June 22, 2004
The 2004 Bay Area Bichon Bash in
Alameda by the Sea!

See the video of 2 Bichons meeting and WRESTLING!
Now, it takes a few minutes to load!
(Bichons ALWAYS recognize each other!)

Cool weather by the ocean. Ahhh...

Yup. Dis must be da place!

We ate.

We talked.

"I'm gonna JUMPPPPPP....Im gonna JUMPPPP I tell you!"

Bichon Dad.

Shana, who always tells me.."Don't worry...God got your back!:


Registration Table.

Girl talk.

These Bichon Dads love their Bichons!

Greg Enoksen (our auction model) with his two SPR adopted fluffs, Buddy AKA"Slim" and Tuffy!

Cheryl & Mike Krankhe with "Raiderette"
(They do love their teams out there in the Bay Area!)

Maria Palmer with Sir Milo on her shoulder!

We bonded.

"Mmm mmm good!"

Bichon for a day!

Jackie Linich

Cheryl, Mike and Zack Krankhe with Raiderette

Patty Rose who donates the cost of the entire site each year.
As you can tell, we FORCED ourselves to have a good time...

Kristin Passe (Kathy Martin's sister) calling the raffle with Jane Greaney!

Ron Broderick in blue ball cap.

Did I really NEED that megaphone?
(Ok, I heard that!)

"We are familyyyyyy!"

Jackie Linich and Pup

Kathy Martins, our not-so-silent auctioneer!

Janet and Smiley Kai (whose bichon quilts are one of our most coveted items) and Nancy Enoksen on the left who made so many beautiful bichon beds!

Diana holding her pup like baby while Zola looked on ready to bid!

Bichon for a day!

SPR Volunteer Jill Donaghue

Auctioning the Pup Pappoose!
(Pup not included)

Lauree Hill, who manned the registration table for the first shift with her two bichons!

Jane Greeney, Kathy Martins and Robin Pressnall

Group picture in front of the flag at half mast, after President Reagan's death.

Subj: Bay Area Bash!
Date: 6/21/2004 11:46:42 AM Central Daylight Time
From: diane.brandon@office.xerox.com
to: Pup3@aol.com

Diane Brandon and Max

On Saturday, Paul, my ex-husband who is still one of my closest friends, Max my buffy fluffy Bichon, and I drove from Portland, Oregon to the San Francisco Bay area to attend our first Bichon Bash.

Congratulations to the Kathy Martins and her volunteers who put this event together. The site was divine--a sheltered grassy park overlooking the gorgeous San Francisco Bay complete with picnic tables and lots of lovely shade trees and something I always appreciate: handy and safe parking.

I estimate there were at least 100 persons gathered by Noon, and at least 50 or so Bichons. The weather was San Francisco-like--a little cool and overcast until the afternoon when the sun broke through and warmed the chill air. Being from Oregon, the cool air felt just like home, though I understand it kept some people at home that day. I'm so sorry that anyone missed this event--it was unforgettable.

Many of the attendees were either foster workers, or adoptees of rescued Bichons, through Small Paws Rescue. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry as I learned the rescued dogs histories'. I wanted to weep at times, yet they were also tears of happiness as I watched the antics of so many beautifully cared-for, and loved (and lucky) little rescued fluffs as they played and pranced with each other. Watching them play with each other, one would never guess that they ever had a less-than-healthy and less-than-happy life in the past. There were a few little dogs who had been recently rescued and who were still in the recovery stages so they couldn't join in as actively, but even though they were not as strong as many other of the dogs, their little black eyes were alert and their little tails wagged as they watched the others play from the warmth and safety of the loving arms of their new owners.

Still other attendees, like us, obtained our Bichons from non-rescue sources when they were happy and healthy little pups. We attended the Bash just so we could meet, and become acquainted, with other Bichon-owned folks AND give our fluffs the opportunity to play with so many others of their kind. It's true that water seeks its own level. Without exception, the Bichons were friendly and playful with each other. When the occasional non-Bichon breed walked by our reserved cordoned-off area, on-leash with its owner, our little fluffs would band together and haughtily look toward the other dog as if to say, "Aren't you sorry you aren't a beautiful, intelligent, lovely little white fluffy Bichon like us?"

There were so many things to do--bid on Bichonly-beautiful items on the silent auction, join in the enthusiasm of the regular auction and await breathlessly as the raffle ticket numbers were called AND of course to EAT. Many people contributed their special dishes to the pot luck, hamburgers and hot dogs were grilled, cold drinks were offered and we all enjoyed sitting down at the tables decorated with Bichon-inspired centerpieces, munchin' and talkin' and laughin' together with fluffs on our laps, fluffs at our feet, fluffs scampering around under the tables, fluffs sitting on benches next to us, fluffs lounging on picnic blankets on the grass......what could be better.

We met people from all over California, one woman from Oregon who had just rescued a sweet little Bichon girl, and even two from Oklahoma-- Robin Pressnall, Executive Director of Small Paws Rescue, and her hunky husband who traveled all the way from their home in Tulsa. Both Paul and I were terribly impressed with the valiant efforts of Robin, her devoted husband, and their devoted group of workers.

As someone who has hosted gatherings of this size, in the past, I know just how much time, effort, expense and carefully planning goes into this kind of effort. Well done, all.

Paul and Max and I had a wonderful, wonderful time and it was truly worth the drive--about 1,500 miles round trip. Max, a great little traveler by car or motorcycle, slept most of the way home as we drove through the night. Sunday at home again, and still pooped from his day at the Bash, he napped through much of the day stretched out alongside Tristan, the best 15 year old cat in the world, no doubt dreaming Bichon dreams cavorting with dozens of cousins at Crab Cove Park by the San Francisco Bay.

Happy Monday to all from Diane and Max and Tristan the best 15 year old cat in the world on a lovely Oregon summer morning

Diane Brandon