B is for BICHON FRISE | #AtoZChallenge

88 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZChallenge Day 2, B is for Bichon Frise
Day 2, April 2


[pronounced Beeshawn Freezay]

The Bichon Frise, ( French: a modification of bichon à poil frisé, “curly-haired lap dog”) is a small dog noted for its fluffy white coat and cheerful disposition. Descended from the water spaniel, it is about 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30 cm) tall and features a short blunt muzzle, silky ears that drop, and a puffy, silky, curled coat and an undercoat. The breed enjoyed four centuries of favour from royalty, especially in France in the late 16th century when King Henry III carried the little dogs in a basket attached to ribbons around his neck. By the late 19th century, aristocratic fancies had turned to other dogs, and Bichons became circus performers, organ-grinders’ mascots and commoners’ pets. They were first brought to the United States in 1956 and became fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1972. – Encyclopedia Britannica

Two of my favourite houseguests have been Bichons. They are adorable with lovely dispositions.

The first time I met Jack, he was about 8 months old and his mom was cradling him in her arm like a cat. Smaller than most of his breed (that’s him on the left), he was obviously a pampered pooch. At first, he didn’t want to walk with the others, planting his little feet on the sidewalk and giving me a leery stare. After some cajoling, he finally started moving. From that day on, he was always excited to go and kept up a brisk pace. Sadly, we lost Jack to cancer a couple of years ago. He was 13 years old. R.I.P. little Jackie. We miss you!

Jack and Murphy
Jack and Murphy

Murphy probably spends more time at my house than any other dog. He’s an old man of 15 now but was about 2 or 3 when we first met. The reason he’s with me so much is that he suffers from separation anxiety. When left alone, he panics and becomes destructive, so his family often brings him here when they’re otherwise occupied. If we’re going out, he’s fine as long as there are other dogs in the house. If not, sedation is required. Since I’m philosophically opposed to that idea, I’ll either stay home, take him with me or get one of my friends to dog sit. It’s a little inconvenient, but the idea of doping up an otherwise happy, healthy dog disturbs me, especially one of advanced age. All prescription drugs have side effects. Read more HERE. With any luck, Murphy will be around for a few years, yet. He’s a sturdy little guy.


Do you like Bichons?

Would you tranquilize a dog on a regular basis?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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88 thoughts on “B is for BICHON FRISE | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Awww, what great stories about those doggies. I love your personal anecdotes. I agree that sedation isn’t a great solution with the side effects, especially with an older dog. You are so good how you tend to Murphy and all his issues. They look like very sweet dogs and fun to hear their history and connection with royalty.

    1. I’m glad you’re enjoying the dog stories, Cathy. 🙂 Yes, Murphy is what you’d call “high maintenance” but he’s been coming to me for so many years and I love the little guy.

  2. Oh how adorable! I never had pets at home and through your posts I am getting to know so many breeds. I am loving the personal stories you are sharing 🙂

  3. So cute! Would I tranquilize a dog on a regular basis… tough question! Not if there was a fairly easy (albeit inconvenient) alternative that let the dog feel safe and secure, no – probably not. But just as some humans need meds for anxiety, I think it’s a conversation I’d have to have with the vet, and, considering side effects and benefits, determine if the dog would be better off or not. (My SIL had a dog that suffered severe anxiety whenever there was a storm, regardless of whether others were around or not. She’d put off medicating as long as possible, but if it was necessary, it was necessary. Another one, years ago, required them for seizures. Different problem, of course – but you have to consider the “patient’s” needs.

    1. I’ve no objections to using calming aids for specific instances like fireworks or thunderstorms, but those are infrequent. Some people use them for convenience and on a regular basis and that can’t be good, especially for an elderly dog. As you said, it depends on the situation. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

  4. If I am ever forced to get a small dog (I prefer, as a general rule, medium to large breed dogs, like Siberians, Italian Hounds, Boxers and Australian Sheepdogs) I think I wouldn’t mind getting a Bichon. I thought about a Jack Russell (in honor of Russ’ Dad) but they are very excitable.) I met a lovely little Bichon in Mistretta; he was very sweet natured and friendly. I think even my landlady would accept one; I’m not so sure about Kitty, though…
    I’m so glad you chose Dog Breeds as your theme this year.

    1. Hi, Mary. Bichons have wonderful dispositions. 🙂 I love Jack Russells, but they’re a handful and need lots of attention and exercise. Be sure to check out my “J” post! I’m glad you’re enjoying the theme.

  5. I’m a cat lady myself, but even I have to admit these puppies are too cute. I would have to agree with you about the drugs. You never know, especially with an older pet, what could happen. Good luck on the challenge! We’re doing “I’ve Got The Music In Me” this year on The Road We’ve Shared. – looking at how important music is in the Down syndrome community. I hope you’ll stop by and see/hear! http://theroadweveshared.com/category/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-2016

    1. Nice to meet you, Stephanie. 🙂 Yes, age certainly is a factor when it comes to drugs. I love music themes and will definitely check yours out. Thanks for visiting.

  6. One of my favorite breeds is the Bichon. They always look like they are smiling.

    As a wedding gift to one another, we purchased a Bichon, Bonnie was born on our wedding day, so we named her Bonne Chance – good luck. Unfortunately, I was still allergic to this hypo-allergenic breed, and we had to return her after ten days. Broke my heart…

  7. They are very cute, but all too often a bit yappy. My kelpie doesn’t like the yaps, and she’s a keeper, so no contest for me I’m afraid.

    1. I’ve actually never known a yappy Bichon. Some small dogs certainly are that way, though. How interesting that you have a Kelpie! I’ve never met one before. Thanks for visiting and have a great week.

  8. Debbie, are the Bichon related to poodles? I’m sure I’ve seen this breed before and probably mistaken it for a poodle. That’s why I asked about the relationship between the two types of dogs. These dogs are cute and if I had an indoor dog then I would like to get a small one. I think they are more suited for living inside the house. Of course, I would love to have a larger dog, if I had some property for to run around on. Thanks for the introduction of the Bichon, Jack, and Murphy!

    1. Hi, Cathy. Bichons are descended from the Barbet water spaniel, but probably have poodle in them, as well. Poodles are also water dogs and I think those breeds are related. Oddly enough, Bichons are not considered “water dogs”. 🙂 All dogs are suited to indoor living, as long as they get enough exercise and outdoor potty breaks. Leash-free parks are great for people who don’t have large yards. Thanks for dropping in and have a good week! I see you have your “C” post up already. No day of rest, today?

  9. Though Bichon’s are adorable and I love them, I’m surprised that B isn’t for Bassethound!
    I may be a bit bias though, seeing as I have a basset. I’m a crazy dog whisperer lady.

    Under Jazminn Skyes

    1. Welcome to The Den, Jazminn. Nice to see another dog person. 🙂 I’ve only looked after one Bassethound before, but there are some in the neighbourhood. Those ears are so cute! 🙂

    1. They both had Chihuahuas, I think. That reminds me when we got our first dog (see the “C” post), we lived in a “No Pets Allowed” apartment building and used to smuggle her in and out in a large bag. 🙂 We moved shortly thereafter.

  10. Using dogs in the A-Z challenge is interesting. I hate giving dogs drugs to calm them down, but for my dog it was the only way for him to deal with thunderstorms. He still get’s excited, but at 15 (and he’s a big dog, 60 pounds), it has to be really close for him to hear or feel the storm.

    1. Welcome to The Den, Sage. Dogs are a subject I know a lot about. 🙂 I have no objections to medicating them when they’re stressing over fireworks or thunderstorms, but these should be infrequent circumstances. It’s the doping up for convenience I object to. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

  11. Hi there!

    I’m stopping by from the #AtoZChallenge. I love all animals…nice post!

    I have two blogs in this challenge…my author blog at THE STORY CATCHER (www.donnalmartin.com) and my KICKS Kids Club blog (www.kickskidsclub.blogspot.com.

    If you get a chance, check them out and good luck with the challenge!

      1. Over the years I’ve owned different dogs…from purebred and mixed Chihuahuas to Rat Terriers. I love how smaller dogs can become a vibrant member of a family, especially for people like myself who either don’t have the money to support a larger dog or the time/space to take care of one. When I was growing up, my next door neighbor had one of these dogs but I never knew what breed it was until your post…;~)

        Donna L Martin

        1. Small dogs often have big, colourful personalities. 🙂 Rat Terriers are similar to Jack Russells – another favourite breed. Thanks for the return visit.

  12. I love the Bichon. My sister owned two, Lolly and Pudding. They’re very sweet dogs. I have a Chihuahua, a Mini Fox terrier, a Sydney Silky and a German Shepherd. I too am a dog lady 🙂 Visiting via A-Z challenge!

  13. I love all dogs. They all go to heaven for sure.

    My little chihuahua mix behaves so badly at the kennel that I am in a pickle with someone caring for him when I am gone. I was going to leave him with my older brother. But dang, he and my brother don’t get along. My brother is going to straighten his butt out. He just doesn’t know it takes a little patience and reasoning to get the best out of him. I do discipline him. My dogs cower at a folder piece of paper. lol

    1. Chihuahuas are little dogs with big personalities. 🙂 Patience is so important in dealing with dogs, but few of them listen to reason. 😉

  14. How cute! They look a lot like poodles. I can’t imagine wearing a basket-full of them around my neck:-) We took our dingo mix camping on the beach once and sorely regretted it. She was not a fan of anyone who wasn’t us and was ferociously protective; nearly choking herself on her own leash and terrorizing a rather crowded campground. I admit, we wished for doggie-downers that time. Skynyrd was never allowed to go anywhere with us again;-(

    1. “Dingo mix”; sounds interesting but challenging. That must have bee a nightmarish experience. I don’t mind using calming aids now and then; just not too often or for reasons of convenience. Love the name! I know someone else who went whole hog and named his puggle Lynyrd Skynyrd, 🙂

  15. They are so cute! They don’t shed either which makes many people happy. My sis in law has one, Milo, who seems to like to hump a lot and, yes, he has been fixed. No, doping the little boy up would do no good. You are such a good dog sitter because you spend the time with them and care for their needs.

    1. Hahaha! Murphy used to do that when he was younger. He’s fixed, too. 🙂 My days are generally geared to the dogs and they come first. I get breaks in between when there aren’t any houseguests, like now (until Friday). March was pretty crazy! People tell me their dogs get excited as soon as they turn into my street, That’s the best possible compliment!

  16. I saw this video on FB a while back (it’s hilarious). I didn’t realize these dogs were the breed you’re talking about here. They are, right???

    1. Hahaha! That’s hilarious, Robin. 😀 The white one on the left looks like he might be a Bichon or a crossbreed. The other two are the wrong colour – might be poodle crossbreeds.

  17. OMG!! Jack and Murphy are soooo cute!! Tranquilizing a healthy dog on regular basis seems not right, but then given the hectic pace of life we lead, having somebody at home with the pet might not be feasible all the time. Sigh… catch 22 situation it is!

    1. Looking at that photo always makes me smile, but also makes me sad, because Jack is no longer with us. True, it`s not possible to always be home. That`s why there are people like me and even Doggy Daycare centres with large play areas. Do they have those in India?

  18. Jack and Murphy look adorable. Our cats are more like dogs in that they don’t like to be left alone. I am greeted at the door every time I come home.
    Tasha’s Thinkings (72) | Wittegen Press (74) | FB3X (AC) (75)

    1. If your cats greet you at the door, then they certainly are dog-like. 🙂 I used to make house calls for cats when their owners were away. Some of them were vengeful and would get even by doing things like peeing on the stove. One even pooped in the clothes dryer!

    1. Dogs can have the same illnesses and afflictions as humans, unfortunately. Bichons are prone to separation anxiety, but there are better ways to deal with it than doping them up.

  19. We once had a Lab who was really badly behaved especially at parties so once when we had an important event at home, my dad being a medical doctor suggested we give her some tranquiliser. Unfortunately he misjudged the dose and the Lab was wired throughout the party and slept like a baby the next day!I don’t think I’ll ever tranquilise a dog – I’d rather take a stiff drink myself and deal with it!

    1. I’m smiling at your story! 🙂 You see, many times a client has said to me: “We’re having a party at home. Could you take our dog for the night?” There must be many such dogs as your Lab. (BTW, be sure to come back for the “L” post.)

  20. Hi Debbie,
    My Border Collie, Bilbo, growled:”Move over Bichon! B is for Border Collie!”
    Thinks the world revolves around him!
    I wouldn’t tranquilise a dog regularly and have never done so but after spending last NYE with our Lady fretting terribly with the fireworks much of the night, I could well give her something next year. She was very distressed!
    xx Rowena

  21. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I love almost every breed of dog and the Bichon is no exception. I’ve had contact with a few Bichons over the years and, if I am not mistaken, one of my other blog friends, Abigail, owns one. Am I correct?


    My Cocker Spaniel Toto experienced separation anxiety but we never even considered sedating her. It isn’t natural and does more harm than good, in our opinion. I applaud you for being able to bond with so many dogs and endure the emotional impact when they leave you for one reason or another.

    Thank you very much, dear friend Debbie, and enjoy your weekend!

    1. Hi, Shady; Your friend’s dog could be a Frise or another Bichon-type breed like Havanese or Maltese They look similar. You should ask her. 🙂

      Sedation is sometimes needed in situations like fireworks or thunderstorms and that I don’t object to, per se. It’s the drugging for convenience that disturbs me.

      The emotional fallout can be pronounced. I stopped writing my book because of it. Reliving one sad story after another became too draining. Doing this series is giving me renewed determination to finish it, though.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts once again. Have a great week!

  22. They bring therapy dogs to campus at the end of every semester for stressed out students (and, in my case, teachers) to pet and cuddle. It’s the best thing ever! 😀 Last time they did it, one of them was a bichon. She was very friendly and patient. And very fluffy… 😀

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary

  23. I am not a dog person, but I wouldn’t tranquillise any animal without sufficient cause. Don’t think much of popping pills into humans at the drop of a hat either, As you said, all of them have side effects, and we don’t know how much of that we know. Better safe than sorry. Both jack and Murphy look too cute for words!


  24. I love Bichons! They’re so cute!!! And so sweet. That was the one breed that I considered getting before deciding on the greyhounds.

    As for doping up a dog: no, not just for convenience. I’ve given dogs Benedryl is they’ve had a hard time settling due to thunderstorms or fireworks and that usually helps calm them, but other than that, no doping here… I also use a Thundershirt which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. It sure doesn’t hurt to try though…

    Murphy and Jack look like little loves!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Yes, they are sweet little dogs. 🙂 Great idea with the Benadryl and the Thundershirt. I don’t object to the occasional tranquillizer in those instances, but definitely not as a matter of convenience or on a regular basis. That photo turned out well. I sure do miss little Jackie. ♥

  25. They’re really cute and I love how kindly you’re describing their personalities! I agree with you on sedation : just because it’s inconvenient, it doesn’t mean we need to use it.

    1. I would only ever use sedation in severe circumstances, like thunder or fireworks, but not as a matter of convenience and certainly not on a regular basis. Thanks for dropping in and have a good week. 🙂

  26. I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing any Bichons personally but I would love to get to know one. I have had very neurotic dogs mainly because many of them were rescues and have never tranquilised a dog. They just need extra love and reassurance. That works very well. And I don’t know any dogs who react well to being left alone at home.

    1. You’re so right about giving them love and reassurance. Dogs always greet you when you come home like you’ve been gone for days, even if you just stepped out for a few minutes. They love us as much or even more than we love them. Thanks for your comments, Kalpana. 🙂

  27. I didn’t know that dogs are sedated when left alone. A lot of dog owners fail to understand separation anxiety. Even I came to know about it few years ago while researching why dogs can become destructive. Gorgeous dogs 🙂

    Visiting from A to Z Challenge
    Pam’s Unconventional Alliance Team
    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

    1. Sedation is useful, but it should be used only when necessary, especially with an older dog. Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  28. gorgeous little dogs aren’t they Debbie – they’re popular in Australia because they make such great companions – on a side not I thought the lamp was Jack’s tail when I first saw the picture 🙂
    Leanne @ cresting the hill

    1. They are such sweeties. 🙂 I see what you mean about the lamp, now that you’ve mentioned it. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

  29. I wonder if bichons have a history of long lives. The lady with who we used to keep Pablo in Mumbai, has one who is almost 15. Layka is quite the little lady and I love how she perches herself on a table and watch the madness ensue between the other dogs.
    About the tranquilizing, I have had to put my little adopted Indipup on a mild dose of ayurvedic medicine, because we got off the street and she would go crazy every night, biting Pablo and us. I’m weaning her off it gradually, but have to look for something for her car sickness. We thought long and hard before we start her on this course of medicine, but it seems to have worked.

    1. Hi, Corinne. Generally speaking, the smaller the dog, the longer the lifespan. I knew a Chihuahua who lived to be 21! The Bichon is a hardy breed with few serious health issues. Sometimes, tranquillizing is necessary, but I object when it’s a matter of convenience. Have you tried Gravol for the car sickness? It works well for some dogs (and humans, too). Thanks for visiting and have a great week! 🙂

    1. Well, sometimes, it’s kinder to do so, depending on the circumstances, like if the dog is terrified of thunder or fireworks. I really object to it as a matter of convenience, though.

  30. Okay, will try again! LOL Yeah, been here before. Computer isn’t accepting comments. But my sister has a Bichon and he’s lovely, sweet. She named him Simba for the Lion King.

    Ninga Minion @YolandaRenee from
    Defending The Pen
    <a href="”>Murderous Imaginings

    1. Sorry; this ended up in moderation for some strange reason. Bichons are sweet little dogs, for sure. Thanks for persevering!

  31. I was secretly hoping the Bichon would represent B today! You must have been reading my thoughts 😉 A wonderful breed, great for families with small children, and best of all – they rarely shed. My cousin has a bichon that was a rescue dog. Poor guy suffered from separation anxiety as well, but after few small doses of doggy prozac and he was almost as good as new. I’m enjoying reading about your four-legged visitors. Great topic.

    1. It was a toss up between Bichons and Border Collies. The adorable pic of Jack and Murphy was the deciding factor. 🙂
      I’m not opposed to tranquillizing completely, just not too frequently or as a matter of convenience and prefer another alternative, if available. I’m glad you’re enjoying the theme. Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

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