Monday, February 20, 2012

Show Results

My first show of 2012 was the Cyclone County Kennel Club show in Des Moines last weekend. The weather was great for the middle of February. Our corner of the fairgrounds was packed with people, vehicles, and animals because a cattle show was happening in the building next to the dog show building.

We'd reserved two grooming spaces that ended up being really crowded and cramped for 4 people and 7 dogs, but we managed. Grooming spaces (getting them, keeping them) are all part of the challenges of dog shows. Ours would have been more convenient had it not had a big pole right in the middle of it!

Our show times were early each day, good because it gave us the afternoon to relax on Saturday and the afternoon for traveling and arriving home early on Sunday. However, early ring times also meant getting up at 5:30 each morning to get the dogs cared for, ourselves dressed, and the van packed. The drive from hotel to show site was about 20 minutes. Then we had to unload the van, haul all the essential "stuff" inside, and get the dogs groomed. 

As those of you who read last week's post know, I entered both Belle and Maggie to ensure that there would be a point. Both girls showed really well, and Maggie won both days (as I had hoped she would). Belle had a good time at the show and did a nice job in the ring because I remembered to show her on a very loose lead. Special thanks again go to Jane for taking Belle back in the ring for me for the winners class and to Rebecca for taking such great video and pictures of the girls. It was great to be able to watch them move.

Saturday afternoon we lounged around the hotel room, then had a little Shiba party! Jane and Rebecca were each showing two Shiba. Jane's Kiara won a 4 point major on Saturday. Rebecca's Lexi won the 4 point major on Sunday. Here is a  photo of me on the bed of the hotel room with three of the Shiba. We were having a little Shiba party. (The Lhasas find Shiba excitement a little overwhelming, so they were chilling out in their crates!)

The other photos are of Belle and Maggie. I tried to upload video but did not have any luck. I'll see if I can add video later.

Here is Belle on Saturday.

Here is Maggie on Sunday. The black dog in front of her is Goose, owned by my friend Marsha Susag from North Dakota.

Here's Belle's video from Saturday.

And Maggie's video from Sunday.

We were home by 5:00 and I was asleep by 10:00, after unloading my "stuff" from Jane's van, unpacking and putting away all the dog show items, taking care of dogs, returning a couple phone calls, putting topknots up in two dogs, grooming Walker, playing with the puppies, answering a few emails, and doing four loads of laundry.  (I totally rock! LOL!)

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


Thursday, February 16, 2012

An Upcoming Show, More Pictures, and a Movie!

The weekend is approaching quickly. I'm excited because my Shiba friends, Jane and Rebecca, and I are headed to Des Moines for the 2-day show. It's my (and Maggie's) first show of the year, so it will be interesting to see if she remembers her ring manners. I hope she enjoys showing as much as she did in December.

This show is notorious for a low entry in Lhasas, so on the one hand I was leery about entering. If I ended up showing the only Lhasa there then it would certainly be a waste of my entry fees since there would be no points awarded. On the other hand, I decided that the trip might be worth it just to give Maggie some ring practice before the spring shows. I waivered back and forth with my decision until inspiration struck. I have Belle! If you recall, Belle does not like being shown. She hates the lead. However, she is gorgeous and in full show coat, so at least she is a respectable entry, even if she is not the most show loving dog in the ring. I decided to enter her. At least that way there would be one point for the winner. Now I just hope that Belle doesn't decide showing is her 'thing' after all because I prefer that Maggie win! We'll see what the judges think!

As it turned out, it was a good thing I entered both girls. The entry on Saturday is 0-2-0-1 and Sunday is 1-2-0-1. For those of you unfamiliar with reading those numbers: The first number indicates the number of males entered in the classes, in this case, none on Saturday and one on Sunday. The second number indicates the number of females entered in the classes: two each day (Belle and Maggie). The third number indicates the number of male specials (champions) entered: none either day at this show. The final number indicates the number of female specials (champions) entered: one each day at this show. The bottom line is that there is one point available each day for one of my girls, and on Sunday if the male takes Best of Winners, he will also win a point.

Tonight we'll be grooming, bathing, and packing. I'm out of practice with the packing part and have lists and reminders lying all around the house. (Actually, that is nothing new or out of the ordinary!)

Griffin, 11 weeks

The puppies are now 11 weeks old. Griffin has been reserved and will go to his new home in early March after his new family returns from a trip to California. Rafe and Gabe are still waiting for the right people to fall for them. Olivia is staying here, so I will soon be trying to choose a name for her AKC registration. I may just go with something easy by combining something (i.e., "Wind") from Walker's registered name (GCH. Joyslyn Mi Toya Wind Walker) and another thing (i.e., "Dance") from Dancer's registered name (Joyslyn's Dance Sensation) and name her Joyslyn's Wind Dancer or Joyslyn's Dancin' in the Wind (on the Wind??? with the Wind???). See, it just is not all that easy! 

Gabe, 11 weeks
Rafe, 11 weeks
So here are the latest photos. I always have to laugh at them because the puppies get so irked when they have to stop their play and be still for a photo. They always look so "put upon" and grumpy — nothing at all like their usually cutesy happy-go-lucky attitudes.

Olivia, 11 weeks

The pup formerly known as Sebastian
I am also sharing a photo of Sebastian (whose new name is Griffin), taken by his new family,  and a video of Gracie (whose new name is Zora), also sent to me from her new family. 

The video of Gracie/Zora will certainly prove to everyone that her big "brother" Zeus (whose name when he lived with us was Zach) has a gentle, sweet disposition. I am so proud of him!

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


Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Close Call, Puppy Pictures, Updates from New Owners

I came within a couple feet of seriously injuring – if not killing – someone today. The someone was an idiotic young college-age woman. All I could think about after the incident was, "Oh my God, I could have killed another mother's daughter."

I was driving east on the 4-lane highway, known as West Jackson Street, in Macomb. A city bus was in the right lane. I was in the left lane, along side the bus about half-way back from its front end. It slowed and began a right turn into one of the many apartment complexes in Macomb, and suddenly, there was a car with two young women in it, turning left out of the drive the bus was turning into, crossing two lanes of traffic, and moving directly in front of me. (Evidently no one ever told the driver that just because a car (or bus, as the case may be) is turning into the street you want to drive out of does not mean that another vehicle is not coming in the lane you cannot see.)

My foot jammed on the brake pedal so hard it was touching the floor. My tires screeched and squealed and smoked. And, seriously, time did seem to stand still.

By the grace of God and an army of guardian angels, I was able to stop my car before it hit the other one. Had I hit the car, it would have struck directly into the driver's door. Another blessing: the car behind me was able to stop before it rear-ended me, which would certainly have pushed me into the girl's car even though I managed to stop in time.

And you know what…the little twit smiled, gave me a little wave, and drove off.

So…how's your day been??

After that incident, I need a smile or two. I'm posting the most recent pictures of the puppies, now 10 weeks old. We plan to keep Olivia. She'll be old enough to show at the end of May when Bloomington has its 4-day shows over Memorial Day weekend. I've got a short video here of Olivia playing with her mom, Dancer.

The three boys are still in need of homes. I've had inquiries, but everyone wants girls!

Enjoy the pictures.
Griffin, 10 weeks

Olivia, 10 weeks

Gabe, 10 weeks

Rafe, 10 weeks

I thought I'd share with you excerpts from emails I received from the families who now own Sebastian and Gracie (whose names are now Griffin and Zora):

"Baby Zora is doing well.  Yes, having such a young puppy is definitely like having a baby in the house.  She smells like a baby, she wakes up in the middle of the night like a baby, and she has to constantly relieve herself like a baby…She is also adjusting well, thanks to her new buddy Zeus.  Zeus overall is very happy to have her here.  Every now and then he gets jealous when she gets too much attention from his girls, but he is enjoying having someone fun to play with.  His hair will never be the same now that she is hanging from it and getting him to roll around and build static electricity.  Overall, the two are getting along really well despite their age difference. One of her favorite activities is taking whatever Zeus is playing with."

Just a note: The "Zeus" referred to was formerly known as "Zach" when he lived with us. He got to come for a brief visit when the family picked up Gracie/Zora. He was a total sweetheart and spent most of the time sitting on Lynn's lap in the recliner, always one of his favorite spots when he lived with us. He is such a sweet and pretty dog. He's made friends for the breed at soccer games too!

And from Sebastian/Griffin's new family: "We had our first (his second) trip to the vet!  Dr. Withers and staff couldn't get enough of him!...We had [family] over on Super Bowl Sunday and they brought their little kitty (14 weeks old) with them. You should have seen those two chase each other [and] tussel around... they were so much fun to watch and by half time, I think they were exhausted!! ....I think he loves the outside and seems to go to the front door to go out!…He's been pretty awesome on the potty training.  We've had accidents but he RUNS to the potty pads at either the garage back door, the patio door or the front door.....he's got it!  …The one new thing he has discovered is the toilet paper roll....WOW is that cool!...we are having so much fun with him and by the end of this week...we're hoping we will be more into the routine!!  He's fun to get up in the morning and fun to come home to......And you are right....nothing better than Lhasa love!"

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


(Life is also good when you realize you could have severely injured or killed someone in a traffic accident and managed to avoid it! Thanks be to God!)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Good-Bye To a Friend

"While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil."
~ John Taylor

This week I learned of the death of a friend, Rex Irwin, who passed away on January 8 when a blood clot reached his heart. News of his death shocked many of us "old time" Lhasa breeders and exhibitors, as well as others involved in the sport of showing dogs. He had many friends in all breeds, and strangers he met did not stay strangers long.

Those who called Rex "friend" were saddened when life circumstances took a downward turn for him about 10 years ago and he had to stop showing dogs. We missed seeing him at the shows. We missed his kindness, his good humor, his cheerful smiles, his jokes, his helpful suggestions. There was no such thing as a dull moment when Rex was around. Notes on his Facebook page from friends speak of how he was a teacher and mentor, how he was so willing to help others, how he enjoyed people, how he had a great way with dogs, and how much he loved his Lhasas and enjoyed showing them.

Many of us also recall enjoying his famous Margarita recipe! His mixes were quite popular at our national specialties!

I have many favorite memories of time spent with Rex, but one of the first that came to mind was a phone call I received from him (Rex loved to talk on the phone and could talk for hours) to tell me that his beloved Scarlett had just taken a Best In Show. He was so thrilled and so proud – and rightly so – and he told such a funny story about his reaction to the judge pointing at him (evidently a sort of "who me?") and the judges' reaction to his reaction. As usual, when Rex was in the room, he had someone laughing.

Rex handled two dogs for me. He finished Lily (Ch. Joyslyn's My One N Only) and put all but the majors on Hannah (Ch. Joyslyn Jofu Ladell Handiwork). I've posted photos of him and the girls below.

Rex loved his dogs, his friends, and his family. He will be greatly missed by those who valued his love and friendship. I can't help but think that heaven is a happier place now that Rex is there.


Below: Rex and judge R. Stephen Shaw with Hannah (Ch. Joyslyn Jofu Ladell Handiwork)

Below: Rex and judge Lorraine Boutwell with  Lily (Ch. Joyslyn's My One N Only)