I have always had a dog as a pet. I’ve had a German Shephard, a Beagle, a Terrier, and my share of “mutts.” In 2005 my husband and I were ready to get another dog. While researching what type we should get this time, I read, for the first time, about Bichons:
“…the Bichon Frise (is) a white powder puff of a dog whose merry temperament is evidenced by his plumed tail carried jauntily over the back and his dark-eyed inquisitive expression. The Bichon Frise is pretty easy to live with. This cheerful, pleasant house dog enjoys playing games, snuggling into laps and pillows…” They have a curly coat that doesn’t shed, is small but sturdy, is playful but doesn’t need much outdoor exercise, and makes an alert watchdog, but is not aggressive.” (yourpurebredpuppy.com)
This description sounded just like the type of dog we were looking for. “Doesn’t shed,” especially, kept repeating in my head. When royal blue carpets were all the rage back in the late 70’s, we had one. With a white dog that shed. I vacuumed every single day, and I was not interested in doing that again.
And that is how we came to adopt our first Bichon, Riley. I’ve mentioned our 2nd Bichon, Stella, lately, so – yes, we now have 2 Bichons.
And here is my point. Bichons are high maintenance dogs in the grooming department. They should be brushed every day, and they need to be groomed fairly often to keep their adorable appearance. For us, “fairly often” means every 5-6 weeks.
Grooming can be expensive. It’s worth the investment when the dogs come back from the groomers all clean and sweet smelling and adorable again. But when paying grooming expenses for 2 dogs, I found myself trying to extend the time between grooming appointments just a little longer. It wasn’t working. So I made a decision.
And before going forward, I apologize to all professional dog groomers who might be reading this.
I decided to try to groom Riley and Stella myself. I watched YouTube videos, I bought all of the equipment I need, and I’m ready to give it a try. I am expecting a learning curve. I even accept that this might be a total failure. I might end up taking my Riley and Stella to their groomer with a chopped up look, begging her to “fix” them.
But when I compare their grooming fees to the amount I paid for all of the equipment I bought, I only have to “try” 2 times in order for the expenses to “equal out.” I figure I can do anything twice, right?
I’ll let you know.
Riley as a puppy, 2005
Stella on the left, Riley on the right, last winter
My new equipment