Wednesday, April 24, 2013


This week's post is brief—mostly because not much is going on at our house, and that might be a good thing!

So here are some highlights:

1) The rain continues, causing flooding in many areas of Illinois. A co-worker and I have to go to a meeting in southern Illinois tomorrow and we're wondering if roads and bridges will be closed. Right now, many of them are! At the end of this post is a photo my friend took of her house, threatened by water after a levy on the river broke. What is under the water is a road and cornfields. My friend lives on a hill so the water did not reach their house. Even so, she got to have a "house on a lake" for quite a few days!

2) A power outage caused problems at Macomb's water plant last night. We received a robocall from the city about 5:00 this AM telling us the town is under another boil order and that there is a water shortage, so we are to limit our water use.

3) Mira has not yet had her puppies. I have everything ready, so now we wait! I have been diligently taking her temperature, hoping to get some advanced warning that way so I can either stay home from work or, more likely, stay up all night delivering puppies. My hope is that she will wait until the middle of next week before she whelps. It would certainly fix better into my schedule!

4) Rafe and Windy are entered in a show this weekend. I hope the water shortage will have ended before they have to be bathed on Saturday.

5) Mary, who owns Rafe's brother, Gabe, sent me a photo and an email saying, "On April 28th, it will
Gabe "hiding" behind the chair
be a year that Gabe and I have been together. I remember driving to meet you and being abit anxious hoping he would love to live with me. Well I can say that he and I are doing great. He brings so many smiles to my heart. What a personality and people still ooh and aah on how cute he is and how he warms up to everyone. Even the neighbor dogs like him now that he is older. The picture I am sending demonstrates where he likes to go if he wants me to chase him and play.  He is really smart but I chuckle that he thinks he is hiding behind the chair...He sleeps with me now but still goes to his house when I need to be out and about. He is scheduled for a follow-up training. Need to work on "come".  His trainer says that sometimes it is like he is saying 'no you come.' Amazing the effectiveness of 'treat reward.'"
I love getting emails and photos!

6) Best news, exciting news—my daughter is getting married in July. She lives in Miami, so we'll be trekking there for the festivities.

7) And, in case you did not already know it—Life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring  
Bumped his head and he went to bed
and he couldn't get up in the mornin'
Rain rain, go away, come again some other day.

It's the last line of that little ditty that keeps running through my head! High winds, driving rain, power outages, flash flooding, thunder, lightning, wet Lhasas ... my list of reasons for wishing the rain away go on and on. I know that "April showers bring May flowers," but what we are getting is much more than "showers."

While the noisiness of the storms has not seemed to bother my Lhasas, they tend not to enjoy their routines being changed, and the heavy storms have created some problems for them in that regard. Take yesterday morning for example, when we opened the back door to let them out and saw that there was a good 3 inches of water filling their exercise area. Exercise pens to the rescue!

We were more fortunate than our son and his family who woke up yesterday morning to 4 feet of water in their basement. My son's weight room is there. Their laundry room is there. So was their cats' litterbox. Talk about angry cats! They couldn't go downstairs and, because of the downpour, could not/would not go outside. Amanda had to go to the store to buy a new litterbox and litter to put in the upstairs bathroom until the basement gets cleaned up.

Younger versions of ourselves!
Besides the rain, this week was eventful in that we celebrated our 41st anniversary on Monday. 

It was also eventful in that Windy excelled in training class, not dropping her tail a single time. Hurray for Windy!!! I hope that hurdle is behind us. Duncan went to his first class and was such a good little puppy. He walked on the lead (with encouragement and a  treat to entice him). He did not seem intimidated by the larger dogs, and he stood nicely (not perfectly, but nicely) on the table for exam. He traveled well in his crate for the slightly over 3 hour round trip.

Mira is getting a nice big belly. If puppies are not on the way, then I have reason to be really worried about her. 

Mira-when she had coat!
I received a nice email from Raquel, who owns a half-brother to our Rafe (same mother). Her boy, Hilo, was sired by our Ch. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker. Raquel wrote that she was attaching a photo of Hilo laying in one of his favorite places, the back for the couch, and went on to say, "I'm so very proud of my little guy and he is just so lovable.  He is the true  definition of a lap dog.  He loves to sit on my lap or my husband's lap when we  are watching TV, and he always follows me upstairs and begs me to pick him up  and put him on my lap when I'm sitting at the computer doing homework. It's so  much a routine now, that I have a pillow I prop in between me and the arm rest  of the chair so that he can lay his head on it...In order for him to stay still for brushing sessions I have to take him down  stairs and sit him on the top of the clothes dryer.  It's my grooming table and the only way he will stay still. I can even cut the hairs around his eyes without any trouble. Of course, he gets his treat after too."

Here is the photo Raquel sent of Hilo, and in case you are wondering, yes...that is his tail! Raquel says she would "NEVER cut his tail short."

I don't have any photos of Duncan to share this week. We were just too busy to take any. Plus, it is difficult to get him to be still. He wants to be on the move constantly. We did get some photos taken of Rafe last week and I'll share one taken of his profile and another of his face. Like his sire, Walker, he is not very fond of having a camera pointed at him. People ask me about his color and all I can say is that it is changing. He was a deeper red as a puppy, now it is sort of red gold with gray & black hairs (sable), but the new guard hairs coming in by his part are a deeper red. As with any Lhasa, we'll just have to wait and see!

Rafe, profile (left), head (above)

We have a busy week coming up with a show to prepare for, an out of town trip for work, a grant proposal to write, and a granddaughter's 7th birthday to celebrate. In addition, it is supposed to rain Monday through Thursday. (It's going away for the weekend and returning on Monday!)

But—I gotta say it—come rain or shine—Life is better when you have a Lhasa to love you!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Show Results, Video, Photos, Notes from Friends

I found the photo of this poster with the Colbert quotation on Facebook the other day. I thought it was great because I was actually there at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, for my daughter's graduation on the day Stephen Colbert gave the graduation address. I know you can't read the small print here, but if you click the photo, you'll get an enlargement that you can read. Here is a link to the text of his speech, if anyone cares to read the whole thing.

The rainy look to the poster is a good one for today since we had thunderstorms last night and today is still rainy and dreary. April showers!

Thanks to all of you who sent positive thoughts our way for Windy to relax and show with her tail up. It worked. I was visibly shocked and happy when she took her first steps in the ring and the tail was up and stayed up! On Saturday, there were three bitches entered, Windy in the 9-12 puppy class, one in the Bred-By class, and one in the Open class. The Bred-By bitch took the points, and Windy took Reserve. On Sunday, only Windy and the Bred-By were there. The Bred-By won again, and Windy took Reserve. Her showing with her tail up felt like a victory! Here is a video of Sunday's Winners Bitch class.

And here are some photos we took of Windy last week before we left for the show.
Windy, almost a year old
Windy, almost a year old
As for Rafe, he did well also, in spite of my bumbling, as you can see in the video below:
Bless his heart, he bounced right back, finished his "down and back" in style, and went on to win Best of Breed. He also won Best of Breed on Sunday, defeating the other male champion both days.

Congratulations to Jan Graunke on her puppy boy's wins (BOW each day for a total of 3 points), and LaVonne Bennett's Bred-By's wins (WB each day for a total of 3 points). Special thanks to Jane Chapin, Rebecca Powell, and Jill Kozeluh who helped me both days. I still think it was Jill's quiet, calm manner that put Windy so at ease.

Our next show is in Marshalltown, Iowa, on April 28. I hope Windy recalls her positive experiences last weekend and her " I like being a show dog" attitude carries over to the next show. A huge, important part of a dog's experience at a show resides with the judge, and we had good ones in Dekalb—David Krogh and Bradley Jenkins. Both men were personable in the ring to the exhibitors and also kind, gentle, but thorough with the dogs. Brusque and heavy-handed judges can ruin a young puppy or a less-than-sure adult. Some judges act bored with the whole routine, giving the impression that they wish they were anywhere but judging a dog show. Those types are no fun to show under. It was obvious to me that these two men enjoyed what they were doing and truly loved dogs.

Gus and Duncan went with us to the show so Jan, the owner of their sire, could see them. Gus went home with Jan.

Duncan in ex-pen at the show
Saying good-bye to Gus
I thought Duncan would have problems being an only puppy, but he has not. I expected him to fuss at night without Gus to cuddle up with since they cuddled together in the doggy bed each night to sleep. No problems. Perhaps he was happy to have the bed all to himself. I've been letting the adult girls play with Duncan one at a time to introduce him to the other dogs and give him opportunities for a playmate. He's a happy little guy. We have a "cat tower" that the cat refuses to play in, so it has become storage for dog toys. Duncan pulled most of them out of the lower tier and made himself a little hang out spot.

Duncan, 11 weeks
 A note from Jan indicated that the normally quiet, roll-with-the-punches Gus must have decided he'd had enough of being the underdog! (Duncan was always the aggressor in their puppy battles.) Jan wrote that Gus "... goes up to Carson’s 2x3 and barks and growls at him. When he sees him, when Gus is in his crate, he barks at Carson. SO Carson barks back. I thought you said this was the quiet one? He is so cute and it is hard not to laugh when he does these things. The two crazy boys did manage to sleep all through the night without the craziness. So it is good. He runs back to the crate if he is not sure, which is cute cause he sprints back.  He tried a big boy treat this morning and those little teeth broke it up and he was proud that he stole it from Rosie when she turned her head."

Earlier in the week, I received an email from people who purchased a puppy from us 7 years ago. We had not heard from them in years, and I was so grateful that they wrote. "...Every week Jackie and I talk about how lucky we were to have found you seven years ago.  We purchased Cooper from you then (your son had played with him after school most days as I recall) and are amazed every day how wonderful a dog he is.  He is much more than that.....he is a wonderful friend and a joy.  He behaves incredibly well, is smart, fun and loving.  He knows an unbelievable amount of what we talk to each other about, and if I don't respond quickly to Jackie when she talks to me from another room, he comes and barks at me to let me know that I am late in responding.  He knows when I am called for dinner, gives me a few minutes, then comes and butts me with his nose.  He sleeps in the bed with us, comes up and cuddles for perhaps fifteen minutes, then goes to an out of the way place on the bed and sleeps until morning.  We have taken many long road trips (we don't fly anymore as we don't want to be away from him), some as long as seven weeks, and he loves it.  He loves beaches, so we find him a couple each day no matter where we are, and he runs and plays, then hops back in the car when asked to do so.  We bought a second home in Canada (with a beach of course) and he looks forward to the trip up there every other month.  Does well in snow and loves to cool off in the lake in the summer.  He has never met a person he does not like, perhaps too much for his own good sometimes.  Never snapped or acted ugly with anyone, unlike the two Lhasa's I had previously.   Anyway, we thank you often and just thought you should know..."

While I do not currently have puppies available, if anyone reading this is interested in a young female (not quite a year old), I can perhaps help. A member of our Lhasa Apso club is ill, recovering from heart surgery. She will be unable to care for this puppy and is hoping to find a home for her. A friend is currently taking care of the puppy and can provide more particulars about the dog than I know. Send me an email at and I'll have someone get in touch with you if you would like information about this puppy.

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


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Updates and Some Photos

Isn't it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool's Day and ends with cries of 'May Day!'?~ Unknown

Happy April! Happy Spring! I noticed there is a tulip hesitantly coming up in the flowerbed. The robins are busy in the yard. Geese are flying north. Spring must be here. Finally.

This week has been so hectic, but lately they all seem to be. I took Rafe and Windy to class in Peoria on Tuesday night. We were in a different building for this class, and Windy was back to holding her tail down or at half mast and acting jittery when gaiting. She is perfect when stacking. I wish Rafe was! She is entered in shows this weekend and, while I was getting optimistic about her, now it's hard to be. It takes her a long time to get over the newness of a situation and, in the ring, we don't have the luxury of an hour-long class. Keep your fingers crossed for us. We'll keep trying until I think it is hopeless. I know from previous experiences with my Dancer and Belle that not every dog enjoys being a show dog. A person has to respect that.

Spring is a time of new birth, so I am optimistically announcing that we have puppies on the way, due in early May. As yet, I have no proof of pregnancy.

Speaking of puppies, here are the latest photos of Duncan and Gus, Raven's boys, now 10 weeks old. I wanted to get a good look at their structure last night so I shampooed them, flattened their coats close to their bodies and Lynn took some photos of their heads, fronts, rears, and profiles. The boys were wet, chilly, and not 100% cooperative, but we got some decent pictures. I won't include all the wet photos here, but we also took some of them all fluffy and dry after their baths. As a side note: Neither appreciated the bath and I ended up nearly as wet as they did!


And here are the boys after they were dry:

I love getting emails about the puppies we have sold. I'm so appreciative when people check in and send photos and/or updates on their Joyslyn's dogs. No matter how old the dogs are, I enjoy hearing about them and their lives.

Dan, Maria, and Claire sent a nice note about Ella (aka Ellie at our house): "Wanted to share some things about Ella... She has been doing great and loves the outdoors for potty time and is becoming quite the guard dog shooing away the robins from the yard.  She has started her pet training and seems to really enjoy it. We are in week four coming up and Ella has learned to sit, watch me, down, leave it and drop it.  She is not afraid of other dogs in the class and enjoys all the people who stop to watch her.  She definitely steals the show.  Once again, thank you....we love her so much!"
Judy, Whisper's owner, sent me a photo of Whisper in her new Easter dress. Judy says, "She is so precious, Joyce. As much as I have the ability to write, I don't believe that I have words to express my love for Whisper. Her eyes just look right into my soul, and there is so much love and trust in them. Thank you for her." Whisper is a litter sister to Raven and Maggie.
Whisper modeling her new Easter dress
I had a bit of emotional trauma last weekend when I decided it was time to clip Walker down. Grand Champion Joyslyn MiToya Wind Walker is now 10 and a half (his 11th birthday is at the end of September) and, while I knew after he retired from showing that I would probably not show him again, I still wanted to keep that option open for the occasional veteran's classes that some shows offered. I finally faced facts, the main one of them being that he would probably be much happier without all that heavy coat and constant grooming. So I clipped him. I'd shed tears earlier when I first made the decision, so while the event was a solemn one for me, I got through it. Afraid I would back out if I did not make the first blade stroke one of  "no return," I first ran the clipper over his head and cut off the braids. It was so hard for me. Walker is unfazed by it and, yes, I think he is enjoying being clipped. I have not yet taken a photo of him. The next moment of trauma and tears came when I ran my fingers through the pile of coat lying on the floor, appreciating its distinct color and great texture, and then looked again at my nearly naked dog!
Walker when he was being Specialed

 As you probably know, I have a number of articles about Lhasas posted on my website. Seventeen of them also appear on the Ezine site. Ezine sent me some stats the other day to give me an idea of which articles were the most popular. The top one is about Lhasas and children with 1761 readers since it was published. Two of my grooming articles are next highest in popularity with combined total of 1221 readers since their publication. "Trimming hair around eyes" and "bathing your Lhasa" are the topics of those two articles. When we bought our first Lhasas back in the early 1970's, little information was available about the breed, and we lived in a small Nebraska town where no one had show dogs, let alone a Lhasa Apso. What we learned in the beginning was by trial and error regarding grooming. The mistakes were many, and once I did find help, I decided that one thing I could do for others was to share what I had learned. That's how my monthly column in Dog World magazine came about in 1976 and that is why I've posted articles on my website and Ezine.

You might want to check out this website that offers some good deals on toys, treats, chews -- up to 75% off (notice I said "up to!"). The company also has free shipping.

And, for those of you who feel stressed and need to relax, I found this helpful article containing a stress reliever I'm going to try -- as soon as I can find the time to relax! LOL
Seriously, it's on my to-do list!

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