Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter!

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. ~Robert Flatt

Happy Easter! You know that I sometimes begin my blog postings with a quotation that relates to my mood, the season, the topic of the post, or whatever seems appropriate to me that day. In addition to the quotation above, I also found another that hits close to home this time of year: I lied on  my Weight Watchers list. I put down that I had 3 eggs ... but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs. ~ Caroline Rhea

And (true confessions), I recently ate an entire package of Brach's jelly beans - even the black ones! (Perhaps I should say, "especially the black ones.") I seem to be able to leave them alone any other time of the year, but at Easter they call my name from shelves across the entire store!

I recently ran across Dr, Sophia Yin's interesting and educational website that has some good dog training articles. I'd seen a link on Facebook to an article on puppies and children and how to teach children to watch a dog's body language and thus avoid dog bites. So, I followed that link, which eventually led me to another website, and so on. You know how it goes. Anyway, I found the few articles I read to be interesting and hope you also find them helpful and interesting. Here's a poster that was on the site regarding dog's body language of fear:

Speaking of Facebook, if you have not already seen them, check out the FB pages of Lhasa Friends and The American Lhasa Apso Club. You might also bookmark the website of the American Lhasa Apso Club. It has some nice resources on it. One I am especially fond of is Learn About the Lhasa Apso.

Windy did well at class Tuesday night. She is now used to the environment, the people, and the dogs so has more confidence and less fear. She lost her confidence and went into guard dog mode when, about the middle of class, a newcomer and his Schnauzer joined us. She decided she did not like the looks of that dog and was determined to let everyone in class know it. She's a character! So, from the moment class started her tail was up and she did a nice job stacking on floor and table, allowing the trainer to examine her. She gaited well when no dogs were behind her and equally as well when there were dogs behind her. I hope she can transfer her learning to an actual dog show. There is one coming up next weekend so we'll see. Please keep your fingers crossed for her to show well. I don't even care about winning right now (OMG....did I really write that?!). I just want her to relax and enjoy being in the ring.

I have no puppy pictures to share today. This week has been so busy that my husband and I have not been home long enough together to find the time to get out a camera and deal with wiggly puppy boys who would rather be running, playing, and wrestling with each other than posing for pictures. They'll go with me to the show next weekend to meet the owner of their sire. Their personalities are different. Gus is the sweetheart, cuddly puppy who loves to be held and who is content to play quietly by himself if necessary. Duncan is into everything and enjoys running into Gus at full speed and engaging in puppy battles. He likes to be held too but then wants down to make sure he hasn't missed anything. To be honest, I am not looking forward to an overnight trip with the two of them! They are "all boy" and are the sweetest when they are curled up together in the dog bed -- sleeping! LOL

Even though I have no photos to post of Gus and Duncan, I do have
one that I received from Max's (now known as Snickers) new family. He's enjoying playing with the family's twin boys, and the whole family thinks Snickers is the greatest! This photo was taken after Snicker's first grooming and haircut. He's a cutie. Look at that face!

May the Easter Bunny bring you lots of chocolate and plenty of jelly beans...and may the snows disappear and spring finally make a grand entrance.

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


Friday, March 22, 2013

Ummm...Where is Spring?

What we'd like to see in our yards!
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. 
~ Henry Van Dyke

Where is spring? It certainly has not shown itself in west central Illinois! The temps have been low and the wind chills even lower! The weather forecast for this weekend is snow, snow, snow! UGH…enough already!
What is on its way!

I've spent more than enough time in a car this past month to last me a long time: a 13.5 hour round trip in late February to pick up a dog in WI; an 8 hour round trip to a dog show the following weekend; a 6.5 hour round trip to WI to take the dog back; and, most recently, a 16 hour round trip to NE to visit Mom, my sister, and her family. When I returned, the following day involved a 4 hour round trip to Bloomington, IL for a work-related meeting and, once I returned home that afternoon, I changed into my jeans and hopped into the car for another 4 hour round trip to Peoria to take Windy to her  training class! Thankfully, except for the weekly training class in Peoria, the next trip on my schedule is not until the first weekend in April.

I had a wonderful time in Nebraska with my family. We talked a lot, shopped a bit, played some games, and simply enjoyed being together again. Unfortunately, my visits are not frequent enough, but we enjoy the time we can spend together. I might add that on each day of the visit, I was again in a car: Friday we went shopping in a larger town (about a 2 hour round trip); Saturday we traveled to Lincoln to pick up my sister's exchange student at the airport (about a 6 hour round trip); and Sunday Mom took us to lunch in a neighboring town (about a 2 hour round trip). Am I tired of being in a car? YES!

At last! This week the flooring installer came, pulled up the Duraceramic tile in our family room, installed a moisture barrier, and laid new tile (this time with grout and not sealant between the tiles). It looks great! Since the puppies were in a room adjacent to the family room, I moved them upstairs so they would be removed from the dust and commotion of the installation. Besides, we needed their room to store the family room furniture! It was a long two days for them (and us) since they did not have as much room to roam around and play as they were used to having downstairs. We were all happy when the furniture was moved back into the family room and the puppies' room was once again empty of the family room furniture, clean,  and available to them.

Duncan, 8 weeks old
Here are the latest pictures of the boys, now 8 weeks old. They had their first shots this week and passed their health exams with flying colors!
Gus, 8 weeks old

BTW…Happy Belated St. Patrick's Day! Zora and Zeus celebrated their "Irish Roots" (LOL) in style. (Zora seems happier about being decked out in green than Zeus does. I imagine he thinks it is undignified!)

Zora and Zeus, dressed up in honor of St. Patrick's Day
Ellie in her new home on her new blanket
Ellie's new owners sent a note with a picture of her: "Just returned from the vet and everything went great…Attached is a photo of her on a new blanket that Claire made.  She's adjusting so well and such a joy for us." 

We also received a nice newsy letter and a bundle of photos from Davy's owner. Davy was one of our retired champions who was placed with a new owner who has a profound appreciation not only for the breed but also for Davy. I get great letters detailing his personality and activities, always with a thank you for allowing him to have Davy. Here is one of the photos he sent. Yes, he still keeps Davy in a long coat and tells me they both enjoy the grooming time spent together.
Based on our experiences, I want to let any of you who are thinking about taking or given the opportunity to take an adult Lhasa instead of a puppy to give it a try. People call me all the time upset because they cannot find puppies and decrying the fact that breeders are not breeding as often as in the past, making good Lhasas from reputable breeders hard to find. That is happening for many reasons: many of us are getting older and are trying to cut back on the number of dogs we breed and own; many new, restrictive laws are being passed that limit the number of dogs a breeder can have; other laws seek to punish dog breeders, which makes us all more than a little concerned, lumping the good breeders with the bad ones. Bottom line -- many breeders who show Lhasas often have retired champions, both male and female, available. If you cannot find a puppy, ask the people you are calling if they would consider selling an adult. You may wonder how breeders are able to let their retired champions go. It is not easy. I'll refer you to a previous post that may help explain.

I hope Spring comes soon for all of you!

Remember, life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy National Napping Day!

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap. ~Barbara Jordan (quoting Robert Fulghum)

Happy National Napping Day! (Okay, so I'm a day late!) I guess someone thought we needed some extra sleep following Sunday's time change. Someone was right!

Duncan, age 6.5 weeks
We had a little photo shoot of Gus and Duncan on Sunday night. They are becoming used to new surroundings. Now that Ellie has left for her new home, the boys have been moved to a bigger play area. We've also begun separating them from Raven for longer periods of time. They've been sneaking little tastes of her food for a while now, so weaning them should not be a huge problem. The photo of Duncan does not have the best contrast. Gus is black and, although Duncan looks black, he is actually a dark gold with a black overlay over his back. It will be interesting to see what color he becomes as he matures.

Gus, age 6.5 weeks
Ellie was a great one for dashing under my feet at inopportune moments (like every time I'd put my foot down!) and these little guys seem to be following in her footsteps. What is it about puppies that they don't seem to understand the cause/effect associated with my foot stepping down and their foot hurting? So now I'm doing the "puppy shuffle" again.  We are also teaching the puppies to use the piddle pads. They are actually doing a decent job of it and have not yet discovered the joys of piddle pad shredding!

Next week we'll have to begin training all over again in a new area of the house. The crew is coming next week to tear out the flooring that was installed incorrectly in our family room. They'll then replace it with new tile. So the puppies have to be relocated since their room is right off the family room and I do not want them breathing in all the dust and whatever else may be floating around from the demolition.

Here's a cute (short) video of Rafe playing with Ellie a couple days before she left. Rafe is the only male we have that wants to play with puppies - perhaps because he is still close to puppy age himself. (I apologize that the TV was  on. Turn down your sound so you don't have to hear it!)
Snickers (aka Max)

Winter is still alive and kicking in the midwest. States around us have had more snow. We've had a great deal of rain, so we are lucky in that we are getting much-needed moisture and are not having to scoop a foot or more of snow. The ground is saturated now and most people in this area are hoping that the temps do not drop. The ice would be awful! The dogs don't want to go outside and when they do go out, they come in soaked. The ones that are clipped are easily dried. That is not true for the coated dogs! Again, I am thankful for the exercise pen in our garage!

After bad weather causing our training class to be cancelled two weeks in a row, Windy and I are headed for Peoria tonight to her first class since last fall. We're hoping to get two or three in before her next show so she'll feel more comfortable in and out of the show ring and actually show off that "attitude" that so defines her!

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


P.S. If you would not mind, it would be appreciated if you supported efforts to stop the PUPS Act as currently written. It may be (or not) a well-intentioned bill, but it has language in it that needs to be changed to protect small hobby breeders. This link will take you to a form letter posted by the Calvary Group. You can change the letter if you desire or send it as is. Once you fill out details about yourself, the program automatically addresses the letter to your Senators and Representatives. It's easy to do. If you are from Illinois, Senator Durbin will send you his usual form letter acknowledging your stance. At least this year he didn't send me one thanking me for supporting his bill. Evidently he found a new aide who can actually read and interpret constituents' letters.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Show News, Photos, Updates

Whatever happened to that early spring the groundhog promised us? Snow, snow, and more snow...our schools closed again today, and more snow is expected during the night! Enough already!

We are back from a successful weekend at the Belle City Kennel Club show. The show was held at the beautiful facility at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, MO. You may recall I was worried about Windy's tail. Well, we made some progress and reached what I hope is a turning point. She was not fearful and shaking this time. On Saturday, she held her tail down both for her individual class and for the Winners Bitch class. There was a brief spark of hope when she first took off to go around the ring, shook herself, and the tail came up. But, alas, it went back down. On Sunday, she again held it down in her puppy class. However, in the Winners Bitch class as she followed the other Lhasa around the ring, her tail was up. I was thrilled and felt as good as if she had won a major! One of the saddest sights is a Lhasa in the show ring with its  tail down. (It is an especially sad sight if you are the person on the other end of her lead!)

Rafe did well. I am so proud of him! He took Best of Breed both days over a nice male special and a nice bitch special. We showed in the Group but did not place. At the end of this post is another video taken of him in the Group ring on Saturday. Those two Best of Breed wins gave him more than enough points to finish his Grand Championship! Hurray!! We now have a new Grand Champion -- GCh. Ch. Joyslyn's Inherit the Wind. The video below shows him in Sunday's breed ring.

At home, the Raven's boys are doing well and growing fast. It's hard to believe they are already 6 weeks old. Time has passed quickly. They are enjoying investigating the family room and playing with Ellie.
Gus, 6 weeks

Duncan, 6 weeks
 Speaking of Ellie, she is now 3 months old. I found a picture of her grandmother (Rafe's mom) at age 4 months and think there is a definite resemblance.
Ellie, 3 months
Dancer, Ellie's Grandma, 4 months

Here is a link to the new Lhasa Apso video from the American Lhasa Apso Club.
Griffin II

The owners of Rafe's litter brother, Griffin II, (Loretta and Tom) shared a photo of Griffin. I enjoy seeing the kids from that litter. They are all just precious. They have lovely dispositions and such sweet faces. It's also fun to see the variety of "hair styles" given them by their groomers.
Chickens in Miami

My daughter lives in Miami. The last time I went to visit her I was amazed to see a rooster hanging around the parking lot in front of the area Publix grocery. Her friend told me that Miami is full of chickens, so each spring my daughter sends me photos of the latest hatchlings that live in the park across from her apartment building. Here is the most recent. Evidently Spring has arrived in Miami!

We received sad news from Fred and Melinda that Lily, Ch. Joyslyn's My One N Only passed away a month shy of her 15th birthday. Melinda and Fred bought Lily from us when she was  9 years old as a companion for a very active young Lhasa male, "Keeper," they bought from us who later became their first champion. Melinda's note said, "Fred and I wanted to thank you for letting us have Lily so many years ago…we've had her sweetness and silliness for nearly 6 wonderful years. Not long enough....She was always entertaining (even during her dreaded grooming sessions, lol). We are broken hearted…[the house] feels and sounds empty with our very special little Silly, Pilly, Lily gone."
Lily the show dog!
Lily was quite a character. She enjoyed life to the fullest, was quite a clown, and was sometimes a challenge to show. For example, she did not want to follow ring protocol and preferred to stack herself facing backward instead of forward in the line up. She was very animated and more than one judge was left smiling or shaking his/her head after seeing Lily. She would not be denied though, and more often than not came away the winner. At home she had many nicknames, including Lily Ann, Lily Munster, and Silly Lily. We were happy to share this lively girl with Fred and Melinda. I know she gave them a lot of love and joy.
Lily on a boat in her retirement

Unfortunately, the "Problematic PUPS Bill" (so dubbed by AKC) has once again been reintroduced. Here are some snippets about the bill from AKC's Legislative Alert.
Federal Legislative Alert: Problematic PUPS Bill Reintroduced for 2013
(Friday, March 01, 2013)
"Federal "PUPS" legislation (S 395/HR 847), sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Jim Gerlach has been reintroduced in the U.S. Congress and assigned to the House and Senate Agriculture committees. The bill is substantially the same as previous versions introduced in 2011 and 2010, which never received committee currently written, the definitions proposed in this bill are misleading, overly broad, and potentially damaging to small responsible breeders who individually maintain and breed only a few dogs in their homes.
AKC's specific concerns with PUPS include the following:
*   Defines "high volume retail breeder" as someone with "an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs". This definition is overly broad and does not take into account co- and joint ownerships common among dog owners, dog show participants, hunting club members, sporting dog trainers and other hobbyists. This would hurt many small hobby breeders who keep or breed only a few dogs in their homes by subjecting them to commercial standards of regulation as a result of agreements they maintain with other small breeders.
*   Defines "high volume retail breeder" as someone with "an ownership interest in or custody of one or more breeding female dogs". Because the threshold for regulation is based on the number of dogs bred and sold, any reference to the number of dogs owned or in custody is unnecessary and potentially misleading.
*   Defines "breeding female" as an intact female dog aged 4 months or older. This is misleading and implies that a female dog may be bred at 4 months. Female dogs are not sufficiently mature at 4 months of age to be bred and should not be deemed "breeding females".
*   Exercise language should be clarified with respect to the terms "solitary and goal oriented" to ensure that the daily exercise requirements do not preclude training that involves other types of wholesome activity that could fall under this definition (e.g., playing fetch, field training for hunting dogs, or the responsible use of treadmills for keeping canine athletes in top physical condition).
*   PUPS would exponentially expand the pool of breeders regulated and inspected by the Animal Care Division of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS). However, a May 2010 audit of this program by the USDA's own Inspector General demonstrated that the existing inspections program is insufficient to carry out current responsibilities. AKC believes these issues and full funding for the current program and enforcement of current laws should be addressed before attempting to exponentially expand the program's responsibilities and workload.

AKC encourages you to respectfully share these reasonable concerns about the potential damaging consequences of this bill with your member of Congress."

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


Here is a video of Rafe in the Group ring last weekend.