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Tag: bichon frise

Should you lease your next dog?

bichon-frise-puppies

Anthony and Françoise Claessens thought they were buying a dog.

They took the little bichon frise home, named it Tresor II (after their recently deceased bichon) and only later in the day got around to taking a closer look at the paperwork from the pet store.

The contract they’d signed called for 27 monthly payments of $95.99, totaling $2,687, for the dog, which had a store price of $495.

And at the end of the 27 months, the contract said, they still wouldn’t own the dog — because what they had signed wasn’t for a loan. It was a lease.

The dog, unless the Claessens forked over yet more money at the end of the lease period, would have to be returned to Oceanside Puppy — the store they bought, check that, leased it from.

“I have never heard of leasing a dog in my life,” Anthony Claessens, 80, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We were under the understanding we were purchasing a dog … I feel that we were swindled.”

We can’t argue with that choice of words.

The store, with two branches in the San Diego area, and the finance company, WAGS Financing of Reno, Nev., say they’ve been offering financing and leases on dogs for more than a year, and that nobody is being swindled.

“I think that’s very unfair that they are saying we are being fraudulent,” said David Salinas, who owns the shop on Oceanside Boulevard.

“It is only a surprise to the customer if they are not reading their contract,” Salinas added. “As a courtesy, we explain it the best we can.”

According to the couple, no store employee mentioned that they were signing up for a lease.

Under the lease contract, lessors have the option of returning the dog at the end of the term or paying an additional charge to purchase the pet.

“Over the last 10 years, lease-to-own and rent-to-own is becoming a much more common way for people and consumers to purchase goods,” said Dusty Wunderlich, CEO of Bristlecone Holdings, WAGS’ parent company.

The Claessens returned their leased dog around the middle of November and the company agreed to cancel the contract.

Since then they’ve found another bichon frise, this one from a shelter.

(A litter of bichon frises, from galleryhip.com)

The stray that showed up at spring training

hank

A walk-on has joined the Milwaukee Brewers during spring training in Arizona, and there’s a good chance he may go back to Milwaukee with them — as a mascot.

A small stray dog who appears to be a bichon frise, or mix thereof, wandered on to the team’s complex Feb. 17, with an injured tail and other signs he might have been hit by a car.

After team employees took him to a veterinarian for a checkup and a bath, he was brought back to the stadium and has been there almost every day since.

They’ve named him Hank, after baseball great Hank Aaron, who began his career in Milwaukee.

hank3“Yeah, he’s making a pretty big impact, which I’ve got to say is pretty cool,” pitcher Yovani Gallardo told Newsday

Believed to be around 2 years old, Hank was assigned No. 1 for his team jersey, and team reports about him on social media have made a local celebrity.

The team has posted signs in the area reporting the found dog, but no owner has stepped forward yet, and different members of the Brewer’s organization are vying for a chance to adopt him.

Team owner Mark Attanasio said his wife wants to adopt the dog, and some players have voiced a desire to keep him on the roster and have him travel with the team. “We want to do what’s right for the team,” Attanasio said. “I think he’s really an asset.”

Meanwhile, staff members are taking turns housing Hank for the evening.

During the day he watches practice from the stands at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, or from the dugout, and sometimes he takes to the field.

“Most of the guys here I’m sure we all have dogs back home and not everyone can bring em out because were out were working, pitcher Gallardo told Fox 10 News in Phoenix, “but to have this little guy out here running around with us it’s fun, spring training gets long and this makes us enjoy it a little more.”

(Photos: Rick Scuteri / Associated Press)

Stump visits young cancer patients

Stump, the Sussex spaniel who claimed top honors at Westminster this year, made an appearance at Houston’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center yesterday to the delight of a half dozen young cancer patients.

Stump — along with  J.R., a bichon frise from Houston who won Best in Show at Westminster eight years ago — were there to help celebrate the unveiling of the newest Children’s Art Project products, including a flag-inspired canine bandana.

Stump was chosen to model the new bandana, in part, because of his heart-lifting life story, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Stump, at 10,  was the oldest dog in the judging’s history to win Best in Show, and the first of his breed to take top honors. Even more inspiring to the children at M.D. Anderson, said hospital spokeswoman Sara Farris, was Stump’s ability to overcome a near-fatal bacterial infection five years ago.

Stump spent 19 days in a Texas A&M University veterinary clinic, art project director Shannon Murray told the kids. “But he never gave up the will to live,” she said.

Typically,  groups of seven to 25 children work on each art project, the sales of which raise about $1.5 million a year for programs directed at young patients.

“When the children create it gives them a sense of control when they may not have a feeling of a lot of control in their lives,”  said Murray. “Giving back to the other children at M.D. Anderson — it’s a great way to make a contribution and to feel better.”

How to (ah) choose a hypoallergenic dog

Goldendoodle

Goldendoodle

Despite all the buzz about “hypoallergenic dogs” since the Obamas indicated they may get one, there are no breeds that are truly free of potential allergens, some medical experts say.

“I don’t think there is such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog,” allergy and asthma expert Corinna Bowser (really, BOWSER!) of Havertown, Pa. told WebMD.

While there are countless websites devoted to “hypoallergenic dogs,” the Obamas could find it difficult to find one to which their older daughter, Malia, won’t have an allergic reaction.

Bowser explains that the major allergen in dogs is a protein found in dog serum, and dogs excrete that allergen in sweat and shed it from their skin. “It also gets secreted into the saliva, and possibly a little bit in the urine,” Bowser says.

Since all dogs have that protein, no dog is completely allergy-free, according to Bowser.

She said a German study, published this year, tracked allergies among people exposed to various dog breeds and found that factors related to individual dogs seem to influence the “allergenicity” more than breed or gender.

Breeds commonly cited as hypoallergenic include the poodle, (and several poodle hybrids, like the goldendoodle), Bichon Frise, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier, Portugese Water Dog, Schnauzer, West Highland Terrier, Basenji, Airedale Terrier, and our good friend, the Xoloitzcuintli.

Smaller dogs, and short-haired breeds might be less risky, Bowser said. “Hair length could have something to do with how it spreads in the house,” she said, explaining that shorter dog hairs may not stick as much as long hair to furniture, clothes, and other surfaces.

Bowser went on to say that if she was the Obama family doctor, “I would say it’s probably better not to get a dog.”

“Of course, now he made the promise and he kind of has to,” she said. Bowser recommends that before they get a dog of their own the Obama family dog-sit to see how Malia’s allergies fare, and set some rules about how they’ll handle any allergy issues.

Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 recommended; or Windows 7 with Service Pack 3; Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack SP 2, 2 Windows Server 2003 with SP1, SP1 or later operating system2.