Bubba, My Bichon Frise and Constant Companion

Bubba,"come on out and play"
Bubba,"come on out and play"

"Let's Play, I got the ball"

Keep-a-way

Looking for excitment
Looking for excitment
Asleep, at last
Asleep, at last

Bubba 3 months old, sleeping

Bubba, Hudge and the kids

Kick'en back on the patio

 

I am 56 years old and have never, owned a fu-fu dog. A fu-fu dog is a small dog that is usually considered a dog for females, a French Poodle comes to mind. I had always had large dogs, a man's dog, German Sheppard's, and Lab's. I never paid money for a dog, the dog's either found us or we went to the local pound. Technically, I did not buy Bubba, I Inherited him. My Father had passed away in the early nineties and my Mother had a Maltese mix as a companion for her. In 2006 her beloved companion passed away and she swore, she would not get another. In July of 2007 my cousin's wife was breading Bichon Frises and she had just had a litter. She was aware of my Mother's situation and invited her over to see the puppies. Well, that was it once she saw the little fur balls she fell in love with the runt of the litter. Plans were made for her to pick up the runt, in August after they were weaned. Several days after she picked the puppy up I went by her house to see it. He was a tiny ball of fur, looked like two small snow balls stuck together, with two small eye's that looked more like piece's of coal, a small black nose and a wisp of a black line that made up the mouth. As I walked in the door he ran to my Mother, set just to the side of her legs and slightly behind them, peeking out at me. Over the next six months he would not come near me, always hiding behind my Mother and keeping her between me and him. I tried being nice, giving him treats, everything I could think of with no results. Every other family member, child, adult, male or female he would play with and he would allow them to pet him. Except me, every time he saw me he would run as fast as he could and hide behind my Mother and peek out at me. If I walked around her he would walk behind her legs in order to keep her between me and him, those little coal black eyes unblinking, starring at me. Late in 2007 my Mother was diagnosed with cancer, the doctors decided to do an un-invasive type of surgery, radio frequency ablation (RFA). The day before the procedure was to be done she had to be taken to the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital. She was extremely ill and was kept in the hospital for two month. During that time I was given the task of checking on Bubba. I was usually at the hospital till noon and would leave to eat and check on Bubba. Bubba would look like a deer caught in the headlights when I walked in the door, wanted to run, but nowhere to hide. I would let him outside for about 20 minutes, check his food and water and then he would sit in the same room with me, but as far away as the walls would allow. This continued for two months while my Mother was in the hospital and never got any better. I was beginning to really dislike that little fu-fu dog. When my Mother was released from the hospital I moved in with her to assist her, she had become extremely weak and had to have someone with her all the time. Bubba was as happy as he could be to see her, tail wagging, stretching his body as far as he could, like a cat stretching on the side of a couch. Finally, over the next several months Bubba finally accepted me. He was a little ball of energy, always wanting to play. If I couldn't play with him he would take his little ball in his mouth, toss his head throwing the ball and then chase it as fast as he could. His ears pulled back, his mouth open and his tail curled up tightly touching his back. He would run and jump on the couch, race over the back of the couch stop in a crouching position and then launch himself off the couch at full speed. He loved to chase anything that rolled and anything that chased him. My Mother's house had wood floors, when Bubba would run around corners he would slide, his little feet moving just as fast as they could trying to gain some sort of traction. Sometimes he would slide into a wall or a piece of furniture, my Mother enjoyed watching him run and play, and would laugh till she would cry.

TRAINING AND CARE OF A BICHON FRISE

The care of the little furry rat fell to me. I knew how to train dogs, the same way my Father did, if they went the bathroom on the floor you stuck their nose in it, swatted them with a rolled up newspaper and put them outside for awhile, wrong not with a Bichon Frise or as I called him at that time, a bitch'en Frizzy. My Mother made me buy a book on the care and training of the Bichon Frise. I was not having any luck with my training methods so I read and followed the book. Now when Bubba did something wrong and you looked at him, his tail would droop, his ears would droop, and he would look down at the ground and very, very slowly try to walk away from you. As the book said when the dog goes potty, you take him to it, say no one time, take it and him outside put the poop on the ground, put the dog down to sniff it and, the good part, you praise him for it. That seemed so wrong, but it worked. Bichon Frises evidently are extremely hardheaded and difficult to train according to the book and a fact that I can verify. Bubba hard headed, just like the rest of our family, who would have guessed. The next item of interest is grooming, Bichon Frises have two coats, the undercoat and the outer coat. The under coat is very fluffy and soft, while the outer coat is wirery, kinda like a pigs hair. Bichon frises do not shed and are good pets for people with allergies or breathing disorders. The problem is you have to brush them every day, the book says once every several days, but it's actually easier to do it every day. That way their hair doesn't get matted which makes grooming a pain in the neck for you and none to pleasant for the dog. As summer approached and temperatures went up, I took him to the groomers and had his hair cut short, very short. Was I surprised, his skin was pink with little black spots and he looked so small and frail. The next area of training was riding in the car. Reverting to the old ways, I put Bubba in the car next to me, started it up and away we went. Everything was great for about a quarter of a mile. Then like a cat throwing up a hair ball, he heaved and then threw-up, not on the floor board, not on the seat, on me. Needless to say I consulted, "The Book". Bichon Frises are very sensitive, you take them out and sit in the car with them to let them get use to being in the vehicle, after about three or four days of this, several times a day, you graduate to step two. Again you sit them in the car but now you start the engine, again for several times a day for three or four days. Step three, several times a day for three to four days you take short drives and slowly increase the distant and time you are driving. After three weeks Bubba didn't throw-up any more and enjoys going with me in the car. Now whenever I go he jumps into the car, sits and waits for me to get in and put my seatbelt on, and as I start the car he lays down next to me with his head on my thigh or hanging over the edge of the seat and stays there until the car stops.

BUBBA'S FIRST TRAGEDY

My Mother was Bubba's owner, he would lie down next to her or sit on her lap, while she sat in her chair and she would gently pet his head and back while he slept. She would sit in her chair and throw his ball for him to fetch, he would return to her until she got too tired to throw the ball, he would lie next to her and go to sleep. Where ever she was or where ever in the house she went, Bubba was there, trailing behind her, watching her every move. At night he would curl up beside her on the bed while she petted him, and they both would fall asleep. My Mother's condition worsened, the cancer had spread throughout her body, and there was nothing further the doctor's could do except give pain relief. My Mother knew she didn't have long to live and accepted that fact, her last several months was spent reassuring family and friends, and worrying about Bubba. At this point I had moved into the house, and slept in my Mother's room with her. Several times a night I had to give her medication, and would check on her throughout the night to make sure she was comfortable. Bubba knew something was wrong and he began distancing himself from my Mother and began spending more and more time with me. At bedtime He would lie next to my Mother in her Hospital bed while she petted him. He would then move to the foot of her bed and lay next to her feet, after a short period of time he jumped down from her bed and would get in bed with me. I knew this bothered my Mother, but she was a strong woman and concerned more with Bubba's well being. She began having less to do with Bubba and encouraged him to be with me. As she got worse Bubba would spend less and less time with her, it seemed to bother him, and he knew something wasn't right. Bubba would dutifully lie down next to her every night at bed time and let her pet him for awhile before he would leave her and jump in bed with me. While he lay with her and she petted him he would look at me with those little coal black eyes, and I could see the worry and fear there, but also the duty he felt he owed her. The day she passed away Bubba refused to go into her bedroom, as family member's arrived Bubba withdrew, and curled up on the couch and slept. Bubba would not go into her bedroom for a week after she passed away. When he finally did go into the room with me, it was reluctantly and he starred at her bed and moved to my side keeping me between the bed and him.

BUBBA'S NEW HOME

Upon arriving at Bubba's new home he was ill at ease. Not letting me out of his sight, sniffing everything, and as nervous as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Then he got too close to the patio screen door, and met Nala, my old and grumpy, female German Sheppard. Nala would treat small dogs and puppies as her own and would even nurse them. But anything, person or animal that was inside the house and got too close to the screen door would be met with the flash of huge white teeth and a menacing growl as she would push her face into the screen. Bubba ran too me like he was shot out of a cannon, and Nala continued her side way glance into the living room, glued to the screen door. Bubba become accustom to the new house, the growling monster, and the new sleeping arrangement. Bubba really didn't mind sleeping on top of the bed with us, but at first my wife didn't care for it much. Who could blame her, if she was asleep when we went to bed the first thing Bubba would do was walk over, lick her face until she woke up, and he would walk back to his blanket, on top the bed and prepare to go to sleep. His preparation was amusing to watch, first he would use his nose and push the blanket into a bunch, turn three circles to his left, lie down and immediately go to sleep. Bubba would not let me be more than a foot away from him at anytime. He followed me where ever I went, if a door stood between us he would whine for several minutes, lie down facing the door and wait for me to come out. It didn't matter if I walked out the front door to dump the garbage and was gone for 30 seconds or if I was out of town for three days. Before I could reach the front door I would hear his whining, and as I entered the house he is there, jumping up at me, nipping my elbow with his teeth and would continue jumping until I picked him up and said hello. Everywhere I went, Bubba had to go. If I left him at home he wouldn't eat or have anything to do with my wife or kids. He would tolerate them, but otherwise moped around the house waiting for me to come home. My wife told he would lie under the dining room table, with his eyes fixed on the front door, and wait. After several weeks of Bubba teasing Nala at the screen door, I had enough. I opened the door, pushed Bubba out on to the patio and stood back. Bubba was motionless, tail, ears and head down, fearing the worse. Nala as I had suspected figured he was a puppy and began grooming him, after several minutes of that Bubba began to sniff her. They soon became friends and would try to play together. Nala wasn't quite sure how to play with him, she ended up putting her nose under his belly and would kind of lift him up and toss him to the side. Bubba thought it was great fun and would immediately rush back in at her, ears up, tail curled to his back, standing erect and with a short guttural growl bump her with his chest. As I said before Nala was old and could not keep up with the interjectic playing machine, eventually she would get tired and lei down. Bubba would jump on her, run at her and bark at her, to no avail, she would not play with him. Nala would watch Bubba with keen interest as he would race in circles, as if being chased by a monster. Being a puppy still, Bubba when play very hard and then suddenly stop, lie down and be fast asleep depleted of all energy. Bubba has just turned two years old and has either calmed down a bit or I have gotten use to him. He does not constantly follow me around the house, but usually keeps me insight. If I leave the room, does not matter if he was sound asleep or not, after about thirty seconds he will come looking for me. Even as I am writing this story he is laying down about three feet from me. If I get up he will not move but he follows me with his eyes. He still loves to play and when he feels it's time, he will jump on me or the couch, spearing me with his two front feet and waits for me to begin playing. If I don't play with him he will get a little red squeaky toy and start squeaking it as hard and as fast as he can, looking me straight in the eye, hoping I will get as excited about it as he is. When this tactic fails, he gets on the back of the couch and intently stares at my hands, glances at my eyes and then continues to stare at my hands. When he does this it's hard for me to tell if he is really smart, or really stupid. If I still haven't played with him he will look me straight in the eyes and drop his squeaky toy next to me on the couch. He will then look at the toy and then immediately look into my eyes as if he's saying, there's the ball, let's play. At his point he usually wins and the games begin. On the other side of the coin, I've been sick and he will sleep with me on the bed all day and all night and only disturbs me when he has to go to the restroom. He is not a fu-fu dog, he'll play tough-a-war and refuse to give up. If you're on the floor he will be sure to put all four of his feet in the middle of your stomach as he runs over you. While playing he will nip, but it's usually unintentional and done very lightly. He is also the first dog I have ever had that will not try to snatch a treat out of your hand. He will wait till you put it in his mouth, he will slowly take it with his teeth and then run like the wind to a safe place to eat it.

About six months after coming home with me Nala passed away. I could tell Bubba misses her, he would look for her whenever he went into the back yard, all around the house and he would even peer inside her dog house, he has yet to go inside. So I decided to take Bubba to a friend's house to play with his toy Yorkshire terrier. Bubba loved it, he would bump her with his chest trying to get her to play, bark at her and run around in circles trying to get her to chase him. Of course my friend's dog wants nothing to do with him, but will chase him if he gets too close to her human. Since that went well I decided to take Bubba over to another friend's house. His dog's name is fluffy, a mongrel, he is a little bit larger than Bubba, but still a good size for him to play with. Now Fluffy is a friendly dog and is always excited to see me, he will run to greet me and get a pet and pat and then he'll resume his nap. As soon as we walk in the door and Fluffy comes running to greet me, Bubba is on him, growling and biting his ears and head. I had to grab Bubba and pull him of Fluffy, not the actions of a Fu-Fu dog. Well, batting 500, I decided to take him to my cousin's house, and let Bubba met his Mother and Father. As we walked into the back yard, Bubba pulling at his leash and me being dragged to the yard, Bubba came face to face with his Dad. He immediately growled and nipped at him, I grabbed Bubba and took him into the house. I couldn't understand why Bubba attacked. My cousin's wife Teresa, the Bichon Frise expert in the family, told me that Bubba was protecting me. So we took the leash off him, and put him back outside with his Mother and Father, while I stayed in the house. It worked, they sniffed each other and then began playing, and all of them had a wonderful time. Bubba tried to get a little too close to his Mom, and she let him know immediately that it was an unwanted advance. I was then able to come out of the house and play with the dogs without any more violent out bursts from Bubba.

It has been just over a year since my Mother passed away. This article, story or whatever you want to call it, took awhile to write. It brought back good things and not so good things, at times I would smile, laugh, and yes cry. I want to dedicate this article to my Mother, Paula G. Davis. We love you and miss you. Bubba is healthy and happy, he is my constant companion and my best friend.

Love

Terry

Comments 23 comments

lauri 4 years ago

We got our bichon from a run down house for a hundred dollars and we were told it was a poodle. We namedog mojo... It fit him perfectly!! he is such a gentle and loyal companion. I don't know how I lived without him. Thanks for your story. What a great breed. I will always have bichons!


Lynn 4 years ago

I loved your story. You described my Bichon Logan to a tee. He is 6 yo now. I got him when he was a puppy and I have enjoyed him everyday. He tolerates the rest of the family but is firmly attached to me. You are brave to adopt a Bichon that was preattached to your mom. You must be very special to have been adopted by Bubba. You have already endured a near impossible feat. Good luck in the future and may you both have a long and happy relationship togather.


Margaret Hegarty 4 years ago

Beautiful story well told well done! I have a clone of Your Bubba here Millie I love Her to bits!! Thank You.


Terry B. Davis profile image

Terry B. Davis 5 years ago Author

Chu-Chu,

Thank you for your kind words. Luckly I am not a writer. I will more than likely do an update, but right now there just isn't time.

Its amazing how these little critters sneak into your life, Bubba is not only a companion, but a best friend.

They seem to know your moods/emotions, and act accordingly. If your happy, they are happy and want to play, if your ill or depressed, they stay right with you, either laying on you or right up against you. It doesn't matter if I am gone 5 min., 5 hrs., or 5 days, when I return he jumps around, squeeking, happy and excited to see me.

Anyway, thanks again for your comment. I wish you and Genesis the best.

Terry


Chu-Chu 5 years ago

I came on the internet to find out why my Bichon Genesis was not eating and i found you, Terry and Bubba! I relished every word with such eagerness. I love my Genesis very much, as clingy demanding and accident-prone as she is...yet still my delight! My whole family love her including my big macho brother who is scared of dogs and wont allow any animal in his house. But my Genesis has made it to his house several times!

Terry i am looking forward to part 2 of this beautiful story and i hope you know this is a book in the making...God Bless!


averil 5 years ago

Hallo Terry - How wonderful! I can just see Bubba doing the Bichon Blitz with your two new members of the family! I remember when Bill was a pup - very similar antics as Bubba gets up to! A ball of fun - can be quite tiring too! I presume you live in the States? We live in England so Bill has been watching the Royal Wedding non-stop - he has square black eyes now!!!! With kind regards Averil, Ray & Billy


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Terry B. Davis 5 years ago Author

Averil, Thank you for your comment and for Bubba's hug. We have recently gotten two cats, so Bubba plays with them a lot. Which is great, gives us a break. They are fun to watch as they take turns chasing each other around the house.

Again thank you for your comment, and give Billy a hub and kiss from all of us.

Terry


Averil 5 years ago

Hello, I have just read your story and found it fascinating. I have a Bichon called Billy, he is 12 years old and is the centre of our lives, we love him so. All best wishes and a big hug for Bubba.


margaret 5 years ago

what a lovely and sometimes sad story i have never had a dog before and my dog minty is 10 months old lots of the things bubba did he is doing it is so refreshing to finally find out that all bichons are like this i love him very much and cant wait to see him when i finish work


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Terry B. Davis 5 years ago Author

Sara, you are lucky. Bubba just has too much energy and is extremely hard headed. When he wants to play, he stands up on his hind legs and taps me with his front paws and makes a grunting noise. If that doesn't work he will bring his ball and keep dropping it on my feet until I play with him. The longest I have been able to ignor him was about 1/2 hour, its just easier to throw the ball.

They are great dogs and a lot of company. Thanks for your comment.


Sara 5 years ago

Cute story! I have 2 Bichons: Sky and Star (Male and Female). They are such a joy! My male is my first dog/bichon ever. He has tons of personality! My female is more docile. LOL. I love them both


 6 years ago

Love your story! I too have a 4 yr old bichon & my daughter named her "Bashful" because the first day she came into our home ... that how Bashful was, scared, shaking & only followed me. We wouldn't give her up for anything. My kids, they sometimes complained that I cared more about Bashful than them, lol. Take good care of your Bubba.


 6 years ago

loved your story, I have a 4 year old Bichon and would not part with her for anything I love her to bits, your story really touched my heart, you are such a caring man, to take care of your Mothers dog like this.

All my best wishes Christine G

Chris


Viclb 6 years ago

I have a 2 + year old bichon Sophie, she is my "baby girl". Your story touched my heart. Sophie doesn't play with a ball she does what we call the Bichon Blitz running up n down the hall barking growling having fun....but when she is done....she's done and its nap time on my lap. I had a Cocker Spaniel,the runt Scarlett for 13 years when she passed I wanted a fufu pup called everyday to our shelter for 6 mos. Then 1 day there she was....telling me I want you for my mama! My children tell me I treat her like a child...well they are grown so yes she is. Thank you for your story, bless you your family and Bubba to.


 6 years ago

loved your story. I have two bichons 13 and 12 years old and a cavachon 5 months (rescued) (bichon, cav mix) Love them all.....and loved your story.


cassandra 6 years ago

Your beautiful narrative comveys the true spirit and intelligence of these amazing living beings that have an ability to love beyond belief. I had the identical experience in many ways, yet each one loves in such a different and deep way. Please honor and treasure her. By the way, they are not hard headed really it is intensely sensitive, almost psychic, always wanting only one thing, to love and please you. They respond to gentility.


bichonlover 6 years ago

Sweet story, shows how Bichons are special dogs.


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Terry B. Davis 7 years ago Author

Terri P

Thank you for your wonderful comment. I am glad that you enjoyed my article.


Terri P 7 years ago from Indiana (for now)

What a wonderful story! I am such a sap. I am a total dog person and stories like this touch me deeply. I am so glad Bubba warmed up to you and you to him. Give him a pat on the head from a fellow dog parent and person who truly loves dogs.


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Terry B. Davis 7 years ago Author

LAX,

Thank you for your comment. Here in the near future, when I have time I plan to do a follow up with Bubba, and have been trying to take more photo's. However, as soon as he see's the camera he usually stops what ever he is doing and, looks at the camera and cocks his head to one side or the other.

Again thank you for your comment and best wishes to you and Teddy.


LAX 7 years ago

I have a bichon mix he is the sweetest little ball of fur. He is sitting on my lap right now i think i will give him a big kiss right now on the nose.

his name is teddy he actually is a Shichon.

Bichon / Shih Tzu mix.


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Terry B. Davis 7 years ago Author

Lynn,

Thanks for your comment. It is amazing how attached you get to the little fellas, they are a great breed.


Lynn 7 years ago

I enjoyed reading your story very much. I also have a Bichon, named Buddy. There are a lot of similarities with your dog and mine. I think I'll go get my dog right now and give him a big hug!

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    Comments 4 comments

    fluffyandangelbichonlover! 4 years ago

    hiya,

    im a bichon frise breeder,

    i have 2 of my own, and breed puppies,

    my fluffy is 1

    my angel is 4

    fluffy was the runt of the litter, im just warning everyone because i know about my bichon frise's,

    if your runt , seems a bit weak, or floppy or acting a bit strange take it straigh to your local vet, as it might have pigeon chest,-

    that is what my fluffy has a big bone hanging out of there chest, this is what the runt dog might get .

    and 1 more thing, make sure your dog or puppy has paper's as we bought when i was visiting my nana in london, i bought a bichon male, and he was a full pedigree, but you need to always have a look at the parents before you by them, he was a little prince when we first bought him, and then my mam, said to me one morning what has happened to his ears? and i went they are like sticking up, and they 3 months later, whe actually found out he was a westie that is why, im telling you's to have a look at the parents before you buy a pup or a dog, because you's don't know what yous are buying thank you..

    thanks for reading my advert thank you charley.x


    Andrea 6 years ago

    Bubba sounds like a wonderful companion as most bichons are. I unfortunately had to put my 10 year old bichon down yesterday. Chewy was brave, loyal, loving, protective, smart, happy - there are not enough good words to describe him. He overcame cataracs and losing both eyes to glaucoma and still was the happiest boy you would ever know. Everyone loved him. He taught me a lot. I will always love and miss him. God bless your bichon and you for taking such good care of him.


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    Terry B. Davis 6 years ago Author

    BichonLover,

    Thank you for your comments. Bubba is also very protective, of me. Several times he has gone after two German Shepards that live next door. Lucky for him they are use to small dogs, an tolerate his behavior. After about 5 min. he calms down and they can be around each other. Bubba had a small knot on his lower back, about the size of the little fingernail. The vet tested it and found it to be just fat. That was over a year ago, it hasn't gotten any bigger and he seems to tolerate it.

    During the winter we leave his coat long, my wife is afraid of him getting cold and says he doesn't like to wear his sweater all the time. I got tired of not being able to see his eyes, so I trimmed around his eyes. He now looks like a little white owl, but they have very pretty and expressive eyes.

    Hope eveerything works out well, they are a great breed for companions.


    bichonlover 6 years ago

    Loved your story I to have a bichon he will be 8 in april.

    I had never heard of the breed till I talk with a breeder via the internet and told her that I was looking for a dog as I had lost my littl dog candy 20 years before and knew that i was ready for another dog.She steered me to the bichon when I looked it up on the internet and saw it for the first time the first thing was where are the ears?

    I too keep him clipped short as he is not crazy about brushing and as for people coming to the house they call first so that I can put him in my room because he will go after them.I ask the vet about this and she said that he is protecting his property.

    Tommarow he goes in for his shots and to have a lump checkedout that I found Sunday.

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