Our unofficial literary laureate, Joey Reiman, waxes poetic about his new dog Layla, a Coton de Tulear named after the city of Tulear in Madagascar. As the African island’s national dog, the Coton de Tulear (“pronounced cotawn day two-lee are”) is a bright, happy-go-lucky breed known for its profuse soft white coat and sympathetic awareness and connection to its owner. According to the American Kennel Club, the Coton female is “robust and sturdy, averages between 8 and 13 pounds, and is 81 of 195 breeds in popularity whose favorite activity is clowning and cavorting.”
Reiman, who co-founded Brand New World Studios, exclaims, “The Coton’s ancestors were brought to Madagascar in the 16th century by pirate ships — I especially love that! There was a time that you had to be ‘royalty’ to own one!”
Dog lover Reiman’s first pup was a Cocker Spaniel named Meeyam. He explained, “I tried to say ‘Miami,’ but was only 4. Then came my wire-haired terrier named Tammy O Shanter who lived 16 years.
“Layla, a one-year-old, has loved the stay at home directive. Cuddle time is up a thousand percent. Dogs call it ‘The Great Paws!’”
Layla runs with a high pedigree crowd: Bella, Oreo and a big white dog named John Snow. Her menu includes Royal Canin and occasional strips of Wagyu beef.
Before COVID-19, Reiman took Layla to restaurants and ordered her grilled
chicken breast and carrots. He chose the name Layla from the most romantic story of all time — “Layla and Majnun” – where the former was the most beautiful woman in all of Persia. Eric Clapton based his hit song on her and sent the tune to Pattie Boyd. “Layla, you got me on my knees …”
Reiman concludes, “Layla brings more light to me than a thousand suns. She is one of the only beings on earth who loves you more than she loves herself.
“Her agenda is simple: I want to go out, come in, eat something, lie here, play with you.
”No ulterior motives, no mind games, no second-guessing, no complicated negotiations or bargains, no gaslighting, guilt trips or grudges.
”The very best thing, though, is that she knows when I need her the most, and will drop everything to sit with me.
”My goal in life is to be the person Layla thinks I am. “