Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Merry Christmas, Some Email, Some Pictures, and a Repeat Post!

Probably the reason we all go so haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we don't quite know how to put our love into words.
    ~Harlan Miller

I've been putting off sending Christmas cards again, and have noticed that others must also be putting aside that tradition and "going green" with email or eCards. The ones we receive with news from family and friends we seldom hear from are definitely appreciated, so I'm thinking that one of these days (soon) I need to get in gear. Perhaps I'll send out letters and cards with New Year's greetings instead.

It's been fun to get Christmas notes, cards, photos, and emails from previous puppy buyers who take time to update me on their Lhasas. I'll share some of the latest. Mary sent a Jib Jab video of Belle and her  other two Lhasas that was really cute. John writes a quick note in a card every year. He is quite elderly now. I think his Lhasa, Sparky, must be getting close to 15 years old. This year all he wrote was "Sparky is still living." I was glad to hear it. He makes good company for John. Tom and Penny wrote that their Griffin "is a very wonderful boy…"  On the left is a photo they sent of him.

Judy wrote about Ty and Izzy:  "The lhasa family is all doing well. Ty will hopefully be ready to enter 'jumpers and weaves' in February. Three weeks ago he decided he did not like the sound of the teeter, even if it was from another dog in class. He quickly rebounded when I brought steak the next week and dropped it like manna from heaven when the teeter made any noise.  He's back on track for now. Izzy is still my doctor…She still checks me every morning, and can find the area where it hurts. What an amazing dog!"

Each year I look forward to getting an update from Joe and Sharon about their Lhasa Giza. I think Giza is or soon will be 8 years old. Her sire is our Ch. San-Dhi Joyslyn's Icon and her dam is our Ch. Joyslyn's Secrets of the Heart. Sharon wrote, "It's been another year for our Giza and she is soooo cute. She is a very good friend. Always with one of us. Giza is still very puppy like which we love...Giza loves everyone. She just needs a chew bone and soft stuffed animals to cuddle with. Don't know what we would do without her."


We received a huge bundle of photos of Davy (aka Ch. Joyslyn's Heartthrob) from his owner, Ken, as well as a 10-page handwritten letter full of information about Davy and his exploits throughout the year. Here are two photos of Davy, one with his pile of toys (obviously the dog has nothing to play with!) and the other of him looking very beautiful and stoic. Ken loves Davy's long coat and takes great pains to keep it long, in spite of getting a lot of grief from his vet about it. Evidently, she sees no need for Davy to have long hair. Whose dog is it anyway???

Laurie wrote about her Lhasa trio, all Joyslyn's dogs: Zeus, Zora, and Hunter. "I am so excited because we finally got some great face shots of Hunter.  He is so cute, but I was worried that he was going to get left behind on the gorgeous radar scale in our household.  Well, his hair finally grew out a little so we can pull it back to see his eyes, and he is now growing out of the awkward toddler stage.
Result, he is very handsome.  I'm sending one of the funny shots from our Christmas card photo shoot.  He is way too cute.  Zeus as usual is not into the photo scene.  Zora is so photogenic and always ready for more pictures of her (in her crown this time!).  I think the Lhasas have a sense of humor.  Even Zeus seemed to tolerate us this time. I'm also including a few pictures from our July visit.  Zora and Rafe, you with Zeus, and a face shot of Lila.  Zeus clearly remembered you.  Zora and Rafe make me chuckle with the similar coloring…Miss Lila will enjoy the picture of her."

From the left: Zeus, Hunter, and Zora
Brother and sister, Rafe and Zora

Zeus on my lap. He enjoyed the visit but did not want to stay!

What Lila looked like in July! She has grown a lot since then!

A Repeat Post (because I just can't help myself!)

By now most people know that Carrie Underwood made a TV special based on "The Sound Of Music," which happens to be one of my favorite musicals. I was on my way to a dog show when it aired on December 5th, so I asked my husband to record it for watching later. I was able to see it this past weekend. It had way too many commercials! However, I enjoyed the singing.

One of my favorite songs is "My Favorite Things." And, as I sang along with Carrie Underwood, I recalled that I'd once written a blog post based on my favorite, wouldn't-want-to-be-without, items for the dogs and shows.

So, I dug through the archives and, here it is again folks…my list of favorites as written in March 2010. (I've made a few additions and revisions to it since then, realizing I'd omitted some important items!)

Here, in no special order, are some items that I definitely am glad I have to help me train, raise, and show the dogs.  In some cases, I've described why. In others, I think the reasons are self-explanatory.

1. Exercise Pens! Oh dear, I wish people who owned pets would discover what wonderful things exercise pens are. Raining cats and dogs?? Set up an ex-pen in your garage and avoid getting yourself and your dog soaked! Want to take the dog on the family picnic in the park? Take along the ex-pen and set it up so you can keep an eye on him. No fenced in yard and no time to walk the dog before you leave for work? Set up an ex-pen in the yard, on your deck or patio!

Ex-pens are sold in many different sizes to accommodate different size dogs. I have five ex-pens. four of my ex-pens are 24" tall and each panel is 24" wide. Each pen has 8 panels. The pens fold up into compact 2'x2' squares that are about 2"tall when laid flat. The 24" size works well for me because my dogs are not jumpers and because I can easily lean over and pick the dog up out of the pen. I had a 36" one once that had a door in it. I didn't care much for it; getting the dog out was darn inconvenient. However, I can understand how it'd be great for a dog that was a jumper. I asked my husband to take it apart, lay the panels on their sides and create a pen that is 24" wide with 36" panels. We took out a couple panels, making it 3' wide and 6' long. It doesn't fold up anymore but that is fine since it is the one we use permanently in the garage.

Two ex-pens stay in the trunk of my car and always go to shows with me, one for use at the hotel and one for use at the show site. Another is always set up in my garage. The other two are extras, folded up and carefully tucked away should I ever need them. Walker won one of them as a prize for taking a Group 1. The other, which is 30" high, was given to me when a friend passed away. 

At shows the ex-pens are set up outside with a plastic mat under them, protecting the dogs' coats from whatever surface is under the mat. (There have been some yucky ones, especially if we had to set up in a stall at a fairgrounds!) The woven plastic allows urine to flow through so the dogs don't trail their long coats in it. In hotel rooms, when the weather is rainy, windy, or snowy and I don't want to get show coats (or myself) all wet or messy, I set up the ex-pen with a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth under it, flannel side up. I generally put in some newspapers or piddle pads too. The flannel fabric absorbs the urine and the vinyl protects the hotel's floor. The pen can also be used as a barrier if the room is cramped and you want to allow your dog to use the hotel bathroom (cover the floor with a flannel backed table cloth, newspaper, or piddle pads to protect it). Put the partially opened ex-pen in front of the bathroom door so you can keep an eye on the dog.

The ex-pen in my garage used to be a fold-up pen but has now become a permanent fixture. We used zip ties to attach pieces of ¾" PVC pipe cut the length of each side. The pipe is attached across the middle of each side to provide the necessary stability. The sides are now rigid. They don't move or collapse. Again…it's a time saver and coat saver on inclement weather days. We bought a horse stall mat to cover the garage floor. Atop it, we put the exercise pen and thick layers of newspapers. Puppies are paper trained in that pen and have no problem understanding at shows what the pen is used for! 

The mats can easily be washed with soapy water and a hose, as can the tablecloths. I've also been known to put the tablecloths in the washer, set on delicate, and clean them that way. Buy the tablecloths at WalMart or Kmart after a holiday season and you can usually get a pretty good deal on them once they hit the clearance aisle! The ex-pens and mats can be ordered from any pet supply catalog. I got mine from PetEdge and KV Vet Supply.

The list continues:

2. Piddle pads. Need I say more??

3. Wire-bottomed 3' x 3' puppy play pens! We use a 3' x 3' for whelping puppies and have done so since the late 70's. 

4. Curved-blade scissors, used for trimming around feet.

5. Small electric (or battery operated) clippers for trimming between the pads of the feet.

6. My Chi hair iron. Excellent product for sealing the hair cuticle, adding shine to the dogs' hair, and giving the coats a lovely finished look!

7. Face combs!!! About 4 inches long. Great for mustaches! Great for training puppies to let you comb their faces and not nearly as threatening for them as a regular-size comb coming toward them.

8. Kenic Dry Pet Shampoo. It is not really "dry." It's a liquid. It just doesn't have to be rinsed out of the dogs' coat. There are many, many brands of rinse-less shampoos, but I like this one best. Rinse-less shampoos are timesavers both at home and at shows. They are not used for general bathing but just for emergency use on a soiled face, butt, or feet.

9. Latex bands for topknots, pony tails, and braids.

10. My Rubbermaid tub in which I pack my dog show "stuff," including grooming tools, grooming sprays, leads, ringside basket, treats, my Chi hair iron, my grooming smock, and sundry other essentials.

11. Water bottle adapters. These are drip-less, easy to transport, and so very handy since they keep dogs from plunging their faces into water bowls and thus keep faces dry.

12. "The Wheels," the name we've given to the wheeled cart on which we stack all the show equipment to be taken into the grooming building to our grooming spot. The exercise pens, the grooming tables, the ringside tables, wire crates, plastic storage tubs, tack boxes, etc., etc. It all goes on "the wheels" and is taken to the set up. Then we go back and load the dogs in their crates on "the wheels." Without them, showing dogs would be a lot heavier work and a lot more complicated. Bungee cords are also a "must" for use with wheels.

13. Pin brushes. They are wonderful for grooming long-coated dogs.

14. Ringside tables. In the "old" days, we used to take our dogs to ringside and sit by them on the floor. Thank goodness those days are over, especially now that we are older and it is harder to get up off the floor. We now have ringside tables. These are small, fold-up tables that are easily carried and set up at ringside. The dogs rest on them while waiting their turn in the ring, keeping them up and off the floor, away from other exhibitors' and spectators' feet. They also save the exhibitor a lot of leg and back pain!

15. Ringside baskets. These small totes are perfect for carrying essential grooming tools to ringside – a spray bottle, a Greyhound comb, a pin brush.

16. My bait bag which comes in soooo handy when my outfit doesn't have pockets!

17. My Edemco stand hair dryer which I have had since 1978 and which is still going strong! I don't know if Edemco still "makes 'em like they used to" but I hope I never have to find out!

18. Martingale leads.

And folks, here had to know it was coming! The Song! (to the tune of 'My Favorite Things" -- what else!)

Exercise pens atop plastic matting

Wide piddle pads with lots of thick padding

Wire-bottomed pens in which puppies play

These are some dog things that help make my day

My Chi hair iron and small electric clippers

Face combs and latex bands and curve-bladed snippers

Rubbermaid tubs and rinse-less shampoo

Without these dog things don't know what I'd do

The wheels that cart all my show stuff so gladly
Without which I know I would hurt my back badly
Bottle adapters that keep faces dry
Without these things I might break down and cry

A nice ringside table that stands oh so steady
Helping to keep my show Lhasas ready
Small ringside baskets with brushes and spray
These are some show things that help make my day

The black velcro bait bag that pins on so clever

My Edemco stand dryer that I've had forever

Martingale leads to show dogs round the rings

These are a few of my favorite dog things

Ribbons of purple, a color so pretty
Winning the points can make me quite giddy
The judges' opinions when they go my way
Sure go a long way toward making my day!

And, I guess you might also consider my favorite things as a helpful list for those of you who are looking to add more dog/show dog items to your belongings! If you're just starting out, it might make shopping easier.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone. I wish all of you happiness, health, prosperity and  Lhasa love for the coming year.

More to come in 2014! Until then, remember...

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


Friday, December 13, 2013

Email, Photos, Show Results

Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.  ~Calvin Coolidge, 1927

Christmas is fast approaching and I suppose the holiday season and preparations are on everyone's mind lately. In case I don't have time to write next week, I'll take this early opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Email and Photos

I received emails with some cute -- and very much appreciated -- photos. Maria and her family celebrated Ella's 1st birthday and sent a picture of Ella with her birthday treat.

I also received an email and photo from the Johnson family, who own Ella's litter brother, Snicker. They sent a picture of his birthday celebration also.

Robert and Catherine recently sent photos of their Mallory, litter sister to Snicker and Ella, as she celebrated her birthday. Here is one of them.

 They wrote, "We just downloaded a couple of Mallory's birthday pictures.  Thank you  for our sweet girl - she has blessed our lives this year with lots of laughs and  entertainment, and lots of kisses and cuddles.  She has helped us through the loss of our Mandy.  She is a sweetie!!" They went on to say that, like Rafe, Mallory does not like to sit still for pictures.

Cute pictures, but then, consider the subjects! That litter was small (3) but a very nice one. We are hoping to repeat the breeding this month or next.

I also received an email and photo from Cindy, who owns Jethro, a litter brother to our Lila. Cindy wrote, "Hi Joyce, Merry Christmas!
We did four weeks [of obedience training], took a break then did the entire six weeks of beginning obedience.  Jethro walked away with a completion certificate and I learned a lot.  The training is really for the human.  The trainer used treats and positive reinforcements which Jethro is all about treats. She used Jethro as her demo dog a couple of the nights which made me proud because he was totally focused when he was in the center of the room with all eyes on him.  He really excelled at the social interaction at the end of each class!  The trainer did call him lazy but said he did win the way too cute award.  On the down command he never really saw a reason to get up and repeat the process, down was good and a treat was icing on the cake for him...Jethro keeps our house hopping, he is a delight and a devil all rolled into a very cute package.  The boy is never still.  He is very social with all, he has really bonded with my 4 year old niece...Jethro definitely has the dominate personality and can get very stubborn when he doesn't get his own way...he is a Lhasa!….Bill calls Jethro Black Beard the pirate.  He can't go out to potty without a toy or a sock which he snags at the last second then carries around the yard."

I also heard from Ted and Evelyn, who live in Canada and who own Lucky (you've read about Lucky's exploits before!) They sent a photo card of Lucky and a note: "Mr   “Mall Greeter” would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. These are photos from his day care…The one on the bottom right is his girl friend Paddy. It seems he loves tall girls. Apparently whenever they are at daycare the same day, he never pays attention to the other dogs just Paddy. He loves the snow and we have a lot of it…Lucky is still a bundle of energy and never slows down...Every day he seems to come up with something new to draw attention…We love it when we are out walking and he finally notices that something was not in the same spot from the day before.   He stops and will not move…"
 Lucky is a half-brother to our Lila. (same mother)

A note from Violet about their Lhasa Yogi, who is now 10 or so, was cute. She wrote, " I bought two dog bones for somebody's two dogs. At first Yogi showed no interest in the bone. After I wrapped them, he then went over to chew the wrapper off. So I just called the groomer to order another one for Yogi. The two minutes later, he went for the second wrapped bone." Yogi is a half brother to our GCh. Ch. Joyslyn MiToya Wind Walker. Here is Yogi chewing someone else's Christmas bone!

 Show Results

As I explained the last time I posted, Duncan, Lila and I were getting ready to go to the dog shows in Belleville, IL. We had a great weekend with our Lhasa and Shiba friends, did some nice winning, and had fun. I'll start by saying Lila's showmanship is sadly lacking. She and her half-sister, Mabel, (same sire) owned by my friend Karen, decided that they would hold their heads down and race around the ring. Karen was eventually more successful than I was regarding getting the head of her puppy up. Mostly it was funny. You had to laugh. They were very cute and at least kept their tales up and were happy. Both stood well on the table for exams. Lila won the puppy class on Friday. Mabel won on Saturday and Sunday, and even took RWB on Sunday!

Duncan was my weekend success story. He was entered in the 9-12 puppy class. There was an adult dog entered also. On Friday and Sunday, Duncan took Winners Dog for the point and then went on to take Best of Winners, Best Opposite Sex for the majors! Hurray! He now has both majors out of the way and needs only 5 single points for his championship! He is growing up nicely, looking and showing well. He has a sweet disposition and is fun to be with too! Here's a photo Jan took from ringside as the photographer was setting up the "official photo" on Friday. (He was mad at her for that!) The judge is Mr. Kirkland. Sunday's judge was Mr. Murphy. 
Saturday's judge was Mr. Penta. For some reason, Duncan and the majority of the other Lhasas showing that day seemed leery of him. It was very unusual behavior because he is a gentle but  thorough judge. I was disappointed with Duncan's suspicion of him. It made me feel a little better when I saw others pulling away on the table also. Even so, it was a relief on Sunday when my boy was back to his usual ring behavior. I was worried about that!

Of course others had wins to celebrate as well. Cynthia put a point on her male, who now needs just a major to finish. Pat's Bred-By female won 2 of the 3 days and got both her majors. LaVonne's bitch, Toffee, finished on Saturday. See the photo below, taken in the grooming area with Jan's phone, with Karen holding Toffee's ribbons. Jan, Karen, and Polly's champion Secret is now competing for her Grand Championship and she now has all her majors and has met the requirements for defeating other champions. She took Select Bitch two days. Polly's champion bitch took Select the other day. Best of Breed each day was Tom and Sandy Sorth's champion bitch.

And last, but not least, my friend Jane's Shiba Inu Champion "Tux," who is now competing in Rally, earned his third and final leg toward his title and now has an RN (Rally Novice) title behind his name! Here he is with all the ribbons he earned on Friday.

We had a great time with friends at the dog show, and once the dogs were shown and ready to go, we all went to dinner. Fairview Heights, IL, has a restaurant called Lottawatta Creek, where they serve wonderful food in huge portions, so it has become a tradition for most of us to have dinner together there after the Friday show and to eat way too much! After eating, we went Christmas shopping, trying to walk off the calories. Below are a few of the bags resulting from the Friday shopping spree. (We shopped on Saturday also!)
All in all, it was a great show weekend, in spite of the very cold and snowy weather. Going home was a chore for our Wisconsin friends, Karen, Jan, and LaVonne. The weather and roads were dangerous as they drove farther north. Thankfully, everyone made it home safely...although much later than planned.

I am so grateful for my Lhasas, for the friends and experience they have brought me, and for the lessons they have taught me.

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