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Posts tagged ‘Bichon’

My Wingman

A wingman (or wingmate) is a pilot who supports another in a potentially dangerous flying environment.

The traditional military definition of a “Wingman” refers to the pattern in which fighter jets fly. There is always a lead aircraft and another which flies off the right-wing of and behind the lead. This second pilot is called the “Wingman” because he or she primarily protects the lead by “watching his back.”

Wikipedia

I’ve seen movies where a “wingman” is very important to the pilot, such as “Top Gun” and “Pearl Harbor”.  I’ve always been fascinated with the concept.  That protection.  That feeling of safety.  Knowing someone has your back – priceless.

We all have humans in our lives that we think of in this way.  My husband Greg, for example is my “wingman” in every sense of the word.  He stays with me – protects me from unseen things, keeps me feeling safe, etc.

But I also have a canine “wingman”.  My puppy, Dexter.IMG_4259He takes his job seriously.  Barks at anybody near to me and gets agitated if he cannot get close enough so that he can protect me.  He is never far from me during the day.  When I’m in my office typing – he is at my feet or by my side – amusing himself with a toy or bone for hours at a time.  When I leave the room, he dutifully follows.  If I’m in the kitchen, he sits on the floor and watches everything I do.  When I sit to watch a movie, he joyfully jumps into my lap, his favorite place to be.  At night he cuddles up next to me – happiest under the covers with his head resting on my arm.

He is my “wingman” extraordinaire  🙂

Of course this togetherness can get a little trying at times – especially when I have students coming and going during the afternoon for lessons.  His sharp barking reminds everyone coming in the house that he is trying to protect me!  And although very endearing – it gets annoying and I have to be firm with him and tell him to stop that barking!  But it is also sweet and loyal – how angry can you be with an adorable puppy who just wants to be with me?

It’s funny.  Our Bichon has never had any concept of “protecting” me.  She is a loveable, complicated, high maintenance, beautiful, and independent dog.  But she never stays with me very long.  Her favorite thing to do is go for a ride in the truck – go for a walk on the trail – or go upstairs and hide from Dexter – sleeping for several hours at a time.   Dexter loves to run upstairs and find her – jump on top of her and wrestle.  She will play along most of the time – and it’s cute when they play together.  But other times she will give a warning growl when she has had enough!  Sometimes in the evening we won’t see her from 7:00 – 10:30!  Not so with Dexter.  He is happiest when he can see me and be beside me.  Oh he’s not a perfect dog – barks too much at the neighbor dogs and most of the time will not come when called.

But I have decided that the positive far outweighs the negative.  I do love my little “wingman”.

God Bless

What’s The Deal?

Yesterday we visited a couple of animal shelters on the east side of Seattle.  They are impressively run – have informed and knowledgeable staff on hand.  The website is up to date and colorful.  Many animals pictured in need of fostering or adoption.  Because we too want to do our part – “save a life” and all that, we first turned to those places when thinking about a companion dog for our year old Bichon Frise puppy.

The choice to get a dog in the first place is a hard one.  We took our time.  We researched and researched.  We were appalled at the price of puppies.  Even more shocked at the price of adoption from a shelter!  We decided on a Bichon Frise puppy from a breeder some 150 miles from our home – got to meet both parents on site – was happy with the breeder who LOVES these dogs and owns 3 adult dogs herself.  The temperament fit with our lifestyle.  And we knew what we were getting and could train her to be used to music students coming and going out of our house.

Choosing to get a 2nd dog is even worse than deciding on the first one.  When visiting the shelters it became apparent to us that not just any dog was going to fit the bill for us.  We found a few cute little dogs – but upon further inspection, there was something about them that we knew would be an issue.  One poor little thing was what Greg called “street smart” or “kennel smart” and had all her defensive’s on HIGH ALERT.  Who can blame her?  It’s a “dog eat dog” (no pun intended) world out there – calling for growling and barking at all the other cell mates.  Most of them did this incessantly – something we are not used to.

I’ve searched on-line like Ebay Classified for pets (this is where we found Daisy) and Craig’s List in our area.  There are MANY dogs and puppies on there.  Problem?  Most want an obscene amount of money.  It doesn’t surprise me when they are purebred, even though we did NOT spend very much on our pure bred (and she has papers too) because our breeder believed that even people who don’t have much money should have the awesome opportunity to own a Bichon.  I have really appreciated that.  Especially now.  But what really surprises me are those that sell mixed breed puppies for $400 and up!  Good grief.

The adoption fee at animal shelters for a small dog or mixed breed is MORE than what we paid for our pure bred puppy over a year ago!  We just can’t justify it.  It seems to me that we would have more people adopting animals if people could AFFORD it.  I mentioned this to one of the workers who was helping us at the shelter.  I don’t think she appreciated it.  They should interview families and care more about the care and love that these dogs will receive than recovering their “fees” for boarding these dogs.

The bottom line is this:  We would like a companion puppy for our Bichon Frise.  Even though my husband and I work from home and have plenty of time with her – I think she might appreciate another dog to wrestle and play with.  I think it must get lonely for her.  We were told that a male small dog would be the best playmate for our female.  Also a consideration would be a similar temperament dog – like another Bichon, a miniature poodle or a mix of either of these two with other small breeds.  A low maintenance dog will be best because of the high cost of grooming.  But we simply can’t afford the high costs that everyone is asking.  We would have liked to “rescue” a dog – but to rescue a dog who is already an adult and set in their ways is a risk to bring into our home.  It is simply not an option for our dog and for our home and even if it was – we cannot afford the adoption fee.  What we are really looking for is another puppy we can train and who will be raised to fit into our lifestyle and our other dog.  An owner who cares more about that puppy getting an excellent loving and attentive family – then making $500-$1000 on each pup.

I know that many animal activists are not going to like my opinion on this.  But the only way my opinion will change on this is to lower the cost for people to adopt and more people could enjoy having a their first dog or would maybe be willing to adopt a second one.   We cry out “save a life” – “save a dog or cat” and then make it so difficult to own one.  Dogs are expensive – need grooming, shots, good food and a lot of time and energy.  Why make them SO expensive to purchase, knowing how expensive they will be to own?

We were lucky.  We never thought we would be able to own a pure bred like our Daisy.  She is a gift and a little miracle to our family.  We need another miracle puppy to take into our home and love.

Do your research – there are breeders out there not looking to make money – just looking for loving families to take care of their animals.  The right one will care more about you than your money.

Just something to think about.

God Bless

The Real Protector

We have a puppy.  A little dog who will never be much more than 10 or 11 pounds.  She is a lot of fun – and to be sure, so much more than I ever thought possible because she seems so human.  But I will never feel protection from her.  Just a lot of love.

This is our 10 month old Bichon Frise named Daisy. 
She is a wonderful dog.  She likes to cuddle and play, be silly – and loves to make us laugh by dragging a shoe or slipper off and then turning to see our reaction.  She is not destructive like I’ve heard so many breeds of dogs can be – especially when left alone for long periods of time.  When we come home from being gone – nothing is disturbed – and we know she just runs upstairs to our bed and sleeps.  She is gentle and LOVES people – sometimes too much and gets TOO excited when first greeting them, but then soon calms down and enjoys just being near anyone.  She follows me everywhere – my little shadow, hanging on my every word.

But Daisy is NOT a watch dog.  I’m glad I was somewhat prepared for this before deciding on the right breed for us.  I wanted a companion dog – Greg works a lot at night and knew it would be important to have the right kind of dog to keep me company.  And having a dog around I just knew I would be safer as the dog would alert me,  bark or growl and scare away prowlers and the like – at least I thought.  

However, Bichons are lovers not fighters.  Alas – that sweet cottony white angel is too gently and timid to be much of a menacing presence to scare anyone.  But they like to think they are.  For example:  she will be out in the yard playing, something will spook her, like the dogs barking next door and she will run in the doggie door and look through the french doors to the backyard and BARK AND BARK her head off.  Even occasionally HOWL and GROWL with such LOUD DETERMINATION – all the while safe in her own home.  It is quite humorous and this can go on for a very long time – until she feels the danger has passed – or that she has exerted herself for long enough to tell “them” a thing or two.

Unfortunately for me – she also feels the need to “alert” me – or “them” of her superiority in the “wee” hours while Greg is out and I am trying to sleep.  It can be very alarming to be awakened out of a deep sleep with Daisy barking before even raising her head and then flying off the bed to tell “whomever’ or ‘whatever’ that she is the boss of this house.   This behavior puts me in such a state of panic – I actually think there really is someone in the house – especially when she won’t stop growling standing firmly on the upstairs banister – staring straight down into the dark downstairs.   Yikes.  The first time it happened, several weeks ago, I was quite alarmed, thinking there really was someone in the house.  I turned on my iPhone and called Greg.  He said it was probably nothing – and sure enough – it was.  It did freak me out a little though, if I’m honest.  It does not happen every night – just enough to throw me off, keep me a little off-balance and really mess with me!

Last night it happened again.  But by now I have realized what makes her jump thinking the neighbors have probably just come home and opened up their garage door, which sounds a great deal like ours when it opens.  Daisy is waiting for “Daddy” to get home and is always sleeping with one eye open – waiting for that glorious moment when she can fly down the stairs to meet him 🙂  We both know the real protector of our home –

It’s Greg.

God Bless

Driving Miss “Daisy”

Many of you know that my husband and I became parents again – and at our age too!  No – it’s not a human baby, although we have raised two children and they now have homes of their own.  No – this time we took on a puppy – and not just any puppy.  A very special Bichon Frise puppy – all curly white, pink tummy and joyful bundle of happiness  🙂

We’ve been waiting since July for the day where we would go pick her up and drive her home.  There have been a few twists and turns along the way – which made the waiting harder – but wait we did.  Two weeks ago we went to visit and pick out just which special puppy would be “Daisy”.  And  at the right time where she was old enough to leave home – we took the journey to go and get her – this past Sunday.

Now I have not been the parent of a “baby”  human or otherwise – in 20 years.  So this was no easy task – I can assure you.  And although she is very good – and really smart – she is still a baby and very needy – more for attention than anything.  She does not like me out of her sight – so when she is “passed out” after eating, doing her business outside and playing hard – I have a few minutes to myself to shower, dress or anything else that needs doing without a puppy in tow.

Daisy is a sweet bundle of love.  Well worth the inconvenience for a few nights of adjustment without the usual amount of sleep,  to make sure she is comfortable and safe.  And since Bichon’s prefer human company over anything else – she not only sleeps with us at night – but stretches out and takes up most of the bed too!

For those of you that have had a puppy – or a Bichon Frise dog of any age – I think you’ll agree that they are worth the effort and give lots of humorous moments, love and sweetness – all the while looking adorable and cuddly.

I’ve met many new friends online who also have one of these special dogs and have discovered a bond of friendship with them, sharing our love of puppies and experiences with them.  And I’ve had countless support from many of my friends who have either a dog or cat – and think of them very much as their own children.  The love and encouragement have been priceless over the past several months and I feel as if I look at things in a strange new way, like a whole new world has opened up to me.

And I think – what a creative God we have!   He even cares about little puppies and made each of them with love and care – attention to detail that bring out a very special tugging at our heartstrings when we see them.  Recently I saw a program about puppies.  There is a chemical released in our brain when we are around a puppy – bringing out pure joy and happiness.  How many have said they love “puppy breath” and wish they could bottle it?   Me too.  Yes – there’s something about a puppy.

Below is a picture of our little Miss “Daisy” and a video too.

You know the saying, “puppy dogs, rainbows and ice cream”?  Well now I say it with new meaning and understanding.  There’s nothing better than a puppy 🙂

God Bless

Adopting A Puppy

I’m going to be a mommy again.  We are adopting a Bichon Frise puppy – the end of September.  I have always wanted one of these dogs – looked up their history and temperament and talked to several people who know about them or have owned them.  I was sad, however to learn that they are expensive dogs.  And no wonder – they were the ones that the French royalty had as lap dogs for several centuries.  So I had given up and started to inquire about other mixed breeds that had 1/2 Bichon in them.  Bichon’s don’t shed and are considered hypo-allergenic and have a cotton like hair all over their bodies – soft and luxurious.  When mixed with the Royal Cavalier or other shedding dogs – they are perfect non-shedding dogs.  But as I inquired – I was more and more discouraged.  Even the mixed breed dogs were expensive.  And adopting a puppy from the human society or pound in our town was really expensive.  Who knew?  But we did look and inquire.

Everything about another breed of dog didn’t fit well with me.  I needed a house puppy with a pleasing temperament, sweet, gentle, smart and loyal.  One that would adapt to me and my lifestyle – enjoy children and music lessons –  not be hyper or yippy.

I found my puppy on Ebay classified ads – and she is in the Tri-Cities area of Washington – raised by a loving family who only have Bichon Frise dogs – and know everything about raising them and loving them.  I am getting my puppy at a much less rate than other mixed breeds and only a fraction of the price that she is worth!  Why?  Because this family really loves their dogs and believe that there are good owners out there regardless of how much money you make – and know that some of the best owners are not rich – but instead have a loving family that should be allowed to adopt a puppy like this.  She apparently liked what she was hearing from me – and knew that this puppy would be my baby and be loved and treated right.   I spent over an hour on the phone with the owner of the mama dog last night.  My baby hasn’t been born yet – due the end of July.  But I have several pictures of the mother and father Bichon and other puppies so I’m sure about what my puppy will look like.  She is a pure-bred AKA dog – if I desire to show her – or breed her, I would probably not do either – but it’s nice to know her pedigree and rich history – just in case.

Bichon Frise dogs live 15-20 years and become real members of the family.  We are excited around here for our new addition and need a suitable name for an all white precious little baby.  Any suggestions for cute names would be appreciated – I’m knocking around about 25 names right now!  How do you choose???

What kind of puppy do you have?  Are you a cat or dog lover?  Or both?

God Bless

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