Food for thought: "Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other guy to die."
I know this quotation has absolutely nothing to do with Lhasas or anything else I write about, but I read it this week in a magazine and thought, "wow!" So, off I went to the internet to find out more. It's been attributed to a variety of people, including Buddha, so who knows who came up with it. It's also been phrased as "Holding in anger..." and "Harboring resentment..."
To quote a famous Disney character, "Let it go, let it go...."
Speaking of going, January is nearly gone. For us, the winter (so far) has been mild. We've had more rain than snow, cold days but few below zero. I consider us lucky as long as February behaves!
Now for some updates! First the good news...Greta was shown at a 4-day show in Baton Rouge this weekend. She won a point on three of the 4 days. Now she has 8 points total, including one of the necessary two majors. We are half-way there. Special thanks to Greta's handler, Sue Cannimore. Congratulations to Ron and Deborah Hauck, owners of Ch. Joyslyn's Mystic Wind. Sue is showing Mysti also. Actually Mysti and Greta are sisters -- same parents (Duncan and Windy) but from different litters. Mysti is the older of the two. Anyway, Mysti won the breed 3 of the 4 days. That gave her majors toward her Grand Championship, and she also completed the requirement of beating another champion 3 times. I'm very proud to be her breeder!
Thanks to Sue and David for an exciting weekend.
Now for some not-so-good news: The Lhasa Apso is now on the AKC low entry list, which basically is bad news because it means that any judge, with or without participating in education on our breed, is able to judge Lhasas. To be place on the low entry list, a breed has to have had fewer than 3500 entries during the previous year. We had something between 3200 and 3300. Our breed is very popular in other countries, with many Lhasas being shown in those countries, but not here. No one can figure out the "why" that is so. Lhasa owners are aging out of the sport, many my age, older, or soon to be there! We're cutting back on our breeding programs and showing involvement. Most of us have people who love the breed and are eager to buy Lhasas for their companionship on our waiting list for puppies. We hear complaints all the time about how difficult it is to find reputable Lhasa breeders who have puppies. Very few of the potential buyers are interested in becoming involved in conformation showing. Why is that bad? Well, while some may think that dog shows are merely beauty pageants, they are actually meant to be the proving ground for excellence in and maintenance of the Standard for each breed. The Standard presents a "picture in words" to describe what each breed should look like, what its temperament should be, etc.
Here is the Lhasa Apso Standard
Character: Gay and assertive, but chary of strangers.
Size: Variable, but about 10 or 11 inches at shoulder for dogs, bitches slightly smaller.
Color: All colors equally acceptable with or without dark tips to ears and beard.
Body Shape: The length from point of shoulders to point of buttocks longer than height at withers, well-ribbed up, strong loin, well-developed quarters and thighs.
Coat: Heavy, straight, hard, not woolly or silky, of good length, and very dense.
Mouth and Muzzle: The preferred bite is either level or slightly undershot. Muzzle of medium length; a square muzzle is objectionable.
Head: Heavy head furnishings with good fall over eyes, good whiskers and beard, skull narrow, falling away behind eyes in a marked degree, not quite flat, but not domed or apple-shaped; straight foreface of fair length. Nose black, the length from tip of nose to eye to be roughly about one-third of the total length from nose to back of skull.
Eyes: Dark brown, neither very large and full, nor very small and sunk.
Ears: Pendant, heavily feathered.
Legs: Forelegs straight; both forelegs and hind legs heavily furnished with hair.
Feet: Well-feathered; should be round and catlike, with good pads.
Tail and Carriage: Well-feathered, should be carried well over back in a screw; there may be a kink at the end. A low carriage of stern is a serious fault.
Some happy news (for me) is that Joyslyn's Lhasa Apso was one of three Lhasa Register of Merit (ROM) breeders featured in the fall issue of the American Lhasa Apso Club's The Lhasa Bulletin. If you would like to read about our history and see a few photos of some Lhasas from our past, go to the website of the American Lhasa Apso Club -- lhasaapso.org -- look at the menu on the left, click The Lhasa Bulletin link (2nd menu choice), select the Fall 2016 issue, go to pages 14-16.
I was also pleased to receive a Facebook tag that informed me I was being quoted in someone's dissertation!
From Tracie Laliberte"s Facebook page: "Today's Dissertation highlight (connecting to nature through our dogs). Joyce Johanson is quoted!
"Buber illustrates Thou in connections with animals when he writes about his experience of looking into the eyes of an animal and recognizing the profound mystery of otherness. He explains this as an “opening up” when the person and the animal exchange glances. Philosopher Rom Dass describes this as connecting to the “intuitive heart space.” When he looks into the eyes of his cat, he perceives a silent conversation in the cat’s return glance, “Can it be that you mean me? …Do I concern you? Am I there for you? Am I there? What is it about me? What is that?!” Breeders of dogs describe their connection to newborn pups as changing, deepening when the pups open their eyes and are able to look back at the person holding them. Longtime Lhasa Apso breeder Joyce Johansen [sic] describes what she experiences at that moment when her pups open their eyes around day 14: “Perhaps they seem more ‘real’ to me because they can see me and I can look them in the eye. I always pick them up; look them in the eye, and say, ‘Welcome to the world, little one.’ I know it seems like a weird thing to say since they’ve been in the world already for a couple of weeks.” Breeders also refer to puppy eye opening as the “Who’s in there?” or the “Soul seeing” moment. In recognizing the Thou, even breeders, many who already experience real and regular connections with nature through dog rearing, become re-engaged and experience the profound fullness in the eloquence of nature in recognizing Thou even in very young puppies."
Tracie did a Facebook call-out last year asking for breeders' responses to a question regarding puppies opening their eyes. I responded and totally forgot about it until she posted this section from her dissertation and tagged me. ☺
Sarah sent a photo of her two Joyslyn's Lhasas. The gold one is Tashi and the black is Mira. Sarah bought Tashi as a puppy and Mira as one of our retired adult champions. Mira rules, even though Tashi was there first! That's a female Lhasa for you! Looks as if they have plenty of toys to share.
Here are the most recent photos of the Josh and Shadow puppies.
Tara left last weekend. Kirby left on Saturday. He now has a kitten named Tiger as a playmate. Tiger is a couple months older than Kirby. Pearl is leaving in two weeks. She will have another Joyslyn's puppy (from our summer litter) as her new brother. Onyx is staying. I'm hoping she'll be able to be shown. At this early age she certainly appears to have championship potential!
|Kirby - 11 weeks|
|Onyx - 11 weeks|
|Onyx in profile - 11 weeks|
|Pearl - 11 weeks|
|Pearl in profile - 11 weeks|
But we know it's all worth it because...