Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: No training
By Daphne Petty
Brandon, Florida, United States
Posted January 21, 2019
Beau was a hand me down dog. He belonged to my sister-in-laws grandmother and when she went into a retirement home she could no longer care for him so my brother and sister-in-law got their first dog!
Beau quickly became my brothers best friend. They were inseparable, my brother literally took him almost everywhere. Work, to the store, fishing, basically anywhere. He knew the jingle of the type of plastic bag the local thrift store used, and always knew that meant it was time for him to get a new toy. Basically, he was spoiled absolutely rotten and we all loved spoiling him.
Though Beau loves anyone who gives him attention he knows who his favorites are and no one compares to his first owner and my brother. I like to think that those were his golden years, traipsing around the state, going on adventure after adventure. Beau's life was perfect during this time and then.... the baby was born.
This breed is completely emotionally aware of changes in circumstances and while this is partially a good thing, it's also a double edge sword. They're great at realizing when you may need some support but they also feel changes deeply. When my niece was born Beau's life changed, he went from being the most important part of the family to second fiddle. He was still loved but suddenly all the toys in the house weren't his and my brother spent less time holding him so he could hold his daughter. While Beau wasn't bitter, and he loved my niece very much, he for sure felt the change. My family now has a collection of photos of him in the background of pictures staring longing at where he used to be.
Things stayed pretty good for him emotionally while my niece was a baby, but when she got a bit older they decided to get her a puppy of her own. This was rough for him. He was still my brothers favorite but you could tell he had a hard time adjusting to another dog. He was fine with any other animals we had, chameleons, cats, fish etc but sharing with another dog was a lot for him.
He quickly turned into an old man of a dog and while he was still lovable he stayed in the background waiting to see if anyone would go out of their way to pay attention to him and thennnnnnnnnn the second kid was born and another puppy was dropped off at their house. Surprisingly this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, while it still added to his slump, it also encouraged him to take any opening he could find for affection and attention. It was almost as if anytime you saw him could could faintly hear "When She Loved Me," from Toy Story was playing quietly in the background.
My brother still takes him for rides in the truck and takes him places he won't take the other dogs too, which he loves but as a human it's sad to see the difference in the dog we knew before the babies and the puppies to the old man he is now. He's still got an amazing personality and is always there for you when you need him and everyone loves him, but it's truly incredible to see how the old Beau comes back when he gets those moments of attention for himself.
All in all, a Bichon Frise is a great dog and pretty low maintenance. They just need a stable amount of affection, attention and stimulation. Grooming is pretty easy with these guys, they do need to be bathed regularly but if you have a pretty steady hand you should be able to cut their hair yourself annnddd if you do manage to give them a terrible haircut welllll thankfulllyyy they won't mind that they look like a giant rat. I'm not sure if this is common with the breed in general or if it's just Beau, but one thing we have noticed is that he has several skin tags all over his body, and while they're not anything to worry about, they stilll do feel a bit weird.
While Beau most definitely does bark, it's not constantly. He does it when people come to the house but only to alert you that someone is there. Personally, I appreciate this. While some may consider it yappy I think it's nice to be alerted. I'm sure you could work with your dog and prevent the barking though.
I may not be a small dog person but I gotta say, Beau is one of the most incredible animals I've ever met. I think the breed is amazing for families, especially when you get them AFTER already having kids. They're lovable, loyal and truly your best friend. You cannot go wrong with this dog.