Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Joyslyn's Began - and Some Other Stuff

"Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." 
                      ~ George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841


How Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos Began

People often ask me, "How did you get started showing?"

Here is a bit of our story:

How do two people who had mixed-breed dogs while they were growing up end up breeding, showing, and loving Lhasa Apsos? I blame it all on an encyclopedia salesman!

Our first two Lhasas: Buffy and Pheebe
Shortly after our marriage, Lynn and I were besieged by door-to-door salesmen who tried to sell us all kinds of things we couldn't afford. (We were in our last year of college.) One of those salesman succeeded in selling us a set of encyclopedias. We'd both grown up with dogs as part of our families and knew we wanted to have a dog. The "Dogs" section of that encyclopedia happened to have a very nice picture of a Lhasa Apso in it. Now, if you have ever looked at some of the older Lhasa Apso resources, you would know that some of the pictures of the dogs were not very attractive. So, I suppose if I'd seen one of those photos first I wouldn't be where I am today in the Lhasa world.

After we graduated, I landed my first teaching job at a high school in Iowa. With my first paycheck, we bought a refrigerator (Harvest Gold, all the rage in the early 1970's appliance colors!). When the second paycheck arrived, we bought a dog, our first Lhasa Apso, whom we named Joyslyn's Pheebe. We'd seen an ad for Lhasa Apsos at a nearby kennel and, curious about the breed, we went to see the puppies. They were adorable!!  Of course, other than the picture in the encyclopedia, we knew nothing about the Lhasa Apso. We did, however, know how to pronounce its name correctly from the start!

So Pheebe came home with us. An adorable grizzle Lhasa puppy, she soon won our hearts. We had to have another! So…with my third paycheck, Pheebe was soon joined by Joyslyn's Miss Buffy Jo. What a pair they were!

Joyslyn, our kennel prefix, is a combination of our first names. Looking back, I find it interesting that we even thought to come up with a kennel prefix because at that time, we had no mentor, no experience with pure-bred dogs, and no pedigree to look at for either of the girls we bought! But somehow, that day in March 1973 when we filled out Pheebe's AKC registration form, the prefix "Joyslyn" was created and it's been used ever since.

(Note: People try to pronounce our kennel prefix as if it were spelled Joslyn, with the "s" having a "z" sound. That would be wrong. The first syllable ("joys") rhymes with "boys," "toys," "noise," etc. The second syllable ("lyn") rhymes with "tin," "win," "grin," etc.).

It's been a crazy 42 years, a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows, of victories and defeats, of joys and sorrows.

People ask me if, given the choice, I would do it all over again. Who knows what path my life would have taken had it not been for a picture of a Lhasa in an encyclopedia and for Lynn saying, "We could show these dogs." Right now, today, I think my answer would be a resounding "Yes!" I'll quit when it's no longer fun (or when I can no longer walk around the show ring!)

Sharing Pictures and News

Joyslyn Ja-Ma Dancing by the Light of the Moon, known to friends and family as Luna, recently earned the second of the two majors she needs for her championship. The judge was Richard Miller. Luna now needs only 3 single points for her championship. Here is the photo of that win.

Luna was a year old on October 10.

Marilyn, the owner of Luna's sire, GCH. Cozmos Custombuilt, sent me a photo of Luna's litter sister Olivia, taken with her owner and the other two Lhasas with whom she shares a home. Olivia is the black Lhasa on the right. She was an adorable puppy and looks as if she still has a charming personality.

Congratulations to Deborah and Ron Hauck and Joyslyn's Mystic Wind (Mysti) on the 3-point major earned at the Greater Humble Area Kennel Club from the 9-12 month class. Deborah and Ron are newcomers to dog showing. They and Mysti are off to a great start.

National Specialty

This weekend we're headed for Mansfield, MA, and the American Lhasa Apso Club's (ALAC) National Specialty. Tuesday's conformation show has 20 sweepstakes entries to be judged by Anne Bowes and 55 entries to be judged by Ray Filburn. Tracie Laliberte will judge 16 Futurity/Maturity entries on Wednesday, and Marsha Susag will judge the 9 entries in the cutdown sweepstakes.

Thursday is the ALAC Regional Specialty. Don Evans will judge 57 entries. Friday Darby McSorley will judge 65 entries in the ALAC National Specialty competition.

Luna is entered on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Wish us luck!! I'll let you know in a couple weeks what happened.

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


Friday, October 2, 2015

Where Did September Go?

"Bittersweet October.  The mellow, messy, leaf-kicking, perfect pause between the opposing miseries of summer and winter." ~ Carol Bishop Hipps

I don't know where September went but it zoomed by so fast it barely registered with me! October may (I say "may") be a bit less hectic.

I last wrote the day before we left to go to Miami to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and year old grandson. We had a great visit and the time went all too fast! We did take a day to visit the zoo and took many pictures. Here are a few of my encounters with the "wild beasts!"

I know, right?

Back at home, I paid the dog sitter, who'd done a great job caring for the dogs (and the cat); did some laundry; groomed, bathed, and dried Luna and Josh; re-packed the suitcase; packed the dogs' things for the show; gassed up the car; and took off for weekend shows in Freeport, Illinois.

Show Results

It was a good show weekend for us. On Saturday, Luna won Winners Bitch and Best of Winners. I was so glad for the two points. With them, she had 11 points. Josh took Best Opposite Sex, Best Owner Handled, and he went on to take Non-Sporting Owner Handled Group 3.

I am not certain if those wins have already been calculated for AKC's Owner-Handled statistics, but I doubt it. However, as of today, Josh is no longer tied for #1 Owner Handled Lhasa, he is #1!! (I have a big smile on my face.)

He might not be on top when the final stats are calculated in a couple weeks, but for now I'm enjoying seeing his name next to  "No. 1."

Anyway, back to the Freeport shows: On Sunday, Josh again took Best Opposite Sex. I was thrilled to have someone point out to me that Luna's Saturday win was not 2 points but actually was a 3 point major! What a wonderful surprise!

So now Luna has 12 points of the 15 she needs for her title and has both of the majors she needs. Three more points will do it! Here's Luna with her ribbons for both days. On Sunday she took Reserve.

Congratulations also to Karen Schlais, Jan Graunke and LaVonne Bennett, whose male Jack became a champion by taking Winners Dog and Best of Winners on Sunday. Here's Jack, resting on his laurels after we returned to the grooming set up.

The shows were sort of bittersweet because they were the last shows for Josh this year. He has done very well for himself and showing him has been so much fun. He has enough points and majors for his Grand Championship (25) but still has to fulfill the requirement to defeat at least one other champion at three shows. He has done it once. We need two more. He needs to mature a bit, so we're going to wait until spring or summer next year. I figure that as fast as the months are flying by, it won't seem like such a long wait.

I confess to skipping out of showing Luna in the Best Bred By Group judging because it was happening later in the day and I was eager to get the car loaded and get on the road toward home. I had laundry and re-packing to do! I had to leave Monday evening for an early childhood conference.

Except I didn't! My mom, aunt, and uncle stopped by late Monday afternoon on their way home to Nebraska from Indiana where they'd attended a family wedding. They stayed the night and I left for the conference Tuesday morning -- and made it in time for the keynote address.

The ALAC National Specialty

The big event happening in October is the American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty week, October 19-23. We'll be in Mansfield, MA. The schedule for each day is below.

As you can see, it will be a busy week. I recently read an article, "Why Do We Go to the Nationals,"  about national specialties that I would like to share. Although the author does not show Lhasas, her descriptions of what goes on at her breed's specialties mirrors the activities before and during most nationals.

The theme for our national this year is "Lhasa Strong." If you live too far from MA to come to watch, make plans for the specialty in CO next year or MO in 2017. We have a lot of fun and you'll see some beautiful Lhasas from across the country. We often have exhibits from Canada and sometimes from European countries too.

Notes and Pictures

As you probably know by now, I enjoy getting email, letters, Facebook messages, and photos from people who own a Joyslyn's Lhasa. Some are great about staying in touch; others check in now and then; and some prefer no further contact at all (darn!) Here are some of the latest messages and pictures.

Kristi wrote, "So sorry it has been awhile so thought you would like an update on  my little Dark Lord Vader.  He is one clever little man. He has sit, paw, and drop down. Unlike his big brother he has zero interest in fetch. I can not believe how gorgeous his coat already is getting at just 20 weeks old he just stunning…I really miss your weekly blogs but I guess when you do not have puppy updates there is only so much to write about. For now I am enjoying Luna and Josh's progress and way to go Kimmi on the puppy win!"

Here are two of the many adorable photos she sent of Vader.

In an email with the subject line "Bed #4," Marilyn wrote, "When are the puppy days over? Maci has succeeded in chewing the zippers on 2 cushions and destroying the foam bottom on another!! Hope this one lasts awhile! Hope you are well." She sent a photo of Maci's 4th new bed.
Josh did the same thing to two beds that had plastic zippers. After the second one I learned my lesson! No more zippered beds for him. He had a great time though. I came home to foam from one end of the room to the other.

Deborah wrote about taking Mysti to IABCA (International All Breed Canine Association) shows. "It was pretty exhausting for Mysti, 4 shows but I do think she is actually becoming more accustomed to the atmosphere.  The IABCA is not as big as the Dallas show (where she freaked out slightly) and had a more laid-back atmosphere but it did help to get her out there. Mysti had great critiques about her structure and movement. The negative ones were minor, I felt.  If you want to see them, let me know and I will scan and email…Mysti did get her National and International puppy championship and won reserve Best in Show Puppy in the 3rd show."

A huge congratulations to Deborah, Ron, and Mysti!!! Way to go! And you can bet I wrote her that I want to see the judges' critiques. That is one big difference between the AKC and IABCA shows -- the IABCA judges have to write critiques on each dog. AKC judges just point to their winners and placements. They do not give written critiques.

And here is one of the photos Violet sent me of her Yogi. He's getting "up there" in age but is still going strong.


It is early days yet so I hope I am not jinxing things by announcing that, if nature cooperates and all goes as planned, we should have puppies available after the first of the year.

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