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loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, January 12, 2007

bee-shawn FREE-zay

That's how you say Bichon Frise. They are smallish, white and fluffy, as befits their poodle/waterdog origins.

And this is what we know about the Bichon Frise:

"Since the time of the Renaissance, the breed has been known as the Bichon Teneriffe, the name taken from the largest of the Canary Islands. Apparently, Spanish sailors brought this Mediterranean dog with them to the Canary Islands, where the exotic name "Teneriffe" became attached to it, and whence it was reimported into Europe as a pet for Italian and spanish noblemen. The early popularity of the breed is evident, for the French invaders of Italy in the 1500's brought many of the dogs home with them as war booty.

"Under Francis I (1515-1547) the Bichon became established in the French royal court society. Its peak of popularity came, however under the reign of Henry III (1574-1589). the monarch, unhappy to be separated from his beloved dogs for any length of time during the day, fashioned a basket in which to hold them, and tied it around his neck with ribbons. Carrying the little white dogs thus, he would stroll about the imperial court and conduct his royal affairs with his favored pets always at his fingertips!"

This info taken from this goodnatured short history of the breed. Check out the gallery for lots of pictures of a well-loved example!

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