Friday, April 24, 2015

Meanderings and A Few Pictures

“Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.”  ~Vernon Howard

I'm employed by Western Illinois University as the Associate Director of the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood. Our work is all about lifelong learning. We provide workshops and webinars to teachers, other professionals, and parents for the purpose of improving education and opportunities for young children ages birth-5.

I was thinking about that this morning and about how so many people go through life blindly, as if they know it all, and refuse to learn anything new or to embrace new ideas that challenge old ways of thinking and doing. They enjoy the comfort of the status quo and don't appreciate change. Others purposefully pursue learning, many times because their jobs depend on them getting continuing education credits, but other times because they find a new interest, want to start a new career, or simply read something online that sparks an interest to learn more. Sometimes learning is accidental (e.g., touching a hot stove, overhearing a conversation, adding too much hot sauce, expecting x will produce y and finding out it produces z and wondering "why did that happen?").

Here's an example of accidental learning that happened to someone who shall remain nameless. LOL
She wanted to buy Diet Cherry 7-Up, so she took some off the shelf and put it in her shopping cart. However, when she got home, she discovered she'd purchased plain old Diet 7-Up instead. (What gremlin came along and switched bottles in her cart?) What to do? It seemed stupid to go all the way back to the store to exchange a $1.38 two liter bottle of soda. This person can be a creative thinker and problem solver, so she thought, "I know! I can add a bit of flavored Crystal Light to this soda and that will do the trick." So she did. And suddenly the bubbling began, and huge red bubbles started a rolling boil right out of the open bottle of soda, and they came and they came and they would not stop. Startled, she raced to the sink, attempting to get there before the bubble mixture hit the floor. She made it! The rolling boil continued for what seemed like ages until it stopped. Finally! What did our anonymous friend learn from this unintended science experiment? Don't do that again? Or perhaps it gave her a new idea, "What would happen if I poured out some of the soda and then added the Crystal Light?" She has yet to try that.

A good example of purposeful learning is happening with Helen, Mary, and Deborah, all of whom have recently become interested in showing Lhasa Apsos. Each purchased a show potential puppy from me. Helen bought Sassy, a litter sister to Josh, last year. Mary and Deborah each bought puppies from our last litter - Riley and Mysti. Each woman is in the process of learning about showing and all it entails, which can be confusing, and about coat care, which can seem complicated. I'm so proud of all their efforts!

I don't have any new news about Maggie. She has an x-ray appointment on Monday to determine how many puppies she will have.

Luna and I attended a training class on Saturday and she did so well. The class was small, so I am unsure how she'll react to being in an actual show ring. She has gone to shows with us before but has never been shown. We call her "Wiggle Butt" because her tail is always wagging, and her entire rear end gets in on the action!

Notes and Photos from People

These dogs are Mallory and Magoo. They are brother and sister and are offspring of Maggie and Rafe. They were both the only puppies in their respective litters to be gold and white parti-colors. (Thanks, Catherine, for posting the photo on Facebook.)

Helen posted this photo of Sassy and emailed, "Sassy is just a doll!  I love her too much... I groom her and as I finish and put her ponies in, her sweet face is just too kissable!"


Carol sent pictures of Sadie, saying she wanted me to see "all her pretty colors."

Nap time for Sadie

Marilyn emailed, "Just want you to know that Maci is doing so well. We have gone to 2 puppy classes, and she is sooo smart. She is learning to sit, to come when called (depending on her mood), and to walk on leash. She has a friend Daisy at class who she can't wait to see each week."

Violet wanted me to see Yogi's new dog bed. She commented that he is "very spoiled."

Deborah wrote,  "Mysti is so smart with loads of personality.  She had the last of her shots last week and this past Saturday had her first conformation class.  There were 10 other dogs in the class and she was the youngest.  She was fine with the trainer putting her hands all over her and looking at her teeth.  The trainer said she looked great and could almost show herself the way she strutted and pranced in the ring.  She is fearless."

Mary wrote,  "I took Riley to the conformation class this morning and had such a good time. The class was all big dogs who were seasoned in the show ring. Riley was unflappable. Nothing seemed to bother her and she just pranced across the  circle. I couldn't believe she was moving out for she had only been leading for about 3 days."

Back to the Beginning Topic - Lessons Learned??

"Each experience presents an opportunity for learning." ~ Joyce Johanson (wearing her rose-colored glasses)

My family room is bare. Well, not totally bare. To be honest, there's a recliner there, a couple of end tables, and a couple of grooming tables. What is missing is the sofa and love seat. See, I decided we needed new furniture in the family room. What was there looked great, but the sofa fabric was a dog hair magnet. After 6 years, I'd had it. My husband said that before I purchased new furniture I should get rid of the old. Okay, that made sense, but selling the old set might take a while, so I posted a picture and an ad on the Facebook group "For Sale in Macomb." It sold right away!

Being optimistic, before I placed the ad I ordered the new furniture. Since the family room is where the dogs hang out, I had some requirements: leather, not dog hair-catching fabric this time, and nothing that was over-sized, which is sort of hard to find when you look at most leather furniture. They seem to be inclined toward big rolled arms and heavily padded backs.

Now, what you have to understand is that the doorway to our family room is narrow so I had to find furniture that we were sure would fit through the door. Past experience, resulting in the door and part of the frame being removed, proved that is difficult to do. We were not going to go through that again! (I say "we" but really mean "my husband.") There was barely room to get the old furniture out, and it was low backed. Inspiration struck! Surely our house was not the only one with a narrow door. What about city apartments? What did people do who had walk ups with narrow stairways? So, using the internet to research the problem, I found many places made furniture for just those circumstances. The items were boxed to be assembled on site. Problem solved.

IKEA had a style that I liked. We do not have an IKEA nearby, so I called my daughter in Florida and asked her to go to the nearby IKEA to check things out for me. She gave the items a favorable review.

So I ordered a sofa and loveseat, received an email confirming the order and explaining that my items would be sent to a freight company that would contact me to set up a delivery date and time when someone would be home to accept delivery. What a good plan! I was very proud of myself. So, I sat back and waited for a call.

And waited.

And waited.

Then an email came the evening of April 21st! "Delivered" it said. What? What? Panic set in. I had no new furniture in my family room waiting to be assembled. Where was my ordered delivered? Who had my furniture? (Why do these things happen in the evening when nothing can be done about fixing them?)

The next morning I called IKEA's customer service line and was put on hold, so I waited and waited. Finally someone answered. She heard my story and put me on hold. More waiting. At last, she came back on the line and told me she had asked someone to look into the problem and that person would be calling. So I waited.

By mid-afternoon, there was no call. Irked as all get out, I went to IKEA USA Facebook and wrote a nice polite post about the problem and asked for help. Hurray! I got a response. Someone would check into it and let me know. I had hope.

More waiting. Nothing. So the next morning, I messaged them again via Facebook asking for a status report. The response was "We don't have an update yet Joyce." Okay, more waiting. I can be patient.

Except when my patience wears thin, as it did about 9:00 last night.

I messaged IKEA again this morning via Facebook. No response.

What have I learned? I'm not sure.

Patience? Nope.

Don't be so trusting? Nope.

Don't order online from IKEA? Getting warmer...

IKEA has sucky customer service? Warmer still...

I'll let you know how this turns out. (Yes, my credit card company has been informed.)

It's a Darn Good Thing That Life is Better When You Have A Lhasa to Love You!


Monday, April 20, 2015

A Few Quick Items



Good News/Disappointing News

I never know which should come first, so I'll start with the disappointment. Charli and I went to the vet clinic on Thursday, and the result was as I expected. Charli is not going to have puppies. I was so disappointed! I kept hoping that there was one little baby tucked up high inside. Nope.

Maggie, however, is pregnant. Her puppies are due around May 5th. Her vet visit is next Monday.

New Canine Influenza

You may have heard about the canine influenza outbreak in the midwest. If not, here's a link to an article from Cornell University.   The virus also affects cats. At present there is no vaccination for the new strain, and it is unknown whether the current canine influenza vaccine offers any protection against this influenza.

So where has this new strain come from and why now? One supposition is that the outbreak may be the result of dogs being shipped from South Korea to shelters in the US. One blogger cited that 23 Korean dogs were sent to shelters in mid-Atlantic states, 57 Korean dogs were sent to San Francisco, and 21 Samoyed from South Korea were placed with a Chicagoland rescue group.

It seems that dire predictions regarding rescue groups bringing un-vaccinated dogs from foreign countries into the US are coming true. It's long been speculated that the practice will have negative health impacts on US pets. Obviously, some regulations need to be in place to protect our pets from the influx of foreign canines who may not have had health checks or vaccinations.

For other updates, google "new strain of canine influenza."

A quick excerpt from Humane or Insane, an article of interest: "The current scale of importation also poses significant public health risks. These animals, destined to be domestic pets, are from countries where the standards of veterinary medicine are not as high as they are in the US. Diseases and parasites that are not found here may be endemic in poor or tropical countries. If the fundraising materials accurately describe the rescued dogs, they are not pets from private homes but strays from the streets and therefore are among the most likely reservoirs for parasites and diseases. In addition, they are bringing them into communal shelters where they are most likely to pass on whatever diseases or parasites they have to other companion animals or to their caregivers."  - See more at:

Another article on the new flu says this about treatment of affected dogs: "Treatment of influenza ideally involves supportive and symptomatic care until the dog’s immune system wins the battle against the virus (requires approximately two weeks for most dogs). Therapy may include supplemental fluids, special diets to entice appetite, anti-inflammatory medications, and cough suppressants. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent secondary bacterial infection.
If evidence of pneumonia is present, much more intensive therapy is indicated and may include hospitalization for intravenous fluids and antibiotics, supplemental oxygen, and 24-hour monitoring by a veterinarian." and cautions readers not to panic because, although there have been five pneumonia-related deaths, the vast majority of dogs with the influenza recover.

Something for Urban Dwellers and Their Dogs

New AKC Canine Good Citizen Program

"Giving responsible owners a whole new level of achievement for their dogs, the American Kennel Club (AKC) announced today the launch of “AKC Urban CGC” to the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) training program. The new title focuses on city-dwelling dogs and the special skills they require.
Since 1989, more than 700,000 dogs and their owners have been recognized by the CGC program, which rewards the dogs’ good manners at home and in the community. As with CGC, AKC Urban CGC requires a 10-step test of skills that dogs must pass to earn the official AKC Urban CGC title. AKC Urban CGC skills dogs must possess include:
    •    Exits/enters doorways (of dog friendly buildings) with no pulling
    •    Walks through a crowd on a busy urban sidewalk
    •    Reacts appropriately to city distractions (horns, sirens, etc.)
    •    Waits on leash, crosses street under control
    •    Ignores food and food containers on sidewalk
    •    Person approaches on sidewalk and pets dog
    •    3-minute down-stay in lobby of dog friendly building
    •    Safely negotiates stairs and elevators
    •    Housetrained
    •    Enters, exits, rides dog-friendly transportation (car, subway in a carry bag, cab)"


Barn Hunts and Lhasas? Yes!

What is a barn hunt and, seriously, can a Lhasa do that? Yes, a Lhasa can! My friend Marsha, who is a Register of Merit Lhasa Apso breeder, has Champions, Grand Champions, and Lhasas with agility titles. To that she has recently added Lhasas with Barn Hunt titles. This past weekend, her GCH CH MLS Desiderata Lindy received a Barn Hunt title at trials in Fargo. She is now GCH CH MLS Desiderata Lindy RATI RATN!

RATI = Barn Hunt Instinct (not a title recognized by AKC as it only needs one qualifying leg)
RATN = Barn Hunt Novice (AKC recognized)

I'm especially proud of Lindy since she is the mother of my Ch. MLS Dakota Dancing in the Wind at Joyslyn (Windy) and the grandmother of Ch. Joyslyn MLS Dakota Wind Breaker (Josh). Congrats Marsha and Lindy!

Here is Marsha with Lindy and her qualifying ribbons. Congratulations!!!

What is a Barn Hunt? "In a Barn Hunt, there is a simple maze of straw bales, with plastic tubes hidden in the maze containing live rats. The dog must climb on a bale with all four feet, go through a tunnel, and alert the owner to the rat — all in a specified amount of time. It is mostly a game of instinct, but the best dogs bring an element of basic training, smarts, and self-control to succeed." ~ from  Barn Hunt: Doggy fun, even without a barn

Click this link if you want to know more about Barn Hunts.  Here's another link to a video of a dog in action.  You can also find a bunch of videos on YouTube.

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


Friday, April 10, 2015

This and That

Not that I'm complaining, but while April showers are just fine, the high winds, thunderstorms, hail, and tornadoes that hit Illinois last night are way down on my list.

The title of this blog, "This and That," is indicative of the content. We're still in the "waiting" stages in regard to puppies, although I am hoping that by next week I'll know more about Charli's condition. I, along with those of you who are waiting for puppy news, am practicing patience.

I had an interesting experience Monday evening when a friend requested that I meet with her and some kennel club members in Burlington to attend a meeting given by a person who was sponsoring some anti-dog legislation in Iowa. The bill, which failed in the Iowa legislature, had in it some clauses related to small (or hobby) breeders. The speaker focused on her (and the bill's) attempts to regulate Iowa puppy mills. As you might expect, we saw some horrifying photos of conditions. I came away convinced more than ever that public education is the key.  If only people could see where those cute little pet shop puppies were raised. Ugh!

I made a statement at one point saying that we small /hobby breeders did not want to be "painted with the same brush" as puppy mill breeders. Later, I was asked if the news reporter could quote me. I said yes, and the morning paper reported me as saying, "We don't want to be painted with the same picture." ~ Joyce Johanson, in response to being placed in the same category as puppy mill owners.  !!!  Hmmm...a common American idiom and that young journalist goofed it up. (I really hate sounding stupid!)

Raven has settled in well in her new home in California with my friend Judy. Judy also owns Raven's litter sister, Whisper. She reports that Raven is acting as if she belongs there and is quite content. I'm so pleased that another of my retired champions is content and happy in her new home.

Raven, making herself at home on the bed
Oh, and while I am on the subject of retired champions, if anyone is interested in one, let me know. While I do not have anything available at this time, I know someone who does and can send you her way.

My friend Cherry took a couple of the photos I'd posted on Facebook and did this to them using her phone and the Photo Sketch app. Pretty cool!

Helen sent me a photo of Sassy, taken after a bath and a blow dry using Helen's new dryer. Helen is showing Sassy, who now has 8 points, including a major win! Sassy is Josh's litter sister.
Speaking of Josh, his championship is now official! I was very glad when this AKC document arrived in my mailbox earlier this week.

Bits and Pieces from the Internet

Here are some items that came to my attention this week. I thought some of them might interest some of you.
"Dogs have been credited with providing us with a host of benefits—lowering blood pressure and stress levels, increasing social skills, and even possibly boosting the immune system—but the services they provide for individuals with autism go even further."

This link goes to a YouTube video. I hope I never have to use the technique, but I'm certainly happy to know about it "just in case!"

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know my feelings about the "designer dogs" fad.  In this Psychology Today article, the man responsible talks about why he created what is now known as the Labradoodle and why he wishes he had never done so. He said, "People ask me 'Aren't you proud of yourself?' I tell them 'No! Not in the slightest.' I've done so much harm to pure breeding and made so many charlatans quite rich. I wonder, in my retirement, whether we bred a designer dog – or a disaster!"

Many puppy buyers are quick to assure me that they do not want a "show dog." There are many ways to be involved in AKC events without participating in conformation shows. One program that appeals to many is the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program. From the AKC "About" page: "Started in 1989, the CGC Program is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club."

And (as if I needed to remind you!) 

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

'Til next time...


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Happy Easter!

"On this Easter Sunday… 
Forgive someone.
Tell someone you love them.
Let your light shine."
~ Author Unknown

Happy Easter to all! I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Easter when it comes to candy for the Easter baskets.
That is because I love, love, love jelly beans (yes, even the black ones!) and just cannot leave them alone. I made the mistake of buying the Easter candy for my granddaughter last Saturday instead of waiting until this coming Saturday. Needless to say...I have to add "jelly beans" to Saturday's shopping list. I also love Cadbury eggs and those yummy peanut butter filled chocolate eggs, but those I can leave alone. Not jelly beans!


Pictures and emails

Last time I wrote I announced the good news that Josh had earned his championship and said I would post his finishing photo when it arrived. I am very proud of this young dog. Here's a trip down memory lane:

Josh was entered in the Beginner Puppy Class (ages 4-6 month) over the Memorial Day weekend last year when he was four months old. He won the Beginner Puppy Non-Sporting Group 1.

Josh - Non-Sporting Group 1 Beginner Puppy - Bloomington, IL
The following month we went to West Bend, WI, where at age 5 months Josh won Beginner Puppy Best in Show.

His first major was at age 9 months at the American Lhasa Apso Club National Specialty, where he won Reserve Winners Dog.
And here is his finishing picture, at age 13 months when he earned his second major. (He was 14 months old the next day!)
And, yes, his color did change that much, although the colors in the last photo are a bit washed out, which is disappointing, considering what the photo cost me!

I do have some notes and photos to share.

Priscilla sent pictures of her three Joyslyn Lhasas. She wrote, "Hi Joyce, I'm sending along some pictures of all the boys. Teddy (the golden) will be 11 in April, Rocky (the red one) turned 10 on October 31. And of course, you know Ozzy! He's quite a character and he and Rocky still have a way to go to get along... More soon!"
Rocky and Teddy

From Deborah: "Mysti has been such a well behaved puppy.  She was quiet on our flight and during the night at the hotel.  I took her to the Vet today to establish her account.  She did not make a peep when the Vet chipped her.  I have attached a picture of her with her new doctor.  We will keep you posted on her activities with email and pictures.  We enjoyed meeting you and Lynn.  Thank you so much for this sweet little girl."
Mysti and her new vet
Marilyn wrote, "I wanted to send a pic of Maci after her first visit to the groomer. Vicki said she did well for her first time. We can actually see her eyes now! She is doing so well, and we just love her. She is sleeping in her crate now until almost 6:00 am. Potty training is coming along. We hope to start puppy school in the next couple of weeks. She was at the vet yesterday and she weighs 6lbs." 

Other things

So…you have your Lhasa microchipped and registered and you think he is safe. If the dog is lost, you think the microchip will surely bring him back to you. That's how it is supposed to work and that is how it does work in nearly all cases. But what happens when it doesn't? You might be interested in reading about the plight of Piper, a champion Sheltie, who was "rescued," and whose owners are now in a legal battle to get her back. The battle has been going on for a while and it's the strangest thing. I cannot believe why it's gone on this long when it's obvious who the dog's owner are.

AKC hosts a new site on canine health The announcement stated, "The initial stage of the new microsite offers resources and information on care, nutrition, fitness, preventative health and breeder education. The platform is designed to share AKC’s 130 years of knowledge in the form of digestible content to enrich the general public, dog breeders and everyone in between." I noticed links to topics such as separation anxiety, holistic veterinary care, vaccinations, shedding, tick removal, and heart disease.

Finally, (although I hate to end with a real "downer"), there was this Facebook posting by Nathan Winograd, "It is with great sadness and anger that I report to you that PETA's 2014 statistics,
just released yesterday by the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS), are as bad as ever. According to VDACS, PETA took in 1,605 cats and killed 1,536 (a kill rate of 96%). They transferred another 43 to shelters. If they were killed or displaced others who were killed, that would put the cat kill rate as high as 98%. They found homes for only 16, an adoption rate of 1%. PETA also took in 1,021 dogs of which they killed 788 (a kill rate of 77%). Another 210 were transferred to other shelters. Like the cats, if they were killed or displaced others who were killed, the dog death rate would also be as high as 98%. Only 23 were adopted. The records from the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services are here: Learn more at"

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


Have a wonderful Easter! (I've already eaten my share of jelly beans, but I haven't had a chocolate  bunny...(yet)!