Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Latest Pictures

Christmas was great at our house, and I hope you all had a wonderful holiday also. Both our sons were here, as were our daughter-in-law and granddaughter. We had fun opening our gifts, laughing a lot, eating too much, and just being together again. I am thankful for technology and its ability through Skype to allow us to be with our daughter who lives in Florida. We Skyped a couple times on Christmas Day, and all of us felt closer and better for it. Now if someone could just figure out how to send hugs and kisses across the miles....

Our living room looks so sad and bedraggled. The tree is still up, but with no presents under it, it just looks forlorn and depressing. I'm tempted to take it down and put the decorations away.

We received both paper and electronic Christmas cards. All were very appreciated. It's great to be in touch with family and friends, to read the reviews of everyone's year, and to receive photos of kids, grandkids, and Lhasas. I managed to send electronic cards to friends and family who have email, but I still have to mail paper cards to those who do not. I admit to being so lazy this week. I am fortunate that I work at a university that gives us a paid week off between Christmas and New Year, and I've simply enjoyed the time off by reading and relaxing. It's been great, but it's starting to get old. I'll be ready to go back to work when the time comes and will certainly be more productive!

Here are the latest photos of the puppies taken on the 24th when they were 3 weeks old. They are getting so cute. They are up on their feet and toddling around. They are responding excitedly to the sound of my voice. They still nap frequently but are more and more active for longer periods of time. Enjoy their photos!

Lazy Max


Max again

Ellie (or maybe Nellie)
Ellie/Nellie again

Lazy Mallory

Mallory again
Oh...and we finally got around to taking pictures of Raven. Here are a couple of the better ones from her photo shoot. Click the photos if you want to see larger images.

Ch. Joyslyn's Midnight Enchantment ("Raven")


Another picture of Raven


I'll post puppy pictures again next week. In the meantime, please have a fun but safe New Year's Eve, and always remember that

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

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2013!

Joyce


Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Greetings




My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? ~ Bob Hope
 
Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. ~ Calvin Coolidge
 
As the final countdown to Christmas day begins, I wish you all the warmest of greetings – for yourselves and your families.
 
Thanks to those of you who sent Christmas cards, especially the ones that included photos of your Lhasas that bring such joy to your lives. Although I enjoy receiving Christmas cards, I admit to having a "Bah, Humbug" attitude when it comes to sending them, so I really admire those of you who take time to send a card and note of greeting during this special time of year.
 
Here are some precious early Christmas gifts we received on December 3rd. Now two weeks old, the puppies are eating well and doing great. Their eyes opened on Sunday, always a momentous occasion! Max reminds me much of Rafe. Our granddaughter was not too pleased when I named Nellie, and thought "Ellie" was a better choice, so we'll see. Mallory was named by her new family who have been waiting for her arrival for a long time.

Mallory
Max

Nellie (or maybe Ellie)
Since I began this blog in March 2009, I've signed off by saying, "Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you," but with this post, I am changing it. Life is "good" no matter what. "Good" doesn't necessarily mean "easy" or "happy all the time." Life is "good" when we love ourselves and others. Life is "good" when we make positive choices to make it "good" for ourselves, our families, our friends and neighbors, and the millions of others in the world. Life is "good" when we are optimistic and caring in spite of all the crap the world and other people pile on us. Life is "good" when we choose to persevere in the face of defeat and not give up when it would be so easy to do so.

But…

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

Merry Christmas, my friends. May God continue to bless each and every one of you, not just during this holiday season but throughout the coming year.

Joyce



Monday, December 10, 2012

Just Some Puppy Pictures

How many days until Christmas??? The tree is up and decorated. I am waiting for two more online orders to arrive and think I have only two more gifts to purchase for one son. My goal is wrap a few presents each day from now through the 21st. In the meantime, there are Lhasas to love...

Here is the weekly photo update on Rafe and Maggie's puppies. The babies are a week old today and doing very well. Maggie is a good mom who cannot stand to be away from her puppies for more than 5 minutes. (That will change in a few weeks!)

So here we go...
These first two photos are of the gold and white parti-color female, taken just as she was yawning. Cute! I love how symmetrical the markings are on her head.




This one is of the gold female...













and this one is the gold male.


In the last post I mentioned not having taken pictures of Windy for a while, so we took care of that and here she is...

Windy
I enjoyed an email and picture from Cooper's owner. Cooper was one of Breaker and Mira's puppies, born in April. Melissa wrote that Cooper "is such a joy. We all simply adore him. He and my daughter Amia are the best of buddies. I think Cooper believes she is one of his litter mates! He will only eat breakfast when she does and the same for dinner. They enjoy playing chase throughout our house."

Who said Lhasas and children don't "click?" Here is cute little Cooper:

Cooper, 7 months
More pictures next week. By then the puppies' eyes will be open!

In the meantime, I hope your holiday preparations are going well.

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

Joyce

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Lot of News and Photos

Gabe, one of Rafe's siblings



With this post, I have a lot of news and many photos to share.

Griffin I, one of Rafe's siblings
Why does it seem as if Thanksgiving was months ago instead of less than two weeks ago? Rafe and his siblings recently had their first birthdays. I heard from most of their owners and received pictures which I am sharing. That year went quickly!!

Zora, Rafe's sister
I also received an email from the owner of a puppy whose picture appears on my website. The picture originally drew so many emails from people who wanted to buy him that I had to post a note saying the dogs shown on that page were not for sale. So here is Yogi as a puppy and as a much older adult. I'm not sure about his age but think he must be close to 10 by now. He is a much cherished Lhasa Apso! Note the color change.


Yogi as a Senior Citizen
Yogi as a puppy
Rafe, Windy, and I went to the Edwardsville Illinois Kennel Club show on November 30, December 1 and 2. We traveled with our Shiba friends, Jane and Rebecca, who were a great help to me at ringside. (I helped them with their Shibas too.) We all had good fortune. Jane's male took a major. Her bitch finished on Saturday. She moved her up to BOB and she took Select Bitch on Sunday, earning her some Grand Championship points. Rebecca's specials bitch also earned points toward her Grand Championship each of the three days, and her Bred-by Bitch took the points on Sunday.


Rafe in the Breed ring
As for my Lhasas…Rafe took Select Dog on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, he won the Breed, so he garnered point toward his Grand Championship all three days also. He had six Grand Championship points going into these shows. He has now completed the requirement for three majors (he has 4) and the requirement involving defeating other champions three times. He now needs only 8 single points to get the Grand Championship title. Here is a picture taken of him in the ring on Sunday. At the end of this post is a video of him in the Group ring (turn the volume down on your computer). I am so proud of all the accomplishments of this young dog. He has done a lot in the short time he's been shown. Now we will take it easy for a while, perhaps going to a few shows starting in February but mostly just waiting for spring and warmer, safer weather for travel. He still has not gone through a coat change so I imagine that will be coming very soon and will keep me busy on long winter nights.

Windy was not happy in the show ring. I did not enter her on Friday, thinking to give her some time to get used to the show – its smells and sounds. I was disappointed in her performance as she does so well at training class. She did not put her tail up in the ring on Saturday but she did walk and she did a nice job standing for examination. She had just come in season a couple days before we left, so that was not helping matters either! On Sunday, she was better. The tail was sort of halfway up and at times she forgot herself and managed to get it briefly over her back. I think if we would have had another day, she would have been more comfortable in the ring. Ditto if she had not been the only one in her class. She did much better during the Winners Bitch competition when she had other dogs to follow. I need to get some photos of her too. She is a pretty Lhasa.

Maggie went to the vet on the 28th and the x-ray showed three puppies. Her due date was December 7th. I say "was" since when I came home last night, Lynn, who had gotten home from work before I did, was at the door saying, "You should see Maggie and her three puppies!" Oh my goodness, was that a surprise. She showed no signs, not even a temperature drop that AM that would have led me to believe she would have her puppies that afternoon. Thank goodness the labor and delivery went well. So, here is a picture of the newborns. The parti-color is a girl, as is the gold that has a tiny spot of white on her shoulder. The gold with the large white spot is a male.
Rafe and Maggie's puppies

I'd been interested to find out what colors they would be. Blacks and reds were possibilities, as were either gold and white or black and white parti-colors.

During the weekend after Thanksgiving, we did a "Maggie Photo Shoot" since I knew I'd soon have to clip her coat in preparation for the coming litter. Two of the photos taken of her are at the end of this post. She is so pretty. (If I do say so myself!) :-)

It was hard for me to take a clipper to that lovely coat. I'd put it off much longer than usual.

Now that the puppies have been born, you can expect frequent postings of them as they grow.

In the meantime, for those of you shopping for Christmas gifts, may you find discount prices on everything you buy.

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

Joyce

video




Maggie
Maggie



Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!




As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Happy Thanksgiving! As you prepare your holiday meal, take time to appreciate all the things in your life that are good and positive. We all have "bad" days and a multitude of lousy things that happen to us that make us cry, "Why me?" but I truly believe that if we take even a few minutes to count our blessings, we soon realize life is good.

I tried that last night as I walked from my office to the parking lot after work. My goodness, even in that walk of no more than a block, I had a long, long list and I had not even begun!

We're soon headed to the three days of shows in Belleville, Illinois, on November 30, December 1 and 2. I'm taking Rafe and Windy. As far as plans go for now, these will be our last shows until spring. It will be good to be together with the midwest Lhasa people again. This show has drawn quite a few Lhasas from WI, IL, MO and I don't know where else! We have majors in both sexes each day and five specials.

The news that many of you have been waiting for is that we will soon have puppies. Maggie was bred to Rafe and the puppies are due December 7. If you emailed or called and asked to be put on a waiting list, let me know if you are still interested.

Below are pictures of Rafe and Maggie, the sire and dam of the expected litter. The one of Maggie is a portrait drawn by AKC judge and artist Ann Hier. Ann really captured Maggie in her drawing.
Ch. Joyslyn's Inherit the Wind
Ch. Joyslyn's Moonlight Magic

Finally, let me end with this Thanksgiving wish for you all:

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey be plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
and your pies take the prize,
and may your Thanksgiving dinner
stay off your thighs!

~Unknown

Count your Lhasa(s) when you count your blessings because….Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!

Joyce

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! (and Some Notes About the National Specialty)


The witches fly across the sky,
The owls go, "Who? Who? Who?"
The black cats yowl and green ghosts howl,
"Scary Halloween to you!"
~Nina Willis Walter

Happy Halloween, everyone! Some people love Halloween; others hate it. I fall more into the "dislike" category. It's a holiday I could do without. I'm not a person who enjoys dressing up in a costume, probably because my childhood memories involve a lot of crying over costumes that just did not turn out to be as impressive as I imagined. Then I had to go through the same ordeals with my children. (Cosmic justice???) As I pointed out to them, "People are going to give you candy whether you like your costume or not." Nonetheless, I've had some dramatic/traumatic moments tied to Halloween.

My best memories are of trick or treating in my grandmother's neighborhood. The ladies across the street gave us huge popcorn balls and caramel apples. The couple who lived a block down the street were noted for making trick or treaters sign a guest book each year, but they gave us all big Snicker bars (still my favorite!) so the burden of signing in was worth it. Of course my trick or treating years came before the advent of mini and bite size candy bars—and before the era of having to worry about children getting homemade treats.

We are well prepared for tonight's onslaught of ghosts, goblins, pirates, and Disney princesses. Our healthy treats include small boxes of raisins and fruit snacks, bags of pretzels, and packets of instant hot chocolate. I was smart this year and bought no candy—because I always end up eating the leftovers! We have no idea how many children to expect since our neighborhood consists mostly of grandma-and-grandpa-aged people. However, as Robert Brault said, "I don't know that there are real ghosts and goblins, but there are always more trick-or-treaters than neighborhood kids." It is certainly true where we live!

I have some favorite bloggers and know how disheartening it is when they do not post for a while. My deepest apologies to all who have been checking this site and wondering what the heck is going on because I have not posted for nearly 3 weeks. I'll lay the blame on being sick and then packing for the National Specialty, attending the National Specialty, and recovering from the National Specialty!

The American Lhasa Apso Club's 2012 National Specialty week has come and gone. The days leading up to my trip to Mansfield, MA, were rather panicky at moments. I was quite ill with a monster of a cold that refused to go away. In desperation I went to the doctor, saying I would be traveling and sharing a ride to MA and a hotel room with a friend who I was sure did not want to listen to me coughing 24/7. Four prescriptions later, things were looking up. I finally took a sick day and allowed my body to rest and heal. By Friday, I was not over the cold but at least I could travel without coughing day and night (and risking Marsha either tossing me out of the van or making me ride in a crate on the top, as she casually mentioned perhaps doing).

The back of the loaded van
Marsha arrived from Fargo on the evening of the 12th. We loaded my things in her van in the dark. It was a miracle that everything fit! She spent the night then we took off for MA at 7:00 Saturday morning in the rain. We drove in drizzle, light rain, heavy rain…rain, rain, rain…all day. We almost made it to Buffalo when the rain got so heavy as we were going through a "no shoulder" construction zone that we decided to give it up for the night and find a motel. We were able to drive to Mansfield in mostly clear skies on Sunday, reaching our destination by mid-afternoon. Without the rain, the scenery was gorgeous. The trees were in full fall color.

Specialty week was great. The Merrimack Lhasa Apso Club was the host club, and its members did a wonderful job. If the behind-the-scenes activities were frantic, there was no evidence of it for those not involved in the crisis. One of the best things about attending National Specialty week is seeing people I have not seen since the last specialty or for ages because they haven't attended a specialty in a while. Our specialties move among three different regions of the country (east, middle, and west). While many ALAC members attend the National year after year, others opt to attend only when it is in their regions.
The side of the loaded van

This year, I was happy to see Dorothy Kendall (Orlane Lhasas) and Janet Whitman (Ja-Ma Lhasas), neither of whom I had seen for a while. Janet has not attended a National in many, many years. Janet was one of my early mentors, along with Marjorie Lewis. For many years the prefix Ja-Ma Joyslyn appeared in many of our Lhasas' names. Both Dorothy's and Janet's Lhasas have had a positive impact on the breed over the years. They are both indeed grand ladies in Lhasa history and in laying foundations for the future. I have been privileged to know them.



 ALAC mourned the passing of two  wonderful long-time members: Ann Burton and Ray Sledzik. Both loved the breed and served the club well in many capacities. Ann most recently as the Recording Secretary and Ray for 25 years as ALAC's AKC Delegate.

Janet and Dorothy with me



Janet with me before the banquet













Rafe on the bed for a tummy rub
Now to news about Rafe and Windy and their experiences during Specialty week. Neither had traveled that far in a crate before and they turned out to be excellent, uncomplaining travelers. Neither had stayed that long in a hotel before. Rafe was a good, quiet boy. Windy, thinking that her job was to listen intently and bark to warn us if someone outside our room was making noise, did her job only too well. Drunk, noisy people coming down the hall in the middle of the night certainly heard her voice, as did people in all the rooms around ours. Not a good thing. She's going to have to get over that!

Windy was entered in the MLAC Specialty and Sweepstakes as well as the ALAC Regional and National Specialties. Monday was her first time in the ring (also her 6th month "birthday," always a landmark occasion for show dogs). She was spooky and nervous, not too sure of herself but trusting me. She took 4th place (out of 5) in both the Sweeps and the Specialty. That was it for her placements for the week. The two ALAC specialty shows each had entries of ten 6-9 month old puppy bitches. Very impressive to see the up and coming females. By Friday, Windy was comfortable and more secure in the ring, as long as there were no unexpected noises. We had a very naughty puppy ahead of us each day in the ring. By Friday, Windy very much wanted to discipline her, so I had my work cut out for me. Windy has a distinct alpha personality, even at her young age! The photo below is of Windy on the table being examined by Sweepstakes judge Pat Martello.


Windy in the Sweepstakes ring
Rafe was shown three times in the Best of Breed class and, for the most part, I was happy with his performance. The rigor of Best of Breed judging at a National is hard on a 10-month old puppy who is not used to standing still for what seems like hours on end. It was hard on me too, trying to convince a bored, wiggly puppy that he had to stand, and stand, and stand! We have few Lhasas in our area so the dogs are not used to having to hold a stack for long periods of time. Even in Group judging, we all relax our dogs while the judge is examining the others. Not at a Specialty! By Friday, Rafe was ready to call it quits and I was glad when we did not make the cut and were able to leave the ring early. We were getting frustrated with each other. He needs to toughen up! That will come with experience.

Rafe was part of a photo shoot at the National, but he did not want to cooperate and was nearing a meltdown. The picture of him on the right was taken as the photographer's assistant attempted to soothe him. You can see that he appreciates her soft touch. Look at that expression on his face. Awww.....
Rafe at the photo shoot

Rafe getting some extra loving
One thing that made me very proud was Keke Kahn awarding Rafe an Award of Merit at the ALAC Regional Specialty on Thursday. Keke is a revered Lhasa Apso breeder judge. When she went over Rafe, she commented on the kink in his tail, reminding me that a kink was a sign of good luck. I told her that it certainly had been lucky for him so far. I'll post the photo taken with Keke and his Award of Merit ribbon when the photographer gets it to me. I'll also note here that as an exhibitor, a mentor, and co-chair of the Judges Education Committee, I was so pleased that Keke took the time as she was judging to allow the prospective Lhasa judges being mentored at ringside to get a good look at each dog being exhibited and to comment to those judges briefly about what they should be seeing as the dogs moved. At the seminar the next day, those who had attended on Thursday remarked on how much her doing that helped them to understand some of the finer points of Lhasa judging.
While the drive to MA took us 2 days, the trip home was faster. We were determined to drive through until we reached my house. We loaded the van in drizzly weather Friday night in the dark, left Saturday at 7:00 AM, and pulled into my driveway about 1:50 Sunday morning. For the majority of those hours we were driving in rain.

Since my return home, I've been unpacking, resting, and catching up at work and at home, especially with grooming. My husband had the house and dogs in great shape when I got home, but once we unloaded all my "stuff" the house no longer looked tidy.

Given Hurricane Sandy's devastating impact on so many people's lives, I should not complain about the problems we've had at home since I returned from MA, one of them being not having heat for four days because the furnace died and no part was to be had until yesterday. The dogs were comfy since their room has its own heat source. We hung out a lot in the family room and enjoyed the fireplace, so we did not suffer too badly. (I will say that I looked forward to going to work on Monday so I could enjoy my warm office!) We recently paid over $6000 to have all the copper water pipes (which were seeping) replaced. Now we have a definite leak coming from somewhere that has yet to be determined. Our new floor tile in the remodeled family room is fine, but the sealant is defective because it keeps coming up. The company that installed the tile has repaired it once. When it came loose again, they called the manufacturer (Congoleum) to come to determine what was wrong. It's been a month and two additional phone calls to Congoleum. No one has shown up yet to evaluate the problem! What impressive customer service (if you like negative impressions, that is)!

November should be a quiet month. We have no shows until the 30th when we go to Belleville, IL, for a 3-day show weekend. That will be it for shows until next spring. I'm not certain yet if Maggie is pregnant. She was bred to Rafe in early October. She's "gone off her feed" and that is usually an early sign of pregnancy in my dogs. I could have an ultrasound done but I'm thinking, "Why bother? She either is or she isn't and time will tell anyway." It would be nice if someone developed an early pregnancy test for dogs but I imagine there would be some humorous stories about trying to get the dog to pee on the stick!

I've been fortunate to receive some updates and photos from people who have our puppies. Loretta sent a lovely photo of Griffin II, Rafe's litter brother, as he was running through the grass. Mary sent a photo of their brother, Gabe, enjoying a bully stick. She referred to him as her "precious companion." Ellen sent a photo of Oliver (we called him Noah) and Sherri sent a photo of Libby (we called her Rainy). Oliver and Libby were two of the puppies from Breaker and Mira's litter. Stacey sent a nice email about Lola, who is evidently quite a character and a "big dog" in a little Lhasa body! Lola was born in 2011 and you can see photos & video of her in the archived blogs. Around here, she was known as "Dreamer." "Lola" is a more suitable name.

Along with all of you, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy as they pull together to clean up their homes and communities and to rebuild their lives following the storm's wrath.

If you have not taken advantage of early voting in your area, please remember to vote on November 6th. Voting for our leaders, making our voices heard, and impacting the country's future is not only a right but also a responsibility of each American citizen. Don't take it lightly.

As always, life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!

Joyce
Griffin II


Gabe

Noah



Libby

























Monday, October 8, 2012

Blessings


"Reflect upon your present blessings -- of which every man has many -- not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some." –Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings

When I last wrote, I was headed for Nebraska to visit family and to take part in the celebration of my mom's 80th birthday. My sister and I, assisted by other family members and some of Mom's friends, hosted an open house and dance to honor Mom. My mother is a young 80 in mind, body, and spirit and I hope that I will be so blessed when I am her age. So, yes, it was indeed a blessing to make the trip to and from Nebraska safely; to see my sister, brother-in-law, and nieces after a long time apart; to visit with aunts, uncles, cousins, members of their families, high school classmates, and other friends from my hometown.

Mom came back to Illinois with me to spend 8 days with my family. We had our own birthday celebration for her and she got a taste of life with the Johansons (boring). I had dog grooming to catch up on, so I'm sure that was exciting for her to watch. LOL! She got to spend time with her two grandsons, her granddaughter-in-law, and her great granddaughter. We Skyped with my daughter who lives in Florida. We spent some time shopping. She went with me to a workshop I had to facilitate. We didn't do anything exciting, but both of us realized that we had never in recent memory spent so much time alone with each other. During her other visits to Illinois, she was always accompanied by my dad, a friend, my sister, or my niece. It was nice to be able to relax and chat and just appreciate being with each other.


Since Mom left, I've been fighting a devil of a cold, trying hard to get well before Saturday when I'll be leaving for MA and the Lhasa Apso National Specialty. A person who has been bragging for at least the last four years that she "never gets sick," I have learned that the common cold can make a person's life miserable in short order. I missed a lot of work last week, and my co-workers are still looking askance at me if I happen to cough. Cold remedies, Tylenol, cough drops, and boxes of Kleenex seem to be a basic part of my life nowadays.

But, thinking positive…back to the specialty. Rafe and Windy are going with me. She will be 6 months old on the 15th and will make her show debut that day at the local club's specialty show. I'm excited about showing both her and Rafe. I've written a huge, long list to remind myself of all the things that I have to pack and now am praying that there will be room in Marsha's van for everything that right now seems so essential for the trip.

I've found four Lhasa photos that I want to enter in the Specialty's photo contest. Three will be entered in the "Best Head Study" competition. The fourth will be entered in the "Most Humorous" competition. As I looked through my print and digital photo albums, as well as the many packets of dog photos we've collected through the years, I again realized how blessed I've been with beautiful Lhasas and beautiful friends I've made because of my involvement with showing and with the American Lhasa Apso Club.

I don't have much to report regarding the dogs. I have not been to any shows since Rafe finished in August so I am certainly looking forward to participating in the specialty week events in MA next week. Some of you may be interested to know that, if the breeding last week was successful, we will have puppies in early December.

I feel blessed to receive emails like those that have come in the past few weeks from puppy buyers giving me updates, sending photos, and thanking me for their Lhasas. The following note was indeed a blessing. It's from Laurie, who is writing about Zeus (whose name when he lived with us was Zach). Zeus went to live with Laurie and her family a year ago. She wrote:
"Joyce: It's hard to believe that a year has gone by since we adopted our Zeus. He fit in so easily into the family, it feels like we have had him forever. We want to let you know that he is happy and thriving. Here are some things we learned about him the last year: He is a very quiet dog. So quiet that people sometimes do not notice him right away. But once you get to know him, you see that he is always observing those around him. If he were a person, he is the person you would talk to to find out what really happened. He is a lover, not a fighter. He approaches people, dogs, squirrels, cats, etc. with a friendly wag. He will fight if he has to, but it is to defend someone or something he loves. There are three squirrels who I swear wait for him to come out for his second walk of the morning and then taunt him. They wait til he gets close and then run up 8 feet up the tree and chirp at him. He falls for the same trap every morning. He doesn't bark, he just sits wagging his tail and waiting for them to come down. He loves girls. It must be the registered name that does it to him! (Note from me: His registered name is Ch. Joyslyn MLS Dakota Playboy At Heart.) He is extremely loyal to his family. I am fortunate to have been chosen as his primary person, and he likes to follow me around to see what I am doing. He is even loyal to his little loveable, but bratty to him, companion Zora. Believe me, if he wanted to take out any frustration, he would have plenty of justification since she is constantly bossing him around. Everything I need to know about not letting little things bug me, I can learn by watching him. He still looks very GQ even with his "I run in grass, leaves, through the Zora guantlet, etc." hair. All male dogs inherently love trees and fire hydrants. We have both on our front lawn, and he quickly figured out what to do to them on his walks. A Zeus lick makes everything better. 20 Zeus licks and you can take on the world. Life is really much better with a Lhasa to love and to love you back… Thank you so much for allowing us to adopt him. He is a perfect fit."

Well, I teared up when I read that! People often ask me how I can let my adults go to new homes after raising them, showing them, loving them. It is not easy but the rewards have been great over the years. The dogs are well-loved and the people are so generous to share episodes of their Lhasas' lives with me. Blessings indeed.

Judy wrote recently about Izzy, the Lhasa she is training for agility. Izzy has a mind of her own, as do all Lhasas, and her debut in the agility ring was a flop. She got loose on the grassy field and decided "to heck with that jump, I'm going exploring." Izzy has been designated as a healing dog. Judy explains, "She is still my sweet doctor who checks every morning on the condition of the nerve. Mayo Clinic is also keeping notes on these 'healing dogs'. Also, the Veteran's Administration is working on a study on dogs who can tell when their masters might suffer a PTSD attack. No one can explain this to date, but I am sure someone will come up with the answer. Izzy's picture and info have been entered into the University of Chicago's notes." Izzy was about a year old when Judy bought her. Yes, it was hard to let her go, but whenever I get a note from Judy that talks about the way Izzy cares for her, I know that Izzy was born to be a blessing for Judy.

Those are just two of the notes I've received recently from people telling me about the Lhasas, puppies and adults, they've purchased from us. I treasure each note, update, and photo I receive. One elderly man whose Lhasa is now 13, sends me a Christmas card every year with a little note of appreciation in it. Another couple celebrate their Lhasa's birthday each year and send us an invitation to the big party (all presents donated to an animal shelter). Those are just a few. Blessings indeed.

I'll let you know about the specialty week next time I write! Wish us safe travel and luck in the ring!

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you. May you all have Lhasa blessings each day of your lives.

Joyce











Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just Some Ramblings


Well, it is official! I have two new champions. AKC sent the championship certificate for Maggie earlier this month. Rafe's came on Saturday. Speaking of Rafe, here is the photo of him taken for his Best of Breed win on August 25. Many thanks to judge Jose Luis Payro for that exciting win!

Let's see, when I last wrote, I told you about a tooth cleaning spray that said the plaque build up would be gone in 30 days of use. I've been spraying Walker's teeth morning and evening, two squirts on each side of his mouth for nearly that long. I see no progress yet. Perhaps a miracle happens on day 30???

I'm having the same bad luck with the shampoo. It did NOT remove the pee stains from Maggie's coat when it was used full strength and allowed to remain on for 15 minutes. It smells great. I diluted it 20 to 1 as suggested on the bottle and used it to bathe Rafe. It made his coat soft, fly-away and static-y. But it smells great.

This year's American Lhasa Apso Club National Specialty week starts October 15, less than a month away. I am making lists in my head and trying to prepare myself for packing and making the long trip from Macomb, IL, to Mansfield, MA. Rafe is starting his coat change and I dread the thought of his coat matting while we are making the drive. Walker, his sire did that to me, back in 2003 when we were on our way to the National in CA. While my friends got some much needed sleep, I sat on the motel room floor, watching a Mr. Ed marathon while conducting a grooming marathon of my own, lasting hours. I could not get that stupid "A horse is a horse of course of course" song out of my head for days! I am sure I still know all the words. I have not watched Mr. Ed since! LOL


Speaking of Walker…my boy will be 10 years old on Saturday. I love that dog! He was so much fun to show. I still keep his coat long. I wanted to take him to this year's specialty as a veteran again, but knew it would be impossible to show both him and Rafe and do them each justice. He had a good time at last year's specialty and would probably appreciate being at another one if only he did not have to make the long trip to get there.

Many members of the American Lhasa Apso Club are mourning the death of Ann Burton, long time club member and good friend to many. Ann attended our national specialties and was so proud of her Lhasas. I knew her best from my work on the ALAC Board of Directors. Ann was our club Secretary for a number of years. My condolences go to her close friends and family. She will be missed.

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you…and family too! I get to see my Mom and sister this weekend for the first time in months and months. Since we're celebrating Mom's birthday, many other family friends and relatives will be there too. It's going to be fun!

Joyce






Friday, September 7, 2012

It's September Already??


My favorite poem is the one that starts 'Thirty days hath September' because it actually tells you something. ~ Groucho Marx

Yes, September has 30 days, and only 23 are left! I'm looking at my calendar knowing this month is going to fly by. Time always does when I'm busy!

August 23, 2012 - New Champion Rafe
First, I want to share the photo taken on the day Rafe finished. Here the two of us are, posing for that finishing photo. I think he is gorgeous, although I admit to being quite biased about him! He's been enjoying a respite from the shows after going so many weekends in a row. I took Both Windy and him to class on Tuesday, and he at least remembered what it was all about. He hates to stand still on the floor for much time so we need to work on that before the specialty.

I don't have the Best of Breed photo yet, but the proofs of it looked good. I'm hoping it will come next week.

Windy did a great job at class. Obviously, the trip to the 4 Minnesota shows did her a world of good regarding her attitude toward wearing a lead and walking with her tail up. She owned that training ring! Head held high, tail up, she flew around with a "look at me" attitude that I hope she keeps. She does think pretty highly of herself, I have to admit. Here's a picture of her playing with our cat, a Russian Blue named Boris. (The picture also presents an opportunity for you to see the new flooring for the family room.)  ;-)
Windy and Boris at play

And, while we are doing pictures, here is one of Maggie, and one taken of Belle and me in Minnesota. Her new owner brought her to see me again. Belle is doing great and enjoys Mary and the other two Lhasas. The puppy pictures were sent by the owners of Lucky and Wrigley, two of the black puppies that were born at the end of April.

Maggie
Belle with me. It was good to see her.
A day at a dog show would not be complete without a shopping tour through the various vendor booths. Vendors abounded at the 4-days of the Minnesota shows, and I did my share of shopping and spending money. I had my clipper blade sharpened, then put it in a place where I would be sure to find it when I got home. Alas…I have no idea where I put it! Even St. Anthony, my go-to guy for lost items, has not been helpful in this instance.

Lucky, age 4 months

Wrigley,  age 4 months
The Petzlife vendor introduced Karen, LaVonne, and me to a line of natural products, one of which was the Petzlife Oral Care product. It comes in a spray or a gel. I bought the spray because it seemed less messy than putting gel on my fingers then rubbing it onto the dogs teeth or gums. Anyway, the product is 100% guaranteed to get rid of icky plaque in 30 days of use. I decided to try it on Walker, who is due for a teeth cleaning at the vet one of these days. The hardest thing about using the product is that the dog cannot eat or drink for a half hour before application or a half hour after application. I have trouble remembering to take his water away and then, when I do remember, the schedule gets all thrown off! The product is applied with 2 sprays on each side of the mouth twice a day. We're on Day 8 so far. It smells good. It must taste fine because he is not complaining about it. If it works, I'll let you know. If it doesn't, the company will be making good on its guarantee.

I also bought an Isle of Dogs shampoo that is supposed to work well for removing stains from light coats. I really needed it for Maggie because she insisted on sitting down when she peed and always had yellow stains, especially on her left back foot. Since she is now finished, I haven't yet given the product a try. I wanted it to be a challenge!  Again, I'll let you know the results.

Prior to leaving for the Minnesota shows, I visited our local WalMart where I happened to find some dog treats called America's VetDogs Treats. I noticed they were made in America, rather than in China, and that they were made by Bil-Jac, which is the brand of dog food I use. So, I bought a bag. The treats are soft, easily broken apart for use as training incentives, and my dogs love, love, love them. While we were strolling through the vendor booths at the show, we stopped at the Bil-Jac booth and I mentioned to the rep that I'd purchase the treats and how much the dogs liked them. He then told me about the VetDogs program. I went to the website to get more complete information and would like to share it with you.

Americas VetDogs provides guide dogs for veterans who are blind; service dogs for those with disabilities other than blindness; physical therapy dogs to work with amputees in military and VA hospitals; and combat stress relief dogs to be deployed overseas with combat stress control teams at no cost to the disabled veteran. Read more about the programs. The organization's mission is to help those who have served our country to live again with dignity and independence. Its work is supported entirely by individuals, corporations, foundations, and service organizations. This is a link to a YouTube video about the organization's work. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of VetDogs products support programs for disabled veterans and active duty servicemen and women. 

I'd like to end with this sign that has been making the rounds on Facebook. I think all of us who have owned multiple dogs can relate to the message.

 Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you. Give yours a big hug!

Joyce