Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catching Up: News and Photos

“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance” 
~ Jane Austen

This horrible heat and drought has definitely had an adverse effect on our lawn, flowers, shrubs, and trees. We have dead leaves all over the back yard, nearly bare branches on the shrub in the front yard, and no flowers left to brag about, in spite of trying to keep them all watered. The corn fields look awful and I imagine food prices will start to increase even in anticipation of a weak harvest. Oh fun!
Griffin I lounging on his swing in the shade

As far as the people and dogs at our house…well, all I can say is, "Thank God for air conditioning." I pray daily that ours doesn't break down.

So what have I been doing in the two weeks since my last post? I don't even remember most of it! We've been discussing plans for a make-over of our family room. (My husband watches too much DYI television!) Why do projects which seem so straightforward and fairly simple turn into costly, involved projects that entail more work than seemed necessary at the onset? What began as "Let's replace this old carpet" has become "Since we're going to do all that work, let's put up new wallpaper" to "what about adding a fireplace" to "we need an electrician to run a new wire for the fireplace" to … well, you get the idea. Someday I'll let you know what we finally decide!

The latest photo of Gabe
Fortunately, my husband is quite handy with building and renovating things, so that will save us some money. I am not sure about the wallpaper though. We tried a couple of times to hang wallpaper as a team in the early days of our marriage. After those experiences, we did not try again. I thought then that pre-marital counseling simply needs to be replaced by giving a couple contemplating marriage a room in which to hang wallpaper together. The room should have at least one door and a couple of windows and at least one corner should be off square. The wallpaper definitely needs a pattern that requires matching. If their relationship survives wallpapering that room, their marriage has a good chance of survival as well.

Last week went by amazingly fast. Flash (now Lucky) left early Wednesday morning. I was disappointed that I was not going to get to meet his new owners because I had to leave at 5:30 AM Wednesday to get to Springfield for a 2-day mini-conference. Fortunately, they got into town Tuesday night and were able to come to our home to meet Lucky (and me). Ted sent me an email describing their trip back to Winnipeg and saying, "All day Thursday he played, slept, played and was a bundle of joy throughout the day. The bottle bunny you gave us is his favorite toy.  He loves the noise and so do I. His disposition is excellent and seems very happy. A lot of the credit has to go to the breeder and his parents. Thursday night he was put into his carryall again and again a couple of barks and went to sleep until Friday morning. The routine you had him on works well for our schedule and will definitely help Lucky to adjust to his new surroundings…We have him at the office today and is a hit with the staff, and of course he is performing for everyone..."    

Zeus & Zora at a soccer game
Zora, looking much like Rafe!
I've been getting some updates and photos from most of Rafe's siblings' owners. Sister Zora and her buddy Zeus enjoy going to soccer games and cheering on their "kids." Brother Gabe spent some time with his trainer while his owner was out of town for her work. Griffin II had a similar, but longer, experience when his people went to Ireland. Griffin I remains a hit with everyone he meets. I've included some photos that were sent.

As for Rafe, he is gorgeous and has such a great disposition. After I returned from Springfield Thursday evening, I got him and Maggie groomed and all the show "stuff" packed in the car. I was in bed and asleep by 10:30. The alarm went off at 2:10AM. The dogs and I left at 3:30 for Waukesha, Wisconsin, and the dog shows being held there. (Another thing I am grateful for is 5 hour energy drinks.) I enjoy going to those shows mostly because it gives me a chance to see friends and hang out with other Lhasa breeders. The enjoyment is certainly not because of the show itself. It is an outdoor show, and this year the rings were awful. The grass had not been mowed and big clumps of weeds (the only green things still alive in the heat) made smooth movement difficult. Of course, the heat was exhausting and the humidity was high, especially under the tents, which allowed for shade but trapped the heat and humidity. Dogs and people suffered. We could not wait to show and go!

Griffin II, caught pestering that darn cat!
Friday was the Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club's Specialty show. The judge was Kathleen Kolbert. Although Rafe was not thrilled to be walking through the grass/weeds, he did well. He took Winners Dog (a 3 point major), Best of Winners, and Best Puppy in Specialty. Maggie took Reserve Winners bitch. Sadly, that day was the high point of the weekend for both of them. Oh well, "another day, another dog show," as the saying goes.

Saturday, Rafe was reluctant to move and I do not blame the judge for ignoring him.  Maggie took 3rd out of a class of 5. She did the same on Sunday. On Sunday, Rafe showed a lot better and I thought we might have a shot at the points again. Alas, he took Reserve.

We have three weekends of showing in August. Maggie needs three single points to get her championship. Rafe needs seven single points to get his. I hope they make some progress at these upcoming shows!

Speaking of shows, I've attached a flyer for the American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty show, which will be held in mid-October. If you need a vacation in October and want to see a lot of lovely Lhasas, join us in Mansfield, MA, for a week that is sure to be "Lhasa fun." My puppy Windy will be old enough to show that weekend so I may enter her in one or two of the shows for fun. There is no need to overdo it with a young puppy.

Stay cool! Enjoy the photos—and wish Maggie, Rafe, and me safe travel and good luck at the shows!

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


P.S. I've been getting emails from people inquiring about our next litter. All I can say is that it is still very much in the planning stage. If we do decide to do a breeding, it will more than likely happen in September or October and the puppies will not be ready for new homes until February or March.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures...and More

Windy, 13 weeks

It's picture sharing time again! I have some nice ones to share with you, featuring the wins from the West Bend and Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club shows on June 30, as well as a couple of puppy pictures.

Lucky (Flash) 11 weeks
All but one of Breaker and Mira's puppies have left with their new owners. Flash (who will be renamed "Lucky"—I have to remind myself constantly to call him that) leaves at the end of July. Windy, my new puppy, has adjusted well to her new home with us. She loves playing with Flash/Lucky and the two are worn out by bedtime. Tuesday night I fell asleep watching TV and when I woke up, the two of them were sacked out on the floor by my feet, lying on their sides and so deeply asleep that I had trouble rousing them. I suspiciously checked out the room, wondering what they'd been doing to make themselves so tired, but I saw nothing out of place. They have their daily routines and I know Windy will miss Flash when he leaves. I'm slowly introducing her to the older dogs also.

We had a disruptive week at home. For the past 15 years, home in Macomb that were built during the 60's and 70's have had water problems. The copper pipes have sprung pinhole leaks and have had to be replaced. (I'm not sure what that says about the water in Macomb.) We knew we were living on borrowed time. Up to this year we'd had no problems. For a few years, I'd been saving money to replace the pipes before ours decided to leak and create water damage. Finally, we had a plumber come to do an inspection and give us an estimate (yikes!). He found leaks – and showed them to me. So we bit the bullet and had all the old pipes replaced.

A disappointment this week was that the family who put a deposit on Belle back in February has not found a convenient time to come to Illinois to pick her up. We've decided that after all these months of arranging and canceling visits, their having Belle was "not meant to be," so Belle is once again available to a pet home. She is 3 years old and has been spayed. She still has her long beautiful coat. I can't bring myself to clip it but I'm sure someone else will be able to do it.

Communication from AKC today included this message: " The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) announced today that the comment period on the proposed regulations regarding “Retail Pet Stores and Licensing Exemptions” has been extended until August 15, 2012. We encourage any concerned dog owners who have not yet signed the AKC petition and/or submitted comments about this problematic proposal to take advantage of this extra time to do so.
Maggie, a 3 point major win!
Background: This important proposal would require all who own more than four “breeding females” and sell even one animal “sight unseen” to be regulated as a commercial breeder and be subject to federal commercial breeder licensing, regulation and inspections.  The term “breeding female” is not defined, so it is unclear how USDA or even breeders themselves would determine who falls under these regulations.  The term also includes multiple species (including cats, dogs, and other small mammals). 
The AKC believes that the USDA’s “one size fits all” regulations are not in the best interest of all dogs, responsible breeders, or puppy buyers.  It is unreasonable and virtually impossible for many small hobby breeders to comply with the strict kennel engineering standards that were designed for large commercial operations."

Again, comments opposing these regulations need to be sent in by all, exhibitors, breeders, AND pet owners. The regulations as currently proposed may make it impossible for small breeders like myself to continued raising dogs. What that means, of course, is that eventually the major pet buying option left for the general public will be from pet stores who get their puppies from commercial breeding facilities. So, even if you just own one pet-- Lhasa or any other breed or cross breed--please write an opposing comment or sign the petition. In the former post, I provided links to information that may help your understanding of the situation.


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


Rafe, a 2 point win!

Rafe, a 3 point major win!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Proposed Federal Regulations Threaten Small Breeders and Hobbyists!

What follows is a departure from my usual ramblings about our lives with the Lhasas. I am proud to have been breeding and showing purebred Lhasa Apsos for nearly 40 years. I have done my best to promote the breed by educating newcomers and by doing my best to breed healthy, happy Lhasas who provide their owners with love and companionship. All of us who breed and show know that the majority of the puppies we raise will be someone's pet so we realize how important it is to raise the puppies in an environment conducive to living with people and contributing to people's lives (hey...a Lhasa kiss, and a Lhasa cuddle, and a good laugh at Lhasa antics are all contributions to a happy life!). If you own a purebred dog, Lhasa or otherwise, I want you to think for a few minutes about where and from whom you purchased that dog. 

In many cases, you probably purchased your pet from a breeder like me, someone who invites people into her home to meet the puppies, to meet the parents, and to learn about the breed; someone who likes to see photos and receive letters and emails telling her how the dog is growing and developing and describing cute and funny incidents in the dog's and family's life. Perhaps because of distance you were unable to have that experience and found a breeder who was willing to ship that dog to you or to meet you at a dog show with the puppy or to have the puppy delivered by a friend or to drive to meet you halfway so you did not have to make a long, long trek.

What you'll read below is a bulletin from AKC about proposed regulations that could cause problems for breeders like me -- not commercial breeders, not "puppy-mill" operations, not breeders who sell to brokers or to pet shops and who see puppies as little dollar signs, not breeders who just want to sell dogs, forget about them and their new owners, and get on with breeding the next batch of pups -- but people who truly care about their breed, about the future of the breed, and about the future of each puppy they bring into the world.

You see, like many plans that seem to be well-intended, these particular regulations will do more harm than good when it comes to the small breeder. In an attempt to protect dogs from unhealthy environments and living conditions and wipe out the "bad" breeders, these regulations will negatively impact the good with the bad. For example, if a breeder like me sells just one puppy without the new owners visiting the home, a home-raised environment will have to be replaced with one that complies with federal regulations for large commercial breeding operations.  (No carpeted surfaces, no soft blankets or doggie beds for the babies to snuggle down in...?)

Okay, there's more and you can read, so I encourage you to read the brief information below and to read from the other links AKC provides. The Sportsmen's and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance (SAOVA) website contains a list of comments pointing out why the regulations are detrimental to small breeders. Background and good explanations are available in a well-written article by Carlotta Cooper.

My request is that after you read, you take time to go to the AKC site (see link below) and sign the petition. It takes only a few minutes. 

"Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you." You read those words on each one of my blogs. And if you own a Lhasa, you know it is true.

Those of us breeding them are becoming fewer and fewer, as many of you who are searching for puppies have already discovered. Wouldn't it be a shame if regulations such as the ones being proposed cause those of us left to throw in the towel? If you've sat on the floor of my family room while puppies romped about you, if you have one or more of my Lhasas living in your home, sitting on your lap, and loving you, if you'd hate to deny anyone else the opportunity to have that same experience -- please sign the AKC petition. Time is running out; the deadline is the 15th.



Proposed Federal Regulations Threaten Small Breeders and Hobbyists!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed new regulations that would create harsh and unintended
consequences for responsible fanciers and hobby breeders in this country. We need your help to send the clear message to
USDA that harsh, unreasonable regulations are not in the best interest of dogs or puppy buyers and threaten the future
of purebred dogs in the United States!
The proposed regulations state that anyone with more than four “breeding females” that sell even one animal sight unseen
would be regulated as a commercial breeder and subject to federal standards and inspections. This includes any time a buyer
does not come to the breeder’s premises and see the animal in person – even if the buyer and seller have a previous, accepted
arrangement (for example – having a friend deliver the puppy, arranging the purchase of another puppy based on an existing
relationship, or acquiring a puppy as part of a co-ownership arrangement).
The term “breeding female” is not defined, so it is unclear how the USDA or breeders themselves could determine exactly
which animals would be considered breeding animals and who would be subject to USDA oversight. The term includes
multiple species – including cats, dogs, and small mammals. Therefore, a dog breeder might own only one intact female dog
(along with other species) and still be subject to USDA commercial breeder regulations if they sell a single puppy off their
The AKC believes that the USDA’s “one-size-fits-all” regulations are not in the best interest of all dogs, responsible
breeders, or puppy buyers. It is also unreasonable and virtually impossible for responsible hobbyists to comply with
regulations designed for large, commercial operations.
How You Can Help:
• Sign the AKC’s Petition – Visit akc.org/petition and join the tens of thousands of Americans who have signed the
petition in support of the AKC’s position and responsible breeders. This petition, which will be submitted with the
AKC’s formal comments to the USDA, will demonstrate the immense number of people who are concerned about
this issue. The petition must be signed by July 15.
• Submit Comments Directly to the USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – Visit
akc.org/GovernmentRelations to view more information on the proposed regulations and find the link to submit
comments. This will educate APHIS on exactly how this proposal will impact responsible breeders and dog owners.
Comments must be submitted by July 16.
Both actions are important in helping us send a powerful, clear message to APHIS on this issue!
Visit the AKC Government Relations USDA/APHIS Regulations Resource page at akc.org/governmentrelations for more
detailed information, frequently asked questions and other helpful resources.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Picures, News, and Updates

Hi! Here it is July already. The weather here is beastly hot, but that is easier to deal with than tropical storms and wildfires. My heart goes out to those who've suffered from nature's whims. Watching the TV and seeing the devastation caused by fire and water makes me realize that for all our technology and advancements, in the man vs. nature struggle, nature always has the upper hand.

Much has happened since the last post. The highlight of the end of June was that all of our family members were home at the same time.  Here's a picture of the family. Our daughter lives in Florida, and our youngest son lives only 3 hours away, but his work seldom allows him time to come home. Our oldest and his family live here in Macomb. We all had a great time catching up and sharing memories. Oh, the things they tell about their childhood escapades make me so glad I was unaware of what was going on at the time!

Our town's annual celebration was held during that weekend. I usually miss it because of a dog show in Iowa City, so it was nice to take our granddaughter to the carnival. I talked her into riding with me on my favorite ride, the Scrambler! She loved it, so we rode it a couple times on Friday night and then went back for three more Scrambler rides on Saturday. She also loved the swings that arced up and out. As for me, I was content watching her ride those things. We took her to the parade where she eagerly scooped up the candy (mostly tiny Tootsie Rolls) thrown from the various floats. It was a great weekend of family togetherness and fun. I wish we could all be together more often.

Since my last post, three of the puppies have left. Noah, who was renamed Oliver, now lives in Kentucky. His owner wrote, "This past week has been a blast! Oliver is so smart! I still can't believe how quickly he is catching on to things! He has learned to fetch his toy and bring it back to me. He loves his crate…he'll go in there to play and sleep and never puts up a fight about it. In fact, most of the time, it's his choice to go in it…He's loved going to the salon! He's getting lots of kisses & attention, but those days wear him out and lastly, he loves to eat!..."

Cooper left also. His family includes a 5-year old girl who thought about renaming him "Noah" but changed her mind. Having played with our 6-year old granddaughter, Cooper was thrilled to have another little girl around. His owner wrote, "Cooper is great. He has adjusted really well. My parents came over the weekend and my father mentioned that he is already very attached to us. We absolutely adore him... He is very active. And chewing up a storm! We just couldn't be happier with him."

Boomer left a couple days later. Newly named Wrigley, (Cubs fans, anyone???) He also immediately charmed his new people. His new owner wrote this the morning after they took him home, "Good Morning. What a good puppy. He went right to sleep in his  bed last night without a sound and slept until 7:30 this morning without a peep. Just thought I'd give you both a morning update. I don't know how I'm going to get anything done. He is too cute!!"

Rain 9.5 wks.
I love hearing about the "kids"  and how they are getting along in their new homes. Rainy leaves tomorrow. Flash, who may  be renamed Lucky, will wait for his new family to come from Canada to get him near the end of July.

Flash 9.5 wks
Flash will not be lonely when Rainy leaves tomorrow because Windy came home from a dog show with me early Sunday morning (more about that dog show in the following paragraphs). Windy came to me from North Dakota. She was bred by my friend Marsha Susag. Her sire is my Ch. Walker, and her dam is Marsha's Ch. Lindy. Below is a picture of Windy with her two moms, Marsha and me! Windy is adjusting to her new life with us. Since she had no siblings, she's not quite sure how to deal with the other puppies. She's learning to cope!

Windy and her two moms
Lynn's street rod
 So...the weekend dog show: The show was in West Bend, WI, a 5-hour drive from Macomb. Because my husband, who generally stays home with the dogs when I have to go out of town for work or a dog show, was gone that weekend to Des Moines with his street rod for a big regional street rod event, I decided I could go to the show only if I entered just the Saturday shows and only if my daughter-in-law was available to stop by to take care of the dogs. She was! Bless her!

In addition to the Kettle Morraine all-breed show during the day on Saturday, the Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club hosted an evening specialty. I am proud to say that Rafe and Maggie both did very well. At the all-breed show, Rafe took Winners Dog over 2 adults under judge Darlene Stuedemann for 2 points. She later gave him Best of Winners, which upped his points to a 3-point major. Hurray!! -- his first points at 7 months and a major to boot! He also took Winners Dog for 2 points at the GMLAC specialty that evening under judge Anne Hier. She did not give him Best of Winners, which was disappointing because it sure would have been nice to have both majors out of the way. Nonetheless, I was thrilled with the win!

Maggie at Kettle Morraine
Maggie also won at the Kettle Morraine show. She took Winners Bitch for the 3-point major. That was her second major and now she needs just three single points for her championship. At the evening show she placed 4th out of 5. Oh well...

Special thanks go to my friends Jill and Karen. Jill took care of Maggie while Rafe was in the ring and Rafe while Maggie was in the ring. She kept them calm and their coats looking good. Neither dog appreciates me being in the ring with the other, so it was nice to have Jill's help. "Grandma" Karen stepped in to show Maggie when we realized that both dogs had to go back in the ring. (I call her 'grandma' because she is the breeder of Maggie's mom, Mira.) 

I'll post pictures of the wins if the dogs look decent. Neither of them was much interested (or cooperative) when it came to posing for the photos.

After the specialty, I packed the dogs and equipment in the car and began the 5-hour drive home. It was a long day, beginning Saturday at 2:45 AM and ending at 2:30 Sunday morning when I finally fell into bed! The drive was uneventful. The highlight of the trip was making it through the tollbooth outside of Dixon, IL, three minutes before it closed for the night. (I hate having to take one of those little cards and mailing in the toll money.) The last 30 minutes of the drive were no fun, as I fought sleep. Home was a welcome sight!

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

Have a great 4th of July Holiday!


Windy's parents: Walker and Lindy

GCh. Joyslyn MiToya Wind Walker
Ch. MLS Desiderata Lindy