Monday, April 25, 2011

Most of This is Someone Else's Article!

A tired D.J (Ch. JaMa Joyslyn Deja Vu)
I hope everyone had a pleasant Easter weekend. We certainly had a relaxing Sunday. I seemed to spend a great deal of it hiding or hunting Easter eggs with our granddaughter! I also tried to capture video of the young puppies playing and finally did get a few clips to send to people who have made inquiries about buying a puppy.

Rather than continue to bore you with information about a weekend where nothing really exciting happened, today I want to share an article with you written by Diane Klumb quite a few years ago that is making the rounds again on dog-related listservs and blogs. I'll add my blog to that list.

Diane Klumb is a monthly columnist for ShowSight  magazine, an award-winning dog author, a dog breeder, and author The Havanese and Everything You Need To Know About Men...You Can Learn From Dogs (hmmm…that sounds interesting! Has anyone read it??) In the article that follows Klumb discusses the ensuing "war" on dog breeders and makes some logical arguments.

With so many economic problems, natural disasters, uprisings and wars across the globe vying for our attention, it's easy to gloss over the difficulties animal rights activists are creating nationwide in all areas related to animals. For dog breeders and dog owners, as city after city and state after state are besieged by anti-dog legislation under the guise of protecting animals, and as animal rights activists strive to make anyone who breeds dogs a criminal or an object of disdain, the worry is that our own rights as citizens will be compromised in the process. Legislators fall victim to smooth talking lobbyists and big contributions, and many choose to support legislation that will negatively impact who can breed and own dogs. Some dog breeders are giving up or laying low, hoping the endless battle is all a bad dream. Others are standing proud and fighting back. In such an environment, it is refreshing to hear a voice such as Diane's lay it all out.

Hi. My name is Diane, and I am a Breeder. I am good at it, and I am damned proud of it. I bought my first show dog in 1969 and whelped my first litter in April, 1975.

I have, since that inauspicious beginning, in partnership with my long suffering husband and a few good friends produced a few dozen champions, some top producers, a handful of Specials, and a lot of superb close-working grouse dogs and well loved companions. We kept a fair number over the years and sold the rest. (NOTE: I said sold, not 'placed'...we'll address that particular idiocy later.) We owned a kennel for many years, and trained gun dogs. This involved the killing of untold numbers of game birds, all of which we ate. I have more recipes for pheasant, grouse and woodcock than you can shake a stick at. We showed our hunting dogs and hunted over our show dogs.

I do not believe for a minute that the whelping or sale of a single one of those purebred dogs is in any way responsible for the euthanasia of a million unwanted dogs a year at shelters around the country, any more than I believed that cleaning my plate when I was a kid could in any way benefit all the poor starving children in Africa, no matter how much the nuns or my mother tried to make me feel guilty about it.

I couldn't see the logic then and I can't see it now (although today I would maybe refrain from suggesting that we bundle up Sister Edlita's meatloaf and actually send it to the poor starving children in Africa.)

Look at it this way: If I go to a bookstore specifically to buy Matt Ridley's The Human Genome (which, as it happens, I recently did) and that bookstore does not have it, I will do one of two things - I will order it, or I will go to another bookstore that does carry it and purchase it there. What I will NOT do is take the same money and buy Martha Stewart's latest cookbook instead, because this is not what I want.

Guilt without logic is dangerous.

Show breeders are simply not responsible for the millions of unplanned and unwanted mongrels produced in this country. Period. So don't let anyone make you feel guilty about it.

I do not understand why the top horse farms in this country are not in the least embarrassed by the fact they make a lot of money doing it, yet in the world of dogs if one is to be respected, one is to lose one's ass financially. That is a load of horse shit, pure and simple, yet we accept it meekly and without question.

Why is that?

Basic economic theory suggests that if we are not turning a profit, one of two things is wrong - we suffer from poor management, or we are not asking enough for our product to cover our production costs.

What are our costs?  Well, if we are breeding good dogs, besides basic food and veterinary costs we ought to be adding in the costs of showing these animals, and advertising, and health testing, which are not expenses incurred by the high volume breeders (puppy mills).

OK, so we have much higher costs involved in producing our healthier, sounder animals. Yet the average pet shop puppy sells for about the same as the average well bred pet from show stock, and often they sell for much more. What's wrong with this picture? We're stupid that's what's wrong.

Q. Why does a Jaguar sell for ten times more than a Hundai?
A. Because it's worth more and everyone knows it. "And everyone knows it" is the key phrase here, folks. But somehow no one knows our puppies are worth more and we're embarrassed to tell them. Why is that?

The difference between the sale price of a multi million dollar stallion and what he's worth as horsemeat on any given day at a livestock auction is quality. Yet we cannot address this issue in dogs because we are embarrassed to talk about money and dogs in the same breath.

Why is that?

OK, I'll tell you, because someone has to come out and say this sooner or later. There is a war going on. Unlike most wars, however, this one actually has three sides rather than two.

1. We have Show breeders, who are producing a small number of purebred dogs.

2. We have High-Volume breeders who are producing a large number of purebred dogs.

3. We have Animal Rights Activists, who believe that neither group has the right to breed or even own purebred dogs, much less make a profit at it.

While the first group is busy trying to get rid of the second group because they don't like the way they breed dogs (which by the way ain't gonna happen as long as the American public wants purebred dogs and the first group won't produce them) the third group is winning the war.

You think I'm making this up?

Then how come we've started saying we "placed" our puppies instead of sold them? We talk about the new "adoptive homes" instead of their new owners. What's next? Instead of price of a puppy, we'll charge an "adoption fee?" What's wrong with this new language? I'll tell you.

We didn't come up with it, the Animal Rights Activists did - we are just stupid enough to use it. We are stupid because it's based on the premise that we have no right to own dogs. It is based on the premise that dog ownership is the moral equivalent of human slavery, and that the species Homo sapiens has no right to use any other species for any purpose whatsoever, be it food, clothing, medical research, recreation or involuntary companionship.

Now, I don't know about you, but my politically incorrect opinion is: Our species did not spend the last million years clawing our way to the top of the food chain to eat tofu. The stuff tastes like shit no matter how you cook it, and there is absolutely no sense pretending otherwise.

 Zoology 101: Animals who kill other animals for their primary food source are called predators. Their eyes are generally on the front of their skulls, they have teeth designed to tear flesh from bone, and a digestive system designed to digest meat (like us). Animals that live primarily off vegetation are called herbivores. They have better peripheral vision, flat teeth for grinding, and the most efficient of them have multiple stomachs, which we do not (like cows). And lastly, Animals who live primarily off what other have killed (carrion) are called scavengers (think about that one long and hard.)

Man like the canis, is a pack-hunting predator, which is probably why we get along so well. (If that fact bothers you, get over it.) How did we get to the top of the food chain? We are the most intelligent and efficient pack-hunters ever to suck oxygen from the atmosphere, that's how. We are certainly intelligent enough to understand that maintaining that position on this small planet depends on responsible stewardship, not guilt. And we are so damned efficient that we can support a tremendous number of scavengers in our midst -- Like the Animal Rights Activists, for instance. (Me, I think we should dump the whole lot of them buck naked in the Boundary Waters and see how well this egalitarian philosophy of theirs plays out, but that's probably too politically incorrect for anybody else to consider )

So what do we do?

Well, to begin with we need to regain control. The first way we do this is with language, which is the tool they have been using on us. These people who don't want us to "own" dogs are likening themselves to Abolitionists. That's a fallacy, unless you accept the premise that dogs are really little humans in fur coats, which frankly is an insult to a species that has never waged war on the basis of religious differences.

No, the group they really resemble is the Prohibitionists - remember them? A particularly annoying bunch of zealots who firmly believed and somehow managed to convince our duly elected representatives that alcohol was a bad
thing, and any beverage containing it should be illegal in these United States of America. Very few Americans actually agreed with this, by the way, but by the time Congress got its head out of its collective you-know-what, a whole new industry had developed - Organized Crime.

We look back at that whole debacle now and wonder how anything that stupid and wrongheaded ever happened. Well, boys and girls, in the inimitable words of the great Yogi Berra: "It's deja vu all over again." The Prohibitionists are back.
And once again, we are buying it.....amazing

--published in ShowSight Magazine September 2002

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Pictures and Not Much Else

There is no news around here. We're tired of the chilly weather and rain and hoping for an Easter weekend that is so warm and spring-like that being outside for an Easter egg hunt will be appealing. I admit to being a wuss when it comes to being outside in chilly weather.

The puppies had their first car ride and vet visit on Monday. Everyone was declared "healthy" and "cute" and "sweet." All were troopers when it came to the shots.

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


Here are the most recent photos:






Sunday, April 17, 2011

Zach and Latest Puppy Pictures

Thanks to all who sent email and Facebook wishes for a happy anniversary. We appreciated it.

I'm posting some pictures of Zach. I was talking to someone about him and referred the person to the blog to see Zach pictures. Later I realized that I had not posted pictures of him. He finished his championship in December and I had intended to post his finishing picture but never did! I think I posted pictures of  him on my Facebook page instead! Anyway, here are two pictures of our boy Zach. He is so handsome! He finished with back-to-back majors and looked great in the ring -- the best he's ever shown. It was a thrill to watch him and, again, I thank my friend Jane who did a great job showing him for me that weekend.

Ch. Joyslyn MLS Dakota Playboy at Heart
Ch. Joyslyn MLS Dakota Playboy at Heart
 The latest puppy pictures, taken about a week ago, are also included in this post. Everyone is doing well, even the little squirt who toddles around like she owns the place! She's a little tyke but not a "runt," a word I always associate with a puppy that is sickly and not thriving. That is definitely not Miss Penny. She's small but mighty! First vet check and shots are scheduled for Monday afternoon. I apologize for being so far behind with pictures. Last week was a busy one, and the schedule for this one looks just as busy.

Enjoy the pictures and remember...Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!







Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Little More History

On April 15 Lynn and I will celebrate our 39th anniversary! I'm posting two pictures taken on the big day. Memorable events of the evening include an excruciating headache from all the bobby pins holding the veil headpiece in place, my Chi Omega sorority sisters serenading us, our theatre friends singing "You're Nobody Til Somebody Loves You" to us on the church steps, the cake cutters slicing our wedding cake into pie-shaped pieces (???), the minister handing two of our guests brooms to sweep up the rice on the church steps, and (because I'd told Lynn days before the ceremony to "kiss me like he meant it") the "you may kiss the bride" kiss going on and on and on … until everyone in the church was laughing.

Actually, our Lhasa anniversary passed without me remarking on it. Last month marked our 38th year of owning Lhasa Apsos. Here is an excerpt from my April 2009 blog post that tells the story:

…it all started with an encyclopedia salesman! Shortly after our marriage, Lynn and I were besieged by door-to-door salesmen who tried to sell us all kinds of things we couldn't afford. (We were in our last year of college.) One of those salesmen succeeded in selling us a set of encyclopedias. We both had grown up with dogs as part of our families and knew we wanted to have a dog. The "Dogs" section of that encyclopedia happened to have a very nice picture of a Lhasa Apso in it. Now, if you have ever looked at some of the older Lhasa Apso resources, you would know that some of the pictures of the dogs were not very attractive. So, I suppose if I'd seen one of those photos first I wouldn't be where I am today in the Lhasa world.

After we graduated from college, I landed my first teaching job at a high school in Iowa. With my first paycheck, we bought a refrigerator (Harvest Gold, all the rage in 1970's appliance colors!). When the second paycheck arrived, we bought a dog, our first Lhasa Apso, whom we named Joyslyn's Pheebe. We'd seen an ad for Lhasa Apsos at a nearby kennel. Of course, other than the picture in the encyclopedia, we knew nothing about the breed. We did, however, know how to pronounce its name correctly from the start!

Joyslyn's Miss Buffy Jo and Joyslyn's Pheebe
Unfortunately, as evidenced by the photo of Pheebe and Buffy, our first two Lhasas, we did not have a clue about how to groom. As happens with so many first time Lhasa owners, we ended up having to have both girls shaved. We kept Pheebe's coat short but tried to get Buffy's grown out again to show her. She was not having anything to do with being in the ring so, of course, we soon had to get another to show! (That's how it all begins -- just so ya know!). Our third Lhasa was Lutzmor's Dolsa Bo Jangles, but his story is for another day.

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


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some History

Going through some old photos and newspaper clippings recently, I came across an article from 1985 which was written about us and one of our Lhasas, Joyslyn's Riunite. The headline reads, "David City Native Joins Hollywood Cast of Dynasty." The accompanying photo shows a much younger Joyce and Lynn with Rio, as we called him.

Jim Reisdorff of the Columbus (Nebraska) Telegram wrote:

A canine star is born. Well, maybe not exactly, but even Lassie and Benji had to start someplace.

For Rio, the Lhasa Apso, the road to animal stardom will presumably start with occasional appearances on the television series "Dynasty." He will play the role of pet to Alexis Carington, the character played by actress Joan Collins.  Rio's Hollywood connections are courtesy of his former owners, Joyce and Lynn Johanson of David City. The Johansons, who raise the Lhasa Apso dog breed, recently sold the year-old Rio to a California woman whose firm specializes in providing animals for use in movies and television productions…

…There is already a Lhasa Apso appearing in the series, the Johansons noted. Rio will apparently stand in for, and eventually replace, the other dog in future episodes to be filmed next television season.

The Johansons said they do not watch "Dynasty" so they're not familiar with the role of the Carrington dog. From others, Mrs. Johanson said they learned the dog is used mostly to reflect the elegance of Ms. Collins' character. "All he does is lay on Alexis' bed and look pretty. So I don't know for sure what Rio will have to do," Mrs. Johanson said…

(Then the article provides a brief description of the Lhasa Apso and history of the breed, as well as a brief history of Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos.)

…Mrs. Johanson is an English teacher at Aquinas High School while Mr. Johanson is a drama teacher at Concordia Teacher's College in Seward. "Lynn made the comment that he's been working in theatre all this time and it's his dog that makes it to the big time," Mrs. Johanson quipped.

I recall that for a while we kept in touch with Rio's trainer, who kept us updated on Rio's appearances, but the only one I remember is that, in addition to "Dynasty," Rio also appeared in a "Highway to Heaven" episode. Then we just lost touch. It'd be nice to know what other television credits Rio had before his career ended.

Other news…we went to our first show of the year (DeWitt, IA), and it was good to be back in the ring. Walker did "okay," losing on Saturday and winning on Sunday. I took Whisper and Raven along for the ride on Saturday. Maggie got her turn on Sunday. They all seemed to enjoy the trip and the extra attention. Maggie was thrilled when a family came by with a young girl, maybe 7 or 8 years old, who held her and made a big deal over her.

Walker and I are headed to Dekalb, Illinois, early Saturday morning for a show. A Sunday conflict limited us to just the one day but, except for having to be on the road by 3:30 AM, I'm looking forward to it!

The puppies are doing well. The schedule looks busy, so I probably will not get pictures posted until later next week.

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


Friday, April 1, 2011

Latest Puppy Pictures

What a week! Tuesday night Whisper, Breaker, and I went to class in Peoria. Whisper got car sick and drooled all over herself so I dried her off as best I could and let her sit in the crate for a half hour while I worked with Breaker. He is such a happy up-beat dog. I wonder sometimes if he is all beauty and no brain! In spite of not being shown since he finished in October 2009, he was comfortable and confident in class and interested in all the other dogs. He performed well! One owner brought her rather large Chinese Shar Pei to class and the darn thing kept shaking, flopping its big jowls, and splattering everyone around with slober. Gross! We stayed a couple dogs behind it and missed most of the mess.

When it was Whisper's turn, she  acted as if she were born to it (which, if you look closely at her pedigree, she probably was.) Her tail was up, her head was up and she walked around the room like she'd been doing it all her life. Now THAT is what I like to see! Interestingly, we passed the little test I'd concocted in my head. Our trainer does a good job of examining the dogs and I was curious to see if he would discover that she had only 1/2 an ear on one side. He did not, even after 2 examinations. What that means is that it is highly unlikely any other judge will notice either. Later, when I told him about her mom nipping off her ear shortly after birth, he said maybe it was a lucky omen and went on to tell me about two top winning dogs of prick ear breeds that had had similar accidents and gone on to win Best in Show. Not that I have those high aspirations for Whisper, but I would like to be able to show and finish her!

In addition to the usual weekly grooming, I took a vacation day on Thursday and groomed and bathed Walker in preparation for tomorrow's show. Then I came into the office because our Dean was giving sort of a "State of the College" presentation to the Provost and I needed to be here for that. Then I went to the bank, library, post office, and a Weight Watchers meeting. Then I bought groceries.

Once back home,  I  decided I would take Maggie, Raven, and Whisper girls to the show to give them some show experience and to let my friends see them, so I groomed and bathed all three of them. Then I decided we needed to take pictures of the puppies, but they were all gooey from wading in their food bowl so they got their first baths and first experiences under the big dryer.

I worked hard on my "day off."

On top of all that, our four-year-old granddaughter came over to spend the night.

Tomorrow will be our first show of the year. It's about time! I've been having dog show withdrawal! Wish us luck!

The puppies will be 6 weeks old on Sunday. Enjoy the pictures.

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