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Maltese Dogs

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

Maltese Dog

I'll never forget the day I met Hercules.

First to back up just a bit—I was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras about six years ago or so and in the elevator of the Ritz Carlton suddenly a tiny white dog popped his head up out of a woman's purse next to me. I asked, "What kind of dog is that?" It was a Maltese and so beautiful.

I had not had a dog since I was a kid—several Collies. I was living in a condominium at the time, downtown Orlando, on the sixth floor and this was a perfect size dog.

So, I got on the internet and found that there was only one AKC registered breeder of Maltese dogs recommended in Orlando, Christine Pearson. I called her and she had a brand new litter! I made an appointment and I went to her home.

When I got there she had 19 adult Maltese dogs, many of whom were very old and in diapers. I asked her, "What's with all the old dogs?" This woman is a saint! It seems that when someone doesn't want an old Maltese she takes them in! So I went to see the litter.



The Male Runt

Now, I had decided I wanted the largest female before going over there. As I looked at the five or six pups I noticed one in the corner who was so tiny—and it appeared the other pups were beating it up (as best they could). I asked Christine, "What's going on there?" She explained that the tiny one was a male runt and might not live. Her eyes welled up with tears and she said, "I've never lost one in twenty years. But I might lose him. He won't eat." I said, "That's the one I want."




I had to wait a couple weeks, during which time she fed him with an eye-dropper. Before I took him home she told me he would never get over three pounds—if he lived. I decided to just love him as long as I could. Something about him had called out to me in that litter.

Someone suggested a real wimpy name for him and I said, "You can't call a boy dog that. He'll have a complex his whole life. He should have a manly name like Hercules or something."

And so: Hercules he is.



Born New Years Day 2003

Well, it's over six years later (New Years Day is his birthday) and my friend Hercules is six and a half pounds and perfectly healthy—and I made sure he kept his nuts, too. I am a man after all, and I know how I'd feel if somebody whacked mine without my consent.



A Fearless Blessing

What a blessing he has been to me. This little guy is fearless. He is friendly to small and medium size dogs—but big dogs he wants to attack them: to protect me.

He is an expert watchman. He doesn't bark much but if he does—I guarantee you I'll look out the window and there is a person walking or riding a bicycle within a block or two. Actually, he hears them way before he sees them.

Hercules AKC Pedigree Certificate

Hercules AKC Pedigree Certificate

Christine Pearson: Champion Maltese Breeder

I just love my Hercules so much and he is a very loving animal. He travels with me wherever we go under the seat of the airliner in his pet carrier. Three of his grandparents and six of his great-grandparents were champion show dogs.

Christine Pearson says Hercules is among the prettiest Maltese she has seen. He is a big boy in a little body with a huge heart.

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The Diminutive Aristocrat

The Maltese dog is called the Diminutive Aristocrat. The breed has its origin on the Island of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. (I wrote a Travel Hub about Malta.)

There is a record of Maltese Dogs back to 500 B.C. (Before Christ). We can see them in art (and read about them in stories) sitting on the laps of royalty in Greece, Egypt and later Europe.

They are a hardy breed of sweet, eager to please, companion dogs. The Maltese coat does require daily care to prevent matting—it's hair not fur. They do not shed.



Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth of England received a Maltese dog from the Sultan of Turkey in 1509 while still a girl during the reign of her father, Henry the VIII.

At the time, it was believed a Maltese had healing powers and were nicknamed "the comforter" in the Middle Ages. I believe it.





Hercules, Hercules

Hercules, Hercules


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 10, 2012:

sherry- I have no dogs for sale but I appreciate your request and I thank you for visiting my Hub and posting your comments.

sherry on February 10, 2012:

boy or girl if grl r u willing to sell if no then ok

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 01, 2012:

sgbrown— Hello there. You are quite welcome. Hercules survived just fine and provided me with untold hours of joy over the years. I am glad we picked the runt too. :-)

I appreciate the voted up and awesome. Thank you very much for your warm words. :-)

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on January 31, 2012:

Hello James. This is a wonderful hub! Im glad to took the runt of the bunch, it shows that you have a good heart! I am so happy the Hercules survived and has become such a meaningful part of your family. Voted this up and awesome. Thank you for Sharing! :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 18, 2012:

GB— I hope the love and bonding you experienced over the last eight years was worth it for you. It sounds as if it truly was a blessing both to you and to Teddy.

I had a wonderful experience with Christine Pearson. She babysat quite a lot for us when we would travel out of town and seemed to love Hercules as her own. I admired her for taking in 20 old dogs. They weren't so much sick as just old, with no teeth and having to wear diapers. I mean, who would do that?

Thank you for sharing your story with me, Gail. My heart feels for you at this time.


GB on January 16, 2012:

Dear James,

You just finished an 8 yr. puzzle for me. I now truly believe I got a sick rescue dog that could not have been shown due to raised testicle and bad genes. Well, it's about 10K$ later and I finally figured out what I got. We gave each other so much love and bonding. I miss him so much. Blessings to you and your beautiful baby.

p.s. I could and would never do business with this back yard breeder again as she did not want much to do with me when problems starting occurring in my baby even years ago. My groomer just told me I could not go visit him in her back yard or plant flowers if he is buried there. I am dealing with this dilema - might have to burn him up to ashes--don't want too.

Gail and Teddy.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 15, 2012:

GB— I am so sorry to read this terrible news about Teddy. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss.

I do remember that Teddy and Hercules both came from Christine. She rescues quite a few abandoned Maltese dogs. Maybe she has one you can have.

No one will ever replace Teddy. I know that. You will see him again in heaven.

I will pray for your comfort. God Bless You.


GB on January 15, 2012:

A prayer for Teddy-my Maltese. He went to rest in peace on Jan. 7th, 2012 after making a quick turn for the worse. He was 8 1/2. Liver disease-result of Cushings finally did him in. He stopped eating, drinking, barely responding one day last week and was crying. He looked horrible in the end-lost all his gorgeous hair. It pained me to look at him, but he was still pulling his own up until the end and it depended my love for him. As he has been the love of my life as a single woman alone, I am devasted. p.s. he had a raised testical when I got him-(had to have him fixed) and developed Thyroid disease - these are passed down through bad breeding in the genes. As you know, we got our babies through the same breeder. I pray your Hercules will stay as healthy as he is beautiful for a long time. Teddy will be buried in my groomer's back yard with 12 other pups and I will plant wild flowers. Blessings to you and Hercules for the New Year.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 17, 2011:

mary615— Good evening! I will certainly come over soon to read about "Mister." God Bless You for rescuing him.

I am so glad you enjoyed this Hub and wrote me such a nice note. I appreciate the voted up! Thank you very much for visiting.

Merry Christmas!

ps I lived in Florida 18 years but moved away two years ago. It is a great state! :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 16, 2011:

SanneL— Thank you for loving this Hub! :D

I saw that you were so kind as to repost this Hub for me. I am honored and grateful that you did.

Thank you for your lovely laudations. Merry Christmas!


Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 15, 2011:

Good Morning! Glad I found a fellow Maltese lover! This Hub was shared (I can't remember who without going back).Maybe the Hubber remembers the Hub I wrote about my rescued Maltese I name Mister. Check it out when you have time. My little guy was in bad shape; I fostered him, and then I just couldn't give him up. He has added SO much to my life. I have a Miniature Schnauzer, but she is not as loving as Mister. Enjoyed reading this so much. I voted it UP, etc.

SanneL from Sweden on December 15, 2011:

James, I love this hub!

Your Hercules is just so adorable and you both are so lucky to have each other. Owning a pet sure makes life so much richer. Bless you both,


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 02, 2011:

GB— Welcome back! I am thankful that Hercules has not yet had any health problems. Gosh, he is nine now! Hard to believe how time flies.

I am so sorry to hear of Teddy's appearance. Poor baby. And poor you! :(

Yes health problems, illness and disease, can befall any living creature at any time—even us. Let us be thankful for each day of good health we and our pets enjoy. We never know what lies around the next bend.

Thank you for helping to educate other pet owners. This Hub still gets a couple visitors each day. Thanks again and you are most welcome.

God Bless You!


GB on September 01, 2011:

James you seem like a super guy as well as your baby. I forgot to add Teddy my Maltese has thyroid disease as well. He is on medication for that and it seems to be helping his energy level and comfort. Around the time he was diagnosed with cushings-his thyroid was very low. Hercules is so beautiful and I have spent a fortune over the yrs. with grooming bills. Teddy looked like Hercules. Now Teddy looks like a pink rat with black scabs and little hair. It is heartbreaking to look at him, but his mind & personality are still there. He will always be beautiful to me. I am now trying a homeopathic/natural product called Nzymes-(they have a great website) to boost his immune system. Antibiotics made his scabby black and pink skin condition worse. I know you will trust your gut if your baby gets sick and get 2 opinions and do your research. I did not need to get expensive repeated blood work done to prove he was sick, but, it pinpointed what was going on. Thank you for listening to all this, I am trying to educate other pet owners. And just because someone gets a dog from an AKC show dog pedigree back yard breeder, never guarantees a long healthy life for the pet. Stay, happy, healthy and safe.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 12, 2011:

Eiddwen— Thank you for the kind words. I am glad you came by to take a look at this one. It is one of my personal favorites of my Hubs.


Eiddwen from Wales on August 10, 2011:

A great hub and what a beautiful dog.

I loved this one on man's best friend.

Take care


James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 03, 2011:

GB— I was not aware of Cushings Disease. I am so sorry to hear of Teddy's struggles with his health. It must be gut-wrenching for you. I will pray for his and your comfort.

Thank you for sharing your sad story with us. I appreciate that valuable link also. God Bless You! You will see Teddy in heaven.

GB on August 01, 2011:

James, I hope Hercules is doing well. My baby Teddy has failed miserably since I last wrote-4 months ago as he has Cushings Disease. 2 vets, a specialist and 1K$ later I am watching my beautiful baby waste away at 8 yrs old. There is no cure. He is now on 3 medications to try to help the side effects. His Cushings medicine made him worse-off took him off that. He has a pot belly, loosing all his gorgeous hair, has barely enough strength/muscle mass to lift his leg to pee, has a horrible staph infection, plaques all over him - as a result of Cushings. Peeing 20 times a day is a part time job for me to clean up in his oceanfront condo room. He has trachea breathing problems as well and has not been able to be walked for atleast 3 yrs. in the hot FL weather. I have made arrangements when the time comes with my wonderful groomer to be buried in her yard with wild flowers. Teddy is still alert and eats and drinks, he's lost his gorgeous looks like your baby still has. He still licks my tears away and I would not wish this on anyone. My home is his hospice, but I will not let him suffer. Prayers for Teddy.

I know you will give all the love and care to your baby as every moment is precious.

Anyone looking for a simple explanation of the horrible disease that could happen to any of us, should visit.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 29, 2011:

ChristineVianello-- I love him too! I am so pleased to meet another Maltese fan. Hercules is the best boy in the whole world. Thank you for coming! :D

ChristineVianello from Philadelphia on March 29, 2011:

I love your puppy! I also have a maltese, Angel. She is apart of my family, not sure what I would do without her.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 22, 2011:

GB— I am so sorry to read your comments. Thank you for coming by and leaving this post of your, quite different, experiences. I am surprised and disappointed to hear this tale of woe.

I will say that house-training may not be the Maltese strong suite. Hercules was trained well but then we moved—and he never did adjust to the new environment as far as house-training goes.

Gosh, your words are gut-wrenching. I've always found Christine to be wonderful. In fact, she babysits Hercules every time we go out of town. She is the only person we trust to babysit him.

I don't know what to say except I do empathize with you. God Bless You.

GB on March 20, 2011:

James, I am glad your exp. with this breeder has gone so well. I have a 7 yr. old baby boy (beautiful-too) from her. He has been pooping and peeing all over my house since I can remember. He can't be walked for trachea breathing problems which developed at about 3 yrs. old. NOW he has Cushings disease. I am working with my vet to try to get to the bottom of it. He is suffering and I am too. It is a horrible disease. The breeder wants nothing to do with me now. I have to ask myself in hinesight about all those dogs in diapers when I bought him $1,400 in 2004 and she has wanted nothing to do with me since he started developing problems-except to return him. I have been crying for days. Glad it worked out for you so far. Christine Pearson is probably a wonderful, caring person - i.e. I am not slandering her. I am simply telling you what happened to me and my beautiful boy and how we are suffering. She called me abusive/selfish because I refused to put diapers on him, and keeping him in one 120 sq. ft ocean front room, with best quality food, distilled water, clean papers and his favorite TV shows and toys. She is tired of being blamed?! (I simply asked questions and felt she got defensive) and has written in emails that his 10 lb. weight is all my fault too. I am very upset about my baby to say the least. Best to you both. God Bless.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 14, 2011:

PegCole17— He is very much adorable alright. Truly a balm—what an apt description in one word. Yes, they are that. I love his name too. And he has the heart of a Hercules. I can attest to that. :D

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on March 12, 2011:

What an adorable little fluff ball! Dogs are truly a balm for the people they live with. So tiny and smart. And I love his name. I'm sure he appreciated not being named something less manly.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 03, 2011:

jantamaya— Thank you very much! I do love this boy. I hope you do get a dog. They can't be beat for loving companions. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

MJC from UK on January 02, 2011:

Great hub about a great dog named Hercules. One day I would adopt a dog too. It would be a Samoyed (probably).

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 31, 2010:

ac— I don't know who lezli h is. But I appreciate you visiting my Hub.

ac on December 30, 2010:

lezli h is not a dog whisper but a compulsive liar.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 19, 2010:

gatewaytoJesus— You're welcome. Shemeah and Judah—nice names. I am sure you do love them. I love my little boy. I am glad you like the pics. Thank you for saying so. :-)

gatewaytoJesus from victoria australia on August 18, 2010:

Thankyou James for your kind words,yes it left me feeling very sad,but praise God i have my little Shemeah now and she is beautiful,i also have a chow/foxy his name is Judah i love my babies.I LOVE THE PICS YOU HAVE ON THIS HUB TOO

thankyou again

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 17, 2010:

gatewaytoJesus— You are welcome. Thank you for visiting my humble Hub. I appreciate your comments. Welcome to the HubPages Community.

Poisoned him!? That is horrible.

gatewaytoJesus from victoria australia on August 16, 2010:

Hi James

This is a lovely story i have a maltese cross and she is small and beautiful.I had a male he was about 7yrs and it looked like someone poisoned him.They are very faithful friends and they are great company.Thanks again for a great story

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 27, 2010:

katiem2— Thank you, my dear. If I need a sitter you shall be at the top of the list. The Maltese dog needs its hair groomed every day to prevent matting. Hercules is a beautiful creature inside and out. :D

Katie McMurray from Ohio on July 26, 2010:

Hercules is amazing, ever need a sitter I'm there. Now I want a Maltese and I would so love trimming and grooming the coat/hair! Beautiful tribute to Maltese Dogs!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 03, 2010:

Mr. Happy— Thank you! Thank you very much. I sure do love him. I appreciate you for coming by to visit.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 02, 2010:

That's one cute dog! A very nice story as well. Cheers!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 08, 2010:

Tammy Lochmann— You are welcome, Tammy. It's nice to hear from you. I'm sure Mattie is quite special. I sure love my little boy Hercules! Thank you for commenting.


Tammy Lochmann on June 07, 2010:

Mattie adopted us about two years ago she is really special...We don't think she is 100% Maltese she may be part poodle but she is really sweet. Thanks for sharing. Tammy

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 30, 2010:

stars439--- I love Hercules, too. Thank you for your compliments. I appreciate your ongoing support and friendship.

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on January 29, 2010:

Love your dog Hercules. Wonderful hub. God Bless You.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 25, 2009:

gracenotes— You are welcome. Hercules is truly a big blessing to me. He has a huge heart in a tiny body. 6 1/2 lbs. He'll be seven New Years Day. Hercules doesn't bark much. Only if someone is walking within two blocks of our house. Then he sounds out an unmistakable warning. Thank you for coming by and leaving your words.

gracenotes from North Texas on November 25, 2009:


Thank you for the comments about my "Write About Your Pet" hub.

I like white dogs (my poodle is white) -- they are easy to spot, anywhere. Also, I MUST have a non-shedding dog, and have managed this 3 times now (even with a mixed breed dog).

You are fortunate to have the love of little Hercules to add to your life's joy. He is a charmer. By the way, my other dog is a miniature schnauzer -- planning to write about her eventually! I don't mind dogs with yappy, shrill barks. :-) It's interesting why they bark -- the poodle and schnauzer bark for totally different reasons, so they are usually not doing a duet. It helps! ha

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 19, 2009:

Tracy711— Thank you! I am pleased that you enjoyed this piece. Hercules does love me—more than anybody methinks. I agree with you that dogs are experts at studying their masters and learning what words and gestures mean. Amazing indeed. I enjoyed your last sentence very much, as I feel the same way. I appreciate your graceful comments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

Tracy711 on September 19, 2009:

I loved this hub. I have two dogs and both of them were the runts. I always pick the runts for fear that no one else will. I'm so glad you saved him. I'm sure he loves you with all his heart. And I think dogs understand alot more too. I have never tausht my dogs any tricks but I talk to them every day. They do what I ask and people freak out because they know what I'm saying. I don't understand it either but I know they understand what they are asked to do. Amazing little creatures. I'm so glad God allowed us to have them to love.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 18, 2009:

divinemercylover1— The last shall be first, my friend. :)

John, your comments are artful and appreciated. Hercules is surely adorable. And he is a very loving boy with a big heart.

divinemercylover1 on September 18, 2009:

Hi James. So sorry I am last on this one but had to take a couple of days away from writing.

Hercules is absolutely adorable and I am happy you chose him. Pets that have been rescued like you did seem to just know and appreciate the fact you took them away from an environment not suitable for themselves....and they reward you in return with so much love!!!! This was truly a very lovely story James and thanks for sharing a part of yourself and HErcules. Best wishes my friend. John

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 15, 2009:

It is my pleasure. :-)

Tina Irene on September 15, 2009:

James -

You're welcome, and thanks for the very nice reply.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 14, 2009:

reconciled heart— Thank you for your gracious words. I appreciate you for reading my humble hub. :-)

reconciled heart on September 14, 2009:

How sweet! Pets are so important in a person's life, and it's wonderful that you adopted the one who had the odds against him. We have a cat whom my husband rescued a few years ago. Lovely post!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 13, 2009:

rebekahELLE— They are adorable and sweet natured. You should get one!

Thanks for coming by to visit and for your kind comments. I do appreciate it.

rebekahELLE from Tampa Bay on September 13, 2009:

adorable~~~~ my son's girlfriend has one and I love when she brings Lilo over, so sweet... she'll jump up and sit on my lap. now I want one!!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 11, 2009:

Peggy W— Thank you for coming by to visit! Always a pleasure to hear from such a nice lady as yourself.

I missed the Hub on the Pom. And I will correct that oversight shortly. I love dogs, and I like cats, too.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 11, 2009:

My mother's pom is now the only dog in the house along with our 2 cats. They have all had their stories told here on hubpages. Your Hercules is a real cutie pie. Powerful big name for such a little guy.

My mother's pomeranian keeps watch much as your Hercules does. No one is going to sneak up on this house! Ha!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 11, 2009:

Mardi— I know! That topknot is a bit different. It makes everybody say, "What a pretty girl!" When I leave the house with Hercules, I take it out. I would leave it out permanently if I had my way. :)

Thank you very much for coming by and leaving your remarks.

Mardi Winder-Adams from Western Canada and Texas on September 11, 2009:

What a sweetie! I have never had a small dog but maybe one day. Not sure how he would get along with the 8 farm dogs around here, but I bet he could hold his own! Might have to take the topknot out to avoid the boy dogs picking on him (LOL).

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 10, 2009:

lezli hewitt— Hey! I remember you! It has been many years ago. Thank you for visiting my Blog. I appreciate it.

16 dogs!? Are you kidding!? Wow! The unknown dog whisperer? Let's start a TV show with you as the star. :-)

lezli hewitt on September 10, 2009:

Cute. I have 16 dogs, they range from 10 pounds to 200. I am the unknown dog whisperer.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 10, 2009:

Tina Irene— Thank you. Yes, it is a special Hub to me. :)

I like cats, too. I've never owned one of my own but I always enjoy them at the houses of friends who have them.

I appreciate the visit and the comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 10, 2009:

Pinkdaisy— Well, I thank you very much. I appreciate you saying so. I'm glad you came by.

Tina Irene on September 10, 2009:


Another beautiful hub article and, a very special one! That Hercules is an absolute darling, and your story about him reminds me of the many cats that have "owned" me: all were "rescued", so to speak. I'm not "a dog person", per se, but Hercules could easily make me into one.

pinkdaisy from Canada on September 10, 2009:

Very cute! I love Maltese dogs - especially when they have ponytails :0)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 09, 2009:

Linda's Hub Pages— It is a pleasure to hear from you, as always. He is a handsome lad, alright. I appreciate you for saying so. Dogs surely can teach us things, provide companionship, and therapy for the aged and hospitalized. Thank you for your warm words.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 09, 2009:

ReuVera— I did review that Hub you referred me to and it is terrific. Highly recommended to anyone who reads this thread. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Linda's Hub Pages on September 09, 2009:

What a handsome dog Hercules is,I would of said beautiful but I didn't want to hurt his male ego especially after what the vets wanted to do to him.LoL.I really love dogs also.They bring such joy into your lifes,they can teach humans a thing or two.Thanks for sharing him with your friends.

ReuVera from USA on September 09, 2009:

James, actually it is an old hub about dogs, Shoko included. It's here-

Sorry for giving a link here, but I am afraid otherwise you won't find it :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 09, 2009:

ReuVera— Thank you! Yea, I think the name has granted the boy some pride and dignity he might not have had as "BeBe." :)

I am glad you told me about your "Shoko" and the Hub about her. I am going to read that tonight. I appreciate your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 09, 2009:

rcisophie— 5 dogs!? Holy cow! If I didn't have a Maltese I would have a Yorkie. They are handsome dogs. You spoil your dogs! :)

I appreciate you for coming by and leaving your kind comments.

ReuVera from USA on September 09, 2009:

What a cute boy you have! The name surely helped him to become what he is!

We have a little mix (toy-terrier/pincher) Shoko, we saved her from the street in Israel 11 years ago. Brought her with us here. She is a member of the family. She is a little tiger with an innocent look. I wrote about her in one of my hubs too.

rcisophie from Lisbon, Portugal on September 09, 2009:

They are SO CUTE! Congratulations for your Hercules he is lovely eh eh eh In my family we have 5 dogs, a poodle, a crossed german shepard/samoyedo, 2 from the municipality shelter and a pure yorkie. And they all are lovely and spoiled... its helpless. They also have very distinct 'personalities':)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

jiberish— Isn't that something!? Thank you!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

GPAGE— Here's to Butch! I'm pretty sure dogs go to Heaven so you may see him again. :-)

Super Zoe. Nice. You are very welcome and I always enjoy your presence.

Jiberish from florida on September 08, 2009:

James, I read thru all the comments, and not one attack. Congratulations!

GPAGE from California on September 08, 2009:

Oh heart skipped a beat for my little "macho man" Butch, a male pomeranian that travelled with me for years......he was tough and always went after the BIG dogs. He never left me, he was my guardian and my little and loving friend. I now have a beautiful Golden Retriever who is wonderful with the kids. I call her "Super Zoe." THANK YOU for this wonderful hub. G

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

Tom Whitworth— That's a lovely story, Tom. The Maltese tend to have hip problems and lose their teeth. Other than that, they're pretty tough little characters. And very loving. That Hercules can give a licking and keep on ticking. I appreciate your visit today.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

bayareagreatthing— I know what you mean. I don't like a yapping dog. Early on, if he barked for no reason or too much I just looked at him and said shhhhhh! And he stopped. Before long, he became a quiet dog unless someone comes down or road whose not in a car.

Your funny! You made me laugh with your description of your mom's Maltese. But it's true! Thanks for your remarks.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

Douglas— I remember Cozy. And I could see how much you and Cozy loved each other, too. The brakes failed on that CJ after landing, didn't they? I felt so bad for you. Anywhere you went Cozy went.

I hope you have developed a similar relationship with CJ. You are a good man, Douglas. Thanks for your comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

Kebennett1— Well, you surely are a lover of small dogs! I can see that. Good for you. I am sure they bring the family much joy and companionship.

I am thankful for your wonderful words here. It's always a pleasure to hear from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

jiberish— Thank you, me lady. Have you noticed: I haven't been attacked for having a dog yet!? :-)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

BrianS— I agree with you. If you love a dog they return twice as much love to you. I like Labs. They are nearly always gentle natured and very smart. Thanks for coming and leaving word.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

Nemingha— A lot of people laugh out loud at his name. I like it. It's different. :-)

He does have a big heart, that's for sure. Thanks for coming by.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

Lily Rose— Thank you for visiting my Hub. A larger dog wouldn't have been practical for us in a condo. A few of my friends have teased me about having a foo-foo dog. :)

Maltese are wonderful friends and everywhere I take him women go gaga over him.

You are welcome. Thanks for the comments.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

jesusmyjoy— Thank you and you are welcome! :)

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on September 08, 2009:


The last dog I had was a Maltese/Pomeranian mix. Tramp looked like a Maltese with reddish blond hair. I got him just before Christmas of 1971 when my older daughter was only 4 months old. Tramp was an extremly loving dog. I had a full Pom before, but the Maltese/Pom mix had a much better disposition around children then that which I saw exibited by the pure Pom. He also didn't exhibit the genetic weekness towards slipped discs of the Pom.

My younger daughter was born two years later and Trampy remained a valued member of the family throughout his life.

bayareagreatthing from Bay Area California on September 08, 2009:

Just adorable! My mom has a Maltese. She is the sweetest dog. She isn't a yappy barker either (which is a bonus). She gets so excited and runs around like a wind up toy on crack- very entertaining.

douglas on September 08, 2009:

I love little white dogs and have had two, Cozy [nameded after Cosette, the orphan daugher in Les Miserables] and now C.J. [Cosette Le Jeunne]. They are Bichon Frise, a slightly larger dog weighing about 15 pounds. They have been such great companions and like Hercules tend to hold larger dogs at bay when they get too close to me.

Cozy died in an accident at 9 years and C.J. is now 6. Thanks for writing about the companionship virtues of the smaller dogs.

Kebennett1 from San Bernardino County, California on September 08, 2009:

HERCULES is adorable I can see why you love him so much. He looked even more adorable as a puppy. I have had a Min. Yorkie, which I loved dearly. A tea cup Peach Poodle which I adored, a short haired Red Min. Dachshund that I loved but gave to my Brother-In-Law because since he fell head over heels in love with him and I could not house break him for anything! Right now I have a Long haired Min. Dachshund that is 15 years old. She is the matriarch! The love of all our lives and never leaves my father's side! I have a 1 1/2 year old Mini Pincher that is attached at the hip to my mother and a 6 Month old Mini Pincher that is my baby. I have always loved Miniature Breeds. Some day I would love to have a Maltese, but for now, we have enough! At least that is what my Father, the Patriarch say's :) I love the pictures of your baby. He is so cute .Oh, I guess it is handsome for a boy! Great and informative Hub as always.

Jiberish from florida on September 08, 2009:

Why am I not surprise that you picked the little runt, Very cute!

Brian Stephens from Laroque des Alberes, France on September 08, 2009:

Dogs are great companions and if you treat them right loyal friends. We have a Labrador now but rescued a smaller dog once who looked a little similar to yours although I am sure he wasn't a pedigree.

Nemingha on September 08, 2009:

Love the irony of the name - I bet he has a big heart!

Lily Rose from A Coast on September 08, 2009:

An ex-boyfriend of mine had two maltese and I loved them - have always said that when we're ready to get a dog I want a maltese or poodle (had one growning up) - just have to convinve the "macho" husband that we don't need a big dog that sheds everywhere! Great story, James!

Betty Bolden from Bucyrus Ohio on September 08, 2009:

he is beautiful, thank you for sharing

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

cristina327— Thank you. He's a pretty boy and when he is groomed he insists I acknowledge his prettiness, too. It's so funny. He will bark at me until I tell him he's a pretty boy then he stops. I sometimes wonder if dogs don't understand more than we realize.

Cristina Santander from Manila on September 08, 2009:

Great hub. You have indeed a very cute dog. Dogs are always special to me whatever breed they are.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

Waren E— I do know what you mean! Everybody, even the vet said, "You've got to cut them out!" I questioned this. Why? To prevent diseases they said. And I thought to myself: Well, how did dogs make it all these millennia without this intervention? I decided hey, he's got a size disadvantage as it is. As long as he lives, I'm going to let him be a real man! :-)

Waren E from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............ on September 08, 2009:

BRAVO on saving that little fella,and for keeping him from that certain type of visit to the vet,if you know what I mean!:D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:


You did!? Well now, we DO have something in common. See!? :)

I love the Yorkies, too. They are one of my favorite breeds. Some of my friends chastened me for not getting a dog out the pound but we wanted one like the one we saw peeking out that lady's purse! :-)

Then after we got Hercules, he was a distressed dog even though we paid a pretty penny for him. He's been worth every cent and then some.

I hear you. Hercules has taught me some things about love, forgiveness, living in the moment you have, greeting someone with enthusiasm.

Thank you for sharing about Ruggles. It warms my heart to hear from you because I thought you were mad at me. :-)

Connie Smith from Tampa Bay, Florida on September 08, 2009:

I have had two full blooded Maltese and I love them. My current dog is a 10 year old Yorkie/Maltese Mix (named Ruggles)that I found out is now (in the days of designer dogs) called a "Morkie." He looks like a Maltese in every way but has the Yorkie coloring. Still, it is hard to beat these little guys for the best dispositions, cuteness (micheviousness LOL), loyalty, intelligence and you name it. My dog (and this might sound strange) has taught me how to better communicate with other animals.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

IslandVoice— I was compelled to pick this tiny boy. And I am so glad I did. No one is as happy to see me as he is. He does his little dog dance and kisses me—even if I just stepped outside for five minutes.

21 dogs!? Wow! That's quite a few. Yes. They are precious creatures. I plan to write Hub someday about Dog Poetry I have read from centuries ago that is very moving.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 08, 2009:

advisor4qb— You win the Grand Prize Game! What do we have for our little missy, Sandy?

Thank you, honey, for taking a look at my adopted son. :)

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