Friday, August 31, 2012

I Have A New Champion!

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Rafe's win at Albert Lea
Even though it is week-old news, I have great, exciting news! Rafe is now not only a champion, but he also has points toward his Grand Championship – and it all happened before he turned 9 months old.  While he could not care less about all that stuff, I am thrilled and so proud that he has done so well in the ring, earning compliments from judges and other exhibitors alike. I've known others who have finished young puppies but, never having done so myself,  I'm still wondering if it really happened. I'll post the new pictures when they arrive. In the meantime, here is the one of his win in Albert Lea, MN, under breeder-judge Carolyn Herbel.

Early in the morning of August 23, Rafe, Windy, and I took off  in the dark and headed north to Minnesota for the four days of shows. The first two days were specialty shows hosted by the Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club (TCLAC). The next two days were the all-breed St. Croix Valley Kennel Club shows. As in years past, the TCLAC provided great hospitality and delicious meals for all attending their specialties. In addition to the Minnesota club members, exhibitors came from Colorado, North Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Canada to participate, and it was great to see them all again. By Thursday at 4:00, Rafe and I were in the ring in the Bred By Exhibitor class with two other males. Rafe won, giving him two of the three points he needed to finish his championship. In the Best of Breed class, he took Best of Winners, giving him that last point he needed! I was so excited!! The judge was Betsy Dale.

The next decision was "now what." I did not want to go home after just driving 7.5 hours to get there! Besides, Lynn was home working on the family room remodel and I was not anxious to go home to that! I had nothing else to show, so decided "what the heck" and went to the Superintendent's table and asked for paperwork to move Rafe up to the Best of Breed class for the next three days. On Friday, he did nothing under breeder-judge Dana Read. He was antsy, kept wanting to sit down, and was generally annoying. He had never been in a class that large before (5 male and 3 female champions plus Winners Dog and Winners Bitch) and because of the armband number, we were first in the line up. We worked Friday evening on standing. He caught on quite fast and was ready for the next day.

Saturday's win was a complete shock, but I was thrilled. He took Best of Breed! Yes, my little 8-month old boy won the breed under judge Juan Luis Payro over 3 other male and 2 female champions! Friends outside the ring claimed I looked astounded. I don't know about that, but once it sank in, I sure had a big smile. Sunday, he took the Select Dog Award under judge Patricia Hastings.

So, Rafe finished his championship with three wins at specialty shows; four majors, two of them at specialty shows (Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club and Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club); a 2-point win and a 1-point win for a total of 16 points. Now we will work on his Grand Championship. His wins in the Best of Breed classes garnered him six points and fulfilled one of the three major wins requirements, plus the two wins got two of the three "defeated other champions" requirements out of the way. He still has to earn a bunch of points (19) but he'll do it eventually.

What next? Now we sit and wait. We are not entered in any shows in September as I had other commitments each weekend. I will be taking him to training class so he doesn't forget his ring manners, looking for at least one show in early October in which to enter him, and entering him in shows the week of the American Lhasa Apso Club's national specialty, being held in Mansfield, MA, in mid-October.

Maggie has been resting on her laurels as we wait for her Championship certificate to arrive from AKC. She should be in season soon, and the next big event in her life may be a litter of puppies later this year. She has such a sweet disposition that I just know her puppies' temperaments will be wonderful. I'll keep you all posted if and when we decide to follow through on these tentative plans.

Windy, who is 4.5 months old, went to MN with Rafe and me to hang out, to see Marsha (her breeder), and to get some training and exposure to the world of dog shows. She did fine both at the hotel and at the show site. Things were relaxed in the evenings so she got some lead training up and down the sidewalks at the hotel. She was happy and sure of herself there. It was a different story at the show site. She loved all the people and gave lots of kisses but was not pleased to walk on a lead or to have other dogs barking at her. She held her tail down for the most part. She'll be going to classes too, as she will be just 6 months old on October 15, the first day of specialty week. She needs to get in shape for her debut!

Speaking of Windy, young Windy has the same call name as her grandmother, Ch. MiToya Joyslyn Dust N The Wind.  A few days ago I happened to get an email from a woman who had purchased one of the original Windy's puppies in 2004. She sent me a picture of Honey, and I was so glad to see it. It's a great feeling when people take time to keep in touch.

I've heard recently from some of Rafe's siblings' owners on the occasion of their 9th month "birthday" on August 27. Everyone is doing fine. They all look like they inherited heavy coats like Rafe has. That coat comes from their sire, Walker, who is pictured here the last weekend he was shown (early May 2012). I love this picture of him moving out! He will be 10 years old at the end of September. He still has his long coat. I cannot bring myself to clip him down.

Walker on the go in the Group ring...

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


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what happened.
- Jennifer Yane

Hi! I realize it has been a while since I've written. The past few weeks have been quite a roller coaster ride, that is for sure. I'll try to fill you in. First, though, today is my birthday! Another year older, a few more wrinkles, a few more of life's lesson learned, I've survived the downs and celebrated the ups. I'm ready to face what the next year brings (and I hope there are more ups than downs!) I don't feel "old" and I still look "okay" so I am not going to mourn the new, larger number that will now go onto the AGE line when I fill out forms!

Last time I wrote about our planned family room remodeling project. It blossomed some more! As Lynn was cleaning out the closet under the stairs so the electrician could access the area to install a new outlet, he discovered that all the floor tiles were loose! Who knew? There was so much stuff stored in that closet, I don't think more than a foot of flooring was visible anyway. So, Lynn scraped it all up, laid new tile, then decided we needed a new shelving unit for storing things off the floor. As those of you who have been involved in remodeling projects know, there is a domino effect. You can't do one thing without something else you had not planned for needing attention.

And so it goes. The new flooring for the family room will be installed next Thursday. I got to schedule the date, and I wisely chose the 23rd because I will be in MN that day at a dog show! Over the years we have learned that my mood is much better when building projects happen when I am gone (unless, of course, I am unaware that a building project is taking place and am surprised by it upon my return!)

Speaking of dog shows…at the last minute I entered the shows in Burlington, IA, rather hoping the entries would not make it to Onofrio in time. Naturally they made the deadline, so I and the three dogs went to the shows. I was, of course, hoping Maggie would pick up two of the three single points she needed and Rafe would win a couple of crossover points. Well, you know what is said about "best laid plans!" The other female I entered as a "filler" (one there to build points and not expected to win) actually won both days. Rafe did get a crossover point on Saturday but not on Sunday.

An earlier picture of Maggie
The following weekend was better. Maggie, Rafe, the "filler," and I were at a show in Albert Lea,  MN. Entries were two males, four bitches (a major), and a male and bitch special. I did not show Rafe on Saturday because that judge was the same man we'd had on Sunday in Burlington, and for whatever reason gets into a Lhasa's head, Rafe decided he did not like the man and that there was no way he was going to let the man look at his bite. So we skipped that show. Once again, the "filler" won – the major this time! Go figure…when I was trying to show and finish her, there was no way she enjoyed the ring. Yet another one of life's mysteries…

Sunday was a new and better day for us. Rafe took Winners Dog for a point. Maggie took Winners Bitch for the 3 point major. Rafe then took Best of Winners and Best Opposite sex over the male special. So, when I went home, I had a new Champion in the car with me, as well as an 8-month old puppy that now needs just 3 single points to finish! My elation made the five and a half hour trip in the rain go much faster!

Here is the photo of Rafe's 3-point major win at the Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club's specialty in Waukesha, WI on July 27. It was a really hot day!

Last night Rafe, Windy, my friend Jane with her Shibas Kiara and Tux, and I went to Peoria to training class. I wanted Rafe to have a positive experience with a man examining his bite, and I wanted Windy to start getting into show dog mode. Things went well for us. Rafe did just fine on the table. Windy was intimidated by the larger dogs but she also stood still on the table and had no problems with the trainer going over her. She walked but had her tail down. She'll be fine. She's going along for the ride to our next shows.

Our next shows are in Lake Elmo, MN. The Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club hosts two specialties on Thursday and Friday. Then the St. Croix Valley all-breed club has its shows on the weekend. Maggie is entered but will not go since she finished and I have no plans to try to get a Grand Championship on her. Rafe will be shown and I hope he can get the points he needs to finish. It'd be cool to have him finish before he is 9 months old. That has never happened to me before!

Windy's new Brake Fast Bowl
My friend Marsha gave me a gift for Windy when I saw her in Albert Lea. Windy is a food hog, inhaling her food and then wondering where it went and looking for more! I've been putting a ball in her food dish and that has worked well to slow her down. Marsha discovered the Brake Fast Bowls. They seem to be commonly sold in plastic but I won't feed my dogs out of plastic, so she was able to find a metal version for me. It works well! Thanks again, Marsha!

Why won't I feed the dogs out of plastic bowls? Well, sometimes dogs are allergic to whatever is in the plastic. Often they chew the bowls and then not only do the bowls look terrible, but they also start catching hair. I just prefer stainless steel. 

I received photos and an email message from Lucky's (formerly Flash) new owners. They wrote, Lucky is a real HAM. He loves having his picture taken. No fuss. I think his experience with you having his picture taken on a weekly basis made all of the difference. He made his first visit to the Vet and everyone enjoyed playing with Lucky…We love watching him reacting to the various sounds he is introduced to around our complex when we are sitting on our deck. Whether its garbage trucks, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, dogs barking or just people going out for a stroll. Lots of laughs. He is very quick to pick up new commands---whether it's SIT or just fetching the ball. Again, good breeding and breeder makes it a lot easier to adjust to new surroundings.

Lucky with his favorite toy

I also received photos today of Libby (formerly Rainy). She is doing well also: Learning to potty outside and not to bite fingers! Oliver's owners sent me links to YouTube videos of Oliver involved in his daily activities. It's been so fun to hear from people about the puppies' progress.

Today is the last day to make comments against the proposed USDA/APHIS regulations that will harm small hobby breeders.  Comments can be entered at!submitComment;D=APHIS-2011-0003-11583
If you are not sure what to say, go to and read Frank Losey's comments. You can get a lot of good ideas from them. I and other small breeders would appreciate your support. Many thanks to Laurie and Matt who sent in comments and shared them with me.

If you need a laugh or smile today, you might enjoy reading these rules for dog owners.

Libby outside at her new
Again, I want to encourage all whose Lhasas' faces could use a cleaning to try Nature's Specialties Plum Crazy Face Wash. It is tearless. It smells great. And it works!

I found this quotation on the Internet, "May the best of your past be the worst of your future." That is my wish for all of you today!

Thanks for taking time to read this blog. It's been fun sharing with you.

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