Sunday, January 21, 2018

January Musings

 "Winter is nature's way of saying, 'Up yours.'" ~ Robert Byrne

That's just a little image of what the weather has been like around here through most of January. Even the dogs that usually love the snow and cold don't want to be out longer than it takes for them to potty. 

This month is birthday month for our Josh. He was 4 years old on January 16th. AKC knows him as GCHB CH Joyslyn MLS Dakota Wind Breaker. (The GCHB CH are his AKC titles: Grand Champion Bronze  and Champion.)

Here is a photo of Josh when he was 11 weeks old. Such a cutie!
And here is a more recent photo, taken after a win at a dog show.
 This month is also birthday month for our Connor, who was 13 on January 20th. AKC knows Connor as CH. San-Dhi Joyslyn Icon. Connor is Josh's Grandsire on his sire's side of the pedigree. I don't have a baby photo of Connor because I bought him from Sandy Devlin. However, here is a photo of him when he was 10 months old. It was taken in the grooming area at a dog show.
 Next is a funny picture of Connor. He loved to jump, jump, jump and this picture shows his coat flying as he is jumping up and down.
Connor is still very young in mind, body, and spirit. He also loves to give hugs.

How Do I Do It?
 People tend to ask me, "How do you do it?" in reference to the Lhasas, most often regarding grooming them. The answer to that is, "I just do what needs to be done." Over the years, it has become a habit and, of course, I am lucky enough to have a husband who helps with the grooming, something that a lot of women who show dogs do not have.

However, as with any other goal a person wants to achieve, that person just does what needs to be done. From 1973, when we bought our first Lhasas, to 1978, when we had our first child, things were not very hectic. I was teaching high school English, going to shows on weekends, and grooming the few dogs we had as necessary. Things became a bit more complicated once the kids were born, especially when my husband went to grad school for 3 years. During a lot of the 1980's I showed sparingly, getting the young dogs ready for the ring, showing them myself and getting a few points on them, then sending them to handlers. 

Looking back at the 1990's and early 2000's, I sometimes wonder how I did do it all. I had three children, a full time job, a part-time position teaching a night class (English 101) at the community college, and a volunteer "job" as the Personnel Advisor for the Chi Omegas on the Western Illinois University campus. For two years, I also attended classes to earn my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership. During all that, I continued to serve on the American Lhasa Apso Club's Board of Directors and various club committees. Through it all, I groomed and trained the dogs, continued the breeding program, traveled to shows on weekends, and continued my responsibilities of laundry, shopping, taking care of kids, going to ball games, etc...all that mom stuff. The only thing I did not do was major housecleaning. I hired someone else to do that!!

Now, I am not telling you all this to make you think I am some kind of wonder woman. I am not. The point I want to make is that grooming a Lhasa and keeping a Lhasa in coat does not take hours and hours and hours of time. Even now, about the only time I get to watch TV is when I am grooming, so I sort of look forward to grooming sessions with the dogs. Grooming one dog that is "in coat" takes me about an hour and a half each grooming session. No, I do not groom each dog every day. Depending on the dogs' coat texture and what stage the dog is going through coat-wise, I spread the grooming for each dog out to every 2-5 days, and in the case of some of the older ones who have good adult coat texture, once a week or even longer works just fine.

If you are at all interested in keeping your Lhasa's coat long, I encourage you to give it a try. You can learn to groom. I have a lot of articles on my website to help you learn. If you have just one Lhasa to care for, try doing the grooming yourself. Do it while you watch TV. Surely an hour or so a couple times a week will fit into your schedule. Plus, I find that grooming my dogs is a great way to bond with them. Another save money because you need fewer visits to the grooming shop!

How do I do it? I don't know, I just do it.

For those of you who want to keep your Lhasa's coat trimmed, that is just fine with me. It is much preferable to having a miserable matted Lhasa. I always say, "A clipped Lhasa is a perfect pet. You have that great Lhasa personality, no hassle with grooming a long coat, and a short-coated dog that doesn't shed." Who can beat that?

Also, you need to know that once my Lhasa girls' show careers are over, they get clipped down. They love it! The boys are not so lucky. They keep their long coats so I can show them off to people who come to see puppies.

Long-coated, clipped down, or in-between, the Lhasa Apso is a great breed to share your home and love with!

Mark Your Calendars
 The American Lhasa Apso Club (ALAC) National Specialty will be held the week of October 21, 2018, in Frederick, MD, at the Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center.

The Burlington (IA) Kennel Club dog show will be held right here in Macomb, IL, on July 21 & 22, 2018. (After 44 years of driving hours and hours to dog shows, I am so excited to have a show that's held only a few blocks from my house, even if it happens only one weekend a year!!)

An Article That Might Interest You
 Check out the feature article. "Fun Thinks To Do With Your Lhasa Apso" on the ALAC website by Marsha Susag, ALAC's Vice President. The link is

Notes and Pictures from Others
From Pat: "Joyce, I have attached a recent picture of Miles taken week ago Friday after his grooming appointment.  He has a bit of the "fly away" with static hair.  He is an absolute joyful addition to our family… I also attached the copy of proof that we have had him neutered.  Sleepless night beforehand for me, but we got through it…By the way, we thought of other names, but Miles just seemed to fit him the best so we kept it."
A note from Biddy’s owner: "Happy New Year! We just had visitors leave, and our Biddy just loved them to bits. George one of the visitors loves dogs so he is so delighted Biddy is all over him. Rose is not an animal person of any sort, and Biddy has tried so hard to get her to love her. Rose does think she is a very nice dog. Biddy has been in heaven with the G-kiddos around so much over the holidays. Glad you took the Lhasa path. "

From Lori: "I'd had Finn trimmed a couple of times, but this was his first "big boy" haircut. I asked them to save some clippings for me and told them, under no circumstances, to touch the white tip on the end of his tail! His fur is still soooo soft and velvety and he looks absolutely adorable. (He knew it, too, you should have seen him strutting around.)"
Finn, sporting a new haircut

Finn, graduating from puppy class
From Krista about Winston: "Hi Joyce, just wanted to drop you a quick note and a couple of pics of Winston.  He has grown to be a very handsome young man!  I get stopped frequently asking what breed he is and how beautiful his coat is.  I bathe him 1 a week usually and he's doing great with it almost falls asleep.  He doesn't like at the end though when I wash his ears out with ear wash.  I get one ear done and then the next one is a challenge. The ole testosterone has really kicked in!  He's really liking the girls he's quite the ladies man!  He goes in on the 8th of February to get neutered.  He's lost most of he's teeth and he weighs 16 lbs already still looks like a skinny thing but he burns a lot of energy.  He loves the snow and going to the dog park.  It's been so cold not many his size there but he can keep up with the big dogs it is pretty funny.  He is really fast I'm tell'n ya was thinking about agility class for him.  I love him very much and he's very attached to me, he's a mama's boy!  He's well mannered and if we go somewhere to visit friends etc he stays right by my side. He's very mature in some aspects.  He makes me laugh and smile every day!"


Mary and Jim sent new year's wishes and a Christmas photo of Josh's mom, Windy, whom they re-named "Winnie."

Marilyn sent a cute photo of Hunter, who is a litter brother of Miles.

Roman and Violet sent a photo of Shadow. Violet said it was her favorite photo of him because you can see his face.
Stacy and Lisa sent a photo of their Lola. Lola does not like to have her picture taken, so this was a treat! (Note that she still does not look happy about having a camera aimed at her!)
The Johnson family sent a picture of Snickers in his Christmas sweater. I'm sure he was glad to have it for all the sub-zero temps we've experienced in January.
Thanks to all who sent pictures and notes. I really enjoy receiving updates about the "kids."

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



Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!!

Happy 2018!!

My husband and I are "celebrating" the new year by staying home, watching tv (him) and reading (me). I am taking a break from my book to send you new year's best wishes.

It's is super cold here. The weather report said a minus 5 degrees with wind chills at minus 30 something degrees. No way am I going outside in this cold!

As I was thinking about writing this particular post, I decided to go back in time and write about how Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos got its start. Many puppy buyers and others we meet ask us how it all began, so here goes:

How, you might ask, do two people who had mixed-breed dogs while they were growing up end up owning, breeding, showing, and loving Lhasa Apsos for 45 years? Well, believe it or not, it all started with an encyclopedia salesman! 

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 both had 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 from college, I landed my first teaching job at a high school in Durant, Iowa. With my first paycheck, we bought a refrigerator (Harvest Gold, all the rage in 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. Of course, other than the picture in the encyclopedia, we knew nothing about the breed. 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! 

Our first two Lhasas, Buffy (left) and Pheebe (right)
Now it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that 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 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 1973 when we filled out Pheebe's AKC registration form, the prefix "Joyslyn" was created and it's been used ever since. People try to pronounce our kennel prefix as if it were spelled Joslyn, like the art gallery in Omaha, NE. That would be wrong. The first syllable "joys" rhymes with "boys," "toys," "noise," etc. The second "lyn" rhymes with "tin," "win," "grin," etc.

We learned by reading what few resources about the Lhasa were available at that time. One day in the summer of 1973, shortly after we moved to David City, Nebraska, Lynn commented that he thought Buffy had potential as a show dog and we should look into showing. (He probably has regretted that statement many times over the years because if he grumbles about the dogs, I quickly remind him whose idea it was to start showing.)

Based on our totally novice evaluation of Pheebe and Buffy, the first dog I tried to show was Joyslyn's Miss Buffy Jo. Please note that I said "tried." Buffy was beautiful (and knew it) and nicely structured. She also had high opinions of herself. Her self image did not include being paraded around the ring on a lead! It was not long before she won the battle -- and the war.

We learned about grooming by trial and error. Mostly error. That is why at a later date I started writing my Lhasa column in Dog World magazine, and why I started a website, and why I posted articles on Ezine -- to share what we learned so other people did not have to suffer such a learning curve!

The first dog we bought specifically as a show dog didn't work out so well either. He was Lutzmor's Dolsa Bo Jangles. He had a lovely pedigree, a ton of red-gold coat, and a sweet personality. I took him to training classes and he actually walked around the ring and did what he was supposed to. At shows he also showed very well. Alas, Bo never earned more than one point. (See the photo below.) He did not have the "right stuff!" And, as you look at this photo, you can see that my grooming skills were sadly lacking!

Now, as I look back, I wonder why I just didn't give it all up then. I was so inexperienced about showing; I was spending money that as high school  teachers in a Catholic high school, we couldn't really afford to spend on entry fees, travel, and equipment; I was a novice at grooming. I have no clue why I continued. I just know my life would have been very different if I had given up. 

Next step...breed your own show dog, Joyce! So I did. We took Buffy to Virginia Knoche, a grand lady who lived in Warsaw, IL. Buffy was bred to Virginia's BIS American and Canadian Ch. Arborhill's Rah-Kieh. From that breeding came our first two Joyslyn's champions, Ch. Joyslyn's Piece of the Rock and Ch. Joyslyn's Raggedy Rebel -- both very beautiful Lhasas.

Rocky won his first point when he was 7 months old, and by then I was hooked on showing for sure. The photos below are of me with Rocky winning his first point and of Rocky with Marge Lewis, his handler, and one of my mentors. I learned so much from that wonderful woman!

This photo is of Rocky's litter brother, Ch. Joyslyn's Raggedy Rebel, our second champion, shown by Bev Thomas for his owner, Beth James.


I think the lesson here is that if you have a goal, you can't let a few setbacks discourage you to the point of giving up. Each experience teaches a "what to do" or "what not to do" lesson. And what we do with the lessons we learn makes us who we are. 

So that's how it all began. I have met some wonderful people; owned, showed, and bred some wonderful dogs; and made some wonderful friends. My life has been made richer for all my experiences with the Lhasas. No, it has not been easy, but I am not sorry my life took this route.

I generally begin my blog posts with a quotation, but this time, in honor of the new year, I decided to end with one, written by Melody Beattie.

“Make New Year's goals. Dig within, and discover what you would like to have happen in your life this year. This helps you do your part. It is an affirmation that you're interested in fully living life in the year to come.

Goals give us direction. They put a powerful force into play on a universal, conscious, and subconscious level. Goals give our life direction.

What would you like to have happen in your life this year? What would you like to do, to accomplish? What good would you like to attract into your life? What particular areas of growth would you like to have happen to you? What blocks, or character defects, would you like to have removed?

What would you like to attain? Little things and big things? Where would you like to go? What would you like to have happen in friendship and love? What would you like to have happen in your family life?

What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions would you like to make? What would you like to happen in your career?

Write it down. Take a piece of paper, a few hours of your time, and write it all down - as an affirmation of you, your life, and your ability to choose. Then let it go.

The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

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