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BichonFrise-L

Experiences with One Bichon!
Nikki's Story

Bichons... Bichons... Nothing but Bichons...

Three years ago my husband and I noticed there was an empty spot in our life and decided we wanted a dog. We read books, talked to people and thought we did sufficient research to choose the breed that would be just right for us. Little did we know just how much one tiny scrap of a dog would change our lives.

She cried the whole way home. I held her in the car and tried to comfort her, but she whined and cried until I had to doubt our judgement getting a dog at all. Once at home we played with her in the front yard. That drew every child in the neighborhood to our home. We have no children so previously the kids in the neighborhood ignored us. Now we were the center of attention. Everyone wanted to play with the puppy . . . which soon was named Nikki. Why Nikki? I don't know. It just seemed to fit her.

House training was a problem for all of us. Some of the problems were mistakes by us two legged creatures, but some was just willfulness on the part of Nikki. I had never seen such a stubborn dog. She wouldn't stay outside by herself. We had to go outside with her. Winter in Minnesota can be miserable. I have a whole new respect for our winters after spending Nikki's first winter sitting on our front steps telling her to "Get going!" She outgrew the need to have someone outside with her in the Spring. Just when the weather was getting nice.

Even after she started doing her business outside, she would still come in to finish. I would get so mad at her I'd see red -- until I looked into those velvet black eyes. Then I'd melt. After three years she is trained, but will still have the occasional accident. Usually it's my fault. She stares at me when she wants to go outside. If I don't respond soon enough, she will go on the floor.

When I read about Bichons being companion dogs, I guess I didn't realize exactly what they meant. Now I do. This dog wants to be a companion. This means she is underfoot or glued to one of us at all times. She sleeps laying next to me or on my head and pushes me into the crack of the waterbed. She cries and whines when we go somewhere without her, unless it's going to work. She knows the normal work day. Anything other than that, she wants to go with. If we don't let her, she gets mad! She sleeps on my chair when I'm on the computer and sits on my lap in the car.

Nikki loves people and attention and will go out of her way to be the center of it all. Obedience training was some help for her behavior problems, but I can't get her to stop jumping on people when they come into the house. She is just so happy to see everyone and expects everyone to love her just the same. She has more charm than any dog I've ever met and other people respond to that charm. She has won over my Mother-in-law, who is afraid of most other dogs. Mother-in-law will hold Nikki and pet her and even let her walk on the couch behind her head. When we take Nikki through the take-out food line she wants to visit with the people taking our money and giving us food. She doesn't care if she gets a treat. She just wants to visit.

This is one smart dog. I have watched her reason out a problem and make a plan to get something she wants. If one plan doesn't work, she tries something else.

She's adorable and cunning, stubborn and playful, good with people and overpowering, independent and clingy. I've grown to love this little dog dearly because of her good qualities and in spite of her faults. How could I look into that adorable face and do any less?

Submitted by:
Ann Winczewski
annwin@eta.k12.mn.us

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Touch a Bichon and you have touched a bit of heaven...
Hold a Bichon and you have held the world...
Love a Bichon and you will love life forever...
Author Unknown

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