Thursday, December 29, 2011

Puppy Pictures - 4 Weeks

Hi Everyone! I hope each of you had a lovely Christmas. I was bemoaning the fact that Erikka would not be home for Christmas, but technology in the form of a laptop and Skype brought us together and was the next best thing to being here in person. We put Erikka (on the laptop) under the tree so she could take her turn as we unwrapped gifts. God bless the person(s) who invented Skype! We still missed her actual presence but Skyping made Christmas Day less lonely.

Thanks to all of you who sent pictures of your Joyslyn's Lhasas, either in your Christmas cards or as email attachments. I enjoy seeing how the dogs have grown and appreciate that you took time to send a card or email and a photo update.

Western Illinois University closes between Christmas and New Year so Lynn and I have had time off of work. I've read, groomed dogs, checked email occasionally, and accomplished the daily tasks I've set for myself. I've eaten too much and will be glad to get back to the regular routine before my jeans get too tight!

As I was grooming and bathing Walker today I thought again about making some grooming videos, something I always wanted to do but I've never been quite motivated enough to get a plan made. Someday…

Sebastian and Griffin
The puppies are growing and getting cuter every day, as you will note when you see the attached photos. They have names now. If you recall my last posting, I was laboring over names related to Dancer and Walker, but then gave up. I'll save that kind of brainstorming when it comes time for the more formal AKC registrations. Meanwhile, each puppy now has a call name to distinguish him/her from littermates. The call names are posted by their photos.

I plan to keep a girl. I have no idea which one at this time. The other girl has been spoken for. Of course, I am falling in love with the boys. Why does that always happen? But I do not intend to keep one so I hope people come along who want males so my temptation can be removed!
Gabe and Rafe

Olivia and Gracie
Their personalities are blossoming. The most inquisitive one is the light gold and white parti-color male, Sebastian, followed closely by Griffin, the other parti. The fastest one is little Gabe, who got "lost" last night when my back was turned for 30 seconds and was discovered under the recliner trying to figure out how to get out! The one who is the least ambitious is Rafe, the red male. He just wants to sleep, thank you very much! The girls are both very sweet, and our granddaughter is spoiling them and ignoring the boys.

Enjoy the pictures. I'll post more in 2012!

Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve!

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you! May you be blessed with Lhasa love in the coming year.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas! (and Puppy Pictures)

God bless us, every one. ~ Tiny Tim, from Dicken's A Christmas Carol

Christmas Greetings to All. May you have exactly the kind of Christmas that is, in your opinion, "perfect." (I just hope that people who live in my town do not think a white Christmas would make things "perfect!" I'm all for no snow!)

I do not know where 2011 went, but it sure went quickly. The months seemed to roll into each other faster as the year went by. No matter how it happened, 2011 is nearly gone. As we head into 2012, my wish for all of you is for peace, prosperity, happiness, and success in whatever form you define it.

On to things "Lhasa:"

The puppies are now three weeks old, exploring their environment, trying to get up on wobbly legs, and totally enchanting our 5-year-old granddaughter who loves to hold them and pet them. She is trying to name them too. Why do kids come up with the weirdest names for puppies? My own did it and now she is doing it too! I keep saying, "Nope, not that name. I'll think of something and let you know." Inspiration has not yet struck. Perhaps over the Christmas break my mind will be more focused on "What to Name the Puppies." I keep lists of possible names and have two lists for names related to the parents' names. For this litter, I'm using the lists related to "dance" and "wind" in honor of the dam, Joyslyn's Dance Sensation, and the sire, "GCh. Joyslyn Mi Toya Wind Walker." Perhaps by the next time I post photos, the puppies will have names instead of "the girl with the white feet" and "the chubby red boy," etc.!

Here are the most recent pictures. Enjoy!

The parti-color boys:

The gold/red gold boys:

The girls:

Merry Christmas!

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

Oh…and God Bless Us, Every One!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Puppy Photos - Age 2 Weeks

So...unless you want to hear my frustrations about Christmas shopping and a son who has not yet sent me a Christmas list (which I am going to assume is not on your list of things you want to read about today), my only news is that the puppies are doing just great, eating a lot, sleeping a lot, and growing! They complained this AM when I  roused them and tried to get them to pose for pictures. Some just decided to go back to sleep, which is too bad because their eyes are open now.

Here are the two parti-color boys:

Here are their brothers, neither of whom wanted to wake up to have their picture taken. Please note that the guy on the right never misses a meal!

Finally, the girls, awake but not thrilled about it.

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


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Puppy Pictures - 1 Week Old

It's time again for puppy pictures. The puppies are a little over a week old, eating well and growing. Dancer is a great mom and takes good care of her babies.

This first picture is of the two parti-color boys.

This photo is of the other two boys. One looks as if he might have more red in his coat, like his sire.

Finally, the two girls.

Enjoy the photos! Good luck with the rest of your Christmas shopping! More photos next week...

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


Monday, December 5, 2011

Show Results

Maggie, Raven, and I returned from the 3-day show in Belleville, IL, last evening about 6:30.  We had a fun weekend. The Friday show was hosted by the Gateway Non-Sporting Dog Club, and the Saturday and Sunday shows by the Edwardsville Illinois Kennel Club. For some reason, a few years ago Lhasa people from multiple states started gathering at this show for an end-of-the-year, last-chance-at-majors event. This year people came from IL, MO, TN, WI, OH, and ND. We had large class entries with 5-point majors in dogs and 4-point majors in bitches. There were 6 specials entered also.

Summary: Great people. Great food. Great friends. Laughs. Excitement. Some disappointment. Fun. Beautiful Lhasas! Good vendors at the show site. Great variety of stores for Christmas shopping. Nice hotel with patio door in the room making easy parking lot access for loading and unloading. Decent weather until Saturday night when rain began and continued for most of Sunday.

Maggie was the big winner for us. On Saturday under Michelle Billings, Maggie took Winners Bitch and Best of Winners for a 5-point major. It was a welcome ‑ but unexpected - win, so I was thrilled. Once again, a big thanks to Jane, who took Maggie back into the ring for Breed so I could show Raven, and who showed Maggie to that Best of Winners award that resulted in a 5-point rather than a 4-point major.

This show weekend is our last of 2011. Maggie is entered in the Skokie Valley show and Sweepstakes next weekend, but since she is the only class Lhasa entered and there are no points, it seems senseless to go. I think I'll go Christmas shopping instead!

I tried to get some candid photos of the girls as we were waiting for it to be time to go to ringside. The effort was semi-successful. I was using an older digital camera that had a horribly long delay time between the time I pressed the button and the time the photo was actually taken. The results were a lot of terrible shots of heads moving. However, a few of the photos were not too bad so I am sharing. Click the photo if you want a larger view.

Just think, it was this time last year when I was posting baby pictures of Raven and Maggie.

And…speaking of baby pictures, we'll be taking new pictures of Dancer's puppies tomorrow or Wednesday. I'll post them as soon as I can.

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


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Puppies Have Arrived

Born Nov. 29, 2011, between the hours of 4:30 and 9:45 AM
Proud parents are GCh. Joyslyn Mi Toya Wind Walker and Joyslyn's Dance Sensation (Walker and Dancer) (Well, Dancer is proud. Walker couldn't care less! LOL!)
4 boys (2 gold, 2 parti-color)
2 girls (gold)

I'll try to post pictures each week, as usual.

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


Monday, November 28, 2011

Your Laugh For the Day

I just had to share this picture of Maggie with her favorite toy. We call this little green alien her "baby" because she carries it all the time. Seeing her with it in the upright position cracks me up! We were finally able to get a picture. Usually she drops it when she sees the camera.

I hope it makes you laugh too!

If I thought I could get her to carry it in the ring, I'd give it to her. We all need a good chuckle and this would do it for sure!

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


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pictures from the Past

As I look back at old photos, I think how remarkably fortunate I have been to have known so many beautiful Lhasas, beautiful inside and out. So today I decided to share some pictures and little stories about three of our Lhasas from the mid-to-late 1970's.

Ch. Joyslyn's Raggedy Rebel,  shown by Bev Thompson
Our first champion was Joyslyn's Piece of the Rock. I have described him in previous posts. His litter brother, Ch. Joyslyn's Raggedy Rebel, was also a beautiful Lhasa, as you can see from his photo. Rebbie was owned by my friend Beth James who lived in Omaha. He was handled for a while by a mutual friend, Bev Thompson, and later by Dorothy Kendell. Rebbie had a pretty head and bite. He was well balanced and a good mover. What attracted most people to him was his color. As you see, it was not really white, nor was it cream. It had a natural sheen to it that highlighted the light color.

Joyslyn's Well I Can Do That! ("Socks")
A disappointment (and there have been many over the years, my most recent being Belle!) was Joyslyn's Well I Can Do That. We'd named him "Socks" because as a young puppy the white socks on his legs were quite apparent. When it came time to register him, I tried to think of something that went with his call name and chose the title from "I Can Do That," a song from A Chorus Line. Why was Socks a disappointment? He never finished his championship, or I should say that the person who bought him intending to show him, never saw it through. That, of course, is the chance a breeder takes when she sells a show prospect to a novice. It takes a great leap of faith because, no matter how intent and fired up a novice to dog showing is, the fact is that showing is not as easy as it might look at first glance. It takes time, effort, and persistence that often discourage newcomers. That is what happened to Socks. His new owner just couldn't quite manage all that preparing him for the ring and showing him required. However, she loved him, and that was the important thing. In the photo, Socks is pictured with handler Marge Lewis.

Ch. Lutzmor's Ja-Ma Janie ("Fancy") was quite a character. She was also a challenge for a couple of reasons. First though, here is the story of how we came to have her. Our third Lhasa was Lutzmor's Dolsa Bo Jangles. I've written about Bo in previous posts. I bought him from Pat Lutz. In 1976, Lynn and I drove to the east coast so he could visit graduate schools he was considering. As part of that trip, we took Bo to a dog show and then visited Pat Lutz so she could meet him. She introduced us to Janet Whitman, who was to become a great friend and mentor. Pat and Janet had a litter and agreed that we could take a puppy home with us. At that time, when a person registered a dog with AKC, the registration paperwork required two names be listed as choices for the dog. Pat had written "Lutzmor's Ja-Ma Fantasia" as the first choice and "Lutzmor's Ja-Ma Janie" as the second choice. I disliked the second choice, but Pat assured me that AKC always gave the first choice so I should not worry. Well, that did not work out! We'd been calling the puppy "Fancy" since we took her from Pat, so Fancy she stayed, in spite of her official name.

Ch. Lutzmor's Ja-Ma Janie ("Fancy')
Fancy had fantastic movement and a lively disposition. She was eye-catching in all ways, except her head. She had a "down face," which greatly detracted from her appearance and earned her many side-long glances from competitors at ringside. In the beginning, she disliked the ring and lost at quite a few shows. I recall one in particular when Fancy was one of two in her class and the other bitch was rather long and caterpillar looking. The judge obviously preferred Fancy, but she was not putting her tail up, even though the judge gave her multiple chances. So, we took second and received a "too bad" from the judge. Competing for Winners were a puppy and the adult from Fancy's class. The adult won because the puppy was not behaving. Meanwhile, outside the ring another exhibitor took the wrapping off a cigarette package. (Yes, that was in the dark ages when people could smoke whenever and wherever they wanted.) Fancy perked up and got all excited, so I took the wrapping back in the ring as "bait." She showed like a dream. The judge said, "Now why couldn't she have done that in the first place?" as she handed me the Reserve ribbon.

Ch. Lutzmor's Ja-Ma Janie ("Fancy")
Fancy continued to show hot and cold, never quite sure if she liked it or not. The day I knew she'd be just fine was at an outdoor show in Paducha, KY. We were waiting at ringside and across the ring was a Doberman, just standing there minding his business. Fancy caught sight of him and started barking and barking! She was totally "on" in the ring that day and never turned off again.

I've posted two pictures of Fancy. I am with her in the show picture. And yes, those of you who know me, you are right. My hairstyle has not changed much over the last 30+ years!

In the spirit of the season, tomorrow being Thanksgiving, I want to take this opportunity to thank each of you who take time to read this blog. I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope you spend the holiday as you want to spend it—enjoying family and friends or just chilling out or maybe shopping 'til you drop at all the early Christmas sales.

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you! I am thankful for each one of mine through the years, for their love and admiration, for the lessons they've taught me, and for the friends and acquaintances I've made because of them.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Just Some Photos

I have had a busy November and remarked to a co-worker today that I have not been in the office a full week yet this month! I left on the 4th to go to Florida. I was back for one day on the 11th. This week I was in Chicago for meetings Tuesday - Thursday. Next week, we are open only 3 days. And Christmas is getting closer and closer...

Here are the promised photos from the National Specialty. I am missing the photo of Walker, taken after the Top 20 competition. I received a photo of another person's dog so imagine someone else received mine. If I ever get it, I'll post it also.

Enjoy the photos and enjoy Thanksgiving. I hope you each have long, long lists of blessings to count. And I hope at least one of those blessings is a Lhasa Apso.

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

Walker, Award of Merit

Walker, Select Dog

Raven, Select Bitch

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Vacation and Puppy News

A rainy, overcast Miami day
Sunny, with strong waves and wind
The morning of November 4 found me driving to Bloomington to catch a plane to Chicago and from there another to Miami to visit our daughter. The Miami weather was much nicer than the Macomb weather, that is for sure! However, it did rain a couple of the days but that did not dampen my vacation spirits. The trip was fun and restful and, of course, it was delightful to be with my daughter again. I'm posting a couple of pictures just to prove I was there!

I was fascinated by the Banyon trees.
The trip home was "something else!" It began routinely, but perhaps 15 minutes into the flight, the captain told us we'd have to go back to Miami because there was a mechanical problem. One of the cargo doors had not sealed properly. But first, we had to fly around for a while to get rid of fuel since we were too heavy to land. Long story short: I missed my connecting flight and had to spend Wednesday night in Chicago. The airline (American) was very gracious. By the time we landed (from boarding to landing, I was on that plane 6 hours and 50 minutes), the staff at the gate had us all re-ticketed for Thursday flights and gave us vouchers for hotel rooms, dinner, and breakfast the next morning. I'd packed my coat in the luggage I'd checked, which turned out not to be such a great idea! Fortunately, I was wearing a sweatshirt, which helped a little, but not much, as I waited outside for the hotel shuttle Wednesday night. Thursday's flight was uneventful, as was the drive home.

A co-worker & I at the "O'hare Hotel"
That "delayed flight" experience was a far cry from a previous overnight in Chicago when a flight was canceled and a couple of my co-workers and I were stranded at the airport on cots! It was an adventure we laugh about now. It wasn't much fun at the time.

While I was away, Belle had a vet visit to determine if she was carrying  puppies or not. The disappointing answer was "not." I suspected as much, but held out hope that perhaps she was carrying one or two. No such luck. As those of you who read this blog regularly know, Belle does things her own way and in her own time! I suspected she was not pregnant and since this is the second time she "missed," we've decided that motherhood is not for her. She is still in full coat and beautiful, and one of these days I'll get a call from the right family who wants Belle to live with them. She is beautiful inside and out.
Belle. Disappointing news.

Other news, although not "officially" confirmed as yet by ultrasound or x-ray, is that Dancer is pregnant. Her puppies are due around Thanksgiving. I'll keep you posted.

The pictures have arrived from the specialty. I just need some time to scan them and post them. That won't be today. As you all know, the problem with taking a vacation is the work that awaits you when you come home! I have dogs to groom, bills to pay, groceries to buy, laundry to do, etc., etc... you all know what it's like! It's a good thing I took pictures or I'd be wondering, "what vacation?"

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


Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Specialty: Part VI - The Results

I was finally able to find a reliable source from which to mark my Specialty catalog. What follows are the results of the various confirmation shows held during ALAC's National Specialty Week. The names in parentheses are the names of the owners. 

I recall that years ago AKC considered and then rejected allowing the Reserve Winners (Dog and Bitch) to earn a 3-point major as a result of taking Reserve at a National Specialty. Each year when I think of the number of dogs defeated by the Reserve Winners at the National Specialty and compare that number to what it takes to earn a 3-point major at a "regular show" (e.g., in Illinois it takes only 4 dogs to make a 3-point major), well at that point I really wish AKC would have voted to allow those majors for Reserve National Specialty wins!

Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado, October 11, 2011
Judge- Mr. Bill Lee

Winners Dog:  APSOLUTELY KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ (DeCleir & Clark)
Reserve Winners Dog:  RUFKINS MONARCH JUST BECAUSE I AM (Lombardi & Harrison)
Winners Bitch:  PRK'S DEFYING GRAVITY (DeMers)
Reserve Winners Bitch:  ELMINJA'S SNYIN-NYE (Strayer, Byrne, & LaSart)
Best of Breed :  CH RUSHMAR’S CHARMER (McCutcheon)
Best of Winners :  APSOLUTELY KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ (DeCleir & Clark)
Best of Opposite Sex:  GCH CH SUNDANCER ALEKSANDRA (Hamilton & Johnson)
Select Dog :  GCH CH TA SEN BOND JAMES BOND (Giles & Vaden)
Select Bitch :  GCH CH MONARCH RUFKJNS TANGO IN PARIS (Harrison, Stafford, & Lombardi) 
Best Puppy in Puppy Classes : RUFKINS MONARCH JUST BECAUSE I AM (Lombardi & Harrison) 
Bred-By-Exhibitor:  PRK’S DEFYING GRAVITY (DeMers)

Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado, October 11, 2011
Judge-Mr. Larry Bruton

Best in Sweepstakes: SUNDANCER SASHELLIE MARTA HARI (Hamilton, Holibaugh, Worlton, & Johnson)
Best of Opposite Sex to Best in Sweepstakes: SUNDANCER SASHELLIE RHAPSODY (Hamilton, Holibaugh, Worlton, & Johnson)
Best in Veteran Sweepstakes: GCH CH JOYSLYN MITOYA WIND WALKER  (Johanson & Hays)

American Lhasa Apso Club, October 12, 2011
Judge-Ms. Annette Rathbun

Best Cut Down in Sweepstakes: CH FFT KISSES OF FIRE (Kuhlman, Timbers, & Rothman)
Best of Opposite Sex to Best Cut Down in Sweepstakes: CH TIMBERS CONFIDENTAILLY YOURS (Timbers & Timbers)

American Lhasa Apso Club Central Regional Specialty, October 13, 2011
Judge-Ms. Barbara J Wood

Winners Dog: WESTGATE MONOGRAM BOB HOPE (Sehnert & Williams)
Reserve Winners Dog: SERA MAR KHASA ZUNI SUNSHINE (Schwartz & Schwartz)
Winners Bitch: RUFKINS SUMMERHILL WORD OF MOUTH (Lombardi & Bjornsson)
Reserve Winners Bitch: SUNDANCER SASHELLIE MARTA HARI (Hamilton, Holibaugh, Worlton, & Johnson)
Best Lhasa Apso: CH RUSHMAR’S CHARMER (McCutcheon)
Best of Winners: RUFKINS SUMMERHILL WORD OF MOUTH (Lombardi & Bjornsson)
Best of Opposite Sex : CH FFT TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (Timber, Timbers, & Rothman)
Best Puppy in Puppy Classes: RUFKINS SUMMERHILL WORD OF MOUTH (Lombardi & Bjornsson)
Bred-By-Exhibitor: DESIDERATA MLS DAKOTA MAGIC O’FLIGHT (Susag & Miller)
Award of Merit: GCH CH TA SEN BOND JAMES BOND (Giles & Vaden)
Award of Merit: GCH SUNDANCER’S REBEL SHADOW TRYST (Worlton & Johnson)
Award of Merit: GCH CH SUNDANCER ALEKSANDRA (Hamilton & Johnson)
Award of Merit: GR CH MONARCH RUFKJNS TANGO IN PARIS  (Harrison, Stafford, & Lombardi)
Award of Merit: CH MACH2 INDIAN HILL MELOU’S JOSIE RA OF (Torgerson)

American Lhasa Apso Club National Specialty, October 14, 2011
Judge-Ms. Betty Regina Leininger

Winners Dog: ODIE'S I HAVE A DREAM (Fluhart)
Reserve Winners Dog: APSOLUTELY KEEP ON TRUCKIN' (DeCleir & Clark)
Winners Bitch: REDFOX'S WOODEN Y'LIKE TO BE AN ANGEL (Cannimore & Winslow)
Reserve Winners Bitch: PRK'S DEFYING GRAVITY (DeMers)
Best Lhasa Apso: GCH CH TA SEN BOND JAMES BOND (Giles & Vaden)
Best of Winners: REDFOX’S WOODEN Y’ LIKE TO BE AN ANGEL (Cannimore & Winslow)
Best of Opposite Sex: GCH CH MONARCH RUFKJNS TANGO IN PARIS (Harrison, Stafford, & Lombardi)
Select Dog: GCH RED FOX’S ONE WING IN THE FIRE (Cannimore & Cannimore)
Best Puppy in Puppy Classes: SUNDANCERS HYLAN SHOTRU BRANDY MINE (Worlton, Worlton, & Worlton)
Bred-By-Exhibitor: REDFOX’S WOODEN Y’ LIKE TO BE AN ANGEL (Cannimore & Winslow)
Award of Merit: GCH CH JOYSLYN MITOYA WIND WALKER (Johanson & Hays)
Award of Merit: CH RUSHMAR’S CHARMER (McCutcheon)
Award of Merit: GCH CH EDREY TAM HUFF ANGEI.S ARE WITH ME (Hoskins & Hoskins)
Award of Merit: CH FFT TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (Timbers, Timbers, & Rothman)
Award of Merit: CH TARA HUFF EDREY MISS RUBY ROUGE (Huffman & Valle)

And as always, in case you need reminding...
Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

National Specialty: Part V - The Trip Home

Saturday and Sunday, October 15-16

By 7:30 Saturday morning, the four of us had our dogs, our ex-pens, and our overnight bags at the van for the final packing. Oh my…things were tight. We, the dogs, the microwave, the cooler, all the suitcases, suitcase crates, ex-pens, boxes, totes, food, pillows, blankets, water jugs…. well, it all finally fit. By 9:00 we'd stopped at a McDonald's for Egg McMuffins, and we on our way east, heading for home.

The road ahead was a long one. Gone was the anticipation of what the specialty week would bring. In its place was the longing in each of us for the trip to be over so we could be home in our own beds.

As a result of being worn out from the week's activities, we stopped more frequently and played "tourist." For example, we stopped outside of Amarillo to walk into the field to see the Cadillac Ranch, where 10 Cadillacs are buried, nose down. People stop, walk through a turnstile entrance onto a rutted dirt road, and walk what might amount to a couple of blocks to see the Cadillacs. Most (not us because we did not know we were going to stop there) bring along cans of spray paint to add a bit of self-expression to the cars. I imagine someone stops by daily to pick up the empty spray cans strewn about or the pile would get deep. It seems that most of the "artists" do not know how to find the dumpster located at the entrance.
Read more about the Cadillac Ranch here

We took a picture of a huge cross located outside of Groom, Texas. I guess it depends on where you are from because when we first about the cross, we heard it was the largest in the western hemisphere. Another person told us it was the third largest. Anyway, it is huge and hard to miss. We did not stop, but Jan managed to take a picture of it. You can get an idea of how large it is compared to the building it stands near. This website has some interesting pictures and information about its construction

Another interesting attraction in Groom is the leaning water tower. Here's a picture of it too, along with a website in case you want to read more

We drove by the Bug Ranch in Conway, Texas, where someone copied the Cadillac Ranch idea by planting some old VWs. We went by too fast to get a picture, but here is a link to a website about the Bug Ranch.

The last tourist-y thing we did was to stop somewhere in Texas or Oklahoma at a gift shop selling southwestern-type wares, from cacti (LaVonne bought one), to pottery, jewelry, clothing, toys, etc…Outside the shop we found a mural depicting a Native American scene painted on the side of a building, a sculpture of a Native American astride his horse, a tepee, and a couple of painted buffalo. Photo ops!! Here are the results.

We made it as far as Lebenon, Missouri, where we stopped just after midnight to get a few hours of sleep. (When I say "few" that's what I mean!). From there, it was 7 hours to Macomb. We made it by 3:00 Sunday afternoon! What a relief for me. However, from my house, Jan, Karen, and LaVonne still had quite a long trek. It was 5 hours to LaVonne's, then another 3 hours to Jan's, where Karen spent the night.

We are all thankful for a safe trip to and from our destination and for our friendship and memories of the journey. We have a lot to laugh and reminisce about.

It's been fun re-living the experience by writing about it. Thanks to everyone who's taken time to read about our 2011 trip to the ALAC National Specialty!

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


Monday, October 24, 2011

National Specialty: Part IV - Thursday and Friday

ALAC Specialty Week
Thursday and Friday, October 13-14

Thursday and Friday were great days for us. I don't mean to indicate that we walked away with lots of points and huge prizes, but the judges appreciated my dogs and that made me feel great. Many other spectators and exhibitors positively commented on them also—always an ego boost!

Early Thursday morning I spent money at ALAC's Ways and Means table buying a logo sweatshirt and a set of pewter Lhasa wind chimes. I was pretty sure I had room in the suitcase for both.

Other vendors included one who sold lovely Tibetan jewelry (I apologize for not recalling her name); Fran Strayer, who was selling beautiful Lhasa Apso note cards (I have so many of them mounted and framed and hanging on my walls or sitting on end tables. They are almost too cute to write on! If any of you are interested in the note cards, let me know, and I'll send you Fran's contact information); and Susan Giles with her array of Pawmarks items—brushes, combs, bands, water bottle holders, decorative items, crate pads and more! is the website. 

When the judging began, I enjoyed mentoring a judge who had come to the specialty to watch the Lhasas and to participate in Friday's Judges Education Seminar. She was knowledgeable, perceptive, and inquisitive about the Lhasa. She asked very good questions and kept me on my toes throughout the morning.

Diane stopped by again to chat and say good-bye before she and Leanne left for home. Her visit was short but very much appreciated as she has a great sense of humor and a joy of life that makes being with her fun.

Ms. Barbara Wood was the judge for Thursday's ALAC Midwest Regional Specialty. Walker was my first dog to be shown. He "won" the Veteran's class easily! (I say "won" and "easily" because once again he was the only veteran dog there.) Anyway, that win meant that he was eligible to participate in the Best of Breed competition. I had a dilemma…Raven had been moved up to Best of Breed, but unlike Tuesday, that meant I had two of them in the Breed competition. Unable to clone myself, I called on Karen for help.

All the Breed competitors had to go into the ring together for armband checks. Karen took Raven in and I took Walker. Then the bitch specials, the veteran (Walker), and Winners Dog and Winners Bitch were dismissed while the dog specials were judged. (Note to non-dog show readers: A "special" is a champion who is competing for Best of Breed.) After the dogs were judged and Ms. Wood made her cut, it was the bitch specials' turn to be judged. I took Raven in and was pleased when she made the cut. But now we had a problem! Which dog, Walker or Raven, should I show? I made a snap decision not to change armbands and gave Karen the nod to show Walker. I was nervous because never in his 9 years had anyone but me shown him. Well, you would not know that because he showed like a dream for Karen. We were both surprised and relieved. I thought there would be problems because in the line up Walker was at the end of the male specials and Raven was at the beginning of the bitch specials, meaning that she and I were in line right behind Walker and Karen. Neither dog seemed to care. They both showed their hearts out and I was so very pleased when Walker, the oldest champion in the ring, was singled out for the Select Dog Award and Raven, the youngest champion in the ring, was chosen for the Select Bitch Award! There were 25 champions entered that day. Raven's placement gave her 5 more points toward her Grand Championship. She now has 7 and needs 25, so I imagine I'll be showing her next year, trying to earn those other grand champion points.

Following the judging and the photos, which I will share with you once I get them, we all rushed to get our dogs' headfalls put up and then hurried back to our rooms to potty and feed the dogs so we could get to the annual meeting on time. Many important issues were slated for discussion. It was a bittersweet meeting for me because it was my last as the club's Vice President, a position I've held since 2004. However, I was nominated for a Board of Directors position and was elected to that position, so I'm happy to serve ALAC for another 3 years.

After the meeting, we again rushed to change clothes and don attire that had a southwestern flare so we could attend the annual awards banquet. I chose an outfit of brown and turquoise. The banquet food was expensive and rather blah, as food at these kinds of banquets tends to be. (Dessert was cheesecake and it was delicious!) But food is not the main reason we attend! The highlight of the banquet for me is always the Awards Slide Show. However, before the slide show began, our President Barbara Schwartz announced the winner of ALAC's first Member of the Year Award. She called my name! I was proud and humbled to receive such an honor. In addition to the plaque, I received an AKC medallion that was presented to me on a very special set of Mardi Gras beads chosen by LaVonne, Karen, and Jan. The plaque sits in a place of honor in my office. The beads hang from my rearview mirror, a reminder at least four times daily of the honor given me and of my friends' crazy sense of humor!

Now hanging from my mirror
Back to the Award Slide Show: Phyllis Misite once again outdid herself by compiling photos members sent to her of their 2010 champions and setting the slide show to music. My 2010 champions featured in the show were Zach, Ch. Joyslyn MLS Dakota Playboy at Heart, and Mira, Ch. Karlyn Joyslyn Who's the Fairest. Ch. Joyslyn Miss Cheevy-us, owned by Karen Schlais, was featured for earning her Register of Merit (Dam) Award.

The Awards Banquet ended with an auction unsurpassed in its hilarity as auctioneer Marsha Susag attempted to cajole members into bidding higher and higher on many beautiful items. She was successful! Everyone had a great time and a lot of laughs, and money was raised for the club. I basically sat on my hands the entire time, afraid that any movement would result in Marsha telling me I'd just bid $100 on something! LOL!!!

I honestly do not remember anything else about Thursday night except getting back to our room and changing into comfortable clothes. I was so tired that I fell asleep in the middle of a conversation with Marsha – and I only know that because she teased me about it the next day. Other evidence that I was wiped out: Marsha made caramel popcorn in the microwave and I slept through the popping, the aroma, and the eating! Unheard of!!!

Friday morning involved more rushing. The Judges Education Seminar and the ALAC Mentor training began at 7:30. I was involved with both. Members of ALAC who were interested in finding out more about our mentor program were invited to listen to the seminar presentation with the three judges who attended. When the PowerPoint presentation ended, and the judges were involved in the hands-on portion of the seminar, I went over the mentor guidelines with the interested members.

Suddenly, we all realized it was after 9:30 and that the judging started at 10:00! I sped down the hall to potty Raven and Walker and get them loaded on the cart to take to the ballroom. I spent the rest of the morning in the grooming area of the ballroom getting them groomed and ready to show while watching the judging. Friday's judge was Ms. Betty Leininger. I happened to glance at the judging schedule at one point and my heart leaped. I assumed (you know what they say about assuming…) that the veteran class would be judged at 1:00 as it had been on Thursday. Oh no…it was on the morning schedule following the Winners Bitch judging! Fortunately, Walker was close enough to being ready that the timing was not an issue for us; however, the owners of the other male veteran were under the same assumption as I and were in a panic since they bathed and had just begun to dry their dog! Some quick rescheduling was done, and we were able to show the veterans after lunch.

Walker had competition in the Veteran's class for the first time that week, and I was so excited when he won! Once again he and Raven would compete with 31 others entered in the Best of Breed competition. Although Karen and I had a strategy worked out, we did not need it since Raven did not make the cut. Walker showed his heart out though and was awarded one of the coveted Awards of Merit. When Walker's photo was being taken, the judge commented to me that she liked my bitch (Raven) but that she (Raven) was too small for her (the judge). 

I'm including this photo of our rosettes for my friend Rebecca, who loves rosettes! The two light blue and white ones on the left are the Select Dog and Select Bitch rosettes. The small pink and green one and the two larger pink ones are the Veteran's class rosettes. The picture does not do justice to the beautiful black and turquoise rosette Walker received for being in the Top 20 competition. What you cannot see well is his name on it. The large turquoise rosette was Friday's Award of Merit rosette.

Now, back to the saga:  Photos taken, it was time to pack up our grooming area, get back to the room and start packing clothing, dog supplies, and all the other "stuff" we'd gathered during the week, in preparation for leaving Saturday morning. I hung the rosettes from hangers in the garment bag to keep them from getting too wrinkled and then started sorting things that went in the suitcase, overnight bag, grooming tote, etc. I reluctantly turned down an invitation to dinner, thinking that if I took time to relax I'd never get the packing done. Later, LaVonne convinced me to take a break and to go to dinner with her, Jan, and Karen. As I looked at the piles and piles of things to be packed I wondered if I should go, but I finally decided some food, good conversation, and laughter was what I needed.

Evidently I was starving because when the waitress returned to our table to refill drinks, she looked at my empty plate and the nearly-full plates of my friends and commented, "Wow, you ate fast!"

After dinner, we arranged a time to meet by the van in the parking lot to begin the ordeal of packing the van for the trip home. We managed to get everything packed on Friday night except the dogs, their ex-pens, ourselves, and our overnight bags. Everything fit even more tightly because we were all taking home extra items, especially Jan! She'd been very lucky at Friday's raffle and won three huge baskets of goodies, including two lovely pieces of large pottery and an array of #1 All Systems grooming products. LaVonne took home some Green Bay Packers items from the raffle and won wine in the silent auction. Jan's winning streak continued as she came away with some lovely jewelry from the silent auction. Jan's an excellent packer and evidently good at jigsaw puzzles because somehow on Saturday morning her van-loading plan came together and all our things fit—barely!

Kudos to all who played a part in making the 2011 Specialty such a success. If I start a list, I am sure to omit someone, so I hesitate to do it. However, I want to mention Linda Jarrett, Show Chair; Sandy Devlin, Hospitality and Trophy Chair; Fran Kanipe, Obedience and Rally Chair; and Mary Jane Orrie, Advertising Chair. They, their friends in the area from other breed clubs, and a multitude of ALAC member volunteers all pitched in as needed and worked hard to make the 2011 National Specialty week fun and successful.

By the way, if you could not be there and want some idea of what happened, do not despair! Larry Bruton filmed Wednesday's ALAC Futurity and Friday's ALAC National Specialty. DVD's are available for $20 (Futurity) and $35 (Specialty) or both for $50. Prices include shipping. Larry is donating 10% to ALAC. To order contact Larry Bruton, 5406 SW Woods Court, Portland, OR  97221.

The story and photos from the trip home are yet to come.

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


Friday, October 21, 2011

National Specialty: Part III - Wednesday

ALAC Specialty Week

Wednesday, October 12:
Up at 5:20, Marsha and I exercised and fed the dogs, got ourselves ready, jumped in the van, and headed to Los Lunas for the agility trial. Marsha had Twist (Zach's sire) entered in the trial. I, being incapable of training an agility dog – not that I have tried, but I know myself) did not have a dog entered but went along for moral support, as well as to help with the set-up and do whatever else anyone needed me to do at the trial. I really enjoy watching the agility trials so it was a pleasure to go for that reason alone.

The morning was brisk. Nope, it was darn cold. And the grass (nice green grass) was wet from dew. Nevertheless, the intrepid early morning bunch that showed up to build the course got to work quickly and with few comments. (It was too cold to talk.) Debby and I learned that if you have to move a tunnel, it is easier to do if you scrunch it up and put a pole in it, then carry it using the pole. We only had to move two tunnels, both of which turned out to be too short for the course layout, before someone took pity on us and gave us that hint. We were able to move the third one with less effort. (It was still darn heavy!)

I then got lucky (or perhaps someone else took pity on my lack of knowledge). I was assigned to follow Melissa around carrying an armful of poles and to place the poles where she told me to place them. This I could easily handle!

Later, courses built, gloves and shoes/socks soaked with dew, we were all grateful to see Barbara and Bobbie show up with coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts!

I'm always amazed by agility Lhasas and the partnership that exists between them and their owners. Many dogs had beautiful and fast runs. Others goofed off a little, some a lot!! All owners took the disappointments in stride and all the dogs left the course happy.

I was fortunate again to get a job I could handle during the trial. I was assigned to be the leash runner, which involved picking up the dog's leash at the entrance to the course and taking it to the exit so it could be put back on the dog before he/she exited the course. Mind you, some of the dogs ran the course so fast that I often had to hustle between entrance and exit just to get there on time!

Just as the morning was warming up, it was time for me to head back to Albuquerque to begin the next phase of my day. I caught a ride with Barbara and Bobbie as they left.

The message light was blinking on the phone in the hotel room. Checking it, I learned that my good friend, Diane, formerly from Bloomington, Illinois, and now living in Las Cruses, was on her way to Albuquerque to see me! She'd read my blog and various Facebook postings about the specialty and decided to surprise me. That made my day!

As past Chairperson of the Breeder Education Committee, I was asked by the current Chair if I would host the Breeder Education Seminar since she was unable to attend the specialty. I agreed. Since I had a couple of hours before the seminar started, I decided I should bathe Raven again so she'd look decent for Thursday's show. Having complained about the lack of water pressure from the showerhead, I was rescued by a friend who said I could use her shower which had a hand-held sprayer attached. I eagerly accepted the offer! Raven was bathed, dried, and I was dressed up and ready a half hour before the seminar was scheduled to begin.

Afraid that we were not going to get much of a crowd at the seminar, I rounded up some people who were hanging around the ballroom and grooming area and encouraged them to attend and to spread the word. By 2:30, when the seminar was to begin, the presenter arrived and the room began to fill with people. The presenter was Dr. Donny MacDougall, a veterinarian from Albuquerque who has many dog show people as clients. His topic was anatomy, and his focus for the hour presentation was common skeletal defects. He specifically addressed Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Patellar Luxation, and Hip Dysplasia. He offered his audience an option to OFA by introducing us to the PennHip screening procedure for hip dysplasia. I've attached scanned copies of the brochure he gave us so you can read about the process. Click each photo to enlarge it so the print is readable.

Seminar over, I presented Dr. MacDougall his check and made it outside to the patio area just in time for the beginning of ALAC's first Cut Down Sweepstakes. Fourteen Lhasas were entered. They were all in various stages of "clipped down," some clipped quite closely, others with cute little hair cuts and leg fringes. It was great to see structure and movement without all the coat normally seen in the show ring. Everyone had a good time and it seems likely this sweepstakes will become a part of our specialty week. There were murmurings about how close the coat needs to be cut, so I anticipate some rules might be forthcoming regarding that issue. The photo shows Ron Crowder with Zorro (Ch. Takashi's Codename Zebra), Raven's grandsire, during the Cut Down Sweepstakes. In the meantime, in the ballroom the obedience and rally events were about to begin, so after the winners were chosen for the Cut Down Sweepstakes, I wandered into the ballroom to sit, relax a while, and watch rally. That is where Diane found me when she arrived. We spent  a pleasant time chatting and catching up on each other's lives until she and her friend decided it was time for them to find a restaurant.

Wednesday evening's event was the Futurity, judged by Ms. Debbie Burke. The Futurity provides a showcase for Lhasas between 6 – 18 months. Only those dogs that are nominated for the Futurity within 90 days of birth are allowed to participate in the event. This year's participants were born between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. I had nothing entered in the Futurity and was happy to be able to sit and watch the judging. Best Puppy and Grand Futurity Winner was Westgate Monogram Bob Hope, from the 9-12 Puppy Dog Class. The Best Adult was awarded to Ch. Hi Tide Sea Shell-y.

Was that the end? By no means! I still had to bathe and dry Walker! Again, the use of my friend's hand-held showerhead came in quite handy, and I was grateful for her offer to use it. A couple hours later, Walker was bathed, dried and ready for Thursday's show. I was ready for a drink and had a margarita-flavored wine cooler. We popped popcorn in the microwave, relaxed, and chatted about the events of the day.

Relaxation…what a concept!

Two days remained of Specialty Week. ALAC's Midwestern Regional Specialty was held on Thursday, and the ALAC National Specialty was held on Friday. Both days held some exciting and surprising events for me!

More to come…

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