Friday, August 22, 2014

A Happy Birthday Month

“Dogs are minor angels, and I don't mean that facetiously. They love unconditionally, forgive immediately, are the truest of friends, willing to do anything that makes us happy, etcetera. If we attributed some of those qualities to a person, we would say they are special. If they had ALL of them, we would call them angelic. But because it's "only" a dog, we dismiss them as sweet or funny but little more. However, when you think about it, what are the things that we most like in another human being? Many times those qualities are seen in our dogs every single day-- we're just so used to them that we pay no attention.”
~ Jonathan Carroll

August is a month full of birthdays (plus an anniversary) for our family. People-wise, I celebrated my birthday last Friday; our daughter has one coming this weekend; our son-in-law's is next week; and their baby's will be any day now. My sister and brother-in-law have an August anniversary. Two of our Lhasas also have August birthdays.

Breaker (GCh. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker) turned six years old earlier this month. That's him at the top of this post. Yesterday, Secret (Ch. Joyslyn's Secrets of the Heart), Breaker's mother, turned 12. She doesn't act like a 12 year old. She is healthy, happy, and as playful as ever. Killing squeakers and pulling stuffing out of toys are still her favorite sports! Here are some pictures of Secret. The first one was taken at a dog show. We were attending the national specialty week in CA and she won Reserve Winners Bitch at the regional specialty the day before the national.

The next picture was taken after she earned her championship:

This one is how she looks now with her shorter haircut. She's a small Lhasa and a real sweetheart.
Breaker's son (and Secret's grandson), Josh (Joyslyn MLS Dakota Wind Breaker) earned four more points toward his championship last weekend, winning Winners Dog and Best of Winners both days in Marshfield, WI. He had his 7 month "birthday" on the 16th.  Here's a picture of him with his ribbons and prizes from that show. He now has a total of 6 single points.

My Lhasa friends threw a birthday party for me on Saturday after we finished showing. Here we are in the grooming area, beneath the "Happy Birthday" banner and balloons!

 And speaking of my birthday, here is one of my gifts:

(For readers who do not know, I am originally from Nebraska. We moved to Illinois in 1989.)

My computer has a screen saver that flashes photos from a file on my desktop. One appeared and when I saw it, I thought, "Hmmm...looks kind of like Josh." So I started going through photos and created this three-generation photo of (from the left) Connor (Ch. San-Dhi Joyslyn Icon), Josh's grandsire; Breaker (GCh. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker), Josh's sire; and Josh. Breaker and Josh's photos were both taken at age 7 months. Connor's was taken when he was a month or so older. They look much alike, don't they?

Here is a side shot taken of Josh after he was groomed:
I also received a few pictures of Josh's sisters. The first is of Cinder. She is a black and tan. The caption her owner sent said, "She put herself in jail!" Cinder was also at the show in Marshfield and even got to spend one night in the hotel room with Josh, Jan, Flash, and me. She showed very well on Sunday, very pretty movement! Congrats go to Jan and Flash for Flash's first points, earned on Sunday!

These photos are of Sassy. She's also practicing and preparing for the show ring -- way down in TX.

Carol sent a note and picture of Sadie. Sadie is a daughter of Rafe and Maggie. Carol wrote, "Just took this after a brush session.  Sadie undid all my work in about 5 seconds. She looks like Nick Nolte's mug shot!"
Dawn sent us a note when she sent us Bailey's proof of spaying.  "Bailey is doing very well and gets along just great with her big brother Dusty. She likes to pick on him and play rough but he doesn't seem to mind! Her personality gets bigger every day and we feel extremely blessed to have found her!" Bailey is also a Rafe and Maggie daughter.

The breeding that produced Bailey and Sadie was a repeat of an earlier breeding. The next picture is of an older brother of Bailey and Sadie. His family calls him Snickers, and here is what they wrote: "Just sending you a funny picture that we caught him in the act helping us clean our dinner plates. We can't tell you enough on the joy and love he brings to our family. He just loves to be with us everywhere we go in the home. He loves to play and run with the boys. He just is so loving to us and at night needs to always be by his "mommy". Hope everyone is well. Thank you again for a wonderful family member."

Here are a couple of links you might find interesting and helpful.
The first is a link to a common-product medication list and dosage conversions chart.
The second is a link to a video entitled "The Puppy Puzzle: The Hastings Approach to Evaluating the Structural Quality of Puppies," which is narrated by Pat Hastings. If you are new to dog breeding and showing, this step by step method of puppy evaluation could be of help. Even if you are an old hand at it, you can watch and perhaps pick up some new information. Hastings recommends evaluation at age 8 weeks, something I learned from old-timer way back when I first began this journey.

And with that I will remind you that

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


Thursday, August 14, 2014

How Well Do You Know the Lhasa Apso Standard?

Many Lhasa judges and would-be Lhasa judges criticize the Lhasa Apso Standard, approved on July 11, 1978,  for being too brief or too vague. As I've pointed out before in this blog, when the Standard is silent on a trait (such as movement) then the writers of the Standard expected those who read it to interpret that silence as meaning "think 'normal canine.'"

Lhasa Apso Standard

Character: Gay and assertive, but chary of strangers.
Size: Variable, but about 10 or 11 inches at shoulder for dogs, bitches slightly smaller.
Color: All colors equally acceptable with or without dark tips to ears and beard.
Body Shape: The length from point of shoulders to point of buttocks longer than height at withers, well-ribbed up, strong loin, well-developed quarters and thighs.
Coat: Heavy, straight, hard, not woolly or silky, of good length, and very dense.
Mouth and Muzzle:  The preferred bite is either level or slightly undershot. Muzzle of medium length; a square muzzle is objectionable.
Head: Heavy head furnishings with good fall over eyes, good whiskers and beard, skull narrow, falling away behind eyes in a marked degree, not quite flat, but not domed or apple-shaped; straight foreface of fair length. Nose black, the length from tip of nose to eye to be roughly about one-third of the total length from nose to back of skull.
Eyes:  Dark brown, neither very large and full, nor very small and sunk.
Ears:  Pendant, heavily feathered.
Legs:  Forelegs straight; both forelegs and hind legs heavily furnished with hair.
Feet: Well-feathered; should be round and catlike, with good pads.
Tail and Carriage: Well-feathered, should be carried well over back in a screw; there may be a kink at the end. A low carriage of stern is a serious fault.

How well you do know the Lhasa Apso Standard? You can find out more by going to the website of the American Lhasa Apso Club, selecting Publications in the menu on the left and clicking the Home Study link. The club also has an Illustrated Guide to the Standard that can be downloaded as a pdf from the Breed Information menu. 

The Illustrated Guide to the Standard identifies the Standard as "a description for those who are familiar with the breed and dogs in general." The Guide was written as a "more in-depth study of the unique qualities that set the Lhasa Apso apart from other breeds and, at the same time, emphasize the characteristics that cause the Lhasa Apso to be representative of the breed."

Check your knowledge of the Lhasa Apso Standard by answering the following questions. The answers are below the quiz. (The answers contain a few clarifying comments from the Illustrated Guide to the Standard.)

The Quiz 

1) How tall should Lhasa Apso dogs be at the shoulder?
2) Does the standard mention a preference for lighter colors, such as cremes and goldens?
3) Should a Lhasa be longer than tall or taller than long?
4) List three adjectives used in the standard to describe a Lhasa's coat.
5) What is the preferred Lhasa Apso bite?
6)What color should a Lhasa's nose be?
7) Length from tip of nose to eye should be roughly
(a) 1/3 of the total length from nose to back of skull or
(b) 1/2 of the total length from nose to back of skull

8) What color should the eyes be?
9) Is a kink in the tail acceptable?
10) What is the only "serious fault" listed in the standard?



1) The Standard says, "...about 10 or 11 inches at shoulder for dogs..."
The Guide points out, "...10 or 11 inches at shoulders suggests a dog whose bone is in proportion to his height and weight...Not only is height a factor, but consideration must also be given to weight, proportion, and length of body, for these all contribute to the final picture of overall balance."

2) No, the Standard actually says, "All colors equally acceptable with or without dark tips to ears and beard." What more is there to say on the matter--except perhaps to encourage some judges to judge the dog and not his/her color?

3) The body shape of a Lhasa from the point of its shoulders to his buttocks should be "longer than height at withers," according to the Standard.

4) The Standard refers to the coat as "heavy," "straight," "hard," "of good length," and "very dense." It also says the coat is "not wooly or silky."
Concerning the coat, the Guide adds, "...not light or fine or flyaway...a moderate amount of undercoat is desirable...hard in texture, so that when it is rubbed between the fingers, individual hairs will be felt...the coat should not be wiry or rough to the touch."

5) The preferred bite is "either level or slightly undershot."
The Guide goes on to label two other bites as "not desirable." They are a scissors bite and an undershot bite "with canines visible when the mouth is closed."

6) Black.
The Guide also emphasizes, "...full depth of pigmentation is essential to good expression and requires dark pigment on eye rims and lips."

7) The answer is (a).
The Guide describes a muzzle whose "planes are parallel when viewed in profile."

8) Dark brown.
The Guide describes eyes as "somewhat frontally placed," oval," "not prominent," and "minimal white showing."

9) Yes.

10) "A low carriage of stern."
The Guide explains, "When the dog is moving, the tail should be up and carried well over the back."

Life is Better When You Have A Lhasa to Love You!


Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Dog Days of Summer

"Summertime and the livin' is easy..."~from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess

We are currently in what is known as the "dog days of summer," the hot, sultry time in summer when the Dog Star (aka Sirius) rises at the same time as the sun. Although this summer period (from early July to mid-August) is traditionally marked by laziness, lethargy, and inactivity, I find myself wishing for some down time. We always seem to be on the go!

(I will also point out that the "dog days" seem to have missed us here in western Illinois this year. We've had many unusually cool days in July and early August.)

Josh's first weekend as a 6-month-old eligible to compete in AKC point shows was a success. We went to the shows hosted by the Burlington, IA kennel club on August 2nd and 3rd, and had a wonderful time. Friends LaVonne and Karen came from WI and stayed at my house. LaVonne brought Josh's sister, Cinder, and Karen brought her 6-month-old male, Jack, and her adult female, Mabel. Josh won a point each day, which was a great start for him. Cinder was more comfortable in the ring on Sunday than on Saturday. She has great movement! Lots of reach and drive. Jack, who was just 6 months old on Saturday, was intimidated by the noise. Mabel took Winners Bitch both days and earned two points. She also placed second in Saturday's Owner Handler Group. Congrats also to Tami Bagley (from MN) whose special, shown by Greg Larson, took a Group I on Saturday.

Sadly, not one of us took a single picture of the dogs! However, Karen did take quite a few photos of the car show in Macomb on Saturday night as we strolled around the town's historic courthouse square, attempting to walk off the huge platter of nachos we'd eaten at the Jackson Street Pub!

Please take time to read this article in Dog News, "Lhasa Apso: Sturdy Little Mountain Dogs," by M.J. Nelson. The article begins on page 78. Its focus is on Lhasas in companion events, such as obedience, rally, and agility. American Lhasa Apso Club (ALAC) members Marsha Susag, Julie Timbers, and Bobbie Wood, who have trained Lhasas for companion events, are quoted. The three offer great training advice based on the Lhasa Apso personality. Whether a person is interested in companion event competition or not, that advice makes the article well worth reading for anyone even thinking about owning a Lhasa.

Although he is mentioned but not pictured in the article, Marsha's Joyslyn's Leader of the Pack NJP NAP RE (aka Oreo) made Marsha (his owner) and me (his breeder) very proud. Here are some photos of him in action at an agility trial.

I've received some nice photos that I'd like to share. This first one is of Lindy, who is my Windy's mother and Josh's grandmother. Lindy was bred by Marsha Susag and Arlene Miller and is owned by Marsha.

GCh. MLS Desiderata Lindy

Duncan's brother Jimmy, the Lhasa who hated dog shows, has a new pet home. As you can see in this first photo, he has a wonderful (and large) friend!
Jimmy, relaxing at his new home
Here's a photo of Sassy, Josh's litter sister:

And, finally, here is a photo of Flame (Ch. Joyslyn's Winds of Fire), posted on Facebook by her owner. Flame is the daughter of Walker (GCh. Joyslyn MiToya Wind Walker) and Secret (Ch. Joyslyn's Secrets of the Heart), who also happens to be Josh's grandmother. Both Walker and Secret will soon be 12 years old. Where does the time go??

Poor Duncan had an emergency visit to the clinic yesterday. I put him out to potty and all was well. I went outside later to get him and he was lying down, refusing to move. Since he generally enjoys playing "Keep Away From Mom by Dancing Just Beyond Her Reach," I was concerned. I picked him up, set him on his feet, walked away, and watched. He took a few hobbling steps and sat down. He was holding his right foot aloft. I took him inside and examined his foot and leg. He did not whimper. I put him down, encouraging him to walk. He limped but did not cry or whine. At the vet's office, we discovered what appeared to be a bite, well two bites actually, between his toes. Hair was shaved from his foot so the area could be cleaned and more easily examined. Then he was given antibiotics, pain relievers, and ... a cone! He does not like his cone. That, plus people laughing at him, on top of having a sore foot, did not make him a happy Lhasa. He was doing better this morning but still not putting weight on the foot. He'll be fine.

We are keeping our fingers crossed that Raven, who will be bred this week, will have puppies in October.

And we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new grandchild sometime this month.

My monthly report from Ezine indicates that my article about Lhasas and children is the one most frequently read and that the one on bathing a Lhasa runs a close second. Here is a link if you'd like to read those and others of my articles posted on Ezine.

Enjoy the remainder of summer's "dog days" and always remember that, as good as life is,

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