Tuesday, February 16, 2016

February Holidays and Other Musings

Holiday Greetings!

I don't know why the realization has not hit me before, but February sure has a lot of holidays, considering it is such a short "let's get through this so we can get to Spring" month.  Since I seem to have missed wishing you various February holiday greetings, here you go in one fell swoop.

Here in Illinois, we celebrate Abraham Lincoln's Birthday on February 12th! State offices, colleges, and universities are closed. This year the 12th happened to fall on a Friday, so it gave employees a long weekend. When the day is celebrated in mid-week that doesn't happen.
Happy (Belated) Lincoln's Birthday! 

Happy (Belated) Valentine's Day!
I hope you got lots of cards, candy, and flowers!

Happy (Belated) President's Day!
So...in Illinois because we get Lincoln's Birthday as a holiday, state employees have to work on Presidents' Day. It's a bank and Post Office holiday.
Happy (Belated) Presidents' Day!

Happy Westminster Kennel Club Show!  
Okay, it is not really a holiday, but it is a big deal for those of us who show dogs, and it happens in February.

If you were watching the Group judging last night, you may have noticed the beautiful Lhasa Apso that represented our breed in the Non-Sporting Group. That was GCh. Ta Sen Swinging On A Star, handled by Joe Berkau and owned by Susan Giles and Muriel Wolverton.

Here is a link to the WKC website if you want to watch some of the videos or the live streaming.

What's Been Going On Here?

 The easy answer to that is "not much." I've taken time to visit two of my three kids. The next visit is coming soon. I met Marsha Susag at a halfway point between Macomb and Fargo so I could give Charli back to her. Marsha plans to introduce Charli to Barn Hunting. Charli is going to have a great time! Little Greta and Jenna traveled with me and they were perfect travelers both in the car and in the hotel room. Since our weather has been very cold, windy, and snowy, I haven't had a chance to get the girls outside to lead break them, so Marsha and I took some time and walked them up and down the empty hotel hallway. Jenna was eager to walk. Greta put on the brakes but eventually decided that if Jenna could do it, so could she.

I took Duncan and Josh to a training class in hopes of getting them back into the habit of showing before their next show, which is this coming weekend. There is a small entry in Lhasas and it will be a good way to get the dogs back into the swing of things. Duncan has not been a show ring since June of 2014. He was a bit put off during class but eventually decided he could manage. I forgot how much he shakes his head when he wears a lead! Ugh! Josh has been "off" only since September, so he was more sure of himself. He still prefers to cut the corners as he goes around the ring!

Notes from Others

Kathy (from Missouri) wrote about her Sophie's (Greta's sister's) first experience at class, "I needn’t have worried about Sophie in puppy class—she was the star of the show!  She was friendly, but not intimidated, towards all of the puppies (all of whom were larger than her—including a one-year-old bull mastiff!).  She was one of the best at following direction, and she loved it!"

Marilyn wrote, "Wanted to send a pic of Maci's latest additions to her toy graveyard. Should be labeled "Maci's Isle of Destruction!" Good thing she is so cute!"

 Above, the cute but destructive Maci. Below, her latest victims.

Judy wrote me about Raven, who is the dam of both Duncan and Luna: "Did I tell you that Raven tucks me into bed every night? Once I start turning out the lights leading to the bedroom, Raven starts watching to see if I am going to go into the office and use the computer, or if I am going to bed. Once Raven realizes that I am getting ready for bed, she gets up on the bed and sits in the middle of it watching me and waiting. As soon as I get into bed and pull the covers up over me, Raven comes over and lies down close to me at the top of the covers. She will place her front legs so her paws are at the top edge of the covers or maybe on my arm. Then she will lie her head down and be very still...Once in a while she will give me a soft lick, but then remains still and enjoys me kissing her neck under her ear, rubbing her tummy, and continuing to tell her how beautiful she is and how much I love her. Some nights the "tuck in" lasts just a few minutes. Other nights Raven will stay with me for 5-10 minutes. Apparently she loves this routine. Once she has had her fill, she gets up and goes to lie down on her blanket..."

LaVonne forwarded me a message about Charlie, a six month old puppy sired by her Ch. Mon Ami's Late Night Shadow (Winslow) and out of her Joyslyn MLS Dakota Winter Windy Night Mon Ami (Cinder). I think it is a wonderful and touching story and wanted to share it with you.

This is what Charlie's owner, Kathy (from Illinois) wrote on her Facebook page: "I want to share an extraordinary story about my puppy, Charlie, who will be 6 months old next week.  For those of you who don’t know, I’m type 1 diabetic and wear an insulin pump. It malfunctioned Thursday night, so I replaced it and went to bed. Every time I fell asleep Charlie would jump on me and wake me up. This went on for a couple of hours as best as I can remember. Charlie was very agitated and I was getting irritated because I had a big day Friday, was exhausted, and really needed to get some sleep! Plus he was acting totally out of character. Finally I realized that I wasn’t feeling well and got up to test my blood glucose. As I walked to the bathroom I felt faint and knew something was very wrong. I started eating glucose tablets and when I tested my blood it was 33 – normal is 100 to 120 for me - I was literally minutes away from being in a coma and was lucky that it hadn’t already happened. I made my way downstairs and started chugging Orangina (which I never have on hand but did for some reason) to get my blood sugar up rapidly, and then finally went back to bed. Charlie settled down and we all went to sleep. I’ve heard of dogs who can sense low blood sugar, cancer, etc., but have never had the experience. I would very likely be dead if it weren’t for Charlie – and I’m not exaggerating because once I would be in a coma that would be it because I live alone and no one would have found me in time. I’m seeing my dr Tuesday to find out what the #@*% happened with the pump and will be wearing a continuous blood glucose monitor to alert me if my blood sugar tanks. But I’m so blown away by Charlie’s extraordinary ability to sense this and keep me from falling asleep, thus sinking into a coma, I just can’t believe it. It didn’t even occur to me what had happened until Friday morning at work when I put the pieces together.  And I wanted to share this story about my amazing Charlie with all of you. How blessed am I? Can you believe this?."

Other Items of Interest (Well, to me anyway...)

Great Article
Here is a link to an article "Words Matter" by Elizabeth Brinkley.
Not sure if you want to read it? Here is an excerpt from the article: "…The animal rights cults have a plan and one of the tools they use is called “incrementalism” – one step at a time, one inch at a time, one bad law at a time. They have worked on their plan for years…"

Seriously, you should read the article!!

Substance Harmful to Dogs
Xylitol, a sugar substitute found in sugar-free gum and many other seemingly innocuous products in your home is extremely harmful to dogs. Read more about this topic in a press release from the AVMA: Sugar Substitute May Be Dangerous to Dogs

It's Working for My Dog
Try Pro Den Plaque Off if you are looking for an alternative to having your dog's teeth cleaned. I've used it on one of my dogs as a test. His teeth were the absolute worst! The product is handling the problem to the extent that I have decided to use it now on all the dogs. After recently spending nearly $1000 to have 5 dogs' teeth cleaned, it seems to me that this product might help me save some money in the future.

He's Coming Back!
Our granddog, Henri, dislikes our 18 month old grandson—and the feeling is mutual. To avoid further confrontation, Henri is giving up Florida and moving back to Illinois later this month. I'm sorry it has to happen. Here's the latest picture of the little rascal, taken on his way home from the groomer. He is an Affenpinscher. Cute. Full of himself.

 Black Fast News
Well, the band is on tour now, packed and on the way to NY. Here is a link to the new Black Fast video for my favorite song (The Fall). I love the instrumentals at the beginning and end. Check out the band's Facebook page for tour dates.

Training for Grooming
I have a firm belief that the problems groomers have with grooming Lhasas is the fault of the owner for not teaching his/her Lhasa to accept being groomed. Training for grooming, whether the dog goes to a groomer or is groomed at home by the owner, is an absolute necessity. Read this article for some tips on how to begin. If you have a young Lhasa, start now!!! If you have an older one that dislikes grooming, work with him daily. Start now!!!

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


Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day!

If ground-hog day was bright and fair,
The beast came forth, but not to stay;
His shadow turned him to his lair,
Where six weeks more, he dormant lay
Secure in subterranean hold—
So wondrous weather-wise was he—
Against six weeks of ice and cold,
Which, very certain, there would be...
          ~H.L. Fisher, "Popular Superstitions," Olden Times

Retirement Update

February 2nd! My "retirement" has only 27 days to go. January went by really fast and I cannot lie, I enjoy being home and not at the office, as much as I missed my staff. I'll be traveling almost once a week in February, so I'm sure the time will fly and it will be March before I know it and I'll be back in the office, albeit only part-time.

Thanks to those of you who sent private messages congratulating me on my retirement. I appreciate the comments and well wishes.

Puppy Update

Charley and Zeke left with their new owners and the reports I've received have been positive. Greta, who is now 3 months old, and Jenna, who is now 10 weeks old, are the two girls I plan to show. They have become great pals. Even though Greta is the older and larger of the two, Jenna seems to be the boss, or at least Greta lets her think she is!

Here are the most recent pictures of the Josh and Charli puppies -- and also of Greta.

Charley - 9 weeks

Zeke - 9 weeks

Jenna - 9 weeks

Greta - 12 weeks
Greta will be known to AKC as Joyslyn's No Regrets
Jenna will be known to AKC as Joyslyn MLS Dakota Je Na Sais Quoi

You may remember our girl, Luna - Ch. Joyslyn JaMa Dancing By The Light of the Moon, who earned the final points for her championship in October during ALAC's (American Lhasa Apso Club) National Specialty week. We recently did a "Luna Photo Shoot," so I'd like to share some of the photos with you. I was pleased with the way they  turned out. I am very proud to be the breeder of this beautiful Lhasa.

I've been getting quite a few email messages from people asking about upcoming litters. We have two, maybe three, breedings planned for 2016. If all goes as planned, we should have litters in the summer and early fall.

Notes and Photos from Others

Congratulations to Karen Schlais and Jan Graunke, who had a great January. Their girl Sybil earned her championship, and their Penny earned both of her majors. Penny's litter brother, Stewie, earned both his majors in December. These two Lhasas are still puppies that will not be a year old until mid April. I'm especially proud because their sire is my Ch. Joyslyn's Heartbreaker. (Karen and Jan, I know you are rolling your eyes! I can't help myself!)

Penny and Stewie's litter sister, Zoey, lives in Illinois. Her owners, Diane and Jeff,  wrote a lovely note to Karen and me: "Hi Joyce and Karen, I just wanted to send you a few pictures of our beautiful Zoey and let you how much we love her.  She is the sweetest little girl who has added so much joy to our home.  She loves to play and retrieves her toys all the time.  It’s hilarious how she frequently “pounces” like a bunny rather than run like most dogs do when we play catch with her.  I attached a picture of how she likes to retrieve 2 tennis balls at a time which really cracks us up.  Zoey tends to be quite persistent about getting our attention, which Joyce noticed when she had her those few weeks.  (Me, Me Me!!!!)  But we don’t mind it at all----she’s very affectionate and loving. Surprisingly, she is  quite the lap dog. (Our 2 Lhasa’s certainly were not.) She is smart and will do almost anything for a doggie treat.  Zoey is also a good traveler and enjoys her car rides to Green Bay to visit my family. She is personality plus, that’s for sure… I’m so glad that the two of you are Lhasa Apso breeders---they are for sure the best breed on the planet. Thanks so much to both of you for bringing her into our life---that was the perfect collaboration. We feel extremely fortunate to have a wonderful puppy like Zoey."


Kathy sent a note saying, "I was just thinking of you because Greta, Sophie, and their brothers are three months old today. ..She is doing great, and she never disappoints us with learning something new, or showing us a new behavior every day.  She starts her puppy class on Feb. 6, and then she will be going to Gulf Shores, AL with us on April 22 for a week.  We are giving her plenty of new experiences, and she is giving US plenty of new experiences!  Ha, ha! Today, we gave her a bath for the first time.  Boy, was THAT a learning experience!… Everyone comments on what a beautiful puppy she is…"

Kathy is a friend of Marilyn, who owns a Joyslyn's Lhasa named Maci. They sent me a great video of Maci and Sophie playing. It was too large to include in this blog, but here is a photo of Marilyn's Maci and Kathy's Sophie. The video was hilarious. The two girls had a great time playing.

Mary sent more photos of Belle in action at an agility trial. I am amazed whenever I see those pictures. Belle was an adult when Mary purchased her from me. Belle hated going to shows and seemed only to want to lie around and look lovely. I never ever expected that she would be an agility dog! Mary has done a super job training her. Here is Belle with another of Mary's Lhasas, Moka, who also participates in agility trials. The girls are at a trial, hanging out and waiting their turns to run.

Left - Belle, Right - Moka

Links to Some Interesting Articles

Does your dog misbehave? If so, it might be your own fault! The article, "Five Things You're Doing to Make Your Dog Misbehave," points out what you might be doing wrong.

Have you heard people claim that mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds? It's a common myth. You might refer to this article, "Healthy Dogs, Sick Dogs—Does Breed Type Make a Difference?"

Other good articles to read:
Angel Days and Devil Days - Teaching Bite Inhibition to Puppies

Who's In Charge Here? A Lesson In Becoming Alpha


Fair Warning: This Has Nothing to do with Dogs

As most of you know by now, one of my sons is a musician. He plays with a band named Black Fast. The band will soon set off on its next tour. Here is where they will be -- perhaps in a venue near you. It amazes me that they travel from town to town and state to state, playing a different venue each night. It must be exhausting! Their albums, Starving Out the Light and Terms of Surrender, have some great music and have earned some nice reviews. You can find out more about the band on Facebook and other sites on web and find links to hear (and buy) their music.

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