Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all my readers! I hope that you enjoy every minute of this blessed season and that you are surrounded by friends and family who love you.

My December began with a dog show in Belleville, Illinois. The entry was smaller than expected because one dog was absent on Saturday and Sunday, and one bitch was absent on Sunday. Even so, things worked out for all of us who entered. Josh needed one last single point and he got it on Friday. I showed him on Saturday. He took reserve and Pat's Tashi got the last single points he needed. Both Pat and I showed our boys on Sunday so that there would be a point available if the judge decided cross over the point for the bitch. Tashi took Winners Dog; Josh took Reserve, and Sandy's bitch took Best of Winners and earned her championship! It was a happy weekend for us all.

That ended our show schedule for 2014. Josh just needs a 3-point major to earn his championship. We'll work on that in the spring.

I traveled with my Shiba Inu friends, Jane and Rebecca. They needed to do some Christmas shopping. Mine was mostly done, except for a couple small things. Here is what one of the beds in our hotel room looked like on Saturday evening. By the way, only one of the bags on that bed was mine!
You should have seen us as we packed all this extra stuff in the van Sunday morning, upacked it to get the dogs and the show stuff out of the van, and then repacked it once we were done showing. I wish we had before and after pictures. We accomplished the task!

Once home I had three days to prepare for company. Our daughter, son-in-law, and 3-month old grandson arrived from Florida for a visit. The next day my sister, brother-in-law, and mom arrived from Nebraska, as did our son who lives in southern Illinois. Our oldest son, his wife, and daughter live in Macomb. We had a houseful. What fun to be surrounded by my family!

Lhasa-wise, Lizzy left for her new home, and Luna did not even bother to be upset. I think she was secretly glad to be an "only puppy." Luna is very full of herself and is very stubborn. She is not fond of having her face groomed or her nails clipped and is quite adamant about resisting. She is not afraid of Henri, our daughter's Affenpinscher who is living with us for a while. So far Henri has been tolerant of her, which was a shock to me.

As predicted, Luna is not always called Luna. She has become "Luna-Tuna" and "Looney Toons" on occasion.

Ella had a birthday recently and I received a nice note from her owner. Maria wrote, "We wanted to share the pictures of Ella's birthday!  She was very excited all day and climbing the tree was a first. She usually looks out for mr. squirrel. But today decided to search him out!  She still has her pink baby that you sent her home with and cares for her ever so gently!  She celebrated tonight with a peanut butter honey paw pop treat that she couldn't stop eating until it was gone..."

Here is Ella on her birthday:

Some of you will be glad to know that Windy is definitely pregnant! Her puppies are due on January 3rd.

I'm including some links you might be interested in. The first is an article in the December 5, 2014 issue of Dog News that features pictures and a narrative from the Lhasa Apso National Specialty week.  Here is the link to the issue.  issuu.com/dognews/docs/120514/3?e=1543084/10528140. The article is on pages 142, 143, and 167. It is a nice summary of the high points of the specialty week in St. Louis. The 2016 specialty will be in MA in October.

The second link is to an article in the recent issue of Best In Show Daily, "Pet Overpopulation - Prove It" by Elizabeth Brinkley.

Brinkley's opening paragraphs speak to the myth of pet overpopulation: "The time has come for ALL breeders to take the high road against the animal “rights” threat to our animals. For too many years we have been playing catch up and even repeating the propaganda put up by the AR groups. It is time to say stand up and say – PROVE IT!!  We hear over and over again about the “pet overpopulation” and yet there are NO accurate statistics to prove that this is happening. No one has gathered an accurate accounting on a national level. NAIA has started a shelter statistics study but they haven’t even begun to get total figures on a national level. We hear that rural shelters have an overabundance of animals being euthanized.
Yet there are rescues transporting animals from one state to another, one shelter to another by a form of underground railroad run by volunteers." 

In the remainder of her article, Brinkley proves her point and offers some solutions for accountability, endorsing Nathan Winograd's book, Redemption, the Myth of Pet Overpopulation, as a good source of information for shelters.

Finally, I wish you all the best for this holiday season. Have a safe and happy holiday and a
Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year.

Always remember that Life is Better When You Have A Lhasa To Love You!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Where Does Time Go?

I noticed that the last time I posted was November 7th. November 7th!! Wow...and here it is, nearly a month later. Oh, I have excuses, lots of them: "Time flies." "I've been busy." "There is nothing to write about." "I forgot."

The one that comes closest to reality is "I forgot!" I had a post started before Thanksgiving; then I got "busy" and here we are in December.

So, I found this cute graphic but I think it is backwards. The clock should be winning the race.

Then, to make me feel even more guilty, I found this quotation from the Wall Street Journal: “Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”

Two things with the Lhasas that have taken up a lot of time lately are (1) the puppies that are almost 8 weeks old now and (2) Josh going through his coat change. Those things, of course, are in addition to the day-to-day care and grooming that goes on at our house.

The puppies are Luna and Lizzy. They are both as cute as can be. I am keeping Luna to show, and Lizzy is going to her sire's owner. Being black Lhasas, their photos don't show much detail about their faces and expressions, but trust me, both are pretty. They are sweet girls, fairly quiet and polite with occasional lapses in behavior when they decide to rip up piddle pads. (Well, really, what else could they be for?)

Here are the girls' latest photos. The first two are of Lizzy.

These two are of Luna.

 Mira, grandmother to Lizzy and Luna, now lives with Sarah and Allen. Sarah recently sent me a photo of Mira, who, it seems, has taken over the household. Mira is the black Lhasa. Their other Lhasa, Tashi, is on the right. Notice who decided she got the cushy spot for her nap!

Sarah wrote about Mira: "She's adorable and funny and is the queen of the house, at least she thinks she is anyway!  We adore her and are ever grateful that we are her new people."

I also heard from Mary, Belle's owner. She sent the cutest JibJab greeting card for Thanksgiving and also wrote, "Thought I'd throw a little agility Belle update.   I never dreamed she would be a prospect. Today we had some open time to train. A friend helped, mainly to practice with Roman; she may run him at the TCLAC trial  (I want to watch the 11 yr. old Lhasa do his thing.....plus would have to run him and Moka back to back.)...   Little Belle, ran with me but also ran a full course of jumps, tunnels and the A frame, with my friend.  It was fun to watch, see her enthusiasm."

Belle hated the show ring and refused to walk for me in the ring. Her expression is beautiful, and she has the most beautiful coat. But boy was she stubborn when it came to shows. She knew she was meant to show her stuff in the companion events. She earned Rally titles with Mary and now is training for agility. At my house all she did was play queen and look pretty! I love it that she has found her niche with Mary. Here is a photo of Belle when she was still at my house. Mary has kept her in coat.

And now back to Josh. He has three shows this weekend. The entries at this show in Belleville, IL,  are disappointingly low. He still needs a single or two, so we'll see what happens. These are our last shows of 2014. We probably will not start again until early spring.

As I mentioned, Josh is going through the "dreaded coat change," a time when Lhasa puppies blow their puppy coat and make way for the coarser adult coat to come in. Grooming can be a challenge during this time, even for people who've been doing it for years like we have. Fortunately, Josh is patient about being groomed and lies still on the grooming table. My husband was grooming him recently, and I walked into the room, did a double take, and said, "Wow!" The pile of hair that had come out of Josh's coat was huge. I should be used to seeing sights like that after all these years of seeing Lhasas go through a coat change, but it still amazes me to see a pile of hair like that and to wonder where it had been hiding and if the dog has any left on his body!

For those of you who are new to Lhasas and have a puppy who has yet to go through his coat change, be prepared. Preparation means teaching your young puppy early to lie down to be groomed, even if his coat is still very short and easy to care for. Get him used to the routine now. And be prepared to take time (there is that word again!) and to make grooming a priority. It's around coat change time that many Lhasa pet owners have their Lhasas clipped down, but it doesn't have to be that way. I always watch TV while I am grooming, so I can see my favorite shows and still get the grooming tasks taken care of.

Here is an article I wrote about coat change that I want to share with you.

Coat Change in Lhasa Apso Puppies

by Joyce Johanson

Each Lhasa Apso puppy should come with a warning label, "Attention: This puppy will undergo a coat change. Be prepared!" The alternative, of course, is for Lhasa breeders to inform their puppies' new owners about the grooming required to see a puppy through his coat change without having to resort to clipping him down. 

The owner of a Lhasa puppy should be prepared for the puppy's coat change anywhere between the ages of 9 to 14 months. Since individuals differ, the time frame may also vary somewhat: some Lhasas may begin as early as 6 months, while others may hold off until 16 months. One thing you can be sure of, unless your Lhasa puppy has a really sparse coat, the coat change WILL happen.

What's so scary and all important about watching for the coat change? It has to do with matting and grooming.

Remember, a Lhasa's coat does not shed as most other breeds' coats do. What happens during the coat change is that the softer puppy coat is being replaced by the harsher-textured adult coat. As the adult coat comes in, the puppy coat "dies" and needs to be brushed out or it will tangle and mat terribly. At this time, your puppy may need daily grooming to remove the soft, "dead" puppy coat. You will be surprised at how much loose coat can be brushed out during coat change time. You may remark that the pile of hair on the floor by the grooming table would easily fully coat another dog! And you may wonder if your little Lhasa will have any coat left by the time you've finished brushing him! Don't worry, if all you are getting out is dead, loose hair, there's no problem. 

While grooming difficulties may vary, depending on the amount and texture of your Lhasa puppy's coat, keep in mind that the coat change is a natural part of a Lhasa's development, and when it is over, your Lhasa's softer puppy coat should have given way to the harder-textured adult coat, which is usually a lot easier to take care of. Now that's something to look forward to!

Knowing what's going to happen is only part of "being prepared." The other part of the preparation lies in training. Since getting through the coat change requires that the Lhasa be groomed, start your preparations by teaching the puppy to accept grooming as part of his routine and to lie quietly on his back or sides while you comb and brush him. Prepare yourself also by learning how to groom your Lhasa properly. Refer to any of the books (by Herbel, Helf, Brearly, Nicholas) written about the Lhasa. Most contain excellent grooming suggestions or entire chapters devoted to grooming. 

When the coat change does begin, don't get discouraged. It usually lasts less than a month. Set aside time each day to groom your Lhasa. If you don't have time to brush him completely each day, then at least do some spot grooming in the troublesome areas (neck, insides of legs, behind the ears) on a daily basis. Don't go longer than two days without a complete brushing, though. Those darn mats surprise you -- a puppy may not look matted, but his undercoat may be a real mess. 

My best advice is to be aware of what will happen, be prepared to do some heavy-duty grooming for about 3 weeks, train your puppy early to accept being groomed, watch for and take care of tangles and mats as they appear, and do not put off grooming thinking the mats will disappear by themselves (they don't!). Finally, don't be discouraged; just hang in there until it's over -- the coat change period really does end! *

And with that, all I have to say is

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


*Please note: Permission to reproduce and/or circulate information in this article is granted. However, the article must be disseminated in its entirety and credit must be given to Joyce Johanson, Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos. Thanks!