Friday, February 3, 2017

February! Something To Celebrate!

"It is frequently asked, 'Why must February have only 28 days? Why can't you borrow one day from the end of January and one day from the beginning of March and make all three months 30 days long?' The answer is that while you can end January on the 30th, you can't begin March on the 2nd." ~Robert Brault


Do you need a reason to celebrate? February just may be the month for you.

I was looking ahead at the February calendar as I wrote down appointments, reminders, birthdays, and so on in the various February squares. Then it hit me that this short month appears to be full of things to celebrate, starting with my husband's birthday.

Depending on Punxsutawney Phil's predictions, we celebrate (or not) an early spring. I think this year he predicted 6 more weeks of winter. Evidently people flock to PA to cheer Phil on. A radio announcer said that hotel rooms in Punxsutawney were $100 more expensive than those in Houston for Super Bowl goers.

So, yeah, then we have the Super Bowl. Gridiron action and great commercials. Exciting half-time shows....

In Illinois, we celebrate Lincoln's birthday as a holiday separate from President's Day. People who work for the state get the 13th of this month off to honor Lincoln, and the school children, banks, and USPS employees get the 23rd as their holiday.

 Oh, and between the two, we are all about Valentine's Day -- candy, roses, cards, love and all that.

Let's not forget the big dog show in NYC: The Westminster Kennel Club show on February 13 and 14!  For more information, go to the Westminster Kennel Club website.

The Non-sporting group will be televised on the 13th. (That is the group the Lhasa Apso is in.)

The three 2016 newly recognized AKC breeds Sloughi, American Hairless Terrier, Pumi are eligible to compete at Westminster this year.
See pictures and a video of the three new breeds.

Want to know more about how a dog show works? This article may help you understand what goes on in the breed rings that results in each breed sending a representative to the Group judging you see on TV.

But, for us, the real celebration this month will be for our newest grandchild. He or she is due any day now!

Whatever you are celebrating this month, I wish you all the best. This will be my last blog for a few weeks, but I'll be back later this month with some news and updates for you.

In the meantime, never forget that

Life is Better When You Have a Lhasa to Love You!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Updates and Some Photos - Goodbye January!

Food for thought: "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other guy to die."

I know this quotation has absolutely nothing to do with Lhasas or anything else I write about, but I read it this week in a magazine and thought, "wow!" So, off I went to the internet to find out more. It's been attributed to a variety of people, including Buddha, so who knows who came up with it. It's also been phrased as "Holding in anger..." and "Harboring resentment..."

To quote a famous Disney character, "Let it go, let it go...."

Speaking of going, January is nearly gone. For us, the winter (so far) has been mild. We've had more rain than snow, cold days but few below zero. I consider us lucky as long as February behaves!

Now for some updates! First the good news...Greta was shown at a 4-day show in Baton Rouge this weekend. She won a point on three of the 4 days. Now she has 8 points total, including one of the necessary two majors. We are half-way there. Special thanks to Greta's handler, Sue Cannimore. Congratulations to Ron and Deborah Hauck, owners of Ch. Joyslyn's Mystic Wind. Sue is showing Mysti also. Actually Mysti and Greta are sisters -- same parents (Duncan and Windy) but from different litters. Mysti is the older of the two. Anyway, Mysti won the breed 3 of the 4 days. That gave her majors toward her Grand Championship, and she also completed the requirement of beating another champion 3 times. I'm very proud to be her breeder!
Thanks to Sue and David for an exciting weekend.

Now for some not-so-good news: The Lhasa Apso is now on the AKC low entry list, which basically is bad news because it means that any judge, with or without participating in education on our breed, is able to judge Lhasas. To be place on the low entry list, a breed has to have had fewer than 3500 entries during the previous year. We had something between 3200 and 3300. Our breed is very popular in other countries, with many Lhasas being shown in those countries, but not here. No one can figure out the "why" that is so. Lhasa owners are aging out of the sport, many my age, older, or soon to be there! We're cutting back on our breeding programs and showing involvement. Most of us have people who love the breed and are eager to buy Lhasas for their companionship on our waiting list for puppies. We hear complaints all the time about how difficult it is to find reputable Lhasa breeders who have puppies. Very few of the potential buyers are interested in becoming involved in conformation showing. Why is that bad? Well, while some may think  that dog shows are merely beauty pageants, they are actually meant to be the proving ground for excellence in and maintenance of the Standard for each breed. The Standard presents a "picture in words" to describe what each breed should look like, what its temperament should be, etc.

Here is the Lhasa Apso Standard

Character: Gay and assertive, but chary of strangers.
Size: Variable, but about 10 or 11 inches at shoulder for dogs, bitches slightly smaller.
Color: All colors equally acceptable with or without dark tips to ears and beard.
Body Shape: The length from point of shoulders to point of buttocks longer than height at withers, well-ribbed up, strong loin, well-developed quarters and thighs.
Coat: Heavy, straight, hard, not woolly or silky, of good length, and very dense.
Mouth and Muzzle:  The preferred bite is either level or slightly undershot. Muzzle of medium length; a square muzzle is objectionable.
Head: Heavy head furnishings with good fall over eyes, good whiskers and beard, skull narrow, falling away behind eyes in a marked degree, not quite flat, but not domed or apple-shaped; straight foreface of fair length. Nose black, the length from tip of nose to eye to be roughly about one-third of the total length from nose to back of skull.
Eyes:  Dark brown, neither very large and full, nor very small and sunk.
Ears:  Pendant, heavily feathered.
Legs:  Forelegs straight; both forelegs and hind legs heavily furnished with hair.
Feet: Well-feathered; should be round and catlike, with good pads.
Tail and Carriage: Well-feathered, should be carried well over back in a screw; there may be a kink at the end. A low carriage of stern is a serious fault.

Some happy news (for me) is that Joyslyn's Lhasa Apso was one of three Lhasa Register of Merit (ROM) breeders featured in the fall issue of the American Lhasa Apso Club's The Lhasa Bulletin. If you would like to read about our history and see a few photos of some Lhasas from our past, go to the website of the American Lhasa Apso Club -- -- look at the menu on the left, click The Lhasa Bulletin link (2nd menu choice), select the Fall 2016 issue, go to pages 14-16.

I was also pleased to receive a Facebook tag that informed me I was being quoted in someone's dissertation!

From Tracie Laliberte"s Facebook page: "Today's Dissertation highlight (connecting to nature through our dogs). Joyce Johanson is quoted!

"Buber illustrates Thou in connections with animals when he writes about his experience of looking into the eyes of an animal and recognizing the profound mystery of otherness. He explains this as an “opening up” when the person and the animal exchange glances. Philosopher Rom Dass describes this as connecting to the “intuitive heart space.” When he looks into the eyes of his cat, he perceives a silent conversation in the cat’s return glance, “Can it be that you mean me? …Do I concern you? Am I there for you? Am I there? What is it about me? What is that?!” Breeders of dogs describe their connection to newborn pups as changing, deepening when the pups open their eyes and are able to look back at the person holding them. Longtime Lhasa Apso breeder Joyce Johansen [sic] describes what she experiences at that moment when her pups open their eyes around day 14: “Perhaps they seem more ‘real’ to me because they can see me and I can look them in the eye. I always pick them up; look them in the eye, and say, ‘Welcome to the world, little one.’ I know it seems like a weird thing to say since they’ve been in the world already for a couple of weeks.” Breeders also refer to puppy eye opening as the “Who’s in there?” or the “Soul seeing” moment. In recognizing the Thou, even breeders, many who already experience real and regular connections with nature through dog rearing, become re-engaged and experience the profound fullness in the eloquence of nature in recognizing Thou even in very young puppies."

Tracie did a Facebook call-out last year asking for breeders' responses to a question regarding puppies opening their eyes. I responded and totally forgot about it until she posted this section from her dissertation and tagged me. ☺

 Some Photos

This first is my husband, Lynn, involved in a favorite past-time (tv watching) and Josh enjoying his favorite spot (someone's lap). Josh was dozing until he heard me with the camera. Then his focus was all on me! Such a momma's boy!

Sarah sent a photo of her two Joyslyn's Lhasas. The gold one is Tashi and the black is Mira. Sarah bought Tashi as a puppy and Mira as one of our retired adult champions. Mira rules, even though Tashi was there first! That's a female Lhasa for you! Looks as if they have plenty of toys to share.

Here are the most recent photos of the Josh and Shadow puppies.
Tara left last weekend. Kirby left on Saturday. He now has a kitten named Tiger as a playmate. Tiger is a couple months older than Kirby. Pearl is leaving in two weeks. She will have another Joyslyn's puppy (from our summer litter) as her new brother. Onyx is staying. I'm hoping she'll be able to be shown. At this early age she certainly appears to have championship potential!

Kirby - 11 weeks
Onyx - 11 weeks

Onyx in profile - 11 weeks
Pearl - 11 weeks

Pearl in profile - 11 weeks
Let me just say that those two girls were not at all happy that I made them stand still for the profile shots. Let me also say that they did not stand still for more than a couple seconds before a foot moved, or the head went down, or the puppy sat down-- and these photos are the best of at least 20 we took of each of them! Frustrating. Yep...

But we know it's all worth it because...

Life is Better When You Have a Lhasa to Love You!



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Celebrations and Photos

Since I last wrote, many celebrations have taken place: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day meant—in addition to loftier ideals—a day off work for those of us at Western Illinois University.
A new president was inaugurated and all the news programs on TV kept us updated on the good and the bad goings-on in DC.

Greta, who is now with a professional handler, won on both Saturday and Sunday on her first show weekend with Sue Cannimore, earning two single points toward her championship (bringing the total to 5, which includes one major). She is still not sure she wants to be in the show ring and her attitude is not what we hoped for, but I still celebrated her wins! Go Greta!!
Greta with Sue Cannimore after Sunday's show
We also had two birthday celebrations! Josh (OH-BIS GCh Ch Joyslyn MLS Dakota Wind Breaker) was three years old on January 16. Those years went fast!
Here he is as a two week old baby and as an adult (taken October 2016). What a change!
Josh - 2 weeks

Josh almost 3
On January 20, we celebrated Connor's (Ch. San-Dhi Joyslyn Icon) 12th birthday! Connor came to us at the end of May 2005 from Sandy Devlin, who is from Albuquerque. I still recall how frightened he was by the trip. I went to the Peoria airport to get him, opened his carrier, and reached for him. As I picked him up, he wrapped both front legs around my arm and refused to let go! In his mind, I had saved him, and we bonded then and there. He worshiped me ever since and, to this day, if I pick him up and ask for a hug, he pushes his body as close to mine as he can get and sighs a big sigh.
Connor is Josh's grandsire. Here are a couple photos of him.
Connor - 5 month old puppy - June 2005

Connor - age 2 - ringside in Louisville, KY
Finally, here are the most recent photos of the 4 Josh and Shadow puppies. Right now, my plan is to keep Onyx. Tara has a new home now, as does Kirby. Pearl has not yet been spoken for.

Kirby - 10 weeks

Onyx - 10 weeks

Tara - 10 weeks

The Black Pearl - 10 weeks
If you are new to the Lhasa Apso and  trying to find out more about the breed or if you simply want a refresher, you might enjoy looking at the Learn About Lhasas slide show, available in pdf format on the American Lhasa Apso Club's website. It is a similar format to the slide show used for judges' education.

Life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you!


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Puppy Pictures, Notes and Pictures from Friends

"The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches." ~ e. e. cummings

Snow! Don't get me started. I'm beginning to wish snow was on its way here rather than the big ice storm that the forecasters tell us is coming our way. So... on to happier topics...

The Josh and Shadow puppies are now nearly 9 weeks old. They have had their first shots and behaved themselves quite well at the vet's office -- a couple flinches but no screaming or fussing. They will soon be ready to leave for their new homes.

I plan to keep Onyx, in the hope that she will turn out to be my next show girl. Here is her latest picture.
Her sister, Opal, whose new owners will call her Tara, is very photogenic. What a cutie!
Tara (formerly know as Opal)
Then there is the third sister. We call her Pearl. As of this writing, Pearl does not have a new home.
[Black] Pearl

Last but never least, is the adorable Kirby, the girls' brother.

The puppies have reached the bratty stage. As a result, the piddle pads have been replaced by newspapers, which evidently do not present as great of a temptation to rip to shreds! Ya gotta love 'em!

Notes and Photos from Others

Here is the finishing photo of Ch. Joyslyn's Mystic Wind (Mysti). She is owned by Ron and Deborah Hauck and was shown to her championship by Sue Cannimore. Her sire is Ch. Joyslyn's Highly Classified (Duncan) and mom is Ch. MLS Dakota Dancing in the Wind at Joyslyn (Windy).

Twp of the folks who bought puppies from us in the fall sent emails and photos. The first was from Barb who wrote about Sadie: "Remember I mentioned that Sadie doesn't like to wear anything i.e. Sweaters, collars, etc. My daughter found a dog Christmas sweater from one of the other dogs in our Christmas decorations. So she put it on Sadie, well Sadie climbed as far as she could up the stairs and collapsed half way and stayed there and slept for a few hours until someone saved her."

Sadie does, however, love bows in her hair
Sadie is a Breaker x Maggie daughter (GCh. Ch. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker x Ch. Joyslyn's Moonlight Magic). In honor of Sadie loving her headfall put up in bows, here is a link to an article about keeping your Lhasa's hair out of his/her eyes.

An email arrived from Sarah about Mick, who is a son of Josh and Luna (GCh. Ch. Joyslyn's Wind Breaker x Ch. Joyslyn Ja-Ma Dancing By the Light of the Moon). Sarah wrote: "Let me tell you about how Mick's personality is coming out and how he is blooming!  He is so smart and funny!  I think he has also inherited his sense of humor from his father and grandfather.  He teases us and seems to get a real kick out of it.  He loves fetching.  He has a clear blue ball that he will roll down a slight hill off of our patio, and he runs after it.  He does it over and over.  (Of course he loves when we throw it too.)  He will also stalk his ball (among other things.)  The fist time I saw it was so funny!  He very slowly crept up on it until he was a couple of feet away, and then he pounced on it!  So cute.  Brian tries to taunt Mick with his Wubba toy to get him to play or go where he wants him to, and Mick has started taunting Brian with it to get him to do what he wants!  He shows it to Brian and tries to lure him to the door outside so he will play with him out there.  It is so funny.  I wonder if he thinks Brian really seems to like this toy, so he is going to use it to get him to do what he wants!...
He loves everybody.  He is doing great at his puppy classes and is excited about everyone he meets--dog or human... He has such a bubbly and friendly personality.  He loves to please, and do tricks for us and for treats (or even for his food--as I mentioned before, eating out of the bowl is just too easy much of the time!)"



 That is all for today. Thanks for reading this!

Life is Better When You Have A Lhasa to Love You!




Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Has Arrived!! Happy New Year!

“Life goes by so very fast, my dears, and taking the time to reflect, even once a year, slows things down. We zoom past so many seconds, minutes, hours, killing them with the frantic way we live that it’s important we take at least this one collective sigh and stop, take stock, and acknowledge our place in time before diving back into the melee. Midnight on New Year’s Eve is a unique kind of magic where, just for a moment, the past and the future exist at once in the present. Whether we’re aware of it or not, as we countdown together to it, we’re sharing the burden of our history and committing to the promise of tomorrow.” ~ Hillary DePiano

What better way to start a new year than by seeing pictures of cute 7-week old puppies! Here they are:
Josh x Shadow male

Josh x Shadow female

Josh x Shadow female

Josh x Shadow female
We had a wonderful Christmas in spite of the fact that not all of our kids and grandkids could be with us. Our granddaughter stayed with us for a week after her dad went home so he could go back to work. It was great to have the week with her. She is 10 now. For the first 8 years of her life she lived in Macomb and we saw her multiple times a week. When they moved to Iowa, that was no longer possible, so it was great to have her with us.

Klara had a such fun playing with the puppies -- and they were in puppy heaven having a child to play with. She went home yesterday and the puppies miss her. (I do too!) It is hard to believe that this litter will soon be ready to leave for their new homes. I've been going down my notification list and have been receiving replies of  "I want (or need) to wait" or "I already found a puppy" so the list is getting shorter every few days.  I have a few more names to go before I reach the end of the list, so if your name is on the list, don't despair, I may get to you yet!

In addition to sharing the new pictures of the puppies, I also wanted to let you know that the American Lhasa Apso Club is selling Lhasa coloring books. The images are great. Here's an example:
The 28-page coloring books are selling for $3.00 each (that includes shipping). If you want to order one (or more!), write a note saying how many you want to order, send the note and a check made out to ALAC Charitable Trust to Marsha Susag, 5302 River Drive, Fargo, ND 58102. They make nice gifts for Lhasa lovers in your life or for yourself!

That's it for today. It's a chilly day and my plan is to put on my sweats and cuddle up with my favorite blanket, a Lhasa, and a good mystery novel. I hope you can spend your day relaxing also!

Best wishes for a productive and peace-filled 2017!

Life is Better When You Have A Lhasa To Love You!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas to All!

"But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!" ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Merry Christmas, Everyone! I hope this finds you well and in the holiday spirit described in the Dickens quotation above. It's such a hectic time that we need to remind ourselves to take a deep breath, relax, and relish the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, celebrating our traditions and looking forward with hope to a new and better year.

Late Christmas Gift Idea!

 The American Lhasa Apso Club now has coloring books available. The books have 28 pages of Lhasa drawings that will delight young and old Lhasa lovers alike. The books are $3.00 (that includes postage). Write a note saying how many you want to order, send the note and a check made out to ALAC Charitable Trust to Marsha Susag, 5302 River Drive, Fargo, ND 58102.

Here's an example of one of the images from the book:
 Fun!!! Buy one for yourself or one of the Lhasa lovers in your life!

What's been happening? 

Well, my friend LaVonne Bennett and I left Macomb on Monday, December 12 and made a long 18 hour drive, with an overnight just south of Atlanta, arriving in Orlando in mid-afternoon on Tuesday. We were not going to show our dogs at the big AKC National Championship Show that week, although we each took one along. On Wednesday, I was giving a judges' education seminar and hands-on workshop on the Lhasa Apso, and LaVonne was assisting me. LaVonne took her Lhasa, Misty, because she was also participating in an AKC video session and photo shoot for a new AKC Canine College project. I took Greta because we needed an extra dog present during the seminar and because her handler was meeting us that afternoon. I was also scheduled for a Canine College interview and video session. It was good Greta was along because the lovely Lhasa that was supposed to be with us for the taping won Best of Breed and the Non-Sporting Group time conflicted with our video session appointment. Greta substituted and I was proud that she behaved herself!

I left Greta in Orlando with Sue Cannimore, who will be handling her in hopes that getting her into a new environment will instill some much needed confidence in her so she'll get her tail up in the show ring. We'll see. Please keep fingers crossed that our plan works!

Here is a photo we took of Greta before she left home for her new adventure.

 LaVonne and I headed home Wednesday night, stayed two nights on the road, and arrived here in the midst of sleet coating the highways and windshield. Whew! The trip went fast and I really feel as if I lost an entire week. All I can say is that I hate Atlanta traffic and feel nearly as much dislike for that in Chattanooga and Nashville! This might be one of those "been there, done that" trips.

The venue for the National Championship Dog Show was amazing, there were vendors galore -- and I did indeed visit them to buy myself a Christmas present or two! In addition to the conformation competitions, there were diving competitions, agility, rally and obedience competitions and more. Although I did not see those areas, I know about them because we had a long drive past unloading signs for each competition before we could get to the unloading area for conformation.

So, back the real world! I was happy to be home. The dogs were thrilled to see me, and I was surprised to see how much the puppies had grown. Of course, I had to go back to the office this past week. Vacation time was over!


A New Joyslyn's Champion!

Huge congratulations go out to Ron and Deborah Hauck. Their Lhasa, Joyslyn's Mystic Wind, finished her championship at the AKC National Championship Dog Show. Not only that, but the judge awarded Mysti the "1st Award of Excellence." The "2nd Award of Excellence" was awarded to a Lhasa that already had its Championship and Grand Championship Silver titles. We were all so thrilled. Mysti was handled by Sue Cannimore.
Here is Mysti with Sue after the win.
New AKC Champion Joyslyn's Mytic Wind, owned by Ron and Deborah Hauck

Mysti is a full sister to Greta, but from an earlier litter. Their sire is Duncan, Ch. Joyslyn's Highly Classified and dam is Windy, Ch. MLS Dakota Dancing in the Wind at Joyslyn. Some of you reading this own their siblings.

Puppy Pictures

Here are the most recent puppy photos. The puppies are five and a half weeks old in these pictures. If you are on my waiting list and have been on it for a while, you might check your email to see if I have sent you a note about puppy availability. They will be ready for homes in mid-January. The male and one of the black females (unsure which one yet) will be available.

Black female with white on front feet

Gold female

Gold male -- he is a charmer!

Black female with white on back feet

Notes and Photos from Others

Here is Windy, all decked out in her Christmas attire. Her new owners love and spoil her! Just what I hoped for!

This is Kamper. His owners, Barb and Kevin, wrote, "Hello!  Wanted to give you a quick update on our sweet “Kamper”.  He’s very much a part of the family has found a special place in our hearts. He’s a great traveler too!  He still has his white paws as you’ll see in the picture and we think he’ll keep some of the white in his shawl too...Kamper is doing very well and is loved by our family and he is returning his love to us too, he’s a snuggler.  As you would expect, he is spoiled and loving every minute of it."  

Kim send a Christmas photo of her Snickers.

Carol sent a nice Christmas note and wrote this about her Sadie: "You would be so proud of Sadie.  She's been a lifesaver for me.  She went with me to visit Mom at the facility she rehabbed at & she acted like she'd been a therapy dog for years.  A natural!  Everyone just loved her.  She had kisses for every one of their residents.  Some women that had their official therapy dogs at ManorCare gave me all the information to have Sadie become an official therapy dog… I don't think I could have gotten through all of this without Sadie!  She's my best friend & I love her with all my heart!  She's been great with Mom, too.  Lays at her feet to guard her & gives her kisses, too!  She lifts Mom's spirits when nothing or anybody can, including me.  Sadie's a wonderful, special, smart & lovable Lhasa.  Beyond beautiful, too!  I could go on & on about her.  Thank you for letting me have her in our lives."

Interestingly, I have been hearing more and more people lately telling how much their Lhasas enjoy being with the elderly and that they have decided to take classes for their Lhasas to become official therapy dogs.

No matter what you and your Lhasa do together, never forget that

Life is Better When You Have a Lhasa to Love You!

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a New Year full of peace and promise.