Owner: Lucy & Lee
A bichon frise is described as independent, intelligent, bold, lively, gentle, and happy. If the bichon happens to be the charming, white puffball known as Harry from Newcastle England, you can add “mischievous” to the list of adjectives.
Harry, born on May 28th, 2004 and originally named Harvey, is a “second hand” pup. His original owners spent twelve or more hours a day at work, and left Harvey alone. Realizing this situation was neither fair nor healthy for the dog, the couple responsibly searched for a more suitable home for Harvey. They did not want to sell the dog; their only wish was to find him the perfect, loving home.
“They didn’t want just anyone,” Lucy, Harry’s “Mom,” said. “The man worked with my dad, and mentioned it to him. I had always had a dog, but since I moved into my own house, I didn’t have a dog of my own, so Dad said he would ask me. Of course, I said yes straight away, but Harry’s “Dad” took some convincing. He had never been a dog person only because they had never had one in the family when he was young. The couple brought Harvey to our house so we could all meet. Dad and Harvey clicked straight away, and he won us over by peeing on our sofa!”
There was already a dog named Harvey in Lucy’s family; thus, this new Harvey was re-christened Harry, and welcomed into Lucy’s home. Like all new pet owners, Lucy headed straight for the pet store.
“I went shopping straight away, and got him lots of new toys, treats, a new bed, lead, collar, name tag, the works!” She said. “He was spoiled before he even got here.”
Despite crying during the first few nights in his new environment, Harry quickly attached himself to his new “Dad,” and according to Lucy, became a “real bad Daddy’s boy.” Harry even won over his miniature schnauzer cousin, Benson, who was going through an aggressive phase at the time. Lucy worried about how Benson and Harry would get along; Benson was kept on his harness during their first encounter.
“They ran straight for each other, jumped up at each other with their legs around one another’s neck,” Lucy reported. “We didn’t know if they were fighting or playing. Within minutes, Benson was off his harness, and they were running around the garden, playing chase, and having the best time. Benson is Harry’s best friend, and his aggressive phase seemed to disappear after they met.”
In addition to Benson, Harry’s other canine relatives include Benson’s brother, Toby, a staffie, another staffie named Cole, and Harvey, the family dog. Harry also has aunts, an uncle, grandparents that love him, and a sweet, little pup gal-pal, Twinkle, Dogpawfile’s shorkie Southern belle.
“Harry is very special, and lucky,” Lucy commented. “He has the lovely Twinkle. She is not only the most beautiful girlfriend any dog could ever have, but she is his best friend. She is the most kindest, and sweetest girl in the world, and he is very lucky to know her.”
Like many bichons, Harry was diagnosed with a cataract, which was first discovered in his right eye when he was ten months old. He has frequent check-ups, and to date, has thankfully not needed surgery. Harry has vision in the eye, though sometimes misjudges distance.
“Other than that,” Lucy said. “He has been problem free, apart from having the most expensive sore throat in the world last year.”
Due to a scary encounter with another dog, Harry’s biggest fear is dogs approaching him from behind. Three years ago, as he was enjoying a stroll in the park with his parents, a big dog who was known to wander without a leash, walked passed. Without warning, the dog suddenly turned, ran up behind Harry, and grabbed him by the back of his neck.
“He was screaming and yelping,” Lucy remembered. “I tried to pick him up, but it (the dog) still had a hold of him, and Dad tried pulling it off. When it wouldn’t let go, Dad had to kick the dog to get it to release him. I always feel bad about this, but God knows what would have happened if he didn’t. The dog just ran off. Surprisingly enough, Harry was only slightly marked, but was so shaken up”
Since then, Harry has been frightened of all dogs, except Benson and Harvey. He is slowly learning to relax around other dogs, Lucy said, and will now even sniff other dogs, and panics only if a dog approaches him from behind.
“He likes going to sniff the girls more,” Lucy said. “He seems less fearful of them, which is why I think a sister would be good for him.”
Sniffing seems to be one of Harry’s favorite past-times.
“He can sniff out any poop nearby,” Lucy joked. “He really enjoys a roll in any kind of mud, poop, and dirt.”
Harry’s more charming talents include waving, giving a high five, rolling over, and sneaking into his parents’ bed to wiggle his way beneath the covers and onto their pillows. Harry’s days are unpredictable, and carefree.
“He never has a day the same, as Dad works different shifts,” Lucy said. “He gets walks at different times, goes to different places, sees family members, etc. at different times. It keeps him on his toes. He gets fed at 6:30 every evening, and evenings are always spent cuddling in and chilling out with me.”
Though Lucy’s home was not Harry’s first, this “second hand” pup has sniffed out a cozy, furever abode with parents who adore him.