Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Memory Lane...

August 23rd is a memorable day — 28 years ago my daughter was born! I love her to pieces!

Last week a number of Facebook friends' postings read something like this:  "FREE TO A GOOD HOME: 3 year old child. I've just got a new puppy so no longer have the time for the child. Also worried that the child may bite the puppy. Child is currently crate-trained and has his first shots. Not completely housetrained, but is working on it. Will get along with other children or pets. YOU WOULDN'T DO THIS TO A CHILD SO WHY WOULD IT BE ACCEPTABLE TO DO IT TO AN ANIMAL? If you can't dedicate at least 10 yrs. to YOUR PET, don't get one!! Copy and paste if you agree."

In some postings the child's age changed but the gist of the posting was the same—a well-deserved jab at those pet owners who give up their pets for often frivolous reasons. For example, one of my Lhasa friends who lived in New York once told me a story about a call she received from a Lhasa owner who wanted to "get rid" of her 2-year old light gold Lhasa because (and I am not joking) she was redecorating and the dog no longer matched her furniture. Can you believe that! I'm sure that people involved in rescue have additional ridiculous and horrible stories to tell.

Anyway, reading the sentence, "Child is currently crate-trained…" gave me a mental image of a child in a crate, which in turn led me down memory lane to a dog show in Omaha in November 1982. My son Aaron was 4 years old and, for some insane reason now forgotten, he came to the dog show. I remember Lynn being there also, so we must have been trying to make it a family affair! I was showing two dogs: Elf (Joyslyn's Elfin Magic of Jokang) and Toby (Joyslyn's To Be or Not To Be). Like most children at dog shows whose parents are busy grooming and fussing with the dogs, Aaron became bored, then restless, then whiny. So, while I was grooming Toby, Aaron crawled into Toby's crate and pulled the door shut. I recall saying, "Good place for you!" Along came a photographer and snapped a picture that appeared the following day in the Omaha World Herald.

Oh my goodness, did I hear it from my non-dog show friends in David City all the next week! They were teasing of course about child abuse, mostly because just a week or so prior to Aaron's picture appearing in the paper there had been a huge scandal about a day care provider in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area who did indeed keep children in dog crates. What an awful time for a child attending a dog show to appear in the newspaper in a crate! I guess I'm lucky no investigators came to my door! In this day and age, they probably would!

I found the newspaper clipping last night in one of Aaron's photo albums. It's faded and yellowed but clear enough to bring back some vivid memories!

The Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club has two specialties this weekend in Lake Elmo, MN. Raven, Maggie, Breaker, and I are headed there early Thursday morning. My biggest worry involves preparing for the show. The heating element in my stand dryer is acting up. I ordered a new one on the 15th that has not yet arrived, and even if it comes today, I'll never get a repairman to fix the dryer so I can use it tomorrow night. Drying dogs (or maybe that should be "trying to dry dogs") tomorrow night might not be one of the best experiences I've had! I'm attempting to mentally prepare myself.

Oh did I also mention that this morning I found water all over the utility room floor from the hot water heater? What a mess! A wonderful customer service woman (Laura) in the Warranty Department at Sears has been very helpful and perhaps we'll have a new water heater by the end of today.

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


Monday, August 15, 2011

Sharing Photos

We've had a hiatus from dog shows and I'm really looking forward to the next ones the last weekend in August. Breaker,  Raven, Maggie and I are headed to Lake Elmo for the Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club's two specialties and one of the two all-breed shows. It's almost an 8 hour drive so I decided to head home early  Sunday morning rather than stay for Sunday's show and then have to drive well into the night to get home.

I'm sharing pictures of Raven's win at the Waukesha show in July. She looks so pretty.

Here's a picture of Breaker taken on the previous day. I cropped myself out  because the photographer caught me as I was bending over. I remarked that at least the picture of the top of my head  indicated I had a full head of hair, no scalp showing! One of friends commented that I could also be glad no cleavage was showing. (Ha...now you wish I'd post the whole picture, right?)
Today is my birthday so it was a nice 'present' that these photos arrived in the mail. I was looking forward to seeing how they turned out!

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


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What Color Is that Puppy?

The question of Lhasa Apso color often arises when a person is filling out the AKC registration paperwork and suddenly stops, considers the color codes, and asks, "Hmm…I wonder what color she will be?"

Lhasa puppies tend to change color as they grow, and often it is difficult to predict just what is going to happen to the color. For example, a red-gold puppy with some dark overlay might, as she grows up, lose the red and the dark overlay, and simply be gold with black tips on her ears and face (or not!). Knowing that, an owner has to be cautious when registering and think ahead to what might be rather than looking at what is. The general rule I follow is that because the coat color tends to lighten with age, I chose what experience and educated guessing has shown to happen. One way to get a better handle on coat color for a gold puppy is to push the hair the "wrong" way and to check color at the roots. Gold puppies tend to be born a dark gold or brown color and lighten as they grow. Checking color near the skin will give you a better idea of what the coat is doing as it grows.

The colors and codes AKC accepts for Lhasa registration follow.  The codes are in parentheses.

The standard Lhasa colors are Black (007), Black and Tan (018), Cream (076), Golden (093), Grizzle (109), Red (140) Red Gold (152), and White (199). 

Alternate colors are Blue (037) (Note: we are not talking Smurf Blue here!), Charcoal (331), Gray (100), Liver (123), and Silver (176).  

The standard markings are Black Mask With Tips (054), Black Tips (053), Brindle (051), Parti-Color (038), Sable (026), and White Markings (014).

Sable, White Markings (067) is an alternate marking.

A little confusing, isn't it?

I have never seen a blue Lhasa. The blue that is referred to is like the color of a Kerry Blue Terrier (ranging from a blue-black slate to a light blue-gray). I have only seen photos of a liver Lhasa. The problem with the liver color for people who show is that the Lhasa standard calls for black pigment, and the liver Lhasas have liver pigment so they cannot be shown. Way back in 1973, I saw a Lhasa male whose color could be described as silver. He was a young dog and the color was beautiful but I have not seen one that color since. I've often wondered what happened to that coat color as he matured.

If you are looking for Lhasa resources: (1) The AKC Lhasa pages have some information for people wanting to know more about our breed. A brief "Meet the Breed" description is given, followed by the Standard and then links to the following: Information about colors and markings, a few trivia bits about the breed, a brief history, a few photos of Lhasas (all with long coats), a link to help people find a puppy (but the link only brings up names of people who have listed litters on AKC's classified advertising page), a link to a page for supply shopping, and then one to a few-second video showing some adult coated Lhasas and a cute puppy romping through the grass.

(2) Check out the American Lhasa Apso Club's website where you will find more information about the breed, articles of interest, more photos, and other helpful resources. A map of the U.S. offers help to someone looking for a breeder. Click a state and a box comes up listing ALAC members who live in that state.

(3) Also, don't forget my website with all of its great articles, helpful grooming tips, photos, resources, and links!

Finally, congratulations go to Stacey and Lisa who drove to Macomb last weekend for Dreamer. I'm posting a video of Dreamer as she meets another of their family pets!  I'm proud of Dreamer for being so polite in her play as she meets a new friend. 

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


Monday, August 1, 2011

Show Results and Some Photos

Walker on the move. I love this picture!

Early, early (like 3:30) Friday morning, Raven, Breaker, and I pulled out of the driveway and began our nearly 5-hour trip to Waukesha, WI, for 3 days of dog shows. The Waukesha show site is outdoors, under tents, which makes it the only outdoor show we go to. Each year I ask myself why! Don't they know it's darn hot at the end of July? Don't I know it's hot at the end of July? Yet I keep returning.

This year the heat was exceptional. OMG…I thought I was going to keel over. Friday was not so bad as we showed at 10:00 AM. Saturday and Sunday, however, we did not get into the ring until 2:00 or so. The tent provided about 4 feet of shade, and the judges tried to keep us in the shade as much as possible but dogs and people were crowded in those instances, bumping against each other, tripping over the gate (yes, that would be me), and stepping on each other (or each other's dogs—I'm not naming any names here!)

One reason I return each year is that the Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club hosts an annual specialty at the Waukesha show. It is not so much the specialty itself as it is the enjoyment at seeing the club members and other Lhasa exhibitors who attend from other states. A nice surprise on Saturday was a visit from Barbara, Tom, and their Lhasa Daisy. Daisy (the Lhasa formerly known at our house as Desi) went to Barbara and Tom when she was 9 months old. They live nearby and drove to Waukesha to watch us show. I was so glad to see Daisy. She could not have cared less about me though. She loves being spoiled by Barbara and Tom! Tom calls her the "PP" – Perfect Puppy.

Breaker was shown all three days, taking Best Opposite Sex each day and earning more points toward his Grand Champion title. If I have added correctly, he needs only 4 more. Each time I show him I get more disappointed because he is not showing to his potential. He likes being at the shows. He likes being outside the ring waiting to go in. It seems he has a problem with the ring itself and I'm starting to think he wants only female judges! I keep telling myself he has to learn all over again because it's been nearly 2 years since he has been in the ring. I thought some maturity would get him past his antsy and sometimes skittish behavior. I guess I need more patience.

Raven was shown on Saturday and Sunday. I did not show her Friday because I was trying an experiment to see if part of Breaker's problem was me leaving him at ringside, often with a total stranger, to take Raven in the ring, and then running back in a hurry to quickly switch armbands and grab him to get back in the ring for the Best of Breed judging. I think that may be part of the problem because he showed his best on Friday and by Sunday he was awful.

Anyway, experiment aside, Raven did an excellent job both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday she not only won a 4-point major by taking Winners Bitch but she also took the Best of Winners ribbon! On Sunday, she again won her class and got a really close look for winners. The ribbon and the major went to the Open Bitch. Raven took Reserve. (Like the Miss America runner-up, Reserve is a good thing when, for some reason, the winner is disqualified.)

Now, just a paragraph to brag about Raven: First, she is a very lovely black. Second, she has a gorgeous outline, a pretty face, a tight reverse scissors bite, and eye-catching movement. Third, she is chalking up wins quickly. She won her first two points from the 6-9 month old class in Iowa City when she and Maggie were the only two females entered. (Okay, no big deal there!) We then went to the West Bend, WI, specialty on July 2nd. She was shown in the 6-9 month class and won the 5-point major. The two shows in Waukesha were her fourth and fifth shows, this time in the 9-12 months class. By the end of the weekend she had 11 points total, including both of her majors. For those readers who do not show their dogs, you need to understand what a huge relief it is for an owner when a dog gets both majors out of the way early. Majors can sometimes be hard to come by, not only to win but also to find! 

Also, for those of you who do not show, I apologize for using dog show jargon. If you don't understand what I mean, let me know so I can explain. I'll start with what I mean when I talk about a "major."

Points at a dog show are determined by AKC based on the number of entries in a breed for each sex. The United States is divided into regions and each year in April or early May, AKC publishes the new points scale for each breed in each region. The most points a dog can win at a show are 5. It takes 15 points for a dog to earn his/her championship; however, within those 15 points two of the wins have to be "Major Wins," wins of three, four, or five points. In other words, a dog cannot go to 15 shows, win a point at each show and become a champion!

Here is an example of a point scale for Lhasas in Region 5 (Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana):
Dogs (Males) - two must be entered for there to be 1 point awarded; three must be entered for 2 points; four for 3 points (a major); five for 4 points (a major), and seven for five points (a major).
Bitches (Females) – two must be entered for there to be 1 point; four for 2 points; six for 3 points (a major); seven for 4 points (a major), and ten for 5 points (a major).

The Lhasa's point scale in the other regions will be different.

By the way, the 1- and 2-point wins are referred to as "singles." Thus, you might hear someone tell a friend, "Fluffy just needs 3 singles to finish." Translated, that means that Fluffy has at least two majors and needs three 1-point wins or a 1-point and 2-point win to earn her championship. That owner is breathing easy. Another might say, "Bubba still needs both majors to finish," meaning that Bubba has accumulated 9 single points (1- and 2-point wins) and now needs two 3-point majors to earn his championship. That owner is wondering how many shows he'll have to enter and not be able to show in because too few dogs were entered for there to be a major.

Okay, enough of that!

Dreamer leaves us this weekend. She's been waiting a few weeks while her new owners go on vacation. That leaves Raven and Maggie as our only puppies – and they are growing up fast, already 9 months old. Some have inquired about our next litters.  We have plans for two litters, but Dancer and Belle probably will not be bred until September or October, so puppies will not be ready until after the first of the year.

Zach. Such a pretty face!
We've decided to offer Zach for sale. He is a young male, not quite 2 years old yet. He still has his pretty coat and he is a sweet as can be. One reason we are offering him for sale is that he longs to be an only dog. He loves being with people and is one of the few Lhasas we've had in all these years that is a lap sitter. He sits in the recliner with Lynn and watches TV. He has a great sense of humor and can be active but is mostly content just to be with his people. Although he is a champion, we are selling him at pet price on a neuter contract, just as we do with the puppies. Such decisions are always difficult but we have to do what we think is best for our dogs.

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