According to historical accounts, bichons were for centuries among the favoured lapdogs of the French nobility. They reached the height of popularity under King Henri III, the last of the Valois monarchs before the arrival of the Bourbon dynasty in the late 16th century. Henri III’s alleged homosexuality has been the subject of much debate among historians. We do know, however, that his favoured male companions were known as “mignons” and that his over-indulged bichons were always be-ribboned.  The verb bichonner in French – for pamper – must surely come down to us from the eccentric court of Henri III. After the French Revolution ended the Bourbon dynasty with the sharp blade of the guillotine, the bichons pampered by France’s aristocracy fell on hard times. Many were released into the streets of Paris and became common dogs trained to do

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