The Maltese: Dogs for Divas

The hypnotic beauty of the Maltese dog has been praised by laureates and artists alike, and we, for one, don’t find it surprising or hard to believe at all. The strikingly elegant and unbelievably poised Maltese dogs deserve every bit of extolling they receive because, honestly, if not them, then who?!

Covered in a plush, dense mop of silky white hair, these lapdogs love to prance around with their head held high while their lustrous locks sway in the air. And their expressive eyes and button nose add just the right amount of cuteness to their otherwise sassy demeanor. If you have ever crossed paths with a Maltese dog (which we are pretty sure you must have because how can you not?), you’d know that they are high-spirited bouncy canines that enjoy life to the fullest. It is their oh-so-animated personality that makes them ideal for companionship. People love to adopt these lovable pooches to add some color of fun to their lives. Aside from that, Maltese dogs make excellent therapy dogs because of their perky nature.

Okay, so they’re possibly one of the most elegant and vivacious canines, but why do we think that they are the dogs for divas? Well, because they have been the pet choice of many charismatic personalities in history, apart from being fur babies to royalties world over. If you need us to get into a little more depth and tell you precisely who were those luminaries that adopted Maltese and raised them as their own, we’re down! Here are some compelling facts about Maltese and their past owners that will blow your mind while turning you into a fan if you aren’t already one.

Majesty to Majesty

The Maltese dogs look every bit as elegant as the English rose. So it’s only natural that regale personage was drawn towards the deluxe white toy dogs. The famous Roman emperor, Claudius, was the proud owner of a Maltese pup. Mary, the Queen of Scots, and Queen Victoria also loved toting their white furry friends whenever possible. The French Empress Josephine Bonaparte and Queen Marie Antoinette also owned Maltese dogs.

Babies to the Aristocracy

Aside from being the playmates to people of royal lineage, Maltese dogs have also been supremely dear to the bureaucracies in many regions across the world. The 1st century AD governor of Malta owned a Maltese pooch that they had named Issa. But that’s not the best part, the most notable thing about this story is that Issa was endlessly praised by a famous poet of the times, Marcus Valerius Martialis. In a beautifully written sonnet, the poet described Issa’s enthralling beauty and perky nature. Marcus wrote,

Issa is more frolicsome than Catulla’s sparrow. Issa is purer than a dove’s kiss. Issa is gentler than a maiden. Issa is more precious than Indian gems… Lest the last days that she see light should snatch her from him forever, Publius has had her picture painted.”

Beautiful, isn’t it? But Marcus wasn’t the only appreciator of the Maltese beauty, another celebrated poet of the renaissance period by the name Ludovico Aristo extolled the Maltese pup beautifully in his poem Orlando Furioso.

The tiniest dog Nature has ever produced —

Her coat of long hair, whiter than ermine,

Her movements exquisitely graceful and

Matchless elegance of appearance.”

Orlando Furioso was published in its full form in 1532.

Besides the written admiration of Maltese pooches, we also find illustrative acclaim for the white lap dogs and that too from the time of the Greeks. The Greek pottery dating from 5 AD shows images of long-haired dogs that are believed to be Maltese.

The popularity of Maltese puppies among the elite circles can be attributed to not just their elegance but also to their ability to restore health, which also earned them the title of ‘the comforter.’ If you ask us, it’s possibly the most fitting moniker a dog has ever been given. The velvety touch of a Maltese puppy’s hair is bound to ease stress and relax the mind. And considering the amount of pressure the kings, queens, and bureaucrats faced and still do, it’s only understandable that they got themselves a Maltese companion to add some excitement to an otherwise not-so-entertaining life.

Now that we have talked about the Maltese pups and the high society let’s take a look at how the entertainment industry’s kings and queens felt about the snowy mane of the Maltese dog.

Celebrity to the Celebrities

When people say the word diva or think about American divas, the first few names that pop in their heads always include Elizabeth Taylor, Barbra Streisand, and the sex symbol of her time, Marilyn Monroe. And all these leading ladies of Hollywood cherished their Maltese dogs. Now, why would such ravishing ladies own dogs that didn’t match their personality? It’s a pretty straightforward equation; a classy individual is attracted to another elegant being. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Maltese dogs have been an essential part of the lives of such QUEENS.

But hold on, they weren’t the only members of the oh-we-love-a-Maltese-dog club, some notable names of the pop industry are also diehard fans. The king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley, had a Maltese that he had named Foxhugh. He gifted Fox to one of his last girlfriends, Linda Thompson, whom the singer dated for four years.

Tony Bennet is another famous star in the music industry, and he loves his little Maltese. Boo, as the man lovingly calls his furry companion, is an adorable white toy dog that occasionally accompanies Tony on foreign trips and even sometimes stays cheek to cheek during jamming sessions.

What should you do now?

Well, get yourself a Maltese! If you want to add some pizazz to your life and feel like a star, you need to adopt the dog of royalties. It will surely make you feel all the warm and fuzzy emotions that swell the heart. But yes, you will have to pay some attention to your fluffy pal’s grooming because that hair needs care! If you are not up for some hair upkeep, you can give your Maltese a puppy cut, which is the canine version of bob cut, and then you will not have to put in much effort in looking after your dog’s hair.

by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration: