Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween, National Specialty Preparations, and Some Pictures

On Halloween what you must do
Is pretend that nothing frightens you
But if something does and you want to run
Just act like it's all in Halloween fun.

~Author Unknown

Happy Halloween, everyone! If there is such a thing as a Halloween Scrooge, this year that is me. Halloween is a holiday I would not miss if it went away. I've hated costume parties for as far back as I can recall. My childhood memories about Halloween are lukewarm. I remember crying most years because my costume was never as impressive as I'd imagined it should be. (My poor mother!) I remember huge barn parties at my dad's cousin's place. All the kids in town were invited. It was a big deal. But, being a shy child, I was often the wallflower during the apple bobbing and other games. Once I grew up and had children, they gave me a taste of my own medicine about the costumes.  I am so very glad those days are over. (I did, however, enjoy raiding their Halloween candy. The Snickers were mine!)

So this year, I'm a Scrooge. No porch light will be on at my house for the cute little trick or treaters. One reason is that we have no young children in our neighborhood any more. The other reason is that I am just to tired this week to have to keep running to the door every time the doorbell rings.

Why am I tired? Well, as you probably know, the American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty Week was held  last week in St. Louis. It was a great week. I was, for the most part,  pleased with Josh's performance in each of the 5 shows. It was fun -- but very tiring. Once home I had piles of laundry and other Lhasas that required grooming and bathing.

So here's what happened:

I spent much of the week of October 13th getting things packed for Josh and me. We had an entire week in a hotel to look forward to, so I tried to think of everything we would definitely need and then added a bunch of stuff that I hoped we would not need but that I wanted to take "just in case." On Saturday morning I finished the packing, took everything outside and spread it across the drive way, and then began to figure out how to pack it all in my car.

Speaking of my car, I have a new car. My previous car was a 2008 Impala. I loved that car. Its trunk was huge and all my show items, plus my friend's show items when I traveled with someone, fit in the truck quite easily.

But, it was time for a new car. Unfortunately, the trunk configuration of the 2014 Impala did not allow me to fit all my show things in it. Darn! Bless the salesperson at our Chevy dealership who patiently worked with me as we tried to load all the items in the 2008's trunk into the trunk of the 2014. Nope!

So, I went to the Ford dealership and bought a Taurus (red, of course). Here it is. 

The trip to the National Specialty was our first long trip together. We have a friendly relationship so far but a cautious one. I'm still getting to know the car and its features and am not quite comfortable with it yet. But, she got me there and back and was easily able to hold all my stuff, so high marks in that regard for her. Gas mileage was good - a bit over 30 mpg. It was also great that gas prices that week went down! In the St. Louis area, the lowest price I saw was $2.51.

To start with, I carry my basic show items in the trunk all the time. Those include two exercise pens, an ex-pen mat, a grooming table, three ringside tables, a grooming stool, a chair that fits in a bag, a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth, a bag containing a heavy-duty extension cord, another containing a lot of bungee cords, a tire inflator, an umbrella, and the trolley (or "wheels," as I call them). Here is what the trunk usually looks like.
(Note the old bedspread I use to protect the car's paint in case the car gets bumped during loading or unloading.)

But would the new car hold all the extra things I had to pack for the specialty? I knew from experience my previous car would have. Here are the piles of boxes, bags, luggage, and equipment that needed to fit on top of the "usual" trunk items.

Here are pictures of the trunk and car interior once I finished packing.  The trunk looked like this:

The back seat looked like this:

The front seat looked like this (until I put my purse and an audio book box on the passenger seat).
More about the specialty trip later. Here are some Halloween pictures people sent of their Joyslyn dogs.

First, Mary from MN sent this picture of Belle, writing, "Here's Belle, waiting for her broomstick express."

Caroline sent pictures of Magoo and Mallory all decked out for Halloween.
She wrote, "Magoo -- where do I begin? He's just a unique character! Our groomer says she has never experienced a puppy in all her years of grooming that is as laid back as Magoo is. I always say he's just an old soul. He loves his toys and loves playing with Mallory. He yawns every morning and you always know when he's yawning because he always makes a funny noise when he does. He also gives tons of kisses…his coat's absolutely beautiful -- it's so thick!"
About Mallory, she wrote, "Mallory is such a dainty little girl. She has the cutest habit of putting up her left front paw when she approaches you. It's almost like she is giving you a high five. She loves for you to hold her and gives lots of kisses. She loves to play fetch with my 84 year old father. She's just a bright light in our household! Also, she is such a beautiful dog...If you have not guessed Robert and I are crazy about these two! They have provided a lot of love and laughter to our lives!"

I also received other "non-Halloween" pictures and updates on two other dogs. First is Abby Gale, who recently passed away.  She was getting on in years and was ill. This photo was of her before she became ill. Our condolences to her owner, Marilyn, who loved her very much.

This picture is of Andy, a litter brother to Magoo.

And finally, you know we have two black female puppies from Raven. Here is their photo at age 2 weeks, taken the day I returned from the Specialty. They'd grown a lot in that week!

The next post will be about our adventures in St. Louis during National Specialty Week.

Remember, Life is Better When You Have a Lhasa To Love You!


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