Sunday, January 21, 2018

January Musings

 "Winter is nature's way of saying, 'Up yours.'" ~ Robert Byrne

That's just a little image of what the weather has been like around here through most of January. Even the dogs that usually love the snow and cold don't want to be out longer than it takes for them to potty. 

This month is birthday month for our Josh. He was 4 years old on January 16th. AKC knows him as GCHB CH Joyslyn MLS Dakota Wind Breaker. (The GCHB CH are his AKC titles: Grand Champion Bronze  and Champion.)

Here is a photo of Josh when he was 11 weeks old. Such a cutie!
And here is a more recent photo, taken after a win at a dog show.
 This month is also birthday month for our Connor, who was 13 on January 20th. AKC knows Connor as CH. San-Dhi Joyslyn Icon. Connor is Josh's Grandsire on his sire's side of the pedigree. I don't have a baby photo of Connor because I bought him from Sandy Devlin. However, here is a photo of him when he was 10 months old. It was taken in the grooming area at a dog show.
 Next is a funny picture of Connor. He loved to jump, jump, jump and this picture shows his coat flying as he is jumping up and down.
Connor is still very young in mind, body, and spirit. He also loves to give hugs.

How Do I Do It?
 People tend to ask me, "How do you do it?" in reference to the Lhasas, most often regarding grooming them. The answer to that is, "I just do what needs to be done." Over the years, it has become a habit and, of course, I am lucky enough to have a husband who helps with the grooming, something that a lot of women who show dogs do not have.

However, as with any other goal a person wants to achieve, that person just does what needs to be done. From 1973, when we bought our first Lhasas, to 1978, when we had our first child, things were not very hectic. I was teaching high school English, going to shows on weekends, and grooming the few dogs we had as necessary. Things became a bit more complicated once the kids were born, especially when my husband went to grad school for 3 years. During a lot of the 1980's I showed sparingly, getting the young dogs ready for the ring, showing them myself and getting a few points on them, then sending them to handlers. 

Looking back at the 1990's and early 2000's, I sometimes wonder how I did do it all. I had three children, a full time job, a part-time position teaching a night class (English 101) at the community college, and a volunteer "job" as the Personnel Advisor for the Chi Omegas on the Western Illinois University campus. For two years, I also attended classes to earn my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. During all that, I continued to serve on the American Lhasa Apso Club's Board of Directors and various club committees. Through it all, I groomed and trained the dogs, continued the breeding program, traveled to shows on weekends, and continued my responsibilities of laundry, shopping, taking care of kids, going to ball games, etc...all that mom stuff. The only thing I did not do was major housecleaning. I hired someone else to do that!!

Now, I am not telling you all this to make you think I am some kind of wonder woman. I am not. The point I want to make is that grooming a Lhasa and keeping a Lhasa in coat does not take hours and hours and hours of time. Even now, about the only time I get to watch TV is when I am grooming, so I sort of look forward to grooming sessions with the dogs. Grooming one dog that is "in coat" takes me about an hour and a half each grooming session. No, I do not groom each dog every day. Depending on the dogs' coat texture and what stage the dog is going through coat-wise, I spread the grooming for each dog out to every 2-5 days, and in the case of some of the older ones who have good adult coat texture, once a week or even longer works just fine.

If you are at all interested in keeping your Lhasa's coat long, I encourage you to give it a try. You can learn to groom. I have a lot of articles on my website to help you learn. If you have just one Lhasa to care for, try doing the grooming yourself. Do it while you watch TV. Surely an hour or so a couple times a week will fit into your schedule. Plus, I find that grooming my dogs is a great way to bond with them. Another save money because you need fewer visits to the grooming shop!

How do I do it? I don't know, I just do it.

For those of you who want to keep your Lhasa's coat trimmed, that is just fine with me. It is much preferable to having a miserable matted Lhasa. I always say, "A clipped Lhasa is a perfect pet. You have that great Lhasa personality, no hassle with grooming a long coat, and a short-coated dog that doesn't shed." Who can beat that?

Also, you need to know that once my Lhasa girls' show careers are over, they get clipped down. They love it! The boys are not so lucky. They keep their long coats so I can show them off to people who come to see puppies.

Long-coated, clipped down, or in-between, the Lhasa Apso is a great breed to share your home and love with!

Mark Your Calendars
 The American Lhasa Apso Club (ALAC) National Specialty will be held the week of October 21, 2018, in Frederick, MD, at the Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center.

The Burlington (IA) Kennel Club dog show will be held right here in Macomb, IL, on July 21 & 22, 2018. (After 44 years of driving hours and hours to dog shows, I am so excited to have a show that's held only a few blocks from my house, even if it happens only one weekend a year!!)

An Article That Might Interest You
 Check out the feature article. "Fun Thinks To Do With Your Lhasa Apso" on the ALAC website by Marsha Susag, ALAC's Vice President. The link is

Notes and Pictures from Others
From Pat: "Joyce, I have attached a recent picture of Miles taken week ago Friday after his grooming appointment.  He has a bit of the "fly away" with static hair.  He is an absolute joyful addition to our family… I also attached the copy of proof that we have had him neutered.  Sleepless night beforehand for me, but we got through it…By the way, we thought of other names, but Miles just seemed to fit him the best so we kept it."
A note from Biddy’s owner: "Happy New Year! We just had visitors leave, and our Biddy just loved them to bits. George one of the visitors loves dogs so he is so delighted Biddy is all over him. Rose is not an animal person of any sort, and Biddy has tried so hard to get her to love her. Rose does think she is a very nice dog. Biddy has been in heaven with the G-kiddos around so much over the holidays. Glad you took the Lhasa path. "

From Lori: "I'd had Finn trimmed a couple of times, but this was his first "big boy" haircut. I asked them to save some clippings for me and told them, under no circumstances, to touch the white tip on the end of his tail! His fur is still soooo soft and velvety and he looks absolutely adorable. (He knew it, too, you should have seen him strutting around.)"
Finn, sporting a new haircut

Finn, graduating from puppy class
From Krista about Winston: "Hi Joyce, just wanted to drop you a quick note and a couple of pics of Winston.  He has grown to be a very handsome young man!  I get stopped frequently asking what breed he is and how beautiful his coat is.  I bathe him 1 a week usually and he's doing great with it almost falls asleep.  He doesn't like at the end though when I wash his ears out with ear wash.  I get one ear done and then the next one is a challenge. The ole testosterone has really kicked in!  He's really liking the girls he's quite the ladies man!  He goes in on the 8th of February to get neutered.  He's lost most of he's teeth and he weighs 16 lbs already still looks like a skinny thing but he burns a lot of energy.  He loves the snow and going to the dog park.  It's been so cold not many his size there but he can keep up with the big dogs it is pretty funny.  He is really fast I'm tell'n ya was thinking about agility class for him.  I love him very much and he's very attached to me, he's a mama's boy!  He's well mannered and if we go somewhere to visit friends etc he stays right by my side. He's very mature in some aspects.  He makes me laugh and smile every day!"


Mary and Jim sent new year's wishes and a Christmas photo of Josh's mom, Windy, whom they re-named "Winnie."

Marilyn sent a cute photo of Hunter, who is a litter brother of Miles.

Roman and Violet sent a photo of Shadow. Violet said it was her favorite photo of him because you can see his face.
Stacy and Lisa sent a photo of their Lola. Lola does not like to have her picture taken, so this was a treat! (Note that she still does not look happy about having a camera aimed at her!)
The Johnson family sent a picture of Snickers in his Christmas sweater. I'm sure he was glad to have it for all the sub-zero temps we've experienced in January.
Thanks to all who sent pictures and notes. I really enjoy receiving updates about the "kids."

Life is Better When You Have a Lhasa to Love You!



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