Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sharing A Smile

A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it.  ~Author Unknown

A friend sent me an email filled with pictures labeled "unusual flowers." What you see above is one of those pictures. Although the flowers are indeed strange, seeing this picture made me chuckle. I could not help but wonder if they were real or PhotoShopped. Then I decided it did not matter. Seeing them made me smile. I hope the picture brightened your day too!

Many changes are underway at our house. You know, of course, that all Windy's puppies but Josh have left. Over the weekend, Lila's new family came to pick her up. Things are going well with Lila in her new home. I get great reports that make me laugh because I can just "see" her and the antics being described. 

This weekend Henri, an Affenpinscher, is coming to stay for a while. I've had Lhasa Apsos my entire adult life, so Henri's being here is going to be an adventure. 

Finally, I had a "free" Tuesday night and was able to take Josh to a class. We went to a new venue and had a nice time meeting people, socializing, and learning. Josh was calm and got a lot of attention. Numerous people held him and fussed over him. He ate it up. All the other dogs there were bigger so we hung back and did table work once all the older, larger dogs had had a turn. Josh stood like a rock, let the trainer look at his teeth, and wagged his tail happily. He loves people.

When it came to walking on a lead, I just practiced with him away from the other dogs. He did very well and I went home knowing the trip to class had not been wasted. The journey has begun...

Maggie's babies had their first car ride and their first vet visit earlier this week. They all had baths in preparation for their big day, and all received lots of oohs and awws from people who saw them.

Here are the latest pictures:

Andy - 8 weeks

Bailey - 8 weeks

Sadie - 8 weeks

Magoo - 8 weeks

I also received pictures from friends who have our dogs.

This first one, of Yogi, is from Roman and Violet. He's chillin' out beside his new Easter toy. Yogi is a half brother to our Walker.

Judy sent this one  of Maggie and Raven's litter sister, Whisper. Whisper is cool and comfortable in the California son, sporting a lovely new Easter dress.

Mary sent me an animated JibJab Easter card that had pictures of her Lhasas' and Rag Doll cats' faces on the characters. Hilarious. I grabbed a screen shot to share. The "bunny" on the left is Belle, a Walker daughter and half sister to Rafe. She's dancing with Moka.

Our next show is coming up in May. Can't wait!

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


Another strange flower:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Beginnings of Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos

Bunnies are cuddly
The large and the small
But I like chocolate ones
The best of them all.

~Author Unknown

Happy Easter! Surely that means Spring is actually here and we won't be getting snow again like we did earlier this week! 

Today, I'd like to take a trip down memory lane. Last time I wrote, I mentioned that our wedding anniversary was coming up. (It was yesterday.) We've been married 42 years. As I thought back, I realized that even before we were married a whole year, we bought our first Lhasa. I thought I'd share with you how that all came about.

Such young newlyweds!

One question people always ask me is "how did you get into this dog showing/dog breeding thing?"

Good question.

How exactly did two people who did not come from dog showing families and who had mixed-breed dogs while they were growing up end up breeding, showing, and loving Lhasa Apsos for years and years? (since early 1973 - you can do the math!)

I'd say it all started with an encyclopedia salesman! Shortly after our marriage, Lynn and I were besieged by door-to-door salesmen who tried to sell us all kinds of things we couldn't afford. (We were in our last year of college.) One of those salesmen succeeded in selling us a set of encyclopedias. We both had grown up with dogs as part of our families and knew we wanted to have a dog. The "Dogs" section of that encyclopedia happened to have a very nice picture of a Lhasa Apso in it. Now, if you have ever looked at some of the older Lhasa Apso resources, you would know that some of the pictures of the dogs were not very attractive. So, I suppose if I'd seen one of those photos first I wouldn't be where I am today in the Lhasa world. However, this particular photo showed a lovely dog, with a pretty coat, and I was intrigued.

After we graduated from college, I landed my first teaching job at a high school in eastern Iowa. With my first paycheck, we bought a refrigerator (Harvest Gold, all the rage in 1970's appliance colors!). We'd seen an ad for Lhasa Apsos at a nearby kennel, so when the second paycheck arrived, we bought a dog, our first Lhasa Apso, and named her Joyslyn's Pheebe. Of course, other than the picture in the encyclopedia, we knew nothing about the breed. We did, however, know how to pronounce its name correctly from the start!

So Pheebe came home with us. An adorable grizzle Lhasa puppy, she soon won our hearts. We had to have another! So, with my third paycheck, Pheebe was soon joined by Joyslyn's Miss Buffy Jo. What a pair they were!

Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Joyslyn, our kennel prefix, is a combination of our first names. Looking back, I find it interesting that we even thought to come up with a kennel prefix because we had no mentor, no experience with pure-bred dogs, and no pedigree to look at for either of the girls we bought! But somehow, that day in March 1973 when we filled out Pheebe's AKC registration form, the prefix "Joyslyn" was created and it's been used ever since. People try to pronounce our kennel prefix as if it were spelled "Joslyn," like the art gallery in Omaha, NE. That would be wrong. The first syllable "joys" rhymes with "boys," "toys," "noise," etc. The second "lyn" rhymes with "tin," "win," "grin," etc.

So, that's what buying a set of encyclopedias will get ya!

Other News:

The Lhasa Apso was recently featured in the ShowSight publication. Here is a link to the Lhasa articles.

Puppy Updates:

The puppies are growing. All of Josh's littermates have left for their new homes, so he's been feeling quite lonely after having 5 siblings to run and play with. I was a bit afraid to let him play with the younger puppies, given the difference in their ages (6 weeks), but he has been very good with them, as if he knows not to play too hard. More frequently, it is one of them giving him a hard time!

Here are the most recent photos. First Josh, who will be 13 weeks tomorrow. He has been registered with AKC as Joyslyn MLS Dakota Wind Breaker. He will attend his first training class (just for socialization, petting, and table work) next Tuesday. One of the 4-day Memorial weekend shows in Bloomington, IL, will have a 4-6 month old beginner puppy competition, so I plan to enter him in it and in the fun match the club will host that evening. I bet he sleeps well that night!

The younger puppies are quite a change. The Windy/Breaker litter was very consistent and it was very difficult to tell the puppies apart, except for Cherry, of course! No problem with that with the younger litter. Magoo is the largest of the 4. (Robert and Catherine, sorry---he already has a bunch of nicknames you probably will not appreciate, such as "Magoo-ver," "Goo-goo," "Gooey," and "Goo.") He's the big eater and the puppy that has the most coat. It's a lovely coat! He is very serious and already does not like having his picture taken!

 The smallest puppy is little Bailey. She is tiny and loves being held. She snuggles right down. My granddaughter fell in love with her and held her for ages. They were both happy with the situation. The best word for Bailey is "dainty." Another good word is "sweet."

The other female is Sadie. She is gold and full of charm. She loves to bat her feet as she plays with me. She's a bit larger than Bailey, but not by much. She too likes being held and is fascinated by toys. We interrupted her play this AM to take a picture. She was not too thrilled about that but cooperated nicely. She was soon back to her toy and enjoying herself.

Finally, the other male is Andy. He is a kick! He is the explorer of the litter and is fast on his feet. He wants to see beyond the closed doors and is in constant danger of getting stepped on as he tries to maneuver himself into position to get through the door before I can stop him. He seems to have a sense of humor too!

All have been spoken for and it won't be too many more weeks before they are settled into their new homes.

We have had so much fun meeting the people who purchased the puppies from Windy's litter. Reports from them say that the puppies are settling in nicely. Josh and Sassy are the only two who kept their names. Tyler is now Mozzie; Archie is Fin; Bandit is Brigsley; and Cherry is Cinder.

I've been getting calls asking about the next litter(s). We probably won't have any puppies born and ready for new homes until October and again after the first of the year. Our girls tend to come in season about the same time, which is always "fun" (not...but that is nature!).

In the meantime, you might recall that Duncan has a litter brother named Jimmy. Sadly, in spite of the efforts of his owners, Jimmy decided he did not like the show ring. His owners have let me know that they would like to find a welcoming only-dog pet home for Jimmy. He has been clipped down. If you are interested in more details about him, let me know, and I'll give you his owner's contact information. My email is

I hope you enjoyed the photos, the updates, and the story about how an encyclopedia salesman changed our lives! Without that guy stopping by, we would never have embarked on this great Lhasa Apso adventure some 41 years ago.

Life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you! I have loved many and been so adored in return. Priceless!

Have a great Easter holiday!


Photos from Brigsley's, Sassy's, and Fin's new owners...

Fin obviously enjoys hanging out and napping on the sofa!

Sassy has two older "brothers" now. She's made herself at home. If I know her, she's already telling those boys what to do!

Brigsley has an older "brother" too. Snickers is also a Joyslyn's dog.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring is Here! Happy April!

Isn't it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool's Day 
and ends with cries of "May Day!"? ~ unknown 

Spring...a time of reawakening and change, a time of shedding winter wear and donning the colors and fabrics of spring and warmer weather, and, yes, a time of paying taxes.

We chose to make tax day a special day in our lives, so we were married on April 15 (42 years ago!). Actually, that's not really true. We got married on April 15 because in 1972,  it was a Saturday and because it was right at the end of finals week at our college and because all our college friends could thus stick around for a couple extra days to attend the ceremony.

We've had some changes lately at home. Over the weekend, Sassy, Ty, Bandit, and Cherry left with their new owners, all wonderful people. I've had preliminary reports from a couple of them that the puppies are settling in well and not missing their littermates all that much. Archie and Josh are still here as I try to make up my mind about which to keep. My deadline is Saturday.

Here are the weekly photos. The older puppies aren't thrilled about the photo sessions. They are too eager to get down and play. We did capture some cute faces. The younger puppies are more manageable and don't seem to mind the camera.

Archie, 11 weeks (so sweet)

Josh, 11 weeks (he looks so sad in this picture!)
Rafe and Maggie's boys, age 5.5 weeks (Andy and Magoo)

Rafe and Maggie's girls, age 5.5 weeks (Bailey and Sadie)
After having to put various colors of nail polish on the gold Breaker and Windy puppies just to be able to tell them apart, it is kind of nice to be able to distinguish among these four at a glance.

Duncan, Lila, and I went to the Packerland shows in Manitowoc, WI, on March 30 and 31. It was our first show weekend of  2014. I decided that I was not going to venture out with the dogs in the frigid temps we had earlier in the year. Duncan did well. He won both days, taking Best of Winners each day and picking up two points. Now he needs only three points to finish his championship. Lila showed as I expected her to, that is to say she held her tail up, but not her head; she walked around the ring (actually she raced around the ring), for the most managing to stay by my side rather than between my feet; and she stacked nicely on both the table and the floor. I cannot seem to break her habit of moving with her nose to the floor, and may have to face the fact that the frustration on both our parts is just not worth it. I learned a lesson with our Belle, who really disliked being on a lead. If Lila hates it, I'm not going to insist. Being a show dog is not the most important thing in a dog's life!

The puppies' leaving, the Palm Sunday and Easter weekends, and a visit from our son-in-law take up all the April weekends, so our next shows are not until Mother's Day and Memorial Day weekends. Please send positive thoughts that Duncan will finish and that a miracle will happen and Lila will finally figure out the show lead doesn't weigh 50 lbs and  that she can indeed walk with her head up and feel no pain! As I told our last judge, "She keeps me humble."

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