Friday, April 17, 2009

The Beginnings of Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos

One thing writing this blog has done to me is cause me to sit back and think about my life and the dogs and how I got where I am today. We've had Lhasas for 36 years! I cannot possibly be that old!

So, how do two people who had mixed-breed dogs while they were growing up end up breeding, showing, and loving Lhasa Apsos for 36 years? I'd say it all started with an encyclopedia salesman! Shortly after our marriage, Lynn and I were besieged by door-to-door salesmen who tried to sell us all kinds of things we couldn't afford. (We were in our last year of college.) One of those salesman succeeded in selling us a set of encyclopedias. We both had grown up with dogs as part of our families and knew we wanted to have a dog. The "Dogs" section of that encyclopedia happened to have a very nice picture of a Lhasa Apso in it. Now, if you have ever looked at some of the older Lhasa Apso resources, you would know that some of the pictures of the dogs were not very attractive. So, I suppose if I'd seen one of those photos first I wouldn't be where I am today in the Lhasa world.

After we graduated from college, I landed my first teaching job at a high school in Iowa. With my first paycheck, we bought a refrigerator (Harvest Gold, all the rage in 1970's appliance colors!). When the second paycheck arrived, we bought a dog, our first Lhasa Apso, whom we named Joyslyn's Pheebe. We'd seen an ad for Lhasa Apsos at a nearby kennel. Of course, other than the picture in the encyclopedia, we knew nothing about the breed. We did, howeve,r know how to pronounce its name correctly from the start!

So Pheebe came home with us. An adorable grizzle Lhasa puppy, she soon won our hearts. We had to have another! So…with my third paycheck, Pheebe was soon joined by Joyslyn's Miss Buffy Jo. What a pair they were!

Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure our that Joyslyn, our kennel prefix, is a combination of our first names. Looking back, I find it interesting that we even thought to come up with a kennel prefix because we had no mentor, no experience with pure-bred dogs, and no pedigree to look at for either of the girls we bought! But somehow, that day in March 1973 when we filled out Pheebe's AKC registration form, the prefix "Joyslyn" was created and it's been used ever since. People try to pronounce our kennel prefix as if it were spelled Joslyn, like the art gallery in Omaha, NE. That would be wrong. The first syllable "joys" rhymes with "boys," "toys," "noise," etc. The second "lyn" rhymes with "tin," "win," "grin," etc.

So, that's what buying a set of encyclopedias will get ya!

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


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