Monday, June 28, 2010

Show Results

We suffered through a hot, hot muggy day on Saturday at the Johnson County Fairgrounds in Iowa City. Our grooming set up was in a covered livestock building that would have had decent ventilation had there been any breezes blowing through its many windows and doors. As it was, we hung crate fans on the dogs' crates in addition to setting multiple larger fans, including a nice Wind Machine, in front of the crates so the dogs would have plenty of air circulating.

We showed at 10:00 on Saturday, early enough to escape the heat, but since Walker took Best of Breed, as did Rebecca and Jane's Shiba Inu, Cleo, we had a hot, lengthy wait until it was time to go into the Group in mid afternoon. Both Cleo and Walker held up well in the heat. Cleo placed 3rd in the Group. Walker did not place.

In addition to showing Walker on Saturday, I showed Zach and Belle. Zach was happy and tail-wagging but moving more slowly than I wanted him to. He was the only one in his puppy class, and when he had to go back in the ring to compete against another dog for Winners Dog, he was much more animated and walked at a quicker pace. I showed him again on Sunday, and he was definitely more comfortable in the ring. He'll be fine!

Belle showed like a dream. What a difference since the Bloomington shows! She won a point on Saturday and, because Jane had to take her back in during the Best of Breed judging, I was able to watch Belle as she moved. She's doing just fine, and I am so glad! She's a tiny thing with a lot of lovely coat. Now that she has decided she's going to do show, I think she actually will!

A thunderstorm Sunday AM created some havoc as we unloaded the dogs and equipment at the fairgrounds. However, the rain soon stopped and the temperature shot up again, making Sunday another sweltering day.

Belle and Walker were not entered on Sunday. I wanted to focus only on the two puppies so Sunday was just for Zach and Desi. Like Zach, Desi was rather tentative at first, especially when she was the only one in the ring, but she held her tail up and wagged it at the judge. She stood very well on the table for examination. Like Zach, she livened up when she had to go back in for Winners and got to follow another Lhasa around the ring.

AKC has instituted a new award, a Grand Champion title, so in addition to Walker's earning breed points for his Best of Breed wins, he has also been earning points toward his Grand Championship. With his win on Saturday, he has met all the requirements except the number of points. He needs to earn 25 points and now has 19. He has beaten the required 3 champions, has won under 4 different judges and, with points earned on Saturday, has exceeded the required 3 major wins.

We're staying home for most of July. Our next shows will be in Waukesha, WI at the end of July.

As far as news about puppies…Dancer goes to the vet on Wednesday afternoon for an ultrasound. I'll have news after that!

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


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flame and Her Foster Babies

No, those are not Lhasa puppies you see at the top of this page! I have to share this story!

You've all heard me talk about Belle. Her mother is Ch. Joyslyn Winds of Fire (or Flame as she is more commonly known). Like Belle, Flame is a small Lhasa, about 12 pounds – a little more red than Belle is. A picture of her in show coat is at the top of the page. Unlike Belle, she loved to show. She finished her championship very fast, winning back to back majors when she was just 12 months old. (Belle, you should be following in your mom's footsteps!)

I had a great opportunity to place Flame in a pet home. The decision was difficult, never doubt that, but some things are meant to be. Flame went to Courtney, the daughter of a longtime friend I met because of our Lhasas back in the mid '70's. This family has always been very animal-oriented. For many years, they have been involved in rescuing Great Pyrenees, adopting strays, and volunteering at the local shelter.

This background leads me to Flame's most recent role. A few weeks ago, three 2-week old puppies were found near a country road. Their mother had been killed by a passing car. The family of the young girl who found them took them to the animal shelter where my friend was volunteering that day. She took them home to bottle raise them. Flame became their foster mother who taught them how to be dogs. I am not sure what breed or mix of breeds they are, but Flame did not care. She loved them and cared for them and played with them. Now they have a bit of the Lhasa stamped into their personalities!

The other picture of is Flame with her three foster puppies: Peter, Paul, and Peony.

My friend is hoping that soon all three will be placed in loving homes. As for Flame, her reward is a Florida vacation with her owner Courtney, where she will get to play with Bea, another Joyslyn's Lhasa owned by Courtney's sister Rebecca.

So hats off to Courtney, Shari, and Flame. You know as well as I do that…

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


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

George Carlin on Dogs and the Secret of Life

I found this quotation from George Carlin and just had to share:

"I love my dog. I love all my dogs. Every dog I ever had, I still love 'em. And in my life, believe me, I have had me a bunch of dogs. Because you keep gettin' a new one, don't ya? It's true. As life goes on, you keep gettin' one new dog after another. That's the whole secret of life. Life is a series of dogs."

It may not be true for all of you readers, but it is so true for me! My life has been, among other important things, a series of dogs.

As a matter of fact, I am a little leery about dying one day because there will be a mob of dogs waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge. (It will truly be heaven if the angels will groom them so I don't have to!)



Thursday, June 17, 2010

Updates and a Good Book

Walker's latest show win photo arrived and here it is. It's hard for me to believe that he will be 8 years old at the end of September! He and I are going to hit a few shows here and there this summer and fall while I wait for the puppies to grow up and get their acts together. I've been walking Zach with Breaker, who is such a smooth easy mover, so Zach is learning some good lessons from his big brother. I'm doing something similar with Desi and Mira. It's working well too! Both Breaker and Mira seem to be enjoying their new roles.

Last weekend was one of those rare stay-at-home weekends for me. I did the usual chores: grocery shopping, laundry, dog grooming, etc. but I also found time to read. One book I read was one I did not want to put down. Since dogs, albeit not Lhasas, are at its heart I can write about it in this blog! Here is the story of how I came to read that book:

In February and March, while reading comments on The Mudflats blog, I became interested in this year's Iditarod. You can find out more about it at Basically it is an annual dog sled race over 1150 miles of rugged Alaskan terrain. It pits people and dogs against terrain and weather. That is definitely NOT something I'd ever want to do, but I certainly admire those with the courage to do it.

At any rate, I started reading about the race, its history, and various mushers involved in it this year. That was when I first read about Lance Mackey, a musher who'd won the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Iditarods and was going for a history-making four years in a row. Wow! Best of all, he actually did it; he won the 2010 race.

Most of us are familiar with another Lance — Lance Armstrong, who refused to allow his cancer to stop him from meeting his athletic goals. In Lance Mackey, I found a new hero. This Lance is also a cancer survivor, whose surgery left him with no salivary glands and extreme discomfort in his hands and feet. If you are into reading about come-from-behind people with the gumption to overcome obstacles and set and achieve goals in their lives, then I highly recommend that you ask your local library for The Lance Mackey Story: How My Obsession with Dog Mushing Saved My Life. ISBN 978-0-615-34423-2. Published by Zorro Books, the book takes readers from Lance's early years through his 2009 Iditarod win. Once you finish it, you'll definitely wish you could read on and learn the story of his 2010 race, when Lance finished in first place with a time of just under 9 days. I was especially impressed with the bonds he forges with his dogs.

Back to what is happening here:
• Secret is no more pregnant than I am. There will be no puppies whelped next week. Our hope now lies with Dancer.
• Our next shows are in Iowa City on the 26th and 27th of this month. The entry is small and I'm hoping the young ones behave themselves. For them, it will be a training weekend. Walker is entered on Saturday only, and he'll enjoy being in the ring with me again. Speaking of Walker, if you want to see him in action at a show, doing his "down and back," go to¤t=DSCN2567.flv

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


Friday, June 11, 2010

June is Zooming By! Updates!

Wow…this month is already zooming by --- only 13 more work days! As for today: TGIF is my only comment!

I returned Wednesday night from five days in Phoenix where 3 co-workers and I attended the annual professional development institute sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. A day of flying, gaining 2 hours, attending three FULL days (8-5:30) of conference sessions, then another day of flying, and losing 2 hours made me wonder "where am I now and what am I supposed to be doing next?"

I am here and I should be grooming a dog!

As for Lhasa updates:
• If Secret is pregnant I will fall over in joyous shock. I have a waiting list of 12 people looking for puppies! However, Secret still has a lovely, trim, girlish figure that shows no signs of a pregnancy! Her due date is the 22nd, so I've resigned myself to disappointment. I'd thought perhaps she would "blossom" during the five days I was gone. Sadly, she did not!
• Dancer was bred in mid-May so perhaps we will have a July litter.
• Congrats to friend Marsha, co-breeder of Desi and Zach, whose two young males each won a major at the recent Fargo show.
• Speaking of Desi and Zach, Desi came into season while I was in AZ and poor Zach is beside himself wondering why he has suddenly been denied opportunities to play with his sister. I think Desi is enjoying her chance to play with Belle, who is more her size and who is much gentler in her play than Zach is!
• Our next shows are in Iowa City on June 26 and 27. Zach is entered both days, Desi one day, Belle one day, and Walker one day.

At one conference session we discussed "healthy emotional climates for children" and how such climates lead to the emotional skills of identifying, labeling, expressing and managing feelings; delaying gratification; controlling impulses; and reducing stress. Having the ability to handle frustration, control emotions, and get along with others as a young child predicts that child's success in school and later life. Children need a climate that makes them feel respected, important, accepted, included and secure. So do you… So do I… So do our Lhasas! Go give yours a hug!

My Lhasas certainly make me feel respected, important, and accepted. In their eyes I am faultless. Bless them for their loving hearts!

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