While I think it is nice to set aside a day to reflect on our blessings, I also think that reflection is something we should do daily.
I recall a hymn from my youth:
When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
The problem with counting our blessings, once we really get down and determined to do it, is that the counting takes time. If we do it right, we find that there are many things, some large but most small, that make up the tapestry of our lives and that we are grateful for having or experiencing. When I cannot sleep at night, or when I wake up in the wee hours, thinking it is morning, only to discover there's a couple hours before the alarm will sound (oh, don't you hate when that happens?), I count my blessings instead of counting sheep!
Of course, next to family and friends, good health, my job, etc., etc., I am very thankful for the Lhasas and for what they have brought to my life over the past 40 years. 2013 brought us Lhasa blessings: Raven's litter of Duncan and Jimmy; our successes in the show ring; Rafe's grand championship, his ranking in the Top 20; Mira's litter that produced our Lila and her siblings; Duncan and Jimmy's wins from the puppy class; Windy, our newest champion; the many old and new friends we have because of the dogs; the photos, letters, and emails I get from people who have Joyslyn's dogs and want to keep in touch...the list can go on and on.
Today, November 27, 2013, Rafe and his siblings are two years old. That litter was amazing and I wish we could have repeated the breeding. However, Dancer had such a difficult labor and delivery that I promised her "never again," and I kept my promise.
So, here, celebrating their second birthday are two of dogs from that litter:
Here is the latest picture of Rafe, taken last weekend.
Beautiful boys, all.
Our photo shoot last weekend was not just for Rafe. We also took pictures of Windy, our newest champion, Ch. MLS Dakota Dancing in the Wind at Joyslyn. Here is one of her pictures.
While we were at it (ever gluttons for punishment), we decided to take new pictures of Breaker, GCh. Ch. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker. He was antsy all the way through the session. OMG...I thought we'd never get decent pictures. However, we did manage a couple good ones of him. The others were disasters! (I might add that I am thankful for digital cameras!)
Duncan and Lila went to our training class in Peoria last night. Sometimes, ya know, you just have to laugh. Duncan decided he didn't care for the lead, so he shook his head until I dug around in my bag and found another one that he liked better. The Standard Poodle in line behind us fell in love with Duncan and was all over herself trying to get him to play with her. He looked at her, like, "seriously??" Little Lila is in her first season, so she was uncooperative and flipping her tail around. She walked but refused to get her head up. Her nose found interesting aromas on the mat, and she was determined to take them all in. My Lhasas keep me humble.
I kept thinking, "For this I left home at 5:00 and won't get back until after 10:00? For this I'm making a 150+ mile round trip after working all day, risking bodily injury and car damage because the darn deer along this road are brainless and suicidal?"
Yep, because if you have not yet discovered it -- dog people are crazy.
Last night was our final class of the year. With our last dog show of the year being next weekend and the two young ones both entered, I was hoping for better behavior from both. I'll let you know how it goes.
Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!
Among all the things we have to be thankful for in this life, let us count among them our Lhasas who give us so much and ask for so little in return. Life is indeed better when you have a Lhasa to love you.