Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Apologies to readers who have been checking for a new entry for a couple of weeks now. We've had company and I've been so busy at work that I just have not had time to write.
Tonight I want to tell you about Belle, our five month old female puppy that was born on Christmas morning. She was one of five puppies from the Connor x Flame litter. Her call name "Belle" was given her because shortly after birth, all the puppies were given Christmas names. There was a Nicky (for St. Nicholas), a Christmas Spirit, a Decker (Deck the Halls), a Holly (Happy Holidays), and Christmas Bells (Belle). You can see her photo at age 3 months at the top of the page.
"Belle" is also fitting because she is a very pretty puppy. She is a red sable color and has the cutest face.
So, now Belle is nearly 6 months old and it's time to enter her in her first show. I decided I did not like the name Christmas Bells for her AKC registered name. What to do? Oh my, the brainstorming and the tossing back and forth of suggestions ... all rejected for one reason or another. This is hard!
One great resource for names is the Jockey Club Registry website. https://www.registry.jockeyclub.com/registry.cfm?page=namesrch&rand=813&init=&CFID=3773956&CFTOKEN=54018630
There you will find many many names of horses. Hopefully you'll find something to inspire you, especially at the last minute when your own creative juices have dried up. I am so angry at myself. After all, I put off naming her until the last minute and it was so unnecessary. I've had MONTHS to do it! I just know that as soon as I mail that registration paperwork to AKC, I'm going to have a flash of inspiration and come up with something unique and just perfect.
Belle is also the epitome of "stubborn." She could be the icon for "stubborn" next to that word in the dictionary. She refuses to walk on the lead! At home (under supervision) she runs and plays in the family room wearing a lead. No problem. The cat often picks it up and tugs it. No problem. But if a person picks it up, the brakes go on, and she sits sweetly and just looks at the person as if to say, "Nice try!"
Outside she does not budge. No amount of coaxing works. However, if I pick her up and walk up the street to one of the neighbors' driveways, she will hightail back to our own driveway as fast as those Lhasa legs will travel. Then she sits down and refuses to budge. As I said: "stubborn!"
Training has been a frustrating experience, to say the least. I finally started taking her to a training class in Peoria on Tuesday nights. Peoria is a 90 minute trip each way, so I have to leave by 5:30 to make the 7:00 class. It lasts an hour but generally I don't make it home until close to 10:00. The sacrifices I make!!! LOL
The first two nights of class Belle did what she always does when someone is holding her lead. She either sits and freezes to the spot, or she puts herself in a pretty stack and stands there. Lovely...but not what I'm going for at the moment. So she stood (or sat), watched the activity and processed what was going on. On the third night, she came out of her crate excited to be there. A breakthrough! She actually walked on the lead, with lots of coaxing with treats and a flat rat. Last night she was so-so, but we seem to be making progress.
So, I'll try to keep you updated on Belle's progress. Her mother, Flame, was so easy to train and show. She was the perfect show dog. She did what I wanted and did it well. She showed herself off and was finished before I knew it. Not Belle. She seems to be a throwback to her Grandma Secret (Ch. Joyslyn's Secrets of the Heart), who also refused to walk on the lead. What I hope is that Belle repeats Secret's performance, because Secret saved it for the show ring. At her first show, I put her on the floor, said, "Let's go." And she did! She took Best Puppy that day and a 2nd place in Puppy Group. The next day, she won a 3 point major! Maybe Belle is saving it up for the "real deal." I can only hope!
By the way, since she is such a pretty puppy and because her call name is indicative of a beautiful woman and in honor of her similarity to her grandma, her name is going to be Joyslyn's Beauty Secret. It'll sound great with the word "champion" in front of it one day!
Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you.