Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catching Up: News and Photos

“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance” 
~ Jane Austen

This horrible heat and drought has definitely had an adverse effect on our lawn, flowers, shrubs, and trees. We have dead leaves all over the back yard, nearly bare branches on the shrub in the front yard, and no flowers left to brag about, in spite of trying to keep them all watered. The corn fields look awful and I imagine food prices will start to increase even in anticipation of a weak harvest. Oh fun!
Griffin I lounging on his swing in the shade

As far as the people and dogs at our house…well, all I can say is, "Thank God for air conditioning." I pray daily that ours doesn't break down.

So what have I been doing in the two weeks since my last post? I don't even remember most of it! We've been discussing plans for a make-over of our family room. (My husband watches too much DYI television!) Why do projects which seem so straightforward and fairly simple turn into costly, involved projects that entail more work than seemed necessary at the onset? What began as "Let's replace this old carpet" has become "Since we're going to do all that work, let's put up new wallpaper" to "what about adding a fireplace" to "we need an electrician to run a new wire for the fireplace" to … well, you get the idea. Someday I'll let you know what we finally decide!

The latest photo of Gabe
Fortunately, my husband is quite handy with building and renovating things, so that will save us some money. I am not sure about the wallpaper though. We tried a couple of times to hang wallpaper as a team in the early days of our marriage. After those experiences, we did not try again. I thought then that pre-marital counseling simply needs to be replaced by giving a couple contemplating marriage a room in which to hang wallpaper together. The room should have at least one door and a couple of windows and at least one corner should be off square. The wallpaper definitely needs a pattern that requires matching. If their relationship survives wallpapering that room, their marriage has a good chance of survival as well.

Last week went by amazingly fast. Flash (now Lucky) left early Wednesday morning. I was disappointed that I was not going to get to meet his new owners because I had to leave at 5:30 AM Wednesday to get to Springfield for a 2-day mini-conference. Fortunately, they got into town Tuesday night and were able to come to our home to meet Lucky (and me). Ted sent me an email describing their trip back to Winnipeg and saying, "All day Thursday he played, slept, played and was a bundle of joy throughout the day. The bottle bunny you gave us is his favorite toy.  He loves the noise and so do I. His disposition is excellent and seems very happy. A lot of the credit has to go to the breeder and his parents. Thursday night he was put into his carryall again and again a couple of barks and went to sleep until Friday morning. The routine you had him on works well for our schedule and will definitely help Lucky to adjust to his new surroundings…We have him at the office today and is a hit with the staff, and of course he is performing for everyone..."    

Zeus & Zora at a soccer game
Zora, looking much like Rafe!
I've been getting some updates and photos from most of Rafe's siblings' owners. Sister Zora and her buddy Zeus enjoy going to soccer games and cheering on their "kids." Brother Gabe spent some time with his trainer while his owner was out of town for her work. Griffin II had a similar, but longer, experience when his people went to Ireland. Griffin I remains a hit with everyone he meets. I've included some photos that were sent.

As for Rafe, he is gorgeous and has such a great disposition. After I returned from Springfield Thursday evening, I got him and Maggie groomed and all the show "stuff" packed in the car. I was in bed and asleep by 10:30. The alarm went off at 2:10AM. The dogs and I left at 3:30 for Waukesha, Wisconsin, and the dog shows being held there. (Another thing I am grateful for is 5 hour energy drinks.) I enjoy going to those shows mostly because it gives me a chance to see friends and hang out with other Lhasa breeders. The enjoyment is certainly not because of the show itself. It is an outdoor show, and this year the rings were awful. The grass had not been mowed and big clumps of weeds (the only green things still alive in the heat) made smooth movement difficult. Of course, the heat was exhausting and the humidity was high, especially under the tents, which allowed for shade but trapped the heat and humidity. Dogs and people suffered. We could not wait to show and go!

Griffin II, caught pestering that darn cat!
Friday was the Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club's Specialty show. The judge was Kathleen Kolbert. Although Rafe was not thrilled to be walking through the grass/weeds, he did well. He took Winners Dog (a 3 point major), Best of Winners, and Best Puppy in Specialty. Maggie took Reserve Winners bitch. Sadly, that day was the high point of the weekend for both of them. Oh well, "another day, another dog show," as the saying goes.

Saturday, Rafe was reluctant to move and I do not blame the judge for ignoring him.  Maggie took 3rd out of a class of 5. She did the same on Sunday. On Sunday, Rafe showed a lot better and I thought we might have a shot at the points again. Alas, he took Reserve.

We have three weekends of showing in August. Maggie needs three single points to get her championship. Rafe needs seven single points to get his. I hope they make some progress at these upcoming shows!

Speaking of shows, I've attached a flyer for the American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty show, which will be held in mid-October. If you need a vacation in October and want to see a lot of lovely Lhasas, join us in Mansfield, MA, for a week that is sure to be "Lhasa fun." My puppy Windy will be old enough to show that weekend so I may enter her in one or two of the shows for fun. There is no need to overdo it with a young puppy.

Stay cool! Enjoy the photos—and wish Maggie, Rafe, and me safe travel and good luck at the shows!

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


P.S. I've been getting emails from people inquiring about our next litter. All I can say is that it is still very much in the planning stage. If we do decide to do a breeding, it will more than likely happen in September or October and the puppies will not be ready for new homes until February or March.

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