Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More of the Same, Mostly Pictures

Happy Wednesday! In Macomb, the rain continues to pour, and our few days of balmy, spring-like weather (a co-worker says her tulips are up about 2"!) are turning to winter, with freezing rain and snow in the forecast. Oh the joy of midwest winters!

Again, I want to encourage any of you who do not own an exercise pen to get one! Mine have been so valuable during the snows and rains. I always have one set up in the garage, with newspapers covering the floor. This offers an alternative potty spot when the snow is piled up outside, the frigid wind is blowing, or the rain is pouring down and neither you nor your Lhasa wants to venture outside. Have you ever had one, eager to go out, that puts on the brakes when you open the door and she sees the weather? You can read  "You're crazy, lady, if you think I'm going out in THAT!" in her body language. Ex-pen to the rescue!

Ellie, 8 weeks
Inside the Johanson home, the puppies are growing. Maggie's three are now 8 weeks old and going through a "terrible two's" stage where they are determined to see what kind of mischief they can get into. For example, piddle pads are now considered toys and objects for shredding!
Mallory, 8 weeks

Max, 8 weeks
Another change that happened is that Monday I separated them, so that now they are sleeping in their own crates, rather than with each other in the whelping box. Oh my, you'd think the world was coming to an end. During the day, I escape the ruckus by going to work, and in the evenings of course the puppies are running around the family room, playing with toys, and trying to get away with chewing on the corner of the area rug. But at night, when all should be quiet and calm, they are screaming their unhappiness about being separated. All. Night. Long.

I know that "this too shall pass." I hope it happens soon! This is a strident trio!

Raven's puppies are now a week old. They are content and well-fed and that is about all I can say about them at this point. (They are also quiet!) As always, I'm looking forward to when we can take pictures of them with their eyes open.

The only other tidbit of information regarding the allergy question has been a recommendation to use Dinovite. I looked at the website and was interested in the grain-free treats they offer for sale. Anyway, I hope the suggestions that people have made for the last three postings will help any of you who are dealing with a Lhasa with allergies. Thanks to all who responded to my request for information.

Belle's pretty face
Belle's new owner, Mary, sent me an update and some photos of Belle with her new Lhasa friends, Roman and Moka, with whom she gets along well, playing, sharing toys, sharing a bed. Belle's new family also consists of Ragdoll cats and Mary tells me the 17-year old cat loves Belle and that Belle licks his ears. Belle also enjoys obedience classes and Mary hopes to move her to Rally one day. As you can see, she still has that long, lovely coat. Mary has even continued my tradition of keeping Belle's hair in braids. Thanks for keeping in touch, Mary!

Henri and Kitty
My daughter sent pictures of the four-legged members of her family, Kitty and Henri. Henri is an Affenpinscher.

And Loretta sent pictures of Griffin II (Rafe's litter brother) proudly wearing his new sweater. She wrote, "I have never had a dog that would wear a sweater nor even want one near him.  Griffin, on the other hand, did not want to go outside because of the we bought him a sweater and he loves it! ?  The red patch on the back of the sweater is a pocket know....for his credit cards and identification etc."  

I'm always grateful for photos and updates on my "kids." Judy, Whisper's owner emailed, "Whisper loves me so much. I am slowly working with her to be less kissy and more content to snuggle. Her inclination is lick, lick, lick my face to show how much she loves me... I often call her "Kissy!" She has such a precious soul, and such a petite and beautiful face. Sometimes when I glance at her, I have to do a double take because she is so beautiful and her eyes look right into my soul. She definitely is where she belongs and is extremely happy." Whisper is a litter sister to Maggie and Raven.

 Once again, in the hope of getting the blog to work for Internet Explorer users, I have tried something new, based on the advice of the Blogspot folks. I hope this time it works for you all. If you have time to let me know, please do.

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


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Puppy Pictures, More Suggestions For Allergy Relief

Well, it's been quite a week and I must apologize for my late posting this week. Our university was closed on Monday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so we spent a rather lazy day with the dogs and puppies inside where we were out of the really, really frigid weather Illinois has been having all week. I groomed Rafe and Walker while I watched the Inauguration festivities on CNN and MSNBC. We took the weekly puppy pictures of Mallory, Max, and Ellie—and here it is, Thursday, and I am finally getting a chance to post them.

As you see, the trio is growing and coats are getting longer and fluffier. This was a week of firsts for them and they were not quite sure what to think of it all. Maggie has decided she can only take them in small doses now. They maul her, the poor thing and she looks at me with such sad eyes that I just have to rescue her. On Monday, the puppies had their first baths. Oh my…Mallory was a trooper and did not fuss at all until the rinse. Ellie wasn't thrilled but didn't protest except for pancaking in the sink and not wanting to stand on all four legs. She disliked having her face and head washed, but that runs in the family. Both Grandpa Walker and Grandpa Connor hate that part of the bath also! Max was quite vocal in his protests (i.e., he screamed like a banshee when the water hit his head). Tuesday brought other firsts: their first car ride and trip to the vet's office for their first check ups and vaccinations. It was so cold outside that I warmed the car for 20 minutes and then covered their crate with a quilt to protect them from the cold wind! All passed their check ups with flying colors. Max was the only one who screamed when he got his vaccination. I detect a pattern here!
Ellie, 7 weeks
Max, 7 weeks
Mallory, 7 weeks
Raven's puppies
 The plan for Wednesday was to take Raven to the vet for an x-ray to see how many puppies she was carrying. You know what Robert Burns said about the "best laid plans of mice and men…". Raven had other ideas. By 8:00 Tuesday evening, it was obvious she was nesting. I got no sleep Tuesday night. Her first puppy, a black male, was born around 12:30 AM. That was it. We waited and waited and waited. Raven and her baby were cuddled up warm and content. I kept thinking, "Is that it?" I knew she was not going to have many because she was not very large, but was thinking two or three. So I sat up with her the rest of the night, checking every 15 minutes or so "just in case." About 6:30, I decided she should go out to potty and as I was carrying her to the ex-pen in the garage, I felt contractions! Puppy number 2, a gold male, was born about 7:00 AM. Everyone is doing well. She is an attentive mother who doesn't want to leave them. They are good nursers and very upset when I make her leave them to take a potty break.

I received nice email from Balika, a reader who lives in India and owns a Lhasa. She told me about her Lhasa, Rayna, and went on to say, "…Thank you for your posts. I look forward to them eagerly. Though I don't breed, I like knowing about your puppies and seeing their pictures reminds me of when Rayna was very little. I imagine your heart must tear a little each time you have to give them away. But what you do is important. The Lhasa Apso is an amazing breed and in this new wave of anti-breeder sentiment, we don't realise that we stand to lose our common heritage if we stop breeding dogs…". She also said she liked my "Life is good when you have a Lhasa to love you!" phrase. Thanks for the note Balika!

Recall that I asked a few weeks ago if readers who had experiences with Lhasas and allergies would write to let us know what worked. Vickie sent some suggestions and helpful links:
Omega 3s as a supplement in the 700-1000 mg range, 3 times a week up to daily, depending on what's going on and what the dog's response is.
If you'll recall, other readers previously suggested Blue Buffalo dog food, the NZYMES kit, and the AllerQi supplement. Thanks to all of you for sharing your suggestions and experiences.

Today I am experimenting with the formatting of the blog post to see if I can fix the problem that readers using Internet Explorer have had with accessing the posts. If you are one of those readers who changed from IE to Chrome, Firefox, or another browser so you could read this, try going back to IE and see if you can now access the posts. Then please let me know.

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

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cute Pictures and Other Stuff

A nice thing happened today that cheered up a cold and dreary Monday for me. I received the following email and it absolutely made my day. "Nearly three years ago I contacted you in hopes of purchasing a puppy for our daughter who was dealing with some health issues. You did not have puppies at that time, but gave me great advice on how to go about finding one from a reputable dealer. We ended up getting an eight week old female lhasa apso that we named Sweetie. She is a wonderful addition to our family and has been a tremendous help to our daughter...I am writing to thank you for all of the wonderful information on your website and in your blog...I check often to look for new posts, and I have learned so much by reading what you have written. Our family cannot imagine life without our Sweetie, and we have found a lot of the answers to our questions about having a dog by reading your info. Thanks so much!"

My goal for both the website and the blog is not just to showcase our puppies and our many wonderful Lhasa Apsos over the past years (nearly 40 in February…boy does that make me feel old!) but to educate people about the Lhasa Apso and thus to promote the breed. I often wonder if anyone reads what I write, so it's nice to know when people find the information helpful.

Kramer, Kila, Loki
Because of the holiday, I've also heard from quite a few people who bought puppies from us in the past and who sent photos of them. One such photo showed the two Lhasa females, Loki and Kila, with their "brother," Kramer, who is a Boerboel. (The Boerboel is a South African mastiff, known for guarding the homested.) Their owner says the girls rule the roost and Kramer knows they are the bosses. Loki is a daughter of our Breaker and Dancer, and Kila is Connor and Secret's daughter.

I have not had many responses to my request last week for people to write about their experiences with Lhasas and allergies and what, if anything, helped the problem. Sarah wrote, "So far Tashi hasn't had many allergies. I did switch his food to Blue Buffalo lamb and rice and the goop in his eyes went away (if that's an allergy...)…" and a new reader, Kim, wrote, "…Our family has had 6 Lhasas over the past 25 years and we battled skin allergies until we discovered Blue Buffalo dog food. Our current two babies that are a year and a half old are feed exclusively Freedom, small breed chicken Blue Buffalo. We even use grain free, gluten free treats. I think like people, dogs have allergies to grains, gluten, and preservatives. I would suggest starting with a natural food free of grains to see if this helps! …"

Another reader has begun to use the Nzymes products to see if they will ease her dog's suffering. A friend recommended Herbsmith's AllerQi to me for our 10-year old Secret, who seems to have some seasonal allergies. I sprinkle it on her food and she chows it right down. She does much better when she is taking it than when she is not. I suggested it to someone else who said her dog refuses to touch his food when the AllerQi is sprinkled on it. I guess he just doesn't like the taste. (That would be my reaction if someone sprinkled broccoli on my favorite meal! )

So…the request is still out there. Let me know if you have any suggestions regarding allergies and Lhasas, and I'll share your information as it comes in.

I've received via email and phone call from three readers now information that they are having problems getting on this blog. All that shows up for them is the blog title and date. After some trial and error troubleshooting on their part, it seems that Internet Explorer is NOT the browser to use when you want to read this blog. They got it to come up on Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, but not Internet Explorer. Obviously, this is not the place to announce the problem since, if you can't get on the blog to read the post, you can't read about the problem and solution! I put a little note about it on the front page of my website, next to the link to the blog. I hope that helps.

Maggie's puppies are 6 weeks old today and experienced some changes over the weekend. They were moved from one room to another to make way for the whelping pen to be set up for Raven's litter (due at the end of the month). They were given their own food. Prior to this weekend they were eating from Maggie's bowl when they felt like it. She is extremely tolerant of them! They were introduced to the exercise pen in our garage as a place to potty. It's chilly out there but not as cold as it is outside—in my opinion, the Illinois winter is much too cold for young puppies to go outside right now. Finally, they've been given the run of the utility room. They have fun investigating and playing. Piddle pad use is on the upswing and that is a good sign! These puppies are happy, playful, and seem to be smart.

Mallory, 6 weeks

Ellie, 6 weeks
Max, 6 weeks

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


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Photos, Article, and a Request

“If only one of the presidential candidates would make it part of his platform to do something about making Monday part of the weekend. I think he would get a lot of votes”
- Thomas Wayne

Oh yes, lovely Monday mornings! Why is it so difficult to get out of bed and face a new work week each Monday? A bright thing about my Mondays lately is that each Monday means the puppies are another week older and another week cuter! We take pictures of them each Monday so that I can post them here throughout the week. Here are this week's photos. They are now 5 weeks old. Max is the bravest and most adventuresome, followed closely by Mallory. He is definitely the trailblazer and she the follower. Ellie was content to watch and make sure that what they are doing was okay – until last night when she decided watching was no fun and she'd do some exploring herself.

I know that some of you are waiting for information about Raven. We'll know more in a few weeks but right now she certainly looks pregnant to me. The puppies are due around January 27th.

As I watch my puppies grow and eagerly await the arrival of the new litter, as I work with my up and coming show prospects and take care of the "seniors" at our house, as I try my best to do what is right and good for my dogs, for my parent club, and for the fancy in general, I sometimes wonder where it's all headed. I happened to read a post on the DogKnobit blog, "Is the Dog Fancy at a Tipping Point?" that echoes the sentiments I often feel. Please take time to read it at You don't have to be involved in showing, only in loving dogs, to relate to the article.

I've had some questions from a reader about allergies in Lhasas and what to do, so anyone who has information about a product or food that has worked for your dog, please send me an email at and I will certainly share your experiences and recommendations in a future post.

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


Friday, January 4, 2013

Puppies at Four Weeks

The time has gone quickly. It is hard to believe these puppies are already 4 weeks old, well...4 and a half by now, since I am so late in getting the pictures posted. Max seems to be the brave explorer with Mallory close behind. Ellie hangs back and lets them do the exploring. She is apprehensive about walking on the tiled floor and prefers the quilt under her feet. (I don't blame her. I don't like our new flooring either. In my opinion, it is much too slick for people and pets. Let me know if you decide to buy new flooring and I'll tell you what kind not to buy!)

Here are the most recent photos:

Max 4 weeks

Mallory 4 weeks
Ellie 4 weeks

I hope you enjoy the pictures. I'll post more next week.

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