Friday, September 27, 2013

TGIF...and some other things...but Mostly TGIF

"Starving Out the Light" album cover
I was pleased to find out via a Facebook posting this morning that my son's metal band, Black Fast, earned the "Best Metal Band 2013" Award given by the St. Louis Riverfront Times. In 2011, the band received the "Best New Metal Band" Award.

Here's the brief article: "The members of Black Fast don't play games; they play metal. Blistering, bludgeoning, no-holds-barred metal. The band's latest, August's Starving Out the Light, nimbly hopscotches through subgenres while maintaining an impressive technicality throughout. The lightning-quick guitar work by axmen Trevor Johanson and Aaron Akin is particularly noteworthy, as is Akin's unique, scorched-earth vocals. This is the music that the metal nerd who spends every waking moment sitting on the edge of his bed with a guitar in his hands dreams of playing. Black Fast's hyperfocus on musicianship — as opposed to petty nonsense like self-promotion — is paying off: You can hear the 10,000 hours of practice in each expertly executed riff and fill."

Black Fast's new album, "Starving Out the Light," can be purchased at for $10, while the digital album is only $5. iTunes also has it. Even if you are not a huge fan of metal, buy it anyway. It will help further the careers of some young, talented "starving artists!" (Yes, I am a blatant promoter of my son's band. I want them to be a huge success!)

Back to dog topics...

Some food for thought from the Time4Dogs blog.
The September 22, 2013, article titled 'Rock Bottom' begins, "Imagine you live in a state where it is illegal to buy or take possession of an animal in a public place. Where you cannot buy a pet in a pet store, unless it is a "rescue" or shelter animal that may be trucked in from another state or even another country. Where dogs must be spayed/neutered by law in many localities, and where the state  government actually wanted to pass a mandate that every dog in the state be sterilized." Read the rest here.

Congrats to Mary Rees and Joyslyn's Beauty Secret ("Belle")! Belle now gets an "RN" (Rally Novice) designation behind her name. I was present to see her in the rally ring only once but I was so impressed. Regular readers of this blog might remember how stubborn Belle was about showing in the conformation ring. Mary did a great job training her for Rally.

I will end with this. It is has been a miserable two weeks. I am exhausted physically and emotionally. Fading puppy syndrome sucks!! My heart aches.

Life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you -- and right now it's a very good thing I have multiple Lhasas that share their love daily.


Friday, September 20, 2013

More About the APHIS Rules, Show Results, ALAC National Specialty

“It's funny. All you have to do is say something nobody understands and they'll do practically anything you want them to.” ~ J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

More About the APHIS Rules

"Confusion" seems to be the key word when it comes to dog breeders—well actually cat and other animal breeders also—understanding the intricacies of the new APHIS rules that will go into effect in a couple of months. (By the way, APHIS is part of the United States Department of Agriculture. The acronym stands for "Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.") A recent conference call during which APHIS representatives attempted to answer sincere questions from breeders hoping to get some much needed clarification resulted in frustration, confusion, and more (unaswered) questions.

Can anyone say, "intentionally vague?"

"Before I came here, I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture, I am still confused -- but on a higher level.” ~ Enrico Fermi

Today I am sharing some links regarding the new rules, just to keep you up to date. Those of you who are pet owners, not breeders, may think this ruling has nothing to do with you and others like you, but it does. The intent of those behind the drive for these new rules is to eliminate dog breeders, not just "puppy mills"  but all breeders. Where  are you going to get your next dog when we're all gone?

So, read on folks, and think about it.

I'll begin with a link to the September 18th "Read Between the lines - USDA Conference Call" posting on the Time 4 Dogs blog. This clever article says it all. It's a good insightful read.

If you go to you can get a pdf of the actual transcript of the conference call.

The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners'Voting Alliance (SAOVA) posted the following article to its blog: APHIS Final Rule Revising Pet Seller Exemptions and You

AKC provided information in a "Frequently Asked Questions" format.

Intentionally vague rules and intentionally vague responses to concerned breeders' questions are scary. They leave a lot of issues open to "interpretation" that most of us are pretty sure will not be "interpreted" in favor of the breeder.

Show Results

Windy and I went to shows last weekend in Rochester, MN. The results were not good for us. She decided she did not want to show. The only one in her 12-18 month class, she let me know in no uncertain terms that she did not want to be there. Tail down, skittish. Then we went into the Winners class and she showed like a dream. Unfortunately, first impressions seemed to be the lasting ones.

I guess she does not like being in the ring by herself. 

However, there was good news for my friends whose dogs actually acted like show dogs. Karen's Secret took the major both days. Marsha's 11-month old male, Reece, took the major on Saturday and also placed first in the Non-Sporting puppy group. Her female, Happy, took RWB on Saturday.

ALAC National Specialty

October is the month members of the American Lhasa Apso Club target for the club's National Specialty Week. This year the Specialty takes place in Sacramento, CA, from Monday, October 21 through Friday, October 25. The site of the Specialty is the Clarion Inn Arden Conference Center. Activities include shows on Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Tuesday ALAC's Breeder Education Committee sponsors a presentation by Myra Savant Harris, followed by the judging of ALAC's Top 20 Lhasas. Obedience and Rally events take place on Wednesday, as do the Futurity/Maturity and Cut Down Sweepstakes judging.  Judges during the week are Janet Allen, Mary Lou Just, Cindy Butsic, Sherry Swanson, and Barbara Dempsey Alderman. If you live close to Sacramento, you should consider going. There will be many gorgeous Lhasas there for you to see.

P.S. You'll be able to read the flyer if you click on it.

Baby Pictures

Little girl

Little boy

Keep your chin up, think positive thought, and kiss your Lhasa!

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


Oh...and here is an interesting picture of a weird mushroom found in our yard. Looks like a stack of pancakes!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Photos, Updates, and Links to Articles Providing Food for Thought

"Think of life like driving a car. The windshield of the car is really large so you see where you are heading. The rear view mirror is really small because you are not supposed to spend a lot of time and energy focusing on your past, on where you have been." ~ Anonymous

Look at these little cuties. They are almost 3 weeks old. On the right, a girl - black with white stockings. On the left, a boy - black and tan. These are Raven and Breaker babies. (Both have already been spoken for.)

I have some photos to share with you of Rafe's last shows. He was the only Lhasa entered so there was no pressure to "win." All we did was enjoy being in the ring together. Rafe was happy to have me all to himself at these shows and was very "up" all weekend. It was a good way to "end" his early show career. Of course, I am hoping that he'll mature well and I'll one day be back in the ring with him. We'll see...

The first two photos were taken by Jane Chapin.

Waiting Impatiently (Yes, he shook his head!)

This is better! (He's so pretty!)
 This photo is from Claire Sloan:

Waiting to go in the ring

We were joined by friends, the Sloans, who live in Des Moines and who own Ella, one of Rafe's daughters. Here is a photo Claire took of Ella and me:

Another exciting part of this trip was my friend Jane Chapin and her Shiba "Tux" (Ch. Hi-Jinx Black Tie Affair) participating in Tux's first rally events. He did a great job, earning two of the required three legs toward his Rally Novice title. He scored a 98 out of 100 both days, taking second place each day. (The first day another dog had a 99, and the second day a different dog had a score of 100!) Jane had not been able to take Tux to any training classes so she'd trained him at home. I'd say she did an excellent job! Tux knew we were proud of him!

Tux with his 2nd place and Qualifying ribbons

A former post highlighted some proposed rules that would hurt hobby breeders. As a result of that post, many of you wrote letters to APHIS requesting that some of the rules be reconsidered or done away with all together. Thanks for that.

The letters from many hobby breeders and owners of dogs purchased from them did no good. The new rulings came out recently and do not bode well for many of us. I'm going to provide you with some links to other bloggers and articles that will help explain the repercussions of the new rules to you.

A report in the Canine Chronicle from the AKC Chairman said in part, "Just 20 years ago, a purebred dog was the dog to have in your life. Twenty years ago, a responsible breeder was viewed as a respected resource. Twenty years ago there were virtually no important legislative efforts aimed at eradicating all dog breeding. What changed in those 20 years? The noble quest to give every dog a “forever” home was co-opted by the animal rights organizations as a method to raise funds for their mission to completely eliminate pet ownership. Under the guise of supporting adoption, they have been raising a significant war chest – over $200 million last year alone – to fuel a campaign aimed squarely at destroying our ability to preserve breeds for future generations."

I hope you are able to take time to read the rest of the report.

Another interesting post from the Katharine's Musings On Liberty and Tyranny blog points out the dangers of the proposed rulings. It's an interesting tirade, ending with, "The animal rights movement is deliberately targeting the knowledge base of the dog breeds.  They are trying to wipe out that insider knowledge that you can't find in a book or on the internet.  Breed magazines run articles on the history of their breeds, certain dogs, and breeder interviews but that is still nothing more than the tip of the iceberg.  They have figured out that wiping out the knowledge base is the key to wiping out the breed.  You.  And APHIS is coming.  One generation and out is here." 

The last sentence reflects back to a previous paragraph in which she wrote, "The vast majority of people who face a choice between removing all animals from their home and putting them in a sterile concrete kennel in their back yard and give up their rights under the Fourth Amendment will say no.  They will simply spay and neuter everything they have and retire.  No puppies for you!  After all, vegan Whiney Wayne ever so famously said, "One generation and out."  There you go.  45 AKC dog breeds are already facing extinction.  Just what do you think this regulation will do for that situation?"

Again, I hope you can find time to read the rest of the blog post. She makes some good points.

Susi, author of the Dogknobit blog, writes that pendulum swing away from purebred dogs and toward shelter dogs paints purebred breeders and those who buy their puppies as "killers." The logic of the animal rights activists is that if you buy a purebred dog you are causing the death of a shelter dog. What? Seriously?

What happened to our right to buy what we want from whom we want?

I recall a puppy buyer from a couple of years ago telling me all her friends were laying guilt on her for not getting a shelter dog. But she knew what she wanted - a purebred Lhasa from a reputable breeder. So she ignored the guilt trip. That's what I thought of when I saw the clever title of the Dogknobit posting: "Guilt: It’s Not Just For Jews and Catholics Anymore (Purebred Dog Owners Can Play."

I've always wondered, why go after the purebred breeders. Who is out there breeding all those mixed breed dogs that are the ones that generally end up in the shelters? Why doesn't somebody target them? It seems they and their indiscriminate breeding practices are causing the problem.

For years the rallying cry of activists has been pet over population. Interestingly, the Dogknobit blog post goes on to explain, "Animal shelters in the USA have been casting a wide net to fill their kennels for years. According to the US Public Health Service, Chicago O’Hare was the destination airport for 10,125 dogs imported from overseas in 2006, half of which weren’t vaccinated. Scientists from the Center of Disease Control estimated that over 199,000 dogs (38,100 unvaccinated) came into the country through the Mexican border that year alone, and in 2007, one organization in Puerto Rico by itself shipped more than 14,000 strays in seven years to the United States for adoption at shelters. ABC News reported that according to G. Gale Galland, veterinarian in the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, as many as 300,000 puppies a year – most from countries with little or no health safeguards, are being imported to satisfy the demand for puppies at shelters.
"And yet the responsible breeder of purebred puppies is to be blamed for the overpopulation at shelters and dumb friend leagues?  The same person who runs health screens on the sire and dam, keeps a careful vaccination schedule, tirelessly socializes their puppies and screens potential owners  – THAT breeder?
"These caring shelter workers, whom I really do admire, are guilty of painting breeders with a very broad brush. They fail to place blame squarely at the feet of owners who were responsible for their dog in the first place, and because it’s a dirty little secret, they likely don’t know that the dogs overcrowding their shelters may not even be from America. And finally, they don’t realize that when that purebred dog is adopted, American born or otherwise, it’s often by someone acting for a breed club."

And speaking of a breed club and rescue, the American Lhasa Apso Club has a breed rescue network. It has a few dedicated, hard-working volunteers around the country who try their best to provide foster care and seek new homes for rescued Lhasa Apsos.

Give your Lhasas a hug.

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

A 4-week-old puppy from a long ago litter

Friday, September 6, 2013

This Will Be Quick!

“If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” ~ Roger A. Caras

 It's been a crazy week. I don't know why.

Tuesday, Lila and Duncan went to training class. What fun! Lila is going to be quite a show girl if she keeps up the spirit of fun and liveliness she has now. Unfortunately, she will not be 6 months old until November 4, and there are no shows nearby in November and only one that we traditionally attend in December, so she'll have a long wait before she makes her ring debut.

Duncan is full of energy. Even in class it takes him a while to settle and get down to business. He dislikes being stacked on the floor and thinks that if I am down there with him, it must mean we are supposed to play, play, play! He is a happy, funny puppy. He is not entered in any shows either, so his wait will be as long as Lila's.

Today I am leaving for the show in Des Moines, Iowa. Rafe is entered both days and is the only Lhasa. As I said last week, this is his "swan song," at least until next spring - and perhaps longer - as we wait for him to mature and, hopefully, get excited about showing again. In many ways, I dread taking him to this show, especially after his poor performance in MN a couple weekends ago. I need to conquer my negative attitude because surely he will live "down" to my expectations if I do not. I am hoping that not having to share me with the other dogs will improve his attitude.

I don't know who said it, but I believe it: "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."

I know who said this and I believe it too: Life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you!


P.S. Here a photo of a well-loved Lhasa: Yogi, owed by Violet and Roman. Yogi is 10 years old and a half brother to our GCh. Ch. Joyslyn MiToya Wind Walker.