Chelsea, our Bichon Frise, is twelve years old. While she acts like a puppy, we see her suffering the effects of aging. The cold bothers her more now than in her younger years. Winter weather, although mild in Arizona, chills her bones and makes her ache. We try to make her life easier. She is our pet. She loves us unconditionally. She misses us when we’re away, and she welcomes us back eagerly.
This small, snow-white animal talks a language of her own. I have never been exposed to another Bichon Frise, so I’m not certain that her charming, verbose personality is a trait of her breed. Perhaps there is only one dog like Chelsea on Planet Earth. She tells us what she wants noisily. If we don’t understand, she continues to demand until satisfied or sharply told to shut up. When we tell her to shut up, she tells us to shut up. Then she pouts. When she pouts, her black eyes fill with tears and seem to grow larger as she stares patiently at us, waiting for our hearts to melt. How can we not give her what she wants? Still, sometimes we must be firm.
Chelsea likes to eat, and she wants a part of whatever we are eating. Until every bite is gone, she keeps telling us she’s hungry. We share. After a meal, Chelsea needs love. She wants to sit next to us on the couch. While Steve scratches her head and strokes her back, she licks the couch until it’s wet, so we place a towel underneath her to keep the couch dry.
Chelsea has her secure place in this little family. Sometimes I have to wonder: Are we pet owners, or are we owned by our pet? I am new to Chelsea, and I am enjoying her more and more as time goes by.
Do you have something to say about your pet? I’d love to hear it.