Aging Bichon Frise

As I mentioned when I first started writing this blog about our Bichon Frise, she has been with our family for almost eleven years. Lately, Sprite's arthritis has been acting up. It is very difficult to watch as our sweet puppy (she is still a puppy to us!) starts the natural aging process. She no longer follows me upstairs every time I go up. As a matter of fact, she is now becoming very economical with her trips up and down the stairs. She determines the amount of time I am planning to stay upstairs by listening to the activity I am involved in, and then, apparently, based on the eleven years that she has been following me up the stairs, she decides if following me is worth the trip! In case she isn't sure how long I will remain upstairs, she ambles over to the bottom of the staircase, and lets out an almost inaudible "woof". She then remains at the bottom of the steps until I assure her that I plan on staying upstairs, or if "I'll be right back."

One of the factors that we took into account before deciding that the Bichon Frise was the breed we wanted for our family pet was the general activity level of the Bichon.  Bichon's score a possible seven (out of ten) on one dog breed author's profile scale. They are active little dogs, so it is especially difficult to watch as Sprite no longer is able to take the long walks she used to love so much. We have had to cut the distance to a mere fraction of the length she once enjoyed so much. She still gets anxious every night when it approaches our walking time, but we have had to slow down considerably for her.

We once contemplated adopting another Bichon for her to play with, but now that Sprite is slowing down, we have decided against that idea. Since she now prefers spending her day sleeping, we doubt a puppy to play with would be anything more than an unwelcome intruder.

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