Monday, November 2, 2015

November? Already?

“In November, the smell of food is different. It is an orange smell. A squash and pumpkin smell. It tastes like cinnamon and can fill up a house in the morning, can pull everyone from bed in a fog. Food is better in November than any other time of the year.”  
~ Cynthia Rylant

 ALAC National Specialty's been about three weeks since I have written. You might recall that I was getting ready to attend the American Lhasa Apso Club's National Specialty week in Mansfield, MA. Talk about time flying!

I traveled to MA with friends Jan Graunke and Karen Schlais. Jan drove. Since they live in WI and I live in IL, we met at a friend's house in IN, where I left my car. We had to unload some of what was in Jan's van so my pile of equipment, clothes, and other items would fit. We squeezed my  things and ourselves into the van and off we went.

We ran into some snow in PA and upstate NY, so we finally stopped for the night. We had to ask at 3 different hotels before we finally found a room. The next day we continued the journey, enjoying the fall colors, and ending up where we were supposed to be by 6:30 PM on Sunday.

Thus began a crazy, busy, fun-filled, meeting-filled week! It was great to see friends and acquaintances from across the US and from Canada and to meet people I had not met before.

Jan had her champion Carson entered in the cut-down sweepstakes. He didn't win, but he strutted his stuff, looking pleased to be back in the ring again.

On Wednesday, Karen and Jan's bitch, Sybil, won Best in Futurity and lots of pretty plaques and ribbons!

On Friday, Sybil took Reserve Winners Bitch at the National Specialty show, more pretty ribbons, and a box of prizes.

The highlight for me came Thursday at the ALAC Eastern Regional Specialty show when Luna finished her championship, taking Winners Bitch and a five point major!

Breeder judge, Don Evans, Luna, and me!
Later that afternoon in the Best of Breed competition, Luna took Best of Winners.

Unfortunately, even though she also won Best Bred By Exhibitor and Best Owner Handled, we did not get pictures of all those ribbons.

Here are some short videos of Luna in the ring. Thanks Marsha Susag! The first shows her being examined on the table.

This one is her moving for the judge.

This one is the announcement that she won the major.

Friday, Jan and I conducted the Judges' Education Seminar, which consisted of a slide show, narration, question and answer period, a judging demonstration, a hands-on evaluation of some Lhasas by the participants, and ringside mentoring during the judging.

If you are interested in seeing the seminar, there are two similar slide shows located on the website of the American Lhasa Apso Club. Go to Then go to the left menu under Breed Information. Select one of the options labeled "Learn About the Lhasa Apso." You can also go to the Judges Corner and select one of the options labeled "Study Guide."

We left Mansfield Saturday morning and I was home and unpacking by 4:15 Sunday afternoon.

All last week I played catch-up at home and at the office.

A Missed Holiday

Suddenly, it was Halloween!

How could that be? No way was I ready for Halloween and Trick-or-Treaters. In the first place, I think I have mentioned before that I am a Halloween Scrooge. I hated the costume trauma as a child and as a parent. (However, I did enjoy raiding my children's Halloween stash and relieving them of those burdensome Snickers and Butterfingers.) Since our home is in an area where only two families have  young children, I left the porch light off, dressed up in my nightshirt that says, "Go Away, I'm Reading," and had an enjoyable evening with a novel. There you have it: Confessions of a Halloween Scrooge.

But in the spirit of the holiday, here's a "Ghost Story" for you:

And speaking of pumpkins' insides:
Did you know that "Canned pumpkin is a commonly prescribed dietary additive for some gastrointestinal maladies. From diarrhea to constipation, pumpkin can be a dog’s (or cat’s) best friend." Read more at

Showing Dogs

Sorry, I realize I am skipping around from subject to subject but that is the way my brain is working today.

Why do you show dogs? I get that question a lot from random people when they find out dog showing is my sport of choice. Well, their first question is usually about money. "How much money do you win?"

When they find out the prize for winning is points, a ribbon (albeit often very pretty ones - see Karen and Sybil's photos), and sometimes a basket of treats or grooming supplies, they seem to lose interest, but are polite enough to ask why then do I do it?

Why do people do anything they love to do? Is it because money is the reward? Do you win money because you have a passion for playing golf, or spending weekends skiing or boating, or running marathons, or playing on a weekend basketball or hockey team? Sure, some people make their sport their life's work, get sponsors, and go professional. The same is true with professionals who show dogs. They do it to earn a living -- and they have to be good at it to do so.

For the rest of us, commonly called "owner-handlers," we do it for the intrinsic rewards. For me those rewards are satisfaction, pride, and enjoyment, and yes, the thrill of winning, and knowing that the dog I  have spent hours training and grooming is on its way to a championship.

Those of us who show dogs enjoy the affinity that grows between dog and handler as we travel together, train and prepare for shows, take our 2 minutes in front of the judge, and get that ribbon (please Lord, let it be Purple! or better yet, Purple and Gold!) that means our efforts were worthwhile (or perhaps not!) that day. Those are the real rewards, and those of us who have been "bitten by the dog showing bug" keep coming back for more.

Some of you should give it a try!

More Bragging

Hey, it's my blog!  Here are the Lhasa Apso rankings for the 2015 National Owner-Handled Series.

That's Josh in first place! Ranked farther down at #16 is Josh's half-sister, Mysti, Joyslyn Mystic Wind.

 Photos I've Received

Here is a cute photo of Maci after her visit to her groomer:

Here is Vader and his buddy, Tricki, with Halloween wishes:

Their owner wrote, "Watching and experiencing Vader's milestones and progress there is no secret why people wait forever for a Joyslyns Lhasa. Yesterday we had to go to Petco for food and the boys just adore going bye bye. I felt so bad for Tricki while we were there. I am thankful dogs do not understand all human words as everyone who stopped to pet them, although they loved on both of them, kept going on and on about how beautiful Vader is. "

And here is Luther. He is a litter brother to my Kimmi. Alas, Kimmi is like the youngest child who has few photos in her album! So I have no current ones of her to share. However, since she and Luther look so much alike, you can get a good idea of Kimmi by seeing Luther.

When Luther's owner wrote about this photo, "Luther is smart! But, he doesn't work the remote .....yet!" I responded, "He's a male. Give him time!" If he is like other guys I know, he'll be hogging that remote control in no time!






Other News

Puppies from Ch. Joyslyn's Highly Classified and Ch. MLS Dakota Dancing in the Wind at Joyslyn were born on October 28. There are two boys and two girls. All will be some shade of gold eventually. I know that many of you on the notification list who are waiting news of the litter will be disappointed that there are not enough puppies for you all. I'll be contacting people personally in a couple of weeks. I'll also be posting weekly photos so you can watch them grow.

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


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