust humans and also getting accustomed to being handled and touched.  Robbie is still the shyest, but is making positive steps forward.  Both are wagging their tails now when they see me and will come up for a head scratch.  Chip is even giving kisses!  He has also started walking on the leash.  Robbie isn't quite ready for that yet.  They both have much to learn in their new life outside of the cages at the mill.  For right now they are very dependent on each other emotionally and will need more time being evaluated to see if they can be separated. 

  Chip and Robbie are both dears and very, very sweet with not a mean bone in their bodies.  They just need time and love and will make a patient family very happy in their new forever home.  Having another socialized dog to live with will help them continue to learn and is also a must for these darling boys. 

  We are very proud of the progress they have made in just two weeks time.  A fenced yard is also a requirement as they learn to feel safe and secure while outside.  Being in a home and the outdoors is all new to these boys! 

  Gone are the horrible puppy mill days for Chip and Robbie!  Their new lives have begun!!  Would you like to help them on this exciting journey?  The rewards will be many!!!!   

Chip is by far the more outgoing of the two.

(Adopted Oct.12/09)
SeaBiscuit (aka Precious)
App. 2 years old
10 lbs

Biscuit is being fostered in Bellingham, WA.  
Note from foster Mom:

I was told that Biscuit was "the worst off of all the 80 puppy mill dogs."  When I saw him in his kennel, trembling in fear, covered in vomit from his stress and trying to put his head in the back corner, I wasn't surprised by the assessment.  After pulling him (kicking and screaming) from the crate I took him inside and held him in my chair.  For many hours (until 3 in the morning) I held him and massaged him, and finally he let out a big sigh and relaxed his body and even rolled over onto his back.  Since then his recovery has been amazing.  He is a complete lap dog and will stay in my lap for hours.  He likes to sleep either under the covers against my chest, or, more often, with his face against mine.  He has started to get into a play stance and tears around the house and yard, but sometimes gets nervous if I try too hard to play back right now.  His biggest challenge is that moment when he is picked up, which will fade away with time and trust.  I keep a halter and leash on him to make it easier to calmly bring him to me.
Biscuit is fully pad trained, but prefers to go outside.  He is still too frightened to go for neighborhood walks, but that will come in time, too.  This is one of the sweetest dogs I have ever met and whoever has the luck to continue his healing journey with him will have an unusually devoted and affectionate companion.

(Adopted Dec.24/09)
App. 2 years old
8 lbs
Update from foster home:

 Connor and Jaxson are being fostered in Maple Valley, WA

He LOVES to be with the pack and he is very smart! He watching my interaction with my guys and boy is he learning! He knows when it's time to eat! And last night and this morning he was right in the kitchen with everyone else waiting for his breakfast LOL Let me back up a bit, when I got up this morning he was out of the xpen and ready to go out to potty! I've been leaving the xpen open so they can come into my room if they want. Well Conor was in there sleeping on one of the beds LOL And he was ready to start the day!

Then after I fed them all I went out on the deck to drink my coffee, well gee who's that sniffing my leg? He is getting more comfortable with the human in the house every day! He still likes the other dogs better but he's warming up!

Well what a surprise I had when I got home from work tonight, here's Conor up on the couch looking out the window with the rest of them! So cute! Then when I came in, he was just watching what all the commotion was about LOL He finally came up and gave me a wee kiss and then off he went out with the rest!

He has come such a long way since the first day when all he did was cower each time he saw me! Now he's really curious as to what it's all about.

He was right in the kitchen tonight waiting for his dinner too and right now he is sleeping in the office with 6 other pups while I write.

Updated picture: Connor:

Connor is now being fostered in Bremerton, WA

(Adopted Oct. 9/09)
App. 3 years old
14 lbs

This  boy is very mellow, I think he would lay in his nice soft bed ALL day and night if you'd let him! He has no fear of humans anymore, he did the first few days. He would just cower down and make himself real small. Well now when he hears me he stands up and has a nice happy look in his eyes! I still have to coax him to go outside but once he gets out there he enjoys it. Tonight is the first night he has come out of the xpen by himself, he's out exploring the house and I just had to take a bar of soap away from him that he found in the bathroom. Oh what fun he was having with that LOL He just stood there and let me take it, he's such a good boy! He's been no problem with taking his meds or letting me put ear drops in his ears!

He loves to cuddle on the couch and has no interest in being part of the pack. He tolerates them sniffing him but he goes off and does his own thing and then looks for the human! He'll explore outside and then comes and sits by me and just watches.

He seems to be feeling more comfortable in the big scary house tonight. He even came out and ate with everyone else, now that was a first!

He loves his ears rubbed, chin scratches and back massages.


(Adopted Oct. 7/09)
App. 3 years old
12 lbs

Pepe is being fostered in Lake Stevens, WA
Pepe came around very fast, he loves to watch TV with his foster Dad, enjoys zooming through the house with the resident Westies, has come out of his shyness at a very good rate.  He is not fond of riding in the car (which is expected, he probably never rode in a car)  He is ready for his new home, but more work is needed on housetraining and walking on a leash

(Adopted Sept.4/09)
App. 2 years old
11 lbs

Willie is being fostered in Bellingham, WA

For the first 3 days this poor baby just wanted to hide in the back of his crate and tremble. He is SO adorable though with those brown coton eyes, and we just couldn't wait to hold him and snuggle him so he knew that we could be trusted. We hand fed him for 3 days. On the 2nd day, we came downstairs to let him out of his crate in the morning and - we could hear his tail wagging!!  We were so thrilled for him! He bounded out of his crate and out into the yard, then dazzled us with his hopping skills!  He actually hops! And he is quite the leaper and runner!  Willie LOVES our other dogs, especially Duncan and Winnie (both former Furbaby Rescue dogs as well!). He and Duncan just play and play now! He also LOVES our cats and our one dog-friendly cat, Leo actually romps around the house with him - they will be wrestling in no time.

After Willie's neutering we were worried it would take him time to adjust again and that he might forget who we were but - no way!  When I got him home and opened his crate in the back yard he just hopped on out and zipped around the yard. It was hard to tell he had even had surgery! Then - he went inside and decided it was time to play with the dog toys rather than be afraid of them. His favorite toy is a sheep "quilt" that has multiple squeakies in it - he loves chewing on it and tossing it around. He also loves a nylabone. I don't think he was allowed to have chew toys - he acts as though this is his first chewing experience - and he loves it. He doesn't mind sharing his toys or food. 

Willie is still working on trusting us - but he loves to be petted, he loves treats...he comes to us now when we call for him and wags his tail. He has already worked his way into our hearts - his sweetness is so evident and we know he will make a family out there very very happy. He seems to be fine with all people, dogs, cats...he is just a little timid at first but is gaining in confidence every day! His housetraining is going really well.

New things we've learned: 

  1. he loves to chew - anything - directing him to nylabone and chew toys
  2. he is really not happy with reflections in mirrors and pictures
  3. he is QUITE a jumper - straight upwards that is - he managed to open the back door from the outside a few days ago
  4. TOTAL snuggler on the bed - this boy needs a permanent lap to hang out on.

Watch his video

(Adopted Dec. 4/09)
App.2 years old
13 lbs
Opie is being fostered in Bellingham, WA

Opie is sweet little boy who is the first to come to get treats which he takes from my hand. He loves to be held (though he is still a bit scared while being picked) once he is in your arms. Opie loves to play with other dogs and with squeaky toys. He is a very wistful little boy who really seems to want to bond but hangs back in the chaos of the foster home. I think Opie will be a very loving dog for someone who takes just a bit of time with him.

Opie is joyous little pup with a mischievous smile. He is the first to come to get treats which he takes from my hand and he often runs up and licks my hand just to check and see if maybe there is an extra goody there. Though he is still a bit shy about being picked up, once he is in your arms he loves to be held.

 Opie initiates play with other dogs barking and dancing to get them to play with him. He tears through the house with squeaky toys. He is still working on house training but is doing well learning to walk on a leash and comes quickly when called. . Opie started out as very wistful little boy but is quickly developing into the little imp he was meant to be. Opieís joyful presence will bring joy to someone who takes just a bit of time with him.  
Update: Nov/09 Groom

(Adopted Oct. 24/09)
App. 3 years old
13 lbs
Casey still is a bit afraid with new people but once he is in your arms he loves to be held. He is quickly picking up on going potty outside. He loves to play with squeaky toys and to chew on hooves. He is in love with one of the resident Bichons and follows him everywhere.

Casey is a real lover. He is still a bit afraid with new people but once he is in your arms he loves to be held by anyone. He is quickly picking up on going potty outside. He loves to play with squeaky toys and to chew on hooves. He has learned the words for treats, going out and coming in, and going to bed; and has begun to sneak onto the bed at night to sleep with his foster mom.

He is in love with one of the resident Bichons and follows him everywhere. Casey would love to have a Bichon or Coton brother (or sister) to shadow and is ready for a home where he can get more attention. Casey needs a home with a fenced yard and will need to continue working on walking on a leash. He is a truly sweet little boy who will be a loving addition to the right family.

(Adopted Dec.27/09)
App. 2 years old
13 lbs

Barney is the shyest of the group, He hides from everyone except his foster mom and seems especially shy of men. Barney has a cute little personality. When he is happy and excited he races through the house with little bunny hops. He loves to play with other dogs and watches the house dogs to see what they do and follows their lead.

Barney has a cute little personality and is much more outgoing than many of the other Cotons. When he is happy and excited he races through the house and the yard. He loves to play with other dogs and to play with squeaky toys. He plays tug-o-war with his doggy pals. Barney knows his name and comes when he is called. He crawls up on the bed to cuddle with his foster mom and loves to cuddle on the couch or in a lap.  

Though Barney is still a bit shy, he is beginning to learn to trust people. He will take treats from people he has met before and is curious enough to come out to check out visitors. He watches the house dogs to see what they do and follows their lead. He is working on his house training. He is just beginning to learn to walk on a lead and is still needs to be crated in the car.  Barney would do really well in a home with another playful dog. He seems very ready to join a family and continue his to work toward being a normal dog.

Update Nov/09
Wow Barney  has come out of his shell and is on his fosters moms bed and sleeps with her now. He is another sweet boy. Barney is comical and he loves to play. He works great for treats and loves any bone he can get his paws on. Barney is shy of men but the right man to teach him that all men are not bad will work for Barney. Right now if it is just Barney and his foster mom he acts like a normal dog. He did great when he went to the groomers and was just a bit squirmy ,not bad for a abused dog who has lived though hell in a cage all his life.

(Adopted Oct.9/09)
App. 2 years old
11 lbs

Shrek is a painfully shy little guy. He follows the other dogs as they run to see what is going on but as soon as he sees a person coming near he runs and hides. We are working on him accepting pets and being comfortable while being held as well as coming close to accept treats but he still has a way to go with this. Shrek is defintiely a follower and lurks just behind the other dogs watching to see what is going to happen. This little guy will need a home with a lot of patience and love to give him the time to learn to trust.


Shrek was painfully shy little guy who went to another rescue and was returned to Furbaby. This was very lucky for him since he loves his foster home and is finally beginning to make some progress. He follows the other dogs as they run to see what is going on but as soon as he sees a new person coming near he runs and hides.

However he is now venturing out more.  He runs out with the other dogs to get treats and go potty outside. We are working on him accepting pets and being comfortable while being held as well as coming close to treats but he still has a way to go with this.

Shrek is definitely a follower and lurks just behind the other dogs watching to see what is going to happen. This little guy will need a home with a lot of patience and an older dog to show him the way. But anyone willing to invest the love and  the time into this little dog will see him bloom into the wonderful lover we keep catching glimpses of who has stolen his foster momís heart.

"The Shih Tzu"

(Adopted Aug.1/09)
App. 4 years old
12 lbs
* sadly Polly (aka Molly) passed away in the spring of 2013 from acute liver problems*
Polly and Brodie are being fostered in Blaine, WA

Ah, what to say about this sweet shy girl.  She follows you around, but she is still shy to be approached, each day brings her confidence and yearning for companionship closer and closer.  When you do hold this precious girl, she allows you to do anything you want.  She doesn't have a mean lil bone in her darling being.  She now loves to chew on hoofs, and starting to play with toys, and is excellent about doing her business outside...give her time, and she will be one adorable and endearing lil girl, who will take your heart and stamp her paws hard into it.
Since I have been rescuing ST for 13 years now, her fur texture, her eye set is would not surprise me, that she may be part Coton.

(Adopted July 31/09)
App. 1- 2 years old
14 lbs

I am in awe of this fabulous lil boy.  Who's pet was he? He  shows NO problems associated with coming from a puppymill.  He is joyous, happy, races through the house with toys, prances around, knows about pottying outside, no fear of people...friendly, is amazing.  And when his lil beard grows back in he will be stunning...the coat he has is to die for...what a wonderful boy.

These two boys still need their day at the groomers, but with time and amount of dogs needing medical, they got neutered they will look adorable, once you can see their faces

Newer Pictures

(Adopted Aug.15/09)
Sprocket and Deter
8 months old
11 lbs

They are being fostered in Seattle, WA

Sprocket and Deter are in many ways typical 8 month old pups. They are busy and curious; love to play with toys and chew on chews (and sometimes other things they find); and ready to get into everything. They are slightly shyer than more socialized puppies but are quickly learning about coming for treats and getting pets and are even beginning to understand about walking on a leash. Deter is a little more daring than his brother and he is the one who is first in every adventure. Sprocket seems a little shyer but follows his brother faithfully. They demanded to be let out of the Xpen after the first day and have learned to sleep in a crate at night in the foster mom's bedroom. They still have very little clue about house training. Though they love to run outside with the other dogs and willing go potty there, they often come inside and go as soon as they get back in. This is going to take a bit more individualized attention. However these two little boys are eager to explore their new world and with a bit of attention will not take long to become well adjusted puppies.


The two pups are beginning to come out of their shells and their personalities are coming to the fore. They love to play and are wild together. They especially love to play at night so we are continuing with crate training. They can't get in for full grooms til later but the foster mom could not stand not being able to see their cute little faces so those got a little better cleaned up. Aren't they cuties!

Deeter is less shy with people. He loves to be cuddled and comes up to be petted. He loves to play and is a real comedian- laughing when you talk to him. If he cannot be in the same room as his foster mom he lays right by the door with his toys waiting for her to come out.

Sprocket is more outgoing with other dogs but shyer with people. He loves to play with toys and gets all fo the other dogs running through the house. Once he is in your arms he is content to lie there but he still doesn't come looking for people.


Step # 2 "Vetting"

All dogs have now been altered, some had dental, umbilical hernia repair, most had ear infections, eye exams (Brodie has dry eye, not sure if this will be ongoing, or a result of the fur in his eyes, and if they will get better) all have had shots, DHLPP, Bordettalla, Rabies, Microchipped, bloodwork,  All have been you can imagine doing 17 dogs at once was a costly endeavor...amounting to: over $7000.00

Furbaby would like to thank:
Dr. Karen West and her staff, Redmond Animal Hospital, Redmond, WA
Dr. Kevin Erickson, & staff, Kulshan Vet Hospital, Lynden WA
Michele Mariani, for tirelessly taking dogs to the vet, transporting, getting them from the millers, oh the list goes on...THANK YOU!!!!

To all Furbaby Foster Homes...and our newest fosters, Dawn, Judy and Tim, we would have floundered without your added help.

If interested in adopting, please contact Furbaby Rescue or 
Sandra  for application.

We would like to say thank you and our gratitude for donations to help these babies to:
UCARE (United Coton de Tulear Association for Rescue & Education)
Puppy Parlor, Stacy Hannebaum for donating grooms, Renton, WA

A Dog's Soul

Every dog must have a soul
Somewhere deep inside
Where all his hurts and grievances
Are buried with his pride.
Where he decides the good and bad,
The wrong way from the right,
And where his judgment is
Carefully hidden from our sight.
A dog must have a secret place
Where thought abides,
A sort of close acquaintance that
He trusts in and confides.
And when accused unjustly for Himself
He cannot speak,
Rebuked, He finds within his soul
The comfort he must seek.
He'll Love, tho' he is unloved,
And he'll serve tho' badly used,
And one kind word will wipe away
The times when he's abused.
Although his heart may break in two
His love will still be whole,
Because God gave to every dog
An understanding Soul!

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