The Peke-A-Chon is hybrid breed made up of a combination of a Pekingese and a Bichon Frise. Pekingese were bred to be companions at the imperial court of China and are regarded as one of the oldest of dog breeds. They have bulging eyes and with their short noses are prone to snoring but are as popular today as they were being pampered by royalty in ancient times. A Chinese legend says the Pekingese line was created when a lion fell in love with a marmoset and begged the patron saint of the animals to transform him to the size of a pigmy, but to keep his lion heart and character. In the past they were referred to as Lion Dogs, Sun Dogs and Sleeve Dogs on account of them being carried in the sleeves of those in the imperial court. The first the Western world knew about these little lap dogs was when the imperial palace was looted by the British in 1860. Five of them were found inside the palace guarding the body of their owner who had committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner. They were taken to England and later America where they were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1906. The fluffy white Bichon Frise was also bred to be a companion pet and originated in the Mediterranean. They are believed to be descended from the Barbet, a woolly water dog. This is where the name “Bichon” comes from as it was from the name Barbichon, the diminutive of the word Barbet. The Bichon belongs to the same family as the Maltese, Havanese, Bolognese and Coton de Tulear. Four groups of Bichons include Bolognese, Havanese, Maltaise and Teneriffe Bichons, which were developed on the Canary Island of Teneriffe. These cute dogs were also popular with royalty. King Henry lll is said to have doted on his pet and carried it around his neck in a basket. They later were used as circus performers with their cute looks and intelligence charming audiences. They were bred in France in the after World War 1 and later introduced into the United States in 1956. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972.