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Dash 9 Weeks On Floor Cropped 500 Wide.jpg

A certain four-legged somebody ambled into my office a little while ago and presented me with one of my bedroom slippers. Every man’s dream, right? A dog who brings his slippers and his evening paper? Except that it was 10:30 AM and I’d been up and dressed for four hours…and the slipper had teeth marks in it. I grabbed for the slipper…and he expertly dodged and headed back for the door at flank speed, glancing over his shoulder to make sure I was in pursuit.

Let’s just say we don’t let him anywhere near the newspaper.

Dash On Lounger Cropped 300 Wide.jpgHeh. Meet Dash. I tagged him Redball at first (see my entry for July 12, 2009) because he was the “red” puppy out of that litter (puppies in a litter are often color coded with collar ribbons or a daub of nail polish on their ears) and because he liked to chew on the red ball on the mini-bungee holding his Lixit bottle in place. But puppies eventually tell you their true names, and with Dash it became clear from his head-down, pedal-to-the-metal running style that he had lots in common with young Dashiell “Dash” Parr, particularly when his pack was in play mode or when the pack was not, but he wanted to be. Like this morning, with my slipper.

For now, indeed, we have a pack. As most of you know, we fostered a mamma dog and her litter of three puppies when their owner was hospitalized, and we decided to keep one of the puppies. We also have Jack, AKA Jackpot and Jackie Gleason, a very large three-year-old male bichon whom I myself have handled in the show ring. Dash makes four, and it’s been interesting to observe pack dynamics and the ongoing discussion over pack hierarchy. QBit is the sometimes challenged but still unvanquished boss. Although clipped, he’s the oldest and the most muscular, and his muscle evidently generates enough testosterone to keep the other guys in their places. QBit can flip and pin 10-pound Aero without half trying, and although Jack is larger and a little heavier than QBit, he’s far less muscular and just naturally submissive. The dynamic most in play is the one between Aero and Jack: Aero would like to be the boss but won’t be any time soon, and Jack seems to understand that even though he’s lost some weight he still has ten pounds on Aero and doesn’t seem interested in playing the dominance game.

And Dash, well, he still has full puppy privileges. He can crawl on top of QBit and lie down, or take bones away from both Aero and Jack if their bones are the ones he wants. In fact, Dash treats both Aero and Jack as babysitters and sometimes as just another pair of stuffed toys; he’ll grab one of Jack’s ears and pull as hard as he can while Jack stolidly stands there, waiting patiently for the young brat to get bored. Aero and Dash play a sort of gymnastic “flip” game that consists of Aero flipping Dash over while Dash swats back at Aero with his front paws. We’re guessing that Aero is trying to get a jump on the pack hierarchy question while the brat is still small enough to flip, but we’re also guessing that a mature Dash will outweigh Aero by at least five pounds, and an unclipped Dash may not just roll over for Aero out of simple seniority.

Dash 7 Weeks With Toe Spreader.jpg

Dash’s pigment is improving as time passes (he’s now 13 weeks old) and Carol thinks he’s definitely show-quality, if not as generally perfect as Aero. One oddness is that his eyes reflect a luminous blue in a camera flash, which I’ve never seen in a bichon before. (Aero’s eyes reflect gold, and QBit’s green.) Most significantly, Dash is taking to the litterbox quite well, and although he still has accidents, he’s better on potty discipline at 13 weeks than either Aero or Jack are as adults. He’s noisy, confident, and extremely playful, and having a puppy in the house from six and a half weeks is an experience we’ve never had before and may never have again, so we’re paying attention, taking pictures, and enjoying it as much as we can.

Zoom! There he goes again! (And my other slipper is now missing…)


  1. Erbo says:

    That’s the cutest picture I’ve seen on my new iPhone today. Congratulations on the establishment of your own pack of “Ralpha Dogs,” and congratulations to Dash for finally figuring out what his name is. 🙂

  2. Bob Fegert says:


    What an incredibly adorable dog 🙂

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