If you think beauty and brains are mutually exclusive, you'll
find a surprise in the Papillion.
This petite, glamorous little dog is as smart as they come. Anyone
who looks in this sweet creature's eyes will fall in love. The
PapillionFrench for butterflygets its name from its
large, well-fringed ears which resemble the shape of butterfly
wings. They are tiny dogs---only about 15 inches tallwhich
average around five pounds. The only recognized Papillion markings
are parti color and white with black or brown markings on the
ears, tops of head and around the eyes. Paps' are highly versatile
dogs with a lifespan of 13 to 16 years.
I have a Pap of my own named Lyka. However, when my friends
meet her, she's often called "rat." Once they get to
know her, they always change their minds. She greets them with
her tail wagging as fast as it can and a toy or cookie in her
mouth. This she drops by the person's feet as a present for coming
to visit her. Her other quirks include whining and howling every
morning until she gets her morning toast and making up a new
game with her toys every day.
Even though Papillons aren't very well known in the modern
day worldthey rank as the 52nd most popular breedhistory
knows them very well. Marie Antoinette was devoted to her two
paps, and it's said she took one of them with her to the guillotine,
handing it to the executioner just before she was beheaded. King
Henry the third, who ruled France from 1560 to 1574,
supposedly appeared before his council of state wearing a basket
filled with Papillons around his neck and always slept with a
Papillon named Lilene. Lilene is said to have reacted with such
extreme violence toward a visiting monk that the king finally
shut her away. After the monk stabbed the king, Henry is said
to have gasped, "If only I had heeded Lilene's warning."
Naturally assertive, Papillons make good watchdogs despite their
small size. However, with people they know you could never find
a more friendly and loyal dog. Papillons are fairly confident
they're more human than dog. Their intelligence is absolutely
exceptional and so is their devotion to people. They're the fourth
smartest breed in the world. Because Papillons are intelligent,
they require a lot of interaction, attention and a relationship
with their humans. Each one is like a little person, and most
are abnormally kind, sweet, caring and loving. For the owner
ready to give it all, no dog could be more rewarding.