Bichon-Frise PlayDays

Updated July 1, 2012

FINAL Bichon PlayDay

Saturday, June 30, 2012 at Rover's Ranch Dog Park

A great group of Bichon owners braved the heat and humidity to give their fluffs a fun run off leash with lots of sniffing, chasing, posturing and marking.  A larger, HI-Res photo is available at the bottom of this page.
In addition to watching Bichon antics and play, Mary LaHay, founder and president of Iowa Friends of Companion Animals (IAFriends) and Iowa Voters for Companion Animals (IowaVCA) spoke about the large-scale commercial dog-breeding industry in Iowa. She shared information about the documented abuse and neglect of thousands of dogs in many of the 200+ USDA-licensed kennels across the state. She also described how IowaVCA’s legislative efforts are helping to change this shameful situation. I hope many of you can help make Iowa a better place for companion animals by learning more about IAFriends and IowaVCA by visiting their websites at and Contact Mary LaHay at or by calling 515-556-5949. She's fighting a brave battle and making a difference but she needs the help and support of many other responsible pet owners like yourself.Iowa Friends of Companion Animals Our Mission:“To advance the humane and responsible treatment of companion animals through collaboration and public awareness.”

Many people believe that purchasing a puppy from a breeder is the best way to acquire a new pet. But the risks are quite high.  For those in the know, there are other far less expensive and better ways to acquire a quality companion animal.  Animal shelters and rescue groups provide outstanding ways to unite a quality animal with a loving family.  Many shelters have wonderful pets turned in for economic reasons, families moving from homes to condos or apartments that don't allow pets, elderly entering care facilities, and a host of other legitimate reasons.  These innocent and well mannered pets would welcome having a new friendly and loving forever home with you.  Please give thought to this choice and learn how to make your selection wisely.

Amy Sisam gave a wonderful talk on the way to find a pet using  She did her homework and took her time in finding her fantastic "Dallas".  In the end it required a road trip to Quincy, IL but her efforts were well rewarded and she was able to give a shelter dog the greatest treasure of all....a loving forever home.  Dallas has even converted "Grandma Judy" from being uneasy around dogs to a super Dallas Fan.  I'm sure Amy would be willing to share her knowledge with you if you contacted her at (515) 270-9064 or e-mail her at  

You may remember our saying this was going to be an important PlayDay and to try and attend if at all possible.  The reason was that we announced this will be the final PlayDay held by our current committee in the greater Des Moines area.  

But don't despair just yet.  There are others who may pursue having events in another part of the state, and with enough volunteers and support, may even consider rotating the PlayDays around to different metro areas.  At the June PlayDay, a show of hands indicated there are other attendees interested in helping out with such a reorganization.  We will be transferring the contact information of past attendees to LeAnn and Donavan Trana of Coralville, Iowa who have indicated an interest in trying to keep something going.  Both have been involved with our committee for the last several years and are very capable individuals with a good knowledge of Bichon issues.  They can be reached at  

NOTE: If you would like to have your name removed from our mailing/contact list, please let me know prior to July 15th and I'll make sure your name isn't passed on to receive future Bichon event announcements. E-mail me at and put "REMOVE BICHON" in the subject line.

I hope over the years we've provided you with useful and beneficial information about responsible Bichon ownership and care.  These little white dogs are a special breed and deserve nothing but the best from us.  Proper nutrition, training and exercise can provide you and your family with many years of special times with your companion Bichon(s).  Our sincere thanks to each of you who participated in the events and to those who contributed your pet experiences with others.  We hope some of you might organize on-going neighborhood or localized gatherings of Bichon owners in your area and pass on what you've learned to others.

We especially want to thank the fantastic group of dedicated individuals who were responsible for pulling off the original Bichon Bashes and later the Bichon PlayDays.  They would never have happened without the hard work and dedication by Nell Gates, Amy and Steve Sisam, Carole Phillips, Jane Hughs, LeAnn and Donavan Trana and our registration assistant Judy Cornett.   A few other early on volunteers included Pat Hasselmann, Beth Baldwin, and Joan Lyons as well. 

And of course we are very grateful to Darcy Emehiser and Lin Nibbelink of Rover's Ranch for all the cooperation they provided in having our many events at their Rover's Ranch dog park facility and to Darcy for her professional training sessions.

Respectfully and gratefully yours, 
Dick & Pat Meuler and the Bichon PlayDay committee 

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Photos of prior Bichon Bashes and PlayDays follow.
To copy to your computer, right-click on any image and select 
"Save Image As" to store it on your computer.
2006 Iowa Bichon Bash
(Click on photo to enlarge it)

Sept 2007 Bichon PlayDay
(Click on photo to enlarge it)

Fall 2008 Bichon PlayDay
(Click on photo to enlarge it)

June 7, 2009 PlayDay Group Photo (Click on photo to enlarge it)

September 13, 2009 PlayDay Group Photo
(Click on any photo to enlarge it)


June 6, 2010 - Some of our rounded-up attendees on a gorgeous summer day - (Click on photo to enlarge)

Here's most of our 2010 Fall group of attendees on a fantastic early fall day in the country
(Click on photo to enlarge it)

June 2011 PlayDay Photo courtesy of Penny Crusan (Click on photo to enlarge)

September 18, 2011 PlayDay in the mist and drizzle (Click on photo to enlarge)

June 30, 2012 PlayDay on a warm and humid day but with just enough breeze to keep most comfortable.
To copy to your computer, right-click on image and select "Save Image As" to store it on your computer.


bassgal said...

Just love the new blog....This could even give all us fluffer parents a place to communicate when we are not having play days!!!

Would even like to see more pictures and sharing. I'll be at the playdates.....Hope lots of others will be as well.

Great job Dick!
nell gates and lisie
Centerville, Iowa

Stephany in Iowa said...

Wow....brings back memories! Wonderful idea, Dick.

Stephany in Indpendence

The Heerens said...

I'm so glad I found out about these play days. I can't wait to attend our first one in June.

Holly in Des Moines said...

Love these play dates - have attended past 3 years and learn so much new things about taking care of our spoiled bichon.