Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Show Results

Happily, Breaker proved my predictions wrong. He was fun to show and behaved himself. In the group ring, he was bothered only by the loud cheering and applause that some of the crowd's favorite dogs received. That made him a little skittish, but it is something he has to get used to if he is going to be specialed. Someday people will be cheering for him as well.

It was difficult not to miss Walker, who knows the show routine so well. He and I were a team and we had our system down pat. He loved the cheering. He knew to "turn it on" when I said, "Let's go!" But he wasn't that way in the beginning either, so I know that Breaker and I will fall into a routine too and come up with our own rituals and expectations of each other.

According to the two group judges, competition in the Non-sporting group was fierce for such a small show. Having heard that from both judges on Saturday, I was thrilled when Breaker got the nod for the Group 4 spot on Sunday! It was a nice way to finish the weekend and a nice start for his career.

This coming weekend we will be at the West Bend, WI, show on Saturday, staying that evening for the Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club's specialty show. Twenty-two Lhasas are entered, which is quite a large entry for this area. It should be a good time.

Raven and Maggie are going to the shows too. They both showed very well last weekend. Raven won the point each day. They were the only ones entered so one of them had to win! Once again, a big thanks to friends Jane and Rebecca, who helped by holding dogs at ringside and taking the girls back in the ring for the Winners and Breed classes.

If you're ever in the mood to look at some great candid photos taken at dog shows, two websites I can recommend are Canine Candids by Lynda and DDL Dog Show Photography Both photographers have some beautiful pictures on their sites. I've found some on Lynda's site taken of Walker at the Bloomington shows and have ordered prints. Diane has not yet posted the photos she took at the Iowa City show. She had one of Breaker in the group ring that I really liked so I am looking forward to its being posted.

If you need a nice spray bottle to use while you are grooming, I found an inexpensive one that works great! Just go to WalMart's laundry aisle, where the ironing board covers, dryer balls, etc., are sold. There you will also find spray bottles to use when ironing. The bottles cost only 97 cents (!) and are a clear plastic. They have two spray settings, and you will want to use the one that sprays a light mist. I actually used some red nail polish to mark that setting so I would be sure to get a mist and not a stream of grooming spray.

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


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Headed into the Weekend...

Yippee! A dog show at last! This weekend we are headed to Iowa City to the Johnson County Fairgrounds.

Four weekends ago, Walker, Raven, Maggie, and I went to the Bloomington, IL shows. Time has flown by, as it is wont to do when I'm busy, taken up by preparing for and recovering from trips to Nebraska and Rhode Island this month. Last weekend was a catch-up weekend of cleaning, and laundry, and grooming but not a lot of rest.

We had a bit of excitement Saturday when Lynn cut his thumb on the table saw, requiring a trip to the emergency room and eight stitches! Ironically, it was the same table saw that kicked back a few months ago and ground up the pad of his thumb so badly that it could not even be stitched! Ironic, too, that he was in the process of making a push tool that would prevent such injury when the accident happened.

Having already begun one of my famous "to-do" lists, show preparations are well underway. The dogs will be groomed tonight and bathed Friday evening. Packing is sometimes the worst part of the preparation. Fearful of forgetting something important (thus the lists), I recall one show when a friend left her garment bag full of 3 days worth of clothes home. At least she remembered the dog and all the necessary dog items, like the lead, the food, and the grooming supplies. Fortunately, she had time to shop for new clothes! As for forgetting the dog, back in the 1980's another friend once loaded a crate in the car and left for the airport to ship one of her girls to be bred. Not until she arrived at the airport did she realize she'd left the dog at home in the backyard where she'd put her out to potty before the long trip.

As for forgetting clothing, so far I haven't done that, but once I packed a pair of shoes, one navy blue and one black (hey the closet was dark – and in my defense, they were the same shoe style, just different colors). I did not discover the error until I was in the ring and happened to look at my feet. I went shoe shopping that night! When I got home, I put a drop of red nail polish on the inside of each of the blue shoes so I could distinguish them from the black ones.

It takes a concerted effort from all of us Lhasa exhibitors in Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin to ensure we have enough entries at a show to make it worth our while to enter. Entry fees add up fast, and there is no sense entering if there will be no points. When some indicated they were skipping the Iowa City show and others told me they were not sure about entering, I decided that I should enter both puppies, not only to give them some practice but also to make sure that there would at least be a point available. So Maggie is entered in the 6-9 Puppy class and Raven in the Bred-By Exhibitor class. It is good I did that because they are the only two girls entered in the classes. If they behave, perhaps each will come home with a point. My prediction is that Raven will beat Maggie. She is more elegant at this age than Maggie is. Maggie has lots of coat and it makes her look wider and more awkward than Raven looks.

Breaker, 2 years, 9 months

Breaker is making his debut in the Best of Breed ring at the Iowa City shows. Everyone please send positive thoughts our way. Winning would be nice but mostly I am praying for good behavior! He is a pretty dog but such a dork. He has a short attention span and so much energy that he can hardly contain himself. He is a happy guy too! When he is on the move, all is well. It's the standing still part that presents a problem on the floor and on the table. He'll learn what to do eventually, and I'll learn some lessons in laughing through the embarrassment. Really, he means well. LOL
Breaker, 7 months

I'll let you know how it goes.

Breaker, profile 7 months

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


Friday, June 17, 2011

Home At Last

Well, I am home and more or less settled back in after returning from a five-day trip to Providence, Rhode Island, to attend the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Professional Development Institute. I have only positive things to say about the conference. I'll keep them to myself because I doubt that you are reading this blog to find out about digital technology in the early childhood classroom, the levels and definitions of the various aspects of technical assistance, the amazing gift to the early childhood field named Lilian Katz, the latest and greatest in new children's literature, or how you can use music and dance to teach young children math concepts (to list only a few of the sessions I attended).

Leaving early Saturday morning was difficult, not only because I had to leave the house at 2:30 AM to get to the airport in time for the flight, but also because of Clown's death the day before. It was difficult to focus on a work-related conference when we'd just lost a dog who'd been part of our family for 14 and a half years. We've had many dogs over the 38 years and suffered through many losses. It is never easy, no matter how many times a person deals with the death of a pet. All are individuals. All bring a unique gift of themselves. All are mourned.

Clown was named after our Ch. Joyslyn's Clown Prince who was an old guy when we moved to Illinois in 1989. Although they were related only distantly, as a puppy, Clown resembled his namesake so much in appearance and behavior that it seemed only natural to give him the "Clown" appellation. They were both characters, that is for sure!

Thanks to all of you who called, emailed, or posted comments about Clown's death. I appreciated your support.

The visit to Rhode Island was great. Honestly, it was never a destination I dreamed I'd ever visit, and we were too busy at the office for me to do any online exploring about the city, so I had no idea what was in store. Once we arrived on Saturday, we walked through the downtown area of Providence and ventured up the hills (really, really steep hills) and then back down them, asking ourselves how in the world residents managed to survive those inclines in the winter time. We saw amazing architecture, lovely churches, homes dating back to the late 1700's, and many huge old mansions, beautifully restored. We managed a couple hour walk each evening after the conference.(Yes, I was challenged by those steep hills!)

Oh, I have to tell you about checking into (and out of) the hotel, the Hilton Providence. The hotel was lovely and the staff extremely welcoming, but I was not impressed with the registration and check out. When I checked in, I was asked if I wanted to keep the payment on the card used to reserve the room, the Mastercard ending in 7034 (or some such number). I said I did not have a credit card ending in that number and showed the man my reservation confirmation email that indicated the card I had used to confirm the reservation. He did not seem to believe his eyes, so  he asked, "So you don't want to keep the charges on the card that ends in 7034?" Duh. "No," I replied, "I told you that is not my card. It needs to be changed." Confused, he had to go to get his manager. Now, mind you, it was he who asked me in the first place if I wanted to change the card! Perhaps he is used to being told "no" so did not know what to do when someone said "yes." Eventually, it was all worked out, taking much longer than it needed to take.

So…checkout morning arrives. A blue statement under the room's door awaited me. It was two pages long, indicating charges for Room 1105, giving my name at the top of each page. One page showed charges for check-in on 6/11 and checkout on 6/15, room charge, tax, etc. At the bottom were the last four digits of my credit card. The second page showed arrival of 6/10 and check out on 6/15. It was full of room service, movie, and internet charges. It showed the last four digits of an American Express card! Long story short…it all got straightened out, for now. I am fearful of what might show up on my credit card statement. Heaven only knows if my card number showed up on someone else's bill who answered, "Sure" when the guy asked if he wanted to keep the room expenses on card ending in my card's numbers!

Back home to happy greetings from the Lhasas and a husband worn out from his five days of work on our hallway, where he'd torn out the carpeting then sanded and stained the hardwood flooring that has been covered by carpet since the house was built back in the 60's. It looks great and was a nice surprise to come home to. I love the renovations—but only after the fact! I can't deal with the mess as the renovations take place. Lynn has decided to do them while I am away from home.

Whisper is headed to CA next month. Here is her most recent photo. She is growing up to be a beauty!
Joyslyn's Midnight Confessions (Whisper)

I have this weekend "off"—if that is a good way to refer to having nowhere to go and nothing to do but laundry, housecleaning, dog grooming, and (much needed) grocery shopping. Next week, I'll be preparing for the Hawkeye Kennel Club show in Iowa City. Breaker is making his debut in the Best of Breed class. Raven and Maggie are both entered also. I'll let you know how that goes!

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


Friday, June 10, 2011

Good-bye Old Friend

Joyslyn's Clown Jewel
November 16, 1996 - June 10, 2011

See you at the Rainbow Bridge, buddy.

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you, and oh so sad when you have to say good-bye.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

My Weekend

Ch. Joyslyn's Paisley, 2005

Lynn and I had an unusual experience this past weekend—we actually went together on a trip that involved three overnight stays! Now, those of you who lead normal, married lives might find that statement odd but, trust me on this, we very seldom go away together because of the dogs. It is difficult to find someone to take care of them for an extended time, and when we do find someone, I get so worried about what's happening at home with both of us gone, that Lynn prefers to stay home rather than to go with me and listen to me fret constantly! 

We manage to take turns getting away, me to dog shows and work-related conferences and Lynn to car shows with his street rod.

At any rate, our son Aaron and his wife Amanda, agreed to take care of the dogs while Lynn and I took a short trip to Nebraska. First, we visited my mom, my sister, and brother-in-law and had a wonderful time with them, eating Mom's great meals, digging through a huge box of old family pictures and reminiscing, and just plain hanging out and enjoying each other's company. I had not been "home" for over a year so it was good to be back and see what changes had happened to my hometown. One thing that impressed me was that the old movie theatre had been renovated and re-opened, run by an entrepreneur class at the high school and supported by parent and community volunteers.  We went to a movie there, for old times sake, paying just $4 for a ticket to see Thor!

The latter part of our journey took us to David City, NE, where we lived for 16 years until we moved to Illinois in 1989. In the spring of 1973 both of us were hired to teach, starting that fall, at Aquinas High School. Lynn was hired to teach speech and drama and direct the school's plays. I was hired to teach English. Lynn left after 4 years to go back to school for his Masters Degree, while I stayed for 16 years, teaching Freshman and Sophomore English. It was so hard to leave that school when the time came for us to move to Illinois because Lynn accepted a teaching position at Western Illinois University. The Aquinas faculty and students were part of my family. As a matter of fact, on our moving day, the seniors were excused from classes in the morning so all could come to our house to help us load the U-haul, to clean the house after everything was removed, and to say good-bye.

Aquinas High School was celebrating its 50th anniversary so we went to David City to attend the banquet, hoping to see former colleagues and former students. We were not disappointed. We had a wonderful time, once again reminiscing and seeing pictures through the years. I left with a "big head" after hearing everyone tell me, "You haven't changed a bit." (Somehow they missed the extra wrinkles and white hairs. It must have been the lighting in the gym!)

Another great thing about visiting David City is that it is the home of KV Vet Supply! Of course we had to stop there to do some shopping! I had my list all made out and—a lot of money later—we loaded the boxes in the car. (Hey…I saved a ton of shipping costs!)

On the home front: Little Dreamer is not a happy girl at present. All her siblings recently left for their new homes and she is lonely. The three girls are 4 months older than Dreamer so they are a little too rough in their play with her. She is managing to deal with it, as long as I supervise and don't let the play go on too long.

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