Thursday, September 15, 2011

2011 American Lhasa Apso Club National Specialty

Oh my goodness, the majority of us Lhasa people will be in an uproar for the next few weeks as we make travel plans and write list after list of items we simply must pack for the week-long events that constitute the American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty week.

This year's ALAC Specialty is being held at the Albuquerque Hilton in Albuquerque, NM. Events run from Monday, October 10 through Friday, October 14. The five days are packed with things to do. Here's a look at the schedule:

Monday evening is ALAC's first Top Twenty Competition. The twenty Lhasas with breed points earning them rankings from #1-#20 as of June 30, 2011, were invited to enter the competition. Each dog will be scored by three judges, yet to be named. One is an AKC judge, another a handler, and another a Lhasa breeder. The event includes a cocktail party and requires semi-formal attire (although I, for one, will be wearing practical shoes in the ring!). Spectators will also be voting for their favorites, with the winner of that ballot receiving the "People's Choice" award. I was thrilled when Walker received his invitation to attend. It sounds like fun!

On Tuesday, the Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado is hosting its specialty. Larry Bruton will judge the Puppy Sweepstakes and the Veteran Sweepstakes. I entered Walker in the Veteran Sweeps in the 7-10 year class. (His birthday is September 22nd. He'll be 9 years old!) Mr. Bill Lee will judge the LACCC Specialty. Raven is entered in the regular classes (Puppy Bitch 9-12). She will be not quite a year old at specialty time. Following the Junior Showmanship judging by Mary Schroeder, evening events begin. These include a reception, the rescue parade, and the Lhasa games, which are always good for fun, relaxation, and lots of laughs.

Wednesday may be a "day-off" for the ALAC's confirmation members, but it will start early in the morning for those involved in companion events. The day for Agility participants begins with an early morning drive to Los Lunas, NM, where the Agility Trial will be held, judged by Rene Fitch.  That afternoon, Janice Anthes will be scoring the performances of the Obedience and Rally participants back in the hotel's ballroom. Later that afternoon, Dr. Donny McGougal, will present the Anatomy seminar sponsored by the Breeder Education Committee.

Another new event for Wednesday of specialty week is ALAC's "Cut Down Sweepstakes." As the title implies, dogs entered in this sweeps must be clipped down, giving judge and spectators alike a look at the dogs' structures without the "interference" of the usual heavy show coat. Annette Rathbun will judge.

Wednesday's finale will be the much-anticipated Futurity, judged by Debbie Burke. The Futurity showcases recently whelped Lhasas (ages 6 – 18 months). The road to the Futurity begins shortly following the birth of a litter when the breeder nominates the litter for the Futurity within 90 days of birth. This year's participants were born between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. The judge will award a Best Puppy in Futurity, chosen from the winners of four classes: Puppy Dog 6-9 months, Puppy Dog 9-12 months, Puppy Bitch 6-9 months, and Puppy Bitch 9-12 months.  Best Adult in Futurity is chosen from among the winners of four classes: Adult Dog 12-15 months, Adult Dog 15-18 months, Adult Bitch 12-15 months, Adult Bitch 15-18 months. Once the two "Bests" are chosen, those two compete against each other for the title "Best in Futurity."

On Thursday, Barbara (Bobbie) Wood judges the ALAC Midwestern Regional Specialty. Again, I have Raven entered in the 9-12 puppy class and Walker entered as a Veteran. Following judging, ALAC will hold its annual business meeting. The Awards Banquet follows. A highlight of the banquet is the video showing the Lhasas who have earned titles in 2010. I sent in photos of both Mira and Zach. Mira finished in March 2010 and Zach in December. After the banquet, ALAC will hold an auction of donated items.

Friday! (Are we tired yet?? – remember that somehow amidst all these meetings and events, dogs must be fed, pottied, groomed, bathed, dried, and prepared for the ring – oh and so do the people!!). Friday begins with the Judges Education Committee presenting the Judges' Seminar as well as the educational seminar for ALAC members who wish to be on the list of approved mentors for judges. Prior to the National Specialty judging, which begins later that morning, there will be a Parade of Titleholders. Betty Leininger will judge the National Specialty. Raven and Walker are entered. The conclusion of the judging marks the official end of specialty week, but much work is left for the (I'm sure by now) exhausted show committee members, other ALAC volunteers, as well as attendees—and their dogs!

Friday night is for relaxing, packing, loading the car, biding good-bye to people we get to see only once a year, and getting some sleep before dawn breaks on Saturday when we'll be loading the dogs and the last of the "stuff" into the van and heading back to the midwest for the 2-day trip home!

It'll be a great time. If you love Lhasas and need a vacation in the southwest, you should pack a bag and join us. Only at the National Specialty will you get to see so many Lhasas from all over the country gathered in one place. You can meet breeders, attend the events, and join the fun. It's always a great time. All Lhasa lovers are welcome!

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


1 comment:

  1. I found your blog....we just had to put our Sushi to sleep. She was 13 1/2 and developed late stages of kidney disease. I have grown sons and my hubby and will miss her so. It is heartbreaking, she was such a good, old girl. At vets this summer and seemed happy. Love this Lhasa soooo much. RIP Sushi!