I watch the news, drinking my cappuccino, waiting for the Myoflex to take affect. Hurricanes are the topic of the day. I switch to the Food Channel but Anna isn't on right now, so decide to mosey outside. Most of the dogs follow, but Rosie stays behind. Deciding she needs fresh air too, I go and pry her off the sofa. She looks at me as if I have lost my mind. Rosie is - how shall I put this - um, different. She is a purebred Bichon Frise, but, well, sometimes she looks at me as if I speak a foreign language. Don't get me wrong. All the dogs will at varying times play that game, "Je ne parle pas Anglais, je parle Francais". Riiiiggghht.
For a while, we thought she might be deaf, and used to raise our voices when speaking to her. That got us puzzled looks - "why are you yelling at me?". After much discussion about Rosie's problem, we came to a startling conclusion.
You see, Rosie was raised for the first year or so of her life, in a kennel of Chihuahua's. She learned to speak Chihuahua, not Bichon. Don't laugh, I'm serious. Rosie mostly understands Chihuahua, which, in Rosie's case, instead of being "Je ne parle pas Anglais, je parle Francais", it would be "No habla inglés, yo habla solamente español."
She acts different from the other Bichons most times as well. Bichons have some unique traits: the Bichon grin; the Bichon wave; the Bichon blitz. With the grin, they look at you and roll their lips back over their teeth, wrinkling their noses at the same time, kind of like a human's sheepish grin. With the wave, they stand on their hind legs, put their front paws together, as if praying, and then wave them up and down. And the blitz, well, they race hell bent for election around the house from room to room, feet barely touching the floor, so fast they are nearly a blur.
Rosie on the other hand, does "the kick". She walks up to one of the other dogs, turns around, and kicks backwards at them, kind of like a mule. Gotta be a Chihuahua thing.
The Bichon's understand most of what I say, especially Pippi. I can speak in full sentences to them, and they will understand and usually respond. Ok, yes, sometimes they just lift their heads and respond with "in your dreams, Mom, I'm not moving from my warm, comfy sofa spot". Rosie understands single words: treat; supper; um, treat; outside illicits a "No habla inglés" response, as does bedtime.
Richard comes in the livingroom with a bowl of homemade Raspberry Cheesecake ice cream. Foolishly he sits on the sofa. He is immediately mobbed by a pack of Bichons, all clambering for a taste. I snicker at hime. Silly man. He manages to fend most of them off, all except Pippi, the smartest of them all. She keeps creeping slowly up this body, until her nose is on the edge of his dish, and she has his complete focus. He chuckles at her; she wags her tail, hopefully, her eyes look soulfully into his. He blinks first, and she gets to lick the bowl.
Yup, Bichon spoken here. "No habla español."