Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekly Puppy Pictures

Hi! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. I made too much food and ate too much. No excuses…it was delicious!

Dancer's girls
The weekly pictures are here. These puppies just get cuter every day! Many of you who are checking this blog weekly are on the waiting list for a puppy and may be wondering what is going on because I have not yet asked for deposits.

The big hold up is that I am trying to decide which puppy(ies) I want to keep. The decision is not easy, as you might imagine. It has been my habit these past 37 years to evaluate the puppies between ages 8 and 9 weeks. They are only 5 and 6 weeks old now. I appreciate your patience.
Dancer's boys

If you have been on my waiting list (you know who you are!) you might send me an email to verify your continued interest in a puppy from one of these litters. If you have contacted me within the past two weeks, there is no need to send another email. I've got a "yes" by your name on the list! If you have a strong objection to or a strong preference for a black puppy, you need to let me know that also.

Aside from the puppies, I want to call your attention to the comment Vickie made on the previous post. Please read her comment and check out the link regarding the authorship of the article I posted.

Mira's girls
Mira's girls
Mira's boy
It's difficult to believe that tomorrow is the last day of November. I do not know where this month went! I spent most of it at home following the surgery (on the 3rd) with my foot raised. I read a LOT of books, solved many sudoku and crossword puzzles, watched only a little tv, played with puppies, and tried to follow doctor's orders by staying off my foot and keeping it elevated. Today I was allowed to go back to work for a half day. Next week I can go back full time. I am now allowed to drive. Yippee….independence again.

 Time now to play with puppies. They are so much fun to watch, especially as they carry around stuffed toys bigger than they are! Most are good about using the piddle pads. Sometimes they decide it would be more fun to pick up the pad and drag it around, so they do that too! They are a lively group and will keep me hoppin' as  they get older.

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


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sharing an Article of Interest

The purebred vs. mixed breed controversy never ends. One big "selling point" the breeders of designer dogs use is that mixed breed dogs are genetically healthier than purebred dogs. They also claim that their designer dogs are less likely to cause allergies. And, of course, their claims and cutsey breed names like "Puggle" and anything ending in "Doodle" or "Poo," etc.  led to exorbitant prices and, sad to say, uninformed people willing to pay them. As I wrote in a previous blog, if you want to buy a mixed breed, go to the animal shelter. When people ask about your dog, you can claim him/her as any kind of cutsey "doodle" or "poo" or "uggle" you come up with, pay less, rescue some poor animal, and still claim to own a designer breed, if that is something that appeals to you.

The following article addresses the health and genetics issue of purebred vs. mixed breed. It has been making the rounds on various dog list servs for a few months. It's come to me twice via direct email, as well as to a couple groups I'm on,  so I thought I would share it. Permission was given to crosspost, so feel free to copy and paste the article to your various groups.

I especially like the third paragraph that focuses on "no animal, human or otherwise, is without faults." No parents ever want their children to have health problems, but "stuff" happens. No reputable breeder ever wants to breed puppies that have health problems, but "stuff" happens, even to the best of us.

Veterinarian speaks out on "hybrid vigor," Cross Breeds, and Westminster
by Karen Susan Kearney on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 8:53am
Thank you Libbye Miller DVM for stating: "Adorable mixed breeds "get cancer, epilepsy, allergies, heart disease, and orthopedic problems just like purebreds. I see it every day in my veterinary practice but mixed breed dogs aren't tracked like the purebreds so they have a reputation as "healthier" that is actually undeserved in many cases."

It is so sad that a lot of folks, including young veterinarians these days, buy into the "hybrid vigor" baloney. The vet schools have been infiltrated by the Animal Rights Extremists, who are teaching them this junk science in order to push their agenda.

All animals have a certain amount of genetic load, which is to say there is absolutely no animal without some genetic problem of some sort of another. Know anyone who wears glasses? Has allergies? Thyroid problems? Weak knees? Flat feet? A skin condition? Arthritis? A gap between their front teeth? These are all genetic imperfections.

No human is genetically "clean." Neither is any individual of any species on earth. So this idea that dogs should not be bred because they might have a genetic problem, and that breeders are somehow "evil" for breeding them, is ridiculous. Every single individual of every single species has at least a few genetic conditions.

To use PETA's logic, all breeding of all kinds (including having human babies) should halt immediately. And to be honest, Ingrid Newkirk (the woman who founded PETA) does believe exactly that. She thinks that humans should become extinct, along with dogs, cats, etc. This ridiculous scenario is precisely what she would like to see happen.

So folks, if that is what you want...if you agree with Ingrid Newkirk's whacky views, send your hard earned money to PETA. They will help to ensure you are not able to own a dog or cat or hamster or any other pet in the future. They will see to it that you can't eat meat or fish or eggs or any type of animal-based nutrition. They will work to shut down places like Sea World, the zoos, etc. so you cannot observe the many wonderful animals on the Earth. Eventually, once they accomplish these things, they may turn their efforts to making it illegal for humans to procreate. If you don't agree with their extremist views, wise up and start supporting those who truly do love, care for and enjoy interaction with other species here on our little blue planet.

The fanciers of the breeds, those you see exhibiting their dogs at Westminster and other dog shows, work very hard to eliminate serious genetic conditions. They screen their breeding stock with every available test. They research pedigrees before breeding into other lines, to check for similar clearances in those animals. They contribute money to research organizations to further the work being done to track down genetic problems. They contribute blood, cell samples, etc. from their own animals to help with DNA and genome studies. They have made great progress so far, and they continue to work hard at it.

Are there unethical breeders? Certainly, there are. Just as in any group of humans, you will find the good and the bad. United States VP Elect Joe Biden, for example, managed to find a not so good one when he got his new German Shepherd puppy. I don't know who did his research for him, but they obviously didn't do their homework if they were looking for a responsible breeder. Joe has the right to get his dog from whomever he wishes, but if he was trying to set an example of purchasing from a responsible hobby breeder he went off the track this time. That's too bad, but it was his choice.

Unfortunately, breeders like that may be a lot easier to find because of their high volume and high profile. If you are looking for a nice family pet from a breeder who will be there for you forever, you need to do due diligence. You won't get that from a pet store. You won't get that from the guy selling dogs out of his pickup truck in the WalMart parking lot. You won't get that support from a high-volume breeder, either. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort to find someone who really cares and does all the work to breed the healthiest, happiest puppies possible and then stands behind those puppies.

This is a living being that will be part of your family, hopefully, for many years. Isn't it worth a bit of effort to find a breeder who will be there for you and that puppy forever?

And guess what? Shows like Westminster are a very valuable resource for finding breeders who do care and who use the best possible practices, as well as for learning more about the various breeds.

Bravo to USA Network for broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club show all these years. May they enjoy continued success through the ongoing inclusion of such programs. I will be eagerly watching this year's show!"

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weekly Puppy Pictures

The "kids" are now 4 weeks (Connor x Mira) and 5 weeks (Breaker x Dancer). They get cuter every day. Here are the latest pictures. I think they speak for themselves!

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

Dancer's boys.

Dancer's girls.

Mira's black male.

Mira's black females.

Mira's gold females.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Clown!

Today is our Clown's 14th birthday. Here he is pictured much younger. Another of Lynn's dogs, Clown was a puppy that for some reason, even after 7 months, we just could not find a home for. We never could figure out why until Deuti died. Then we knew God had a hand in it. Clown's happy attitude and mere presence helped us through our grief and somewhat filled the empty spot that Deuti left behind. When he was a young dog, I thought Clown would be too big to show. Time proved me wrong, but by then we'd already had him neutered.

His health is now failing. As I write this, he is at the vet for a monthly check-up to monitor his urine. In the past couple of years he's had problems with UTIs and some crystals in his urine. This once 15 lb. dog now weighs only 11 lbs. in spite of a decent appetite and the fact that he eats as much, if not more on occasion, than the younger dogs.

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you. We just hope we will have Clown around to love us for a few more years.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekly Puppy Pictures

Dancer's girls
It is hard to believe that the puppies are another week older already! Here are the latest pictures of the little cuties. Everyone is doing just fine! Enjoy the photos.

Dancer's boys
Dancer's four are walking more, not sleeping as much, and starting to get very interested in their mom's food dish. We generally start weening when they are between 5-6 weeks old. Dancer is a very diligent and loving mom. She is patient with her puppies.

Mira's five are so sweet.
Mira's boy
The male is inquisitive and likes to investigate. Two of the girls, one gold and one black, are more dainty than their littermates. This litter still spends a lot of time sleeping. Mira is quite protective of her puppies, even now. She always puts her head between my hand and a puppy whenever I reach to pet one or pick one up.

Mira's gold girls
Mira's black girls

In addition, I'm adding a photo of Walker. This was taken at the Springfield, IL show in September. That weekend was his last show weekend, at least for 2010. I haven't decided whether to show him in 2011 or not. He enjoys the ring and I am proud to show him, so what the heck. In addition, now that Zach just needs majors, I'll not be able to show him unless the entry is big enough for there to be at least a 3 point major, so if I want to feed my dog show habit, I'll have to show Walker. However, we have been letting Breaker grow coat and mature so one of these days he can hit the ring as a special so I may take him to some small shows to re-train him. He still needs to mature -- coat, body, and BRAIN! (Those of you who know Breaker are chuckling right now!)

Walker, Group 3 under F. Schwartz

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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


Sunday, November 14, 2010

One of The Sad Memories

I frequently revisit the many dogs in our lives by going through old photos. Here are photos of and a story about Deuti, one of our Lhasas.

Deuti, short for "Deuteronomy" was one of our non-show dogs. Deuti was my husband's dog, and Lynn taught him tricks and kept him in show coat condition, although Deuti never once stepped in a show ring. Deuti was born with one eye smaller than the other. I'm sure there is some medical name for the anomaly, but "one eye smaller than the other" gives you the general idea.

Lynn and Deuti shared the sofa, a mutual love for each other and, occasionally, a microbrewery beer. When the beer was gone, Lynn would hold the bottle at an angle so Deuti could stick his tongue in the opening to lick out the last drops. Deuti was Lynn's dog through and through. He played with the kids and was especially protective our daughter. He did not appreciate our oldest who often picked on his younger siblings just to hear them yell. More than once Deuti would chase him up the stairs if he thought he was out of line with either of the younger kids. (I'd be willing to guess that the two young ones used Deuti's protective nature as a way to get even with their older brother on more than one occasion, crying "foul" for no reason!)

Deuti often got what we refer to as the "Lhasa crazies." Those of you with Lhasas may call it by a different name, but you know what I mean…that sudden urge that makes them run around and around in circles, jumping on furniture and over obstacles in their path if need be. Deuti was great jumper and he delighted in showing off his jumping prowess. He could jump onto the sofa from halfway across the room and fly from sofa to love seat effortlessly.

In the wee hours of the July 1997 morning, Deuti's crying and barking woke me up. Thinking he must have to potty, I went downstairs, opened his crate to let him out, and was surprised when he did not move. Finally, I reached in and picked him up and took him outside. Again, he did not move when I put him down. Finally I realized that he was unable to move his back legs. Panicked, I called the vet and took Deuti to him for x-rays. His spine had been injured somehow, perhaps from the wild jumping he so enjoyed.

Lynn was out of town for the day. Here were my options: I could rush Deuti to the U of I Veterinary School (about 3 hours away in Champaign) for an operation. Estimated cost was over $6000 for the surgery alone. The vet told me in all honesty there was less than a 40% chance of a successful surgery and recovery. Deuti could die during surgery or the surgery would not fix the problem. The other option was to euthanize him.

Deuti did not seem to be in pain. More than anything he appeared to be confused about what was happening, wondering why he could not move. His eyes begged me to "do something." One thing I knew was, as much as we all loved Deuti, I could not afford the surgery, especially when the odds of recovery were not very good. Nor could I envision the poor quality of life this active, bouncy, energetic dog would have to endure. Money was definitely tight at that point in our lives. Our oldest would begin college in August. I could not justify borrowing money and putting us deeper in debt for a surgery with such poor odds of actually helping. I know some of you might criticize that choice, but it was one we had to make. It was not an easy choice, I assure you.

I knew Lynn would want to be with Deuti. Armed with medications to make Deuti comfortable, I opted to take him home to wait for Lynn's return that afternoon. Then together we took him to the vet where we held him, reassured him, kissed him, and tearfully said good-bye.

For the longest time, a flower-filled beer bottle graced Deuti's grave.

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you. Deuti brought much love and laughter into our family life and left us all too soon. He's waiting for Lynn at the Rainbow Bridge, expecting to share a drop of beer when Lynn arrives.


He Waits for You at Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When a dog that has been especially close to someone here dies,
 he goes to Rainbow Bridge.
Rich, rolling meadows and hills provide a playground
where he can romp, frolic, and play with other dogs
who have left their loved ones behind.
At Rainbow Bridge, there is plenty of tasty food, sweet water, and warm golden sunshine so our dogs are warm and comfortable.

Every dog who was ill is now restored to health and vigor;
those who were hurt or maimed are whole and strong again,
 just as we remember them in our dreams of days gone by.
All are happy and content, except for one small thing;
they each miss someone special to them, someone whom they left behind.

They all run and play together,
 but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance.
His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers.
Suddenly he runs from the group, flying over the green grass,
legs carrying him faster and faster.

YOU have been spotted,
and when you and your special friend finally meet again,
you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted.
His happy kisses rain upon your face;
 your hands again caress his beloved head,
and you look once more into his trusting eyes.
Gone  from your life, he has never been absent from your heart.

More hugs and kisses and dances of joy…
Then angels beckon and you cross the Rainbow Bridge side by side....

--Author unknown

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekly Photos

Dancer's girls.

Hi Everyone! Thanks for being so patient when I know that many of you are constantly checking for puppy picture updates. As many of you already know, I had surgery on my foot last Wednesday. Everything went well but I have been in bed with the foot up for a week. Today I managed to make the trip down the stairs to the computer so I could get the pictures posted. I still have to lie down with the foot up almost constantly but I'm sitting here with it up so that's close, right??

Dancer's boys.

Mira's black girls.

Mira's gold girls.

Mira's black boy.

Dancer's puppies are the ones on the purple blanket.Mira's puppies are on the red blanket.

When these photos were taken, Mira's puppies were 2 weeks and 3 days old. Dancer's were 3 weeks and 2 days old. Everyone is eating well and growing and becoming more active each day.

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


Monday, November 1, 2010

Puppy Pictures and Updates

It's Monday again and time to post new photos of the puppies. To make things easier, Mira's puppies are shown on a red blanket and Dancer's on a purple blanket.

Here are Mira's puppies, age one week and three days.
Mira's two black females
Mira's black male

Mira's gold females
And here are Dancer's puppies whose eyes opened on Saturday. In these photos they are 2 weeks and 2 days old.
Dancer's two females
Dancer's two males
I'm trying out some new composition features on Blogspot. I haven't gotten a handle on them yet so this layout is not the best, but I'm tired of messing with it. I think you are probably most interested in the pictures anyway, so it is what it is!

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