Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Specialty: Part VI - The Results

I was finally able to find a reliable source from which to mark my Specialty catalog. What follows are the results of the various confirmation shows held during ALAC's National Specialty Week. The names in parentheses are the names of the owners. 

I recall that years ago AKC considered and then rejected allowing the Reserve Winners (Dog and Bitch) to earn a 3-point major as a result of taking Reserve at a National Specialty. Each year when I think of the number of dogs defeated by the Reserve Winners at the National Specialty and compare that number to what it takes to earn a 3-point major at a "regular show" (e.g., in Illinois it takes only 4 dogs to make a 3-point major), well at that point I really wish AKC would have voted to allow those majors for Reserve National Specialty wins!

Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado, October 11, 2011
Judge- Mr. Bill Lee

Winners Dog:  APSOLUTELY KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ (DeCleir & Clark)
Reserve Winners Dog:  RUFKINS MONARCH JUST BECAUSE I AM (Lombardi & Harrison)
Winners Bitch:  PRK'S DEFYING GRAVITY (DeMers)
Reserve Winners Bitch:  ELMINJA'S SNYIN-NYE (Strayer, Byrne, & LaSart)
Best of Breed :  CH RUSHMAR’S CHARMER (McCutcheon)
Best of Winners :  APSOLUTELY KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ (DeCleir & Clark)
Best of Opposite Sex:  GCH CH SUNDANCER ALEKSANDRA (Hamilton & Johnson)
Select Dog :  GCH CH TA SEN BOND JAMES BOND (Giles & Vaden)
Select Bitch :  GCH CH MONARCH RUFKJNS TANGO IN PARIS (Harrison, Stafford, & Lombardi) 
Best Puppy in Puppy Classes : RUFKINS MONARCH JUST BECAUSE I AM (Lombardi & Harrison) 
Bred-By-Exhibitor:  PRK’S DEFYING GRAVITY (DeMers)

Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado, October 11, 2011
Judge-Mr. Larry Bruton

Best in Sweepstakes: SUNDANCER SASHELLIE MARTA HARI (Hamilton, Holibaugh, Worlton, & Johnson)
Best of Opposite Sex to Best in Sweepstakes: SUNDANCER SASHELLIE RHAPSODY (Hamilton, Holibaugh, Worlton, & Johnson)
Best in Veteran Sweepstakes: GCH CH JOYSLYN MITOYA WIND WALKER  (Johanson & Hays)

American Lhasa Apso Club, October 12, 2011
Judge-Ms. Annette Rathbun

Best Cut Down in Sweepstakes: CH FFT KISSES OF FIRE (Kuhlman, Timbers, & Rothman)
Best of Opposite Sex to Best Cut Down in Sweepstakes: CH TIMBERS CONFIDENTAILLY YOURS (Timbers & Timbers)

American Lhasa Apso Club Central Regional Specialty, October 13, 2011
Judge-Ms. Barbara J Wood

Winners Dog: WESTGATE MONOGRAM BOB HOPE (Sehnert & Williams)
Reserve Winners Dog: SERA MAR KHASA ZUNI SUNSHINE (Schwartz & Schwartz)
Winners Bitch: RUFKINS SUMMERHILL WORD OF MOUTH (Lombardi & Bjornsson)
Reserve Winners Bitch: SUNDANCER SASHELLIE MARTA HARI (Hamilton, Holibaugh, Worlton, & Johnson)
Best Lhasa Apso: CH RUSHMAR’S CHARMER (McCutcheon)
Best of Winners: RUFKINS SUMMERHILL WORD OF MOUTH (Lombardi & Bjornsson)
Best of Opposite Sex : CH FFT TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (Timber, Timbers, & Rothman)
Best Puppy in Puppy Classes: RUFKINS SUMMERHILL WORD OF MOUTH (Lombardi & Bjornsson)
Bred-By-Exhibitor: DESIDERATA MLS DAKOTA MAGIC O’FLIGHT (Susag & Miller)
Award of Merit: GCH CH TA SEN BOND JAMES BOND (Giles & Vaden)
Award of Merit: GCH SUNDANCER’S REBEL SHADOW TRYST (Worlton & Johnson)
Award of Merit: GCH CH SUNDANCER ALEKSANDRA (Hamilton & Johnson)
Award of Merit: GR CH MONARCH RUFKJNS TANGO IN PARIS  (Harrison, Stafford, & Lombardi)
Award of Merit: CH MACH2 INDIAN HILL MELOU’S JOSIE RA OF (Torgerson)

American Lhasa Apso Club National Specialty, October 14, 2011
Judge-Ms. Betty Regina Leininger

Winners Dog: ODIE'S I HAVE A DREAM (Fluhart)
Reserve Winners Dog: APSOLUTELY KEEP ON TRUCKIN' (DeCleir & Clark)
Winners Bitch: REDFOX'S WOODEN Y'LIKE TO BE AN ANGEL (Cannimore & Winslow)
Reserve Winners Bitch: PRK'S DEFYING GRAVITY (DeMers)
Best Lhasa Apso: GCH CH TA SEN BOND JAMES BOND (Giles & Vaden)
Best of Winners: REDFOX’S WOODEN Y’ LIKE TO BE AN ANGEL (Cannimore & Winslow)
Best of Opposite Sex: GCH CH MONARCH RUFKJNS TANGO IN PARIS (Harrison, Stafford, & Lombardi)
Select Dog: GCH RED FOX’S ONE WING IN THE FIRE (Cannimore & Cannimore)
Best Puppy in Puppy Classes: SUNDANCERS HYLAN SHOTRU BRANDY MINE (Worlton, Worlton, & Worlton)
Bred-By-Exhibitor: REDFOX’S WOODEN Y’ LIKE TO BE AN ANGEL (Cannimore & Winslow)
Award of Merit: GCH CH JOYSLYN MITOYA WIND WALKER (Johanson & Hays)
Award of Merit: CH RUSHMAR’S CHARMER (McCutcheon)
Award of Merit: GCH CH EDREY TAM HUFF ANGEI.S ARE WITH ME (Hoskins & Hoskins)
Award of Merit: CH FFT TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN (Timbers, Timbers, & Rothman)
Award of Merit: CH TARA HUFF EDREY MISS RUBY ROUGE (Huffman & Valle)

And as always, in case you need reminding...
Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

National Specialty: Part V - The Trip Home

Saturday and Sunday, October 15-16

By 7:30 Saturday morning, the four of us had our dogs, our ex-pens, and our overnight bags at the van for the final packing. Oh my…things were tight. We, the dogs, the microwave, the cooler, all the suitcases, suitcase crates, ex-pens, boxes, totes, food, pillows, blankets, water jugs…. well, it all finally fit. By 9:00 we'd stopped at a McDonald's for Egg McMuffins, and we on our way east, heading for home.

The road ahead was a long one. Gone was the anticipation of what the specialty week would bring. In its place was the longing in each of us for the trip to be over so we could be home in our own beds.

As a result of being worn out from the week's activities, we stopped more frequently and played "tourist." For example, we stopped outside of Amarillo to walk into the field to see the Cadillac Ranch, where 10 Cadillacs are buried, nose down. People stop, walk through a turnstile entrance onto a rutted dirt road, and walk what might amount to a couple of blocks to see the Cadillacs. Most (not us because we did not know we were going to stop there) bring along cans of spray paint to add a bit of self-expression to the cars. I imagine someone stops by daily to pick up the empty spray cans strewn about or the pile would get deep. It seems that most of the "artists" do not know how to find the dumpster located at the entrance.
Read more about the Cadillac Ranch here

We took a picture of a huge cross located outside of Groom, Texas. I guess it depends on where you are from because when we first about the cross, we heard it was the largest in the western hemisphere. Another person told us it was the third largest. Anyway, it is huge and hard to miss. We did not stop, but Jan managed to take a picture of it. You can get an idea of how large it is compared to the building it stands near. This website has some interesting pictures and information about its construction

Another interesting attraction in Groom is the leaning water tower. Here's a picture of it too, along with a website in case you want to read more

We drove by the Bug Ranch in Conway, Texas, where someone copied the Cadillac Ranch idea by planting some old VWs. We went by too fast to get a picture, but here is a link to a website about the Bug Ranch.

The last tourist-y thing we did was to stop somewhere in Texas or Oklahoma at a gift shop selling southwestern-type wares, from cacti (LaVonne bought one), to pottery, jewelry, clothing, toys, etc…Outside the shop we found a mural depicting a Native American scene painted on the side of a building, a sculpture of a Native American astride his horse, a tepee, and a couple of painted buffalo. Photo ops!! Here are the results.

We made it as far as Lebenon, Missouri, where we stopped just after midnight to get a few hours of sleep. (When I say "few" that's what I mean!). From there, it was 7 hours to Macomb. We made it by 3:00 Sunday afternoon! What a relief for me. However, from my house, Jan, Karen, and LaVonne still had quite a long trek. It was 5 hours to LaVonne's, then another 3 hours to Jan's, where Karen spent the night.

We are all thankful for a safe trip to and from our destination and for our friendship and memories of the journey. We have a lot to laugh and reminisce about.

It's been fun re-living the experience by writing about it. Thanks to everyone who's taken time to read about our 2011 trip to the ALAC National Specialty!

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


Monday, October 24, 2011

National Specialty: Part IV - Thursday and Friday

ALAC Specialty Week
Thursday and Friday, October 13-14

Thursday and Friday were great days for us. I don't mean to indicate that we walked away with lots of points and huge prizes, but the judges appreciated my dogs and that made me feel great. Many other spectators and exhibitors positively commented on them also—always an ego boost!

Early Thursday morning I spent money at ALAC's Ways and Means table buying a logo sweatshirt and a set of pewter Lhasa wind chimes. I was pretty sure I had room in the suitcase for both.

Other vendors included one who sold lovely Tibetan jewelry (I apologize for not recalling her name); Fran Strayer, who was selling beautiful Lhasa Apso note cards (I have so many of them mounted and framed and hanging on my walls or sitting on end tables. They are almost too cute to write on! If any of you are interested in the note cards, let me know, and I'll send you Fran's contact information); and Susan Giles with her array of Pawmarks items—brushes, combs, bands, water bottle holders, decorative items, crate pads and more! is the website. 

When the judging began, I enjoyed mentoring a judge who had come to the specialty to watch the Lhasas and to participate in Friday's Judges Education Seminar. She was knowledgeable, perceptive, and inquisitive about the Lhasa. She asked very good questions and kept me on my toes throughout the morning.

Diane stopped by again to chat and say good-bye before she and Leanne left for home. Her visit was short but very much appreciated as she has a great sense of humor and a joy of life that makes being with her fun.

Ms. Barbara Wood was the judge for Thursday's ALAC Midwest Regional Specialty. Walker was my first dog to be shown. He "won" the Veteran's class easily! (I say "won" and "easily" because once again he was the only veteran dog there.) Anyway, that win meant that he was eligible to participate in the Best of Breed competition. I had a dilemma…Raven had been moved up to Best of Breed, but unlike Tuesday, that meant I had two of them in the Breed competition. Unable to clone myself, I called on Karen for help.

All the Breed competitors had to go into the ring together for armband checks. Karen took Raven in and I took Walker. Then the bitch specials, the veteran (Walker), and Winners Dog and Winners Bitch were dismissed while the dog specials were judged. (Note to non-dog show readers: A "special" is a champion who is competing for Best of Breed.) After the dogs were judged and Ms. Wood made her cut, it was the bitch specials' turn to be judged. I took Raven in and was pleased when she made the cut. But now we had a problem! Which dog, Walker or Raven, should I show? I made a snap decision not to change armbands and gave Karen the nod to show Walker. I was nervous because never in his 9 years had anyone but me shown him. Well, you would not know that because he showed like a dream for Karen. We were both surprised and relieved. I thought there would be problems because in the line up Walker was at the end of the male specials and Raven was at the beginning of the bitch specials, meaning that she and I were in line right behind Walker and Karen. Neither dog seemed to care. They both showed their hearts out and I was so very pleased when Walker, the oldest champion in the ring, was singled out for the Select Dog Award and Raven, the youngest champion in the ring, was chosen for the Select Bitch Award! There were 25 champions entered that day. Raven's placement gave her 5 more points toward her Grand Championship. She now has 7 and needs 25, so I imagine I'll be showing her next year, trying to earn those other grand champion points.

Following the judging and the photos, which I will share with you once I get them, we all rushed to get our dogs' headfalls put up and then hurried back to our rooms to potty and feed the dogs so we could get to the annual meeting on time. Many important issues were slated for discussion. It was a bittersweet meeting for me because it was my last as the club's Vice President, a position I've held since 2004. However, I was nominated for a Board of Directors position and was elected to that position, so I'm happy to serve ALAC for another 3 years.

After the meeting, we again rushed to change clothes and don attire that had a southwestern flare so we could attend the annual awards banquet. I chose an outfit of brown and turquoise. The banquet food was expensive and rather blah, as food at these kinds of banquets tends to be. (Dessert was cheesecake and it was delicious!) But food is not the main reason we attend! The highlight of the banquet for me is always the Awards Slide Show. However, before the slide show began, our President Barbara Schwartz announced the winner of ALAC's first Member of the Year Award. She called my name! I was proud and humbled to receive such an honor. In addition to the plaque, I received an AKC medallion that was presented to me on a very special set of Mardi Gras beads chosen by LaVonne, Karen, and Jan. The plaque sits in a place of honor in my office. The beads hang from my rearview mirror, a reminder at least four times daily of the honor given me and of my friends' crazy sense of humor!

Now hanging from my mirror
Back to the Award Slide Show: Phyllis Misite once again outdid herself by compiling photos members sent to her of their 2010 champions and setting the slide show to music. My 2010 champions featured in the show were Zach, Ch. Joyslyn MLS Dakota Playboy at Heart, and Mira, Ch. Karlyn Joyslyn Who's the Fairest. Ch. Joyslyn Miss Cheevy-us, owned by Karen Schlais, was featured for earning her Register of Merit (Dam) Award.

The Awards Banquet ended with an auction unsurpassed in its hilarity as auctioneer Marsha Susag attempted to cajole members into bidding higher and higher on many beautiful items. She was successful! Everyone had a great time and a lot of laughs, and money was raised for the club. I basically sat on my hands the entire time, afraid that any movement would result in Marsha telling me I'd just bid $100 on something! LOL!!!

I honestly do not remember anything else about Thursday night except getting back to our room and changing into comfortable clothes. I was so tired that I fell asleep in the middle of a conversation with Marsha – and I only know that because she teased me about it the next day. Other evidence that I was wiped out: Marsha made caramel popcorn in the microwave and I slept through the popping, the aroma, and the eating! Unheard of!!!

Friday morning involved more rushing. The Judges Education Seminar and the ALAC Mentor training began at 7:30. I was involved with both. Members of ALAC who were interested in finding out more about our mentor program were invited to listen to the seminar presentation with the three judges who attended. When the PowerPoint presentation ended, and the judges were involved in the hands-on portion of the seminar, I went over the mentor guidelines with the interested members.

Suddenly, we all realized it was after 9:30 and that the judging started at 10:00! I sped down the hall to potty Raven and Walker and get them loaded on the cart to take to the ballroom. I spent the rest of the morning in the grooming area of the ballroom getting them groomed and ready to show while watching the judging. Friday's judge was Ms. Betty Leininger. I happened to glance at the judging schedule at one point and my heart leaped. I assumed (you know what they say about assuming…) that the veteran class would be judged at 1:00 as it had been on Thursday. Oh no…it was on the morning schedule following the Winners Bitch judging! Fortunately, Walker was close enough to being ready that the timing was not an issue for us; however, the owners of the other male veteran were under the same assumption as I and were in a panic since they bathed and had just begun to dry their dog! Some quick rescheduling was done, and we were able to show the veterans after lunch.

Walker had competition in the Veteran's class for the first time that week, and I was so excited when he won! Once again he and Raven would compete with 31 others entered in the Best of Breed competition. Although Karen and I had a strategy worked out, we did not need it since Raven did not make the cut. Walker showed his heart out though and was awarded one of the coveted Awards of Merit. When Walker's photo was being taken, the judge commented to me that she liked my bitch (Raven) but that she (Raven) was too small for her (the judge). 

I'm including this photo of our rosettes for my friend Rebecca, who loves rosettes! The two light blue and white ones on the left are the Select Dog and Select Bitch rosettes. The small pink and green one and the two larger pink ones are the Veteran's class rosettes. The picture does not do justice to the beautiful black and turquoise rosette Walker received for being in the Top 20 competition. What you cannot see well is his name on it. The large turquoise rosette was Friday's Award of Merit rosette.

Now, back to the saga:  Photos taken, it was time to pack up our grooming area, get back to the room and start packing clothing, dog supplies, and all the other "stuff" we'd gathered during the week, in preparation for leaving Saturday morning. I hung the rosettes from hangers in the garment bag to keep them from getting too wrinkled and then started sorting things that went in the suitcase, overnight bag, grooming tote, etc. I reluctantly turned down an invitation to dinner, thinking that if I took time to relax I'd never get the packing done. Later, LaVonne convinced me to take a break and to go to dinner with her, Jan, and Karen. As I looked at the piles and piles of things to be packed I wondered if I should go, but I finally decided some food, good conversation, and laughter was what I needed.

Evidently I was starving because when the waitress returned to our table to refill drinks, she looked at my empty plate and the nearly-full plates of my friends and commented, "Wow, you ate fast!"

After dinner, we arranged a time to meet by the van in the parking lot to begin the ordeal of packing the van for the trip home. We managed to get everything packed on Friday night except the dogs, their ex-pens, ourselves, and our overnight bags. Everything fit even more tightly because we were all taking home extra items, especially Jan! She'd been very lucky at Friday's raffle and won three huge baskets of goodies, including two lovely pieces of large pottery and an array of #1 All Systems grooming products. LaVonne took home some Green Bay Packers items from the raffle and won wine in the silent auction. Jan's winning streak continued as she came away with some lovely jewelry from the silent auction. Jan's an excellent packer and evidently good at jigsaw puzzles because somehow on Saturday morning her van-loading plan came together and all our things fit—barely!

Kudos to all who played a part in making the 2011 Specialty such a success. If I start a list, I am sure to omit someone, so I hesitate to do it. However, I want to mention Linda Jarrett, Show Chair; Sandy Devlin, Hospitality and Trophy Chair; Fran Kanipe, Obedience and Rally Chair; and Mary Jane Orrie, Advertising Chair. They, their friends in the area from other breed clubs, and a multitude of ALAC member volunteers all pitched in as needed and worked hard to make the 2011 National Specialty week fun and successful.

By the way, if you could not be there and want some idea of what happened, do not despair! Larry Bruton filmed Wednesday's ALAC Futurity and Friday's ALAC National Specialty. DVD's are available for $20 (Futurity) and $35 (Specialty) or both for $50. Prices include shipping. Larry is donating 10% to ALAC. To order contact Larry Bruton, 5406 SW Woods Court, Portland, OR  97221.

The story and photos from the trip home are yet to come.

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


Friday, October 21, 2011

National Specialty: Part III - Wednesday

ALAC Specialty Week

Wednesday, October 12:
Up at 5:20, Marsha and I exercised and fed the dogs, got ourselves ready, jumped in the van, and headed to Los Lunas for the agility trial. Marsha had Twist (Zach's sire) entered in the trial. I, being incapable of training an agility dog – not that I have tried, but I know myself) did not have a dog entered but went along for moral support, as well as to help with the set-up and do whatever else anyone needed me to do at the trial. I really enjoy watching the agility trials so it was a pleasure to go for that reason alone.

The morning was brisk. Nope, it was darn cold. And the grass (nice green grass) was wet from dew. Nevertheless, the intrepid early morning bunch that showed up to build the course got to work quickly and with few comments. (It was too cold to talk.) Debby and I learned that if you have to move a tunnel, it is easier to do if you scrunch it up and put a pole in it, then carry it using the pole. We only had to move two tunnels, both of which turned out to be too short for the course layout, before someone took pity on us and gave us that hint. We were able to move the third one with less effort. (It was still darn heavy!)

I then got lucky (or perhaps someone else took pity on my lack of knowledge). I was assigned to follow Melissa around carrying an armful of poles and to place the poles where she told me to place them. This I could easily handle!

Later, courses built, gloves and shoes/socks soaked with dew, we were all grateful to see Barbara and Bobbie show up with coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts!

I'm always amazed by agility Lhasas and the partnership that exists between them and their owners. Many dogs had beautiful and fast runs. Others goofed off a little, some a lot!! All owners took the disappointments in stride and all the dogs left the course happy.

I was fortunate again to get a job I could handle during the trial. I was assigned to be the leash runner, which involved picking up the dog's leash at the entrance to the course and taking it to the exit so it could be put back on the dog before he/she exited the course. Mind you, some of the dogs ran the course so fast that I often had to hustle between entrance and exit just to get there on time!

Just as the morning was warming up, it was time for me to head back to Albuquerque to begin the next phase of my day. I caught a ride with Barbara and Bobbie as they left.

The message light was blinking on the phone in the hotel room. Checking it, I learned that my good friend, Diane, formerly from Bloomington, Illinois, and now living in Las Cruses, was on her way to Albuquerque to see me! She'd read my blog and various Facebook postings about the specialty and decided to surprise me. That made my day!

As past Chairperson of the Breeder Education Committee, I was asked by the current Chair if I would host the Breeder Education Seminar since she was unable to attend the specialty. I agreed. Since I had a couple of hours before the seminar started, I decided I should bathe Raven again so she'd look decent for Thursday's show. Having complained about the lack of water pressure from the showerhead, I was rescued by a friend who said I could use her shower which had a hand-held sprayer attached. I eagerly accepted the offer! Raven was bathed, dried, and I was dressed up and ready a half hour before the seminar was scheduled to begin.

Afraid that we were not going to get much of a crowd at the seminar, I rounded up some people who were hanging around the ballroom and grooming area and encouraged them to attend and to spread the word. By 2:30, when the seminar was to begin, the presenter arrived and the room began to fill with people. The presenter was Dr. Donny MacDougall, a veterinarian from Albuquerque who has many dog show people as clients. His topic was anatomy, and his focus for the hour presentation was common skeletal defects. He specifically addressed Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, Patellar Luxation, and Hip Dysplasia. He offered his audience an option to OFA by introducing us to the PennHip screening procedure for hip dysplasia. I've attached scanned copies of the brochure he gave us so you can read about the process. Click each photo to enlarge it so the print is readable.

Seminar over, I presented Dr. MacDougall his check and made it outside to the patio area just in time for the beginning of ALAC's first Cut Down Sweepstakes. Fourteen Lhasas were entered. They were all in various stages of "clipped down," some clipped quite closely, others with cute little hair cuts and leg fringes. It was great to see structure and movement without all the coat normally seen in the show ring. Everyone had a good time and it seems likely this sweepstakes will become a part of our specialty week. There were murmurings about how close the coat needs to be cut, so I anticipate some rules might be forthcoming regarding that issue. The photo shows Ron Crowder with Zorro (Ch. Takashi's Codename Zebra), Raven's grandsire, during the Cut Down Sweepstakes. In the meantime, in the ballroom the obedience and rally events were about to begin, so after the winners were chosen for the Cut Down Sweepstakes, I wandered into the ballroom to sit, relax a while, and watch rally. That is where Diane found me when she arrived. We spent  a pleasant time chatting and catching up on each other's lives until she and her friend decided it was time for them to find a restaurant.

Wednesday evening's event was the Futurity, judged by Ms. Debbie Burke. The Futurity provides a showcase for Lhasas between 6 – 18 months. Only those dogs that are nominated for the Futurity within 90 days of birth are allowed to participate in the event. This year's participants were born between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011. I had nothing entered in the Futurity and was happy to be able to sit and watch the judging. Best Puppy and Grand Futurity Winner was Westgate Monogram Bob Hope, from the 9-12 Puppy Dog Class. The Best Adult was awarded to Ch. Hi Tide Sea Shell-y.

Was that the end? By no means! I still had to bathe and dry Walker! Again, the use of my friend's hand-held showerhead came in quite handy, and I was grateful for her offer to use it. A couple hours later, Walker was bathed, dried and ready for Thursday's show. I was ready for a drink and had a margarita-flavored wine cooler. We popped popcorn in the microwave, relaxed, and chatted about the events of the day.

Relaxation…what a concept!

Two days remained of Specialty Week. ALAC's Midwestern Regional Specialty was held on Thursday, and the ALAC National Specialty was held on Friday. Both days held some exciting and surprising events for me!

More to come…

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


Thursday, October 20, 2011

National Specialty: Part II - Monday and Tuesday

ALAC Specialty Week

Monday, October 10:
After a trip with Marsha to the nearby WalMart where we purchased water, snacks, and other necessities for the week that we'd either forgotten to pack or had to leave behind for lack of space, I spent the morning grooming and bathing Walker and Raven. I was relieved that the trip had not been too bad on their coats. The first time I took Walker to a National Specialty his coat did not do well. Marsha, JoAnne (Walker's co-owner and co-breeder), and I traveled to California in 2003 when Walker was just a year old. He somehow became totally matted between the time I groomed him when we overnighted in Colorado and when we stopped the next night somewhere just east of Las Vegas. While JoAnne and Marsha slept, I sat on the not-so-clean carpet of the motel room grooming Walker for hours, and watching re-run after re-run after re-run of Mr. Ed. The TV had no remote control so I could not change the channel without getting up from my grooming spot on the floor! I have not watched a Mr. Ed episode since then either!

Fortunately neither Walker's nor Raven's coats had more than a few easy-to-remove tangles on this trip.

Bathing the dogs was not fun. I managed to get as wet as the dogs. The showerhead in the tub was one of those rain showers that was "green" and water saving, but had barely enough water pressure to get shampoo out of my short hair, let alone a Lhasa's coat. So the bathing took longer because I had to use a dip and pour method, which did not work well either. Finally, I resorted to turning on the faucet and holding the dogs under it. They were looking at me like, "What the heck are you doing?" Neither had ever been bathed like that before!

Once the dogs were groomed, bathed, and dried, we explored the hotel, took our grooming tables to the ballroom to reserve our grooming spaces for the show, and helped Sandy Devlin and her Tibetan Spaniel friend, Ruth (whose last name I forgot), put the various goodies into the hospitality bags.

That night was ALAC's first-ever Top Twenty Competition. Breed points were totaled from wins from July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. The top 20 dogs were invited to participate in this competition. Those who entered included 
GCh. Ch. Alasara Northwind Anbara Maestsro, 
GCh. Ch. Apsolutely Desiderata Partygal, 
GCh. Ch. Edrey Tara Huff Angels Are With Me, 
GCh. Ch. FFT Take the Money and Run, 
GCh. Ch. Joyslyn Mi Toya Wind Walker, 
GCh. Ch. Mokiema's I Believe In Angels, 
GCh. Ch. Monarch Rufkins Tango In Paris, 
GCh. Ch. Red Fox's One Wing in the Fire, 
GCh. Ch. Rufkins Squeezin Into a Speedo KH, 
GCh. Ch. Sundancer Aleksandra, 
GCh. Ch. Suntory Beastie Boy, 
GCh. Ch. Sutra's Affair to Remember, 
GCh. Ch. Ta Sen Bond James Bond, and 
GCh. Ch. Ta Sen Samara I Want It All.

Some of the entries were absent but I did not get the catalog marked so can't tell you which were not competing. I think that only 10 or 11 of those listed actually competed.

The three judges, whose identities were kept secret until just before the competition began, were the Group Judge, Mrs. Patricia S. McLeod, from Queensland, Australia; the Breeder Judge, Ms. Wendy Harper, from Granite Bay, CA; and the Handler Judge, Lois DeMers, from Conroe, TX. They each scored each dog from 0 - 5 on a variety of attributes. Scores were then tabulated and the Lhasa with the highest total score was the winner.

GCh. Ch. Sundancer Aleksandra, owned by Kathy Hamilton, Lori Johnson, and Marsha and Tom Worlton, won the competition and also won the People's Choice Award. Congratulations again to Lexi and her people!!

Walker was the oldest Lhasa in the Top 20 Competition, and he showed very well. I think he was glad to be moving again after being crated for the long journey to New Mexico. Everyone found it hard to believe that he was 9 years old. Walker's co-owner/co-breeder and my dear friend, JoAnne Hayes, died in 2008. I know she would have been very proud of him that night.

Here's the write-up about Walker that was in the Top 20 catalog. If it is too small for you to read, just click the picture and it will get larger.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011:
The day began with the ALAC Board meeting at 7:30 AM. Marsha, Jan, and I are among ALAC's officers and board members, so we had to rise early and get moving! Since most officers and board members were showing dogs in the Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado's Specialty Show and Sweepstakes that afternoon, the business meeting moved along quickly and ended with enough time for us to grab a quick lunch and get dogs groomed before the show started.

Walker was entered in the sweepstakes and was the only veteran there, so he naturally won. The Sweepstakes judge was Larry Bruton. Raven had been entered in the 6-9 Puppy class under Specialty judge Bill Lee, but since she finished on October 1, I moved her up to Best of Breed Competition. The Best of Breed entries numbered 27. I was delighted that Raven, the youngest champion in the ring, showed well, and I was so proud when she actually made the cut.

(For those of you readers who do not show, "the cut" refers to the judge pulling out from a large group of entries, a smaller group that he wishes to consider for the awards. The ones who do not "make the cut" are then dismissed from the ring. Not all who make the cut are given awards, but by making the cut, the handler knows the dog she is showing was considered worthy of further consideration.)

Other winners were: 
Best in Specialty: Ch. Rushmar's Charmer; 
Best Opposite Sex: GCh. Sundance Aleksandra; 
Select Dog: GCh. Ta Sen Bond James Bond; 
Select Bitch: Ch. Monarch Rufkins Tango In Paris; 
Winners Dog & Best of Winners, Apsolutely Keep On Truckin'; 
Reserve Winners Dog & Best Puppy: Rufkins Monarch Just Because I Am; 
Winners Bitch & Best Bred By Exhibitor: PRK's Defying Gravity; 
Reserve Winners Bitch: Elminja's Snyin-Nye;

After the judging, Karen was the lucky winner of a beautiful sterling silver Lhasa pendant that the Colorado club featured for its raffle.

Tuesday night, thanks to the sweepstakes money Walker won, I enjoyed a delicious Mexican meal with the Companion Events (i.e., agility, rally, obedience) participants. Later, back at the hotel, I participated in the Lhasa bingo games, sponsored by our Rescue Network. I had a lucky bingo card that I kept using for each new game. I won five times on it! Karen, LaVonne, and Jan also won numerous games and prizes and, remembering how tightly the van was packed on the trip to Albuquerque, we were starting to wonder how we were going to fit our winnings in our suitcases! We'd only just begun!

Helen Zeppenfeld Brown, our Rescue Network Chairperson, shared with me the following recipe that she says works great for ear problems: 
4 oz. sterile water
4 oz. peroxide
Mix with 2-3 drops of Tea Tree Oil

There is more to come, but this is enough for now.

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


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

National Specialty: Part I - Getting There!

This year's American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty is over. The week was a whirlwind of activities and very little rest. This is Part I. More will come later when I have more time to write! I have so much to report!!

Jan's photo of loaded van
The planning and preparation for the journey to Albuquerque began long before my Wisconsin friends (Jan, Karen, and LaVonne) pulled into the driveway at 2:30 PM on the 8th to load my piles of stuff into the van we'd rented for the trip. Their journey began at 6:30 AM with Jan and Karen leaving Manitowoc, driving to Madison to pick up a dog from a friend who was ill and unable to make the trip, then driving to LaVonne's to load her stuff and her dogs. When they opened the doors to the van in my driveway, my heart sank. It was loaded floor to ceiling and I could see no way my dogs, suitcases, and equipment would fit. Jan was more optimistic than I, and, sure enough, all the essentials fit (barely!). I had to leave behind a couple pieces of equipment and the larger items I planned to donate to the auction and raffle. Because we could not fit his crate into the van, Karen left Danny's crate at my house and held him on her lap for about 5 hours until we arrived at his new home in Missouri. Both he and she were glad that leg of the journey was over!

LaVonne's photo of the van's interior

LaVonne's photo as we unloaded
The journey from my house included the stop in Missouri to drop Danny off, a stop somewhere in Kansas at 3:00 AM to catch a few hours of sleep, and stops along the way to potty the dogs, a feat which involved unloading part of the van and rotating dogs into the various exercise pens. 

Rain slowed us down on Saturday night and made stopping to potty the dogs a problem until we found a truck stop with a covered sidewalk area. Since it was after midnight, we were able to set up exercise pens and keep the dogs' coats and feet dry.

This photo was taken at a lovely rest area in Oklahoma during Sunday morning's potty stop. That's me in the blue sweatshirt, refilling a water bottle. Raven is in the pen on the right. Her grandpa, Zorro, is the black and white clipped-down Lhasa in the pen in front of me. The other person in the picture is LaVonne.
The concrete was still wet from the rain, but we used vinyl-backed tablecloths, newspapers, and piddle pads to keep the dogs from getting too wet. Traveling another 12 hours with wet dogs would have resulted in horrible mats!

That particular rest stop in Oklahoma had a unique (to us anyway) feature: a fenced in, concrete area for dogs! We did not use it, preferring to set up and use our own pens but, being used to rest stops where dogs were allowed only in the most weedy and unattractive-looking areas, this rest area seemed quite dog friendly. Below are some photos of the dog runs, concrete and fenced areas with separate runs for large and small dogs.

We ran into huge traffic congestion on the interstate about halfway between the Oklahoma border and Amarillo, TX. Fortunately, as we approached the line of cars and semis, we were at an exit ramp. We took it, pulled into a nearby gas station, learned the back up was the result of an 8-vehicle pile-up that occurred miles ahead, and were given an alternate route to take (which happened to be part of the historic Route 66!) and were thus able to continue our journey.

Ironically, we found out upon arrival in Albuquerque that Miki and Sue, two Lhasa exhibitors from Minnesota had been involved in the wreck. The accident happened as the road narrowed from two lanes to one due to construction. A semi slowed or stopped abruptly and the cars and semis behind it piled up. Sue's car was totaled, and Sue's arm was broken. Miki and the dogs were not injured. After a trip to the emergency room, they rented a car and made their way to Albuquerque. Sue showed her dog in spite of her broken arm. What a trooper!

I was told that a wonderful Good Samaritan, in the guise of a tow truck driver, watched over the ladies' Lhasas and equipment and was of great help in finding a car rental agency and getting them loaded and back on the road. What a blessing such people are! It is nice to know that kind people are still willing to help strangers, especially strangers with dogs.
Landscape in TX or NM

Landscape in TX or NM
Our van full of weary women and Lhasas made it to the Crown Plaza in Albuquerque sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 Sunday evening. The unloading took a long time as we sorted equipment, suitcases, and dogs and determined the items belonging to each of us. I found the room Marsha (my friend from North Dakota) and I were sharing and moved in, exhausted but happy to be there at last! Walker and Raven were glad for the opportunity to stretch their legs. 
Jan and Karen (who is not really a ghost!) unloading at the hotel!

An exciting week of showing, seminars, and fun lay ahead.

More later….

Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you…and good friends with whom to share good times!

One load ready to move in!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My New Champion!

I realize I said I would not post anything until after the specialty, but I have to share my exciting news from Saturday's dog show. In August my friend Jane, who shows Shibas, and I decided that we would enter the Saturday show in Freeport, IL. We both had dogs we wanted to show to give them ring experience before our respective national specialties, but since I had a church obligation on Sunday, we decided one day would have to suffice.

It was a great day for both of us! Jane's dogs each won a point. I showed Maggie in 9-12 puppy and Raven in Bred-by Exhibitor. There was also an Open Bitch. Raven won! The one point she earned gave her the last point she needed for her championship. Maggie took Reserve. She was adorable in the ring, happy and tail-wagging. She really loved it. Then Raven had to compete in the Best of Breed class against a special—and Raven won! It was a totally unexpected (yet very welcome) win since the specials bitch she competed against is a Group winner. It was certainly a nice win and I was grateful for it. I decided to give Raven more practice and took her into the group ring. She needed to learn to stand for a long period as that is something she'll have to do at our national specialty. For never having been in the ring for such a long time and with so many "strange-looking" dogs, she did just fine.

Maggie, as the only Lhasa puppy entered, was awarded the "Best Puppy" ribbon which entitled her to participate in the Non-Sporting Puppy Group. She showed well and took a Group 2. The judge had a difficult time choosing between her and the Boston Terrier puppy. He kept going back and forth between the two of them. I don't know what the deciding factor was but we took 2nd. After he handed me the ribbon, he told me she was a very nice puppy. I knew that!

The photo of Raven accompanying this post was taken in August when she took Winners Bitch at the Twin City Lhasa Apso Club specialty.

People have asked what I plan to do about showing her at the national. Since I paid a bunch of entry money already, she'll still be shown. I will move her up from the 9-12 Puppy class to the Best of Breed class. She will look totally out of place in the ring with the other dogs whose coats are dripping on the floor, but that's okay. It'll be fun to show off my newest champion!

Saturday is only a few days away. My house is strewn with clothes, equipment, auction items, food, and other sundry items that seem like "must haves" for the trip and the week in Albuquerque. I have multiple checklists lying around also. I keep making new ones…

I'll let you know how it goes.

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