Our Bichon, Zoey, joined our family about twelve years ago. Zoey was a dream come true for our youngest daughter, Kim. Kim was in seventh grade when she started asking Steve and I for a dog. I encouraged Kim to seek a dog we could keep in the house. My husband told her if she could find one that did not shed and would not get very big he would allow a house dog. Kim began the search for the dog we’d all come to love.
Kim and I researched different breeds of dogs looking for one that wouldn’t shed. We discovered the Bichon Frise breed. We learned this breed of dog is known for not shedding and as a good dog for kids. Kim started her process of winning Steve over to get a dog. She cut out pictures of a Bichon and of our family. We had taped up pictures on our bathroom mirror and other places in the house of a Bichon with a dream cloud above it’s head with our family in it. Steve weakened pretty fast!
When we were given the green light to look for a puppy we immediately started our search. We found a family in Lincoln, NE with a litter nearly ready to go. We called. We talked. We decided to drive to Lincoln and pick out our puppy.
The drive to Lincoln only takes about an hour and a half. Kim kept asking “How much longer?” as we drove. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. Little did Steve and I know how important this puppy was to her. Our daughter, Emily, thought Kim was just missing her as she had recently graduated and went off to college. Whatever the reason, Kim was definitely excited to get this dog.
We picked out our puppy, named her Zoey, and took her to her new home. Before long we started watching “The Dog Whisperer” so we could learn what it meant to be a pack leader to help Zoey and her caretakers learn good habits.
Kim continued training Zoey for obedience and agility in the 4-H program. Zoey was not the best at the lay/stay position for one minute. The noises at the fairgrounds were more interesting than listening to Kim!
Every morning when Kim would leave for school I would leave the house to go down to our feedlot. The feedlot is downhill from the house so that is why we say we’re going down to the feedlot or up to the house! We couldn’t leave Zoey in the house all day with no one to hang out with so she went with me and hung out in the office. Over the past twelve years Zoey has continued her routine of going to the feedlot office in the morning to greet salesmen, bark at strangers and keep my office chair warm when I am outside.
Zoey learned not to jump up on people and only barks at unusual noises or unfamiliar people. She learned to recognize my father-in-law’s car, the Synergy truck, the garbage man, the neighbors who bring us corn and employee vehicles. Zoey’s bark only lasts as long as it takes for visitors to reach down and pet her!
Zoey watches most of the feedlot activity from the office window. Our family has also spent time with Zoey by going for walks…
riding around on the ATV…
playing the piano…
playing in the snow…
and countless other activities around the farm. In the evening you can find Zoey curled up near my feet on the couch and later at the foot of our bed. Every family should be so lucky to have a dog like our Zoey!
“I have found that when you are deeply troubled, there are things you get from the silent devoted companionship of a dog that you can get from no other source.” -Doris Day