Tuesday, March 8, 2011


It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:  when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. -  Charles Dickens 

March is such an indecisive month. It wants to be spring, yet—like the dieter who cannot resist the allure of rich desserts or the alcoholic who pines for one more drink—March waivers. Its chill winds remind us that winter has not yet gone. Its warm days promise sunlight and spring. One never knows how to dress—somber colors and warm clothing or something cheery to lighten the doldrums? A winter coat or a spring jacket? Around here, at the first hint of warm weather the university students appear in shorts and flip flops, as if clothing alone will hasten spring, as if wishing will make it happen. I haven't seen shorts and flip flops on anyone, so no one is being overly optimistic about the weather yet.

Sunday was a fairly warm (relatively speaking) and sunny day, so in the mid afternoon, I decided to take the three girls for a stroll (one at a time, of course). Would they walk. Nope. Did they think a nice liver treat was worth walking a few steps. Nope. Did we all eventually make it down the street (no sidewalks in our neighborhood – no streetlights either. I have no idea why and it's bugged me for years!) Yep. If the neighbors would have peered out of their windows, they would have seen me on hands and knees in our driveway encouraging and enticing the puppies to "Come on, let's go." It would not be the first time. One said to me a few years ago, "We know it's spring when we see you walking the winter puppies." Imagine, like a robin and a crocus, I am a harbinger of spring in our neighborhood.

Poor Maggie had the worst time. She was actually the one most eager to walk and we started down the street with some coaxing and hesitation but with tail up and her thinking, "Hey, I have mom all to myself for a change. This isn't too bad." And then…disaster. Up the street about a half block came a man struggling with two big Labs. One look at Maggie and me and his dogs went nuts barking and lunging. The guy was struggling with them to begin with and had even a worse time as he passed us (on the opposite side of the street). I remained calm thinking if I was calm Maggie would be. Maggie took one look and pancaked and started screaming! Finally they got past us, she recovered, and we began our walk again.  This time her tail was down—but she was walking! We walked a half block to the neighbor's driveway, turned around and, with tail still down, headed back. Tail went up, went down, came back up. Yea, Maggie! We made it back to our driveway where Maggie got lots of praise for pulling herself back together.

One training tip I might pass along. Don't treat your dog like a baby. Think about how we treat upset babies. We cuddle them. We hold them tight. We pat them and say, "Now, now. You are fine. You are all right. Everything is okay." etc. Don't do that with your dog. Encourage him instead. Say, "You can do this. You are a big brave boy. You can do this." It's hard to change our "people" ways when dealing with dogs, but think about the message the dog receives from a cooing owner. "You are fine." (The way you are behaving is fine.) "Everything is okay." (What you are doing is okay.)—mixed messages indeed. If you enjoy having a cowering, recalcitrant pup, then keep that up and that's what you'll have.

The darker-colored girls
The boy
The two lighter-colored girls

Finally, here are pictures of the babies, taken on Sunday when they were 2 weeks old. Eyes on a few of them opened Sunday, the others on Monday. They are not too photogenic at this point but they are sweet. They seem pretty content but are getting more active. Secret is a good mom. She doesn't hover or seem overly concerned about anything—unless one of the three girls manages to sneak past me and into the room where she and her puppies are!
Spring really is on the way, right?

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



  1. Oh your pups are adorable!!! Tashi walks like a pro now :)

  2. Oh, I know what you mean. I'm on my 3rd and 4th Lhasa Apso right now!

  3. So true...once you fall in love with one, it is hard to see yourself with another breed -- at least that is the way it is for me.

    Sarah--I guess I need you to work your magic on Belle!

  4. They're adorable. Hilo is walking like a champ. I take him for 2 and 3 block walks and back home again, with China. I must say though, walking two at a time is like trying to perform a puppet show.....lol


  5. Yep. I tried two at a time too. I thought it would save some time. Nope.... It gets crazy and seems to take twice as long.

  6. Are all of the pups from your new litter sold?

  7. No. Three girls are still available.