Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Happy May!

“Then you have to remember to be thankful; but in May one simply can't help being thankful . . . that they are alive, if for nothing else. I feel exactly as Eve must have felt in the garden of Eden before the trouble began.”
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

I don't know about you, but I am happy it is May. Everything seems to be "coming to life" as we watch plants emerging from the soil, trees budding, birds building nests. It's an Easter all its own of new life, new beginnings, new reasons to be hopeful, even in the face of the pandemic. I try not to listen to too much TV news. I know the newscasters are trying to drive home the fact that we are in danger, but I have found that too much of it brings me down. 

I wear a mask in public and hope you do too. My opinion - it doesn't hurt and it might help. I do not understand the outrage.

Now here is something to smile about -- Lhasa puppies! Here are the latest pictures of the five puppies at age 4 weeks.

From top to bottom: Lana, Candy, Liam, Noah, and Gabe

Cute, right??

Here are a couple photos I received recently. The first is of Kathy's Jampa. She wrote that his black coat has started to silver out.

Next is a photo of Lucky, who lives in Canada with Ev and Ted. Lucky recently celebrated his 8th birthday.

Joy sent this one of her Lucy.

Here are two photos Bill sent of Eddie on his first birthday. I love the one of him in his "show dog pose." He looks so proud.

Kim sent a photo of Snickers all cozy in his dog bed.

Marilyn sent photos of Maci and Hunter.

Much has happened since I wrote the previous blog and I want to share some of the highlights and resources with you.

First, if you have not already discovered it on Facebook, there is a Zoom series about Lhasas. They are first streamed live but are also recorded so those who missed the episodes can catch up. To find it, go to Facebook's search bar and type in Lessons in Lhasas # (then add the number of the episode you want to see. So far there are four with #5 happening this Thursday and #6 upcoming soon.

Topics have been: #1 Voices of Preservation Breeders (I'm part of that discussion), #2 Voices of the Future, #3 Challenges, #4 Grooming, #5 Breeding, #6 Showing

If you are staying inside, these episodes will keep you entertained, make you think, and provide learning opportunities.

Also, if you have not already done so, check out "Introducing the Lhasa Apso" on the website of the American Lhasa Apso Club.

On May 4, I gave an hour and a half webinar on the Lhasa Apso as part of an AKC Judges' Education series. Just before it began I learned that over 300 people had registered--made me a bit nervous!! If you want to learn more about the breed, check it out at

If that does not work, I have been told that AKC Judging Ops will post it sometime this week here: under “Lhasa Apso.”

I am going to end with an essay written by Daphna Straus entitled "10 Things I Learned from AKC Sports." She wrote:

The cancellation of swaths of AKC events has left many of us wistful and impatient for their return. With no shows to enter and plenty of absence to make the heart grow fonder, I found myself pondering what I got out of them in the first place. Here are 10 THINGS I LEARNED FROM AKC SPORTS.

1.     I learned how to drive. Where I’m from (NYC), a car is a luxury, but it’s a necessity to get to dog events. Whether I was mastering the hills of San Francisco to get to the SFDTC, cruising along Route 80 to Top Dog Obedience School, learning the back roads to PCOTC or staving off white line fever on the way to a Specialty, AKC events made me into something of a road warrior. We really get our miles in for our dogs.
2.     I learned how to be on time. When it comes to AKC events, if you’re on time, you’re late. I learned how to build time into my departure plans to be sure I had ample time to warm up my dog and be ring ready without extra stress.
3.     I learned persistence. We lose more than we win in dogs. We have more NQs than Qs and placements. From every NQ in Obedience I gained a lesson for improvement. As they say, “there will always be another dog show” – always an opportunity to do better next time.
4.     I learned patience. Success in our events comes with a side of waiting around. Waiting for Best of Breed or Groups. Waiting for sits and downs. You’ve gotta be in it to win it, so stick around.
5.     I learned how to be creative and resourceful. Since I never had a yard for a practice ring, I set up jumps in Central Park. The long alley behind my building served well for down-and-backs. Flocks of pigeons stood in for Indian Runner Ducks.
6.     I learned the downside of procrastinating. Sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, entries will always close two weeks ahead. Waiting too long to enter adds the extra expense of online entry fees (now inevitable for those of us always out of stamps) and the risk of being shut out altogether. This is a rule that never changes, and yet, I still wait till nearly the last minute almost every time.
7.     I learned how to get organized. Have a full tank before setting out for a show, lest you miss your ring time or confuse your dog with the smell of fuel on his scent articles. Wash and dry those articles the night before a trial. Pick out your outfits and get your show gear packed up the night before, too. A frantic, last minute search for that lucky show lead could cancel out its good vibes. Load driving directions up ahead in case you lose your signal along the way. AKC events helped me pull myself together!
8.     I learned the importance of setting goals and about the joy that comes with achieving them. While so much in life remains out of our control, our dog events give us wonderful opportunities to pursue challenging and fulfilling objectives while having fun along the way: a home-bred champion, an OTCH, a MACH, or any number of titles that reward instinct and breeding for purpose.
9.     I learned the value of volunteering. Being a ring steward, match secretary, parking attendant or any other seemingly thankless job is truly important. Without helpers to perform these tasks, the show can’t go on. It is satisfying to play a role in something bigger than yourself.
10.  I learned that we humans can get along with everyone and anyone – no matter our differences – because we are all working toward similar goals with our dogs. Our sports build camaraderie between rich and poor, young and old, men and women, gay and straight, rural and urban. We build deep and lasting connections with others by training and showing our dogs. The dog show community sets a tremendous example to others by building strength through the diversity we celebrate in our clubs, events and friendships.

Till we meet again, ringside!
--Daphna Straus

That's it for this week! I hope you can find the time to watch the various recordings and learn more about the wonderful Lhasa Apso -- and the breeders and owners who love them.


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