Friday, January 11, 2019

January 2019!

"The Old Year has gone.  Let the dead past bury its own dead.  The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time.  All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!"  ~  Edward Payson Powell

Happy 2019, Everyone! Since I have not posted much during the holidays, be prepared to read! This post has some advice, a book review, and a lot of notes and photos from owners of our puppies.

Let's get started:

Grooming Your Own Lhasa 
What's that? Why would I want to groom my own Lhasa when there are groomers for that purpose? Grooming your own Lhasa may seem like a challenge, but if you begin when your puppy is young and get him used to the procedure, you can save yourself a lot of money over the many years you have your Lhasa. Here is how to get started. At the minimum you need the follow grooming tools: a pin brush (not one with those little round tips at the ends of the pins!), a greyhound style comb, a face comb, and a spray bottle filled with grooming spray.

If you plan to groom your own Lhasa, it is necessary to teach your Lhasa puppy--when he is young and before he really requires a lot of brushing--to accept grooming as part of his routine. Begin your grooming training as soon as you get your puppy. Hold him on his back on your lap and gently rub his tummy until he relaxes. It's best to do this during the puppy's quiet time and not when he is full of boundless energy and wants to play.

Teaching him to lie on his side or back while he is being brushed is important because so many of the trouble spots for mats, such as the insides of the legs, the chest, the "arm"pits, and the stomach, are difficult to reach unless the Lhasa is on his back or side.

Even though the puppy has little coat to brush at this age, accustom him to the feel of the brush by using a small pin brush to groom his legs, feet, chest and stomach. Then allow him to lie on his stomach, sit, or stand while you brush his sides, neck, head, and face. Constantly reassure him and praise him when he is still. Be sure to tell him how gorgeous he looks when the grooming is done. Keep these sessions short. Their purpose is to familiarize the puppy with the routine of grooming and the feel of the brush. 

Of course, not all puppies tolerate lying on their backs or sides and cooperating with you. At times you will be amazed at how stubborn and strong a puppy can be when he is determined not to lie on his back! Be persistent and patient. Do not strike the puppy. You are training him for future grooming sessions that both you and he should come to enjoy. Don't spoil the future by letting your temper flare when the puppy gets uncooperative.

Once the puppy accepts lying on his back or side, move him from your lap to a grooming table. The transition may cause some regression in the puppy's behavior since he may feel less secure on a table than he felt on your lap. Again, be persistent and firm. Don't be abusive, but insist on the behavior you want. 

From the age of six months on, your Lhasa puppy will need grooming on a regular basis. That's when your early training sessions begin to pay off. Depending on your puppy's coat texture and stage of development, mats and tangles will begin to develop behind the ears and on his underside. You're in for a terrible ordeal if you have not taught your puppy what grooming is all about. Sometimes it hurts when mats are taken out. Sometimes you need to use both hands to loosen the mat and remove it, and if you have to hold the puppy down, try to reach one of those hard-to-get-at mats, and remove the mat all at the same time, you are in for an unpleasant grooming session. Neither you nor your puppy will enjoy it. And, for the puppy at least, the unpleasant experience will be remembered the next time and the struggle will begin again. 

Both you and your Lhasa will enjoy the grooming sessions, which will be so much a part of your lives, if you take time now to teach the puppy what is expected of him when it comes time for grooming. The younger you start, the more accepting the puppy will be. 

And, honestly, if you don't want to do the grooming yourself, by doing this early training with your puppy, you will make your professional groomer a much happier person, AND your well-behaved puppy/adult Lhasa will be more warmly welcomed at the grooming salon.

A Book Review: Designer Dogs: Inside the Criminal Underworld of Crossbreeding
Before I begin the review of Madeline Bernstein's Designer Dogs: Inside the Criminal Underworld of Crossbreeding, let me explain a few things about me and my beliefs:

1) My beloved childhood pets were basically terrier "mutts," wonderful dogs and I loved them very much. I have nothing against people who prefer "mutts" and nothing against people who get their pets from an animal shelter. However, I do have a problem with those who criticize people who prefer to buy a purebred.

2) When it comes to dogs, 46 years of my life has focused on the pure-bred Lhasa Apso. I have spent untold hours learning about the breed, teaching about the breed, writing about the breed, showing my Lhasas, studying pedigrees, all in an attempt to breed to the Lhasa Apso standard and produce quality pets and show dogs. There have been a few failures, from which I have learned, and many more successes of which I am very proud.

3) I abhor the whole idea of designer dogs. Why? Because (and this is my own opinion so you can like it or not) I have always felt that the unsuspecting puppy buyers have been taken advantage of and fallen victim to a scheme that has cost them a lot of money and in some cases emotional pain, while at the same time filling animal shelters with unwanted 'designer breeds' that just did not  live up to the hype. I care because I feel sorry for the dogs. I care because the poor breeding practices of those involved in get-rich-quick puppy breeding practices cast all breeders in a bad light. I care because laws that have been passed to stop the bad breeders are also limiting those of us who are not bad breeders. I dislike being "painted by the same brush!"

So, what exactly is a 'designer dog?' Basically, it is a mutt, a crossbreed. Designer dog breeders take a purebred of some breed, breed it to a purebred of another breed, stick a fancy sounding name on it -- usually one the ends in "doodle" or "oodle" or "poo" -- then add really high price tags and market the dog as a "purebred designer breed." The claims are that these dogs are healthier, allergy proof, better behaved, easier to potty train, etc. When they prove not to be so, they end up in the neighborhood pound or dumped along the roadside. 

When I was at the library, I noticed on the Bernstein book cover the words "Designer Dogs" and "Criminal Underworld" so of course, had to pick it up. The first to check it out, I was intrigued by the title and the blurb on the inside front cover. I noticed the author was affiliated with spcaLA so what I expected to read was what I got...and more. Aside from the "get a shelter dog" angle, the book was worth reading. Bernstein provides a history of how and why "designer dogs" were created, noting (as most of us now know) that the creator of the designer dogs now wishes he'd never started the endeavor. She writes about the impact of designer dogs on the numbers of shelter dogs and points out that a cute combo name of two breeds does not make a perfect dog, even if a person paid thousands of dollars for it. 

The book contained a great deal of information about the problems with international dog sales, smuggling, and theft, as well as focusing on health problems brought to the US by people importing dogs from other countries. She referred to puppies' bodies being used as ways to get drugs into the country. Of course, the puppies are killed after arriving so the drugs can be removed from their bodies.

She points out what legitimate purebred breeders know (and the public should also know): There is not such thing as a "purebred designer breed," even if both parents are purebred themselves. She mentions that something similar is now happening to cat breeds, as some cat breeders are picking up on the money being made on designer dogs and wanting to jump on that bandwagon.

Bernstein provides a history of dog laws and offers explanations of how and why these laws were passed. She describes the horror of puppy mills and provides stories of rescues. She debunks common myths such as (1) a registered facility is not a puppy mill; (2) designer breeds are hypoallergenic; (3) mixing breeds results in best traits of each being passed forward; (4) teacups, micros, and mini dogs are smaller versions and just as healthy; (5) designer dogs are better behaved.

Actually, the book made me think of the poem "Designer Dog Lament" that I wrote in 2007, posted to the blog, and posted a few months ago to my FB page. It especially reminded me of the line in the poem "The unsuspecting public has fallen for a scheme. They pay big bucks to buy a dog that's not what it may seem...".

All in all, the book was well written and might be an eye opener to some readers. Maybe not. The reputable breeder will suffer through some of the chapters that take aim at "all" dog breeders. Those who are creating the designer breeds won't read it because they are busy laughing all the way to the bank. The criminals won't read it because they don't care as long as they don't get caught. People who buy designer dogs won't read it because they don't want to know. People who are into shelter work will read it because it promotes shelter dogs. Others, like me, will read it because they find the title intriguing. It is worth a read. I would not buy it, but checking it out from my library worked well.

Time to Get Back to Lhasas
In the previous section, I referred to breeding to the Lhasa Apso Standard. Some of my readers may not know what a breed standard is. Think of a breed's standard as a picture in writing that explains the characteristics that make a Lhasa a Lhasa, or an Affenpinscher an Affenpinscher, or a Boxer a Boxer, etc. The breed standard describes how a particular breed should look. It explains the temperament of a breed. It is important for two main reasons: (1) Reputable breeders use the breed standard as their pattern or guide for breeding typical representatives of the breed. They study the standard. They consider the traits of their breeding stock as compared to the standard. The purpose of every breeding should be to produce puppies whose structures and temperaments adhere to the standard. (2) The breed standard is also the basic tool a judge uses as he evaluates each dog exhibited and compares that dog's traits to the standard.

The current Lhasa Apso Standard has often been criticized by judges who think it is too brief and does not present a whole picture of the dog. They are right that structure is not completely described. The same is true for movement. The Lhasa Apso parent club, the American Lhasa Apso Club, has addressed these issues in two ways: (1) In judges' education seminars, we point out that if something is not addressed in the standard, judges should rely on "normal canine" movement and structure. (2) Club committees over the years have written documents that clarify and illustrate the breed standard. These documents are the Annotated Guide to the  Breed Standard and the Illustrated Guide to the Standard. If you want to learn more about the breed those links plus this one will be of great help.

At the end of 2016, the ALAC Board of Directors passed a motion that allowed a committee to use the new AKC template for breed standards and to "authorize the Breed Standard Committee to add to the current Lhasa Apso standard by using sections from the already member approved Illustrated Guide and/or the Judges' Education slide show script in order to enhance and improve breeders' and judges' understandings of the desired structure and physical traits of the breed."

The revisions have been made; the results sent to AKC for approval and for publishing for comments. Once any comments have been made and addressed and AKC gives permission, the revised standard will be sent to ALAC members for their approval (by ballot).

In my opinion, the committee members have successfully revised the standard by including the current standard and using descriptions from current ALAC publications to create a better picture of the Lhasa Apso in words to help future breeders and judges more clearly understand what traits make a Lhasa Apso a Lhasa Apso.

Notes and Photos from Others
The holidays resulted in a lot of photos and emails from our puppies' owners. As always, I was thrilled to receive them and so very grateful for people keeping in touch. It is always nice to see photos of the "kids" - young and old alike. Thanks again to all who took the time to send a note and/or a photo of your Joyslyn's Lhasa(s).

Tom and Diane wrote, "Greetings from Kuper, It’s been a busy year for us but the one thing that affected Kuper was a move from our home to a side by side condo. Although he no longer has a fenced yard he still loves being outside, taking long walks and meeting both two and four legged friends. Two girls in the neighborhood were calling him “Chewbacca” when his hair was longer. He is still very attached to Tom and drawn to any black dogs. We’ve found a great dog sitter when we need to be away and he was quite taken with a baby kitten there, along with her menagerie of pets. Enjoy your time your family!"
From Mary: "I was hoping to have some descent pics of the dogs to send.  I just can’t seem to get all 3 in a good pose. Attached  some not so good pics. Rafe was taking Belle’s little cat bed in the tv room, upsetting her, so I got him his own; still doesn’t fit him great but bigger. Gabby the ragdoll likes it also—when Rafe is in his crate!! Rafe tolerates the cats as long as they show him no affection…All dogs are doing well. I can say I finally feel like Rafe is becoming my dog. It’s taken longer than I thought—personality, being intact, not sure. He has had time to develop the trust he needs; he is smart but serious about new encounters which is very Lhasa as you know. He loves being part of the trio. Belle actually bosses him in the yard, barks, pounces toward him. She and Rafe decided to stalk Moka in the yard this week—crouching, creeping—fortunately Moka has them beat in speed and cunningness..."
Rafe enjoying his own dog bed - no more stealing Belle's!
From the Adcocks: "Hi, Joyce, Here are some darling photos of our beloved Amie with her (& our) beloved best bud, Poppet! They are such joy to us. Amie is such a character, so funny....a constant source of entertainment😍 Poppet is the anchor, keeping her feet on the ground. Though I’ve said it so many times....just one more THANK YOU for this divine little girl."🐾
Amie (right) with her buddy Poppet.
From Stacey and Lisa: "Hi Joyce,Lola is as silly, sweet and social as ever! Merry Christmas!"
From Mickey and Charlie: "Merry Christmas Joyce & Lynn. I am sending you two pictures.
One is of Biddy in her Christmas scarf from her latest grooming.  I can't believe she has kept it on now for almost two weeks. The second is a little sign I found at Scheels. I thought you needed to see it. I will have to watch my daughter doesn't steal the sign.  Her mamma dog Kenzie is a real butt wagger.  She is a big dog so her wriggle is big."

(Note here from Joyce: Biddy's mom is Luna. She is definitely a "Wigglebutt" -- as a matter of fact, that has been her nickname since she was a puppy. She seems to pass the "wigglebutt gene" to her offspring.)


I LOVE this sign!
John wrote, "My dog Lucky I got from you is doing great. He is a wonderful watch dog and not afraid of anything.

From Mike and Kathy: "Hi Joyce! It sounds like you had a busy 2018, and are headed for another one!  We wish you a happy and healthy new year! Here is a pretty photo of Sophie.  She goes well with the hardwood, don’t you think?  LOL
This is always a special time for us because we always remember, three years ago, driving up to Macomb on a cold New Year’s Day, after narrowly avoiding the terrible flooding, and picking up Sophie on January 2. What an exciting week that was! We sincerely hope that you and your family have a very good 2019."

From Jim and Cristina: "Happy new year! Daisy got some great gifts for Christmas and celebrated New Years in Miami (where she took part in a Colombian tradition of rolling out luggage down the street to wish for lots of travels in the new year). I am currently studying for the bar exam and she will often sit under my feet to keep me encouraged! "
Daisy rolling luggage in Colombian tradition

Vernita wrote: "Happy New Year Joyce. I’m glad everything went well for you. Livvy has grown so much and took quite a liking to my Christmas tree. All things that glittered stayed on the floor…I again want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to have such a sweet girl, even though she still wants to play when it’s time to go to bed. She gets along much better with the other dogs when they come over now because she has grown so she can keep up now with the whole running around the pool. Her personality is really starting to show and since discovering her barking skills, she now barks at any and everything going by when the front door is open. Because I only allow family to pet and play with her, she’s not very friendly with outside guests, which is the way I want it…I will send updated pictures when I get the chance."

Lynne wrote, "Stone does just fine interacting with Lizzie and me. Any strangers, different noises, any changes, voices on the TV, vehicles driving by, all scare him…He has his own crate, but prefers to lay in Lizzie’s or between my feet. He and Lizzie get along well, they play together and they’ll sometimes lay in the crate together, although Stone is getting big enough there’s not much room to do that…Other than the fearfulness, he’s a joy to have around. He’s very smart, loving and silly. He loves to chase his own tail!…"

Jill wrote, "It has been a great year. Having 2 Lhasas has been a blessing. Shadow shows me so much love. She is protective in the house but goes to strangers on walks & outside. I am sorry she didn't go to you--but she loves you! I am thankful for good health and good healthy dogs."

(Note from Joyce: Jill bought Shadow after we retired her. Shadow is the dam of our Onyx. When I visited Jill in October on my way to MD to the National Specialty, Shadow wanted nothing to do with me! I did not feel sad about that at all. It is obvious she loves Jill. Shadow was probably afraid I was going to take her back to Macomb with me!)

From Barb: "Hi Joyce, Sounds like you had the perfect Christmas.  Ours was nice too. Lovie is getting so big – it’s hard to believe sometimes.  She is just the sweetest little girl…I have sent a few pictures of Lovie and her partner in crime (they are glued to each other all day long) 😊. "
From Debra: "Happy New Year. My little Seng Kye is afraid of nothing.  Not noise, not riding in car, not the television.  He has found a chair he can jump up into.  You gave me the perfect companion.  In fact, he is a wonderful guard dog and very protective.  He is beautiful and enjoying being brushed.  I worry about the pain of the surgery.  Is there anything new to neuter him?  Technology is always advancing.  I am going to ask his vet in Indianapolis also."

(Note from Joyce: There is actually a chemical neutering process called "zeutering" since it uses a chemical called Zueterin.)

Carolyn wrote, "Paddy is doing beautifully.  We had a house full of friends and family, and Paddy and the standing rib were hits of the gathering. He is such a love and everyone just adored him…Paddy is healthy,happy, and full of fun and energy.  He and his two pals, Morgan and Marshal play, run, eat, then snooze together. He is a joy and Loves everyone, including his groomer.   promise a picture{s} soon. How are his litter mates doing? Well, I am sure.  Happy New Year to you and your. Many good wishes for your upcoming shows and puppies."
Krista wrote: "Hi Joyce, it's been awhile since I have sent an update on Winston so here we are.  He is now an uncle to my daughter's new baby.  See attached he loves her very much!  We have to watch him though tends to get a little too close as you can see lol…He's a beautiful dog and I get compliments on him all the time. He is a big clown and chicken butt when it comes down to it. There isn't a day that he doesn't make me laugh and smile. The cat still isn't a big fan but she plays slightly with him.  She's the boss and let's him know when enough is enough though. He's been a very good boy and loves his mommy maybe to much, ha ha ha!  He's really getting spoiled now though because I started working from home this summer so he's so used to me being around.  He does go to day care in the mornings 3 times a week so he has play time and we go to the dog park often.  His health has been excellent and he's doing good with grooming as long as he doesn't see me.  I tried doing it myself a couple of times but the booger keeps laying down and falling asleep and I had a hell of mess with the hair so I just take him to groomer now it's worth it. Well I hope you enjoyed the e-mail and pics!  Just know he is well taken care of and loved very much!"
Winston with his new love
From Barb and Kevin:  "Yep, Ryder (changed his name from Ridley - people kept thinking we were saying Wrigley) is scheduled for his neutering on Jan 16.  I’ll send you the paperwork after it’s complete. He and Kamper have become great buddies! Ryder really looks up to Kamper - they love to play and follow each other everywhere. They’re both just finishing up doggy classes and have done very well with learning all the new commands. Ryder has a really great personality - very social and playful. Kamper is more reserved, but he’s definitely our snuggler. So thankful we added another puppy to our clan!"

Ryder with Kamper, both Joyslyn's dogs
Sally wrote. "I wanted to send you a couple pictures of Ginger. She's growing like a weed, she weighs 8.6 pounds…She is really so much fun and she likes the snow still. She & Bob's dog Dixie get lots of playing time in. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!"
Ginger the Snow Bunny

Mary sent a photo of Gave in her Christmas card. Gabe is Rafe's litterbrother.
Violet sent this photo of Shadow (littermate to Bekka and Chance):
 Sharon sent a photo of her Giza, who must be at least 13 years old now. She is the daughter of our Secret who was 16 in August. Sharon wrote, "Giza got an ulcer in her eye last Jan. We took her to a pet vet eye doctor in Crestwood (up north). The eyes are clear now but she gets drops for dryness several times a week. She is getting older which makes me sad but she has not lost her spunk. As always, I don't know what we would do without her. So I put coats on her to go outside and give her lots of kisses!"
Thanks again to all who wrote and shared photos. I love posting them and sharing them on the blog.

Other Things

To those on the waiting list: It is hard to be patient, but please bear with me. We have breedings planned but all the girls are late with their seasons and that has really thrown the schedule off for the spring. If you are on my list and find a puppy from another breeder, please let me know. I totally understand.

My friend, Mary, has a four year old Champion female (spayed). This is Riley. She has had one litter and Mary is seeking a pet home for her. Riley does not like to share her space with other dogs, so the new home must be one where Riley is the only pet. Riley is clipped down now, but here are photos of her when she was being shown. She is Ch. Joyslyn's Wind of the Spirit. Her sire is Ch. Joyslyn's Highly Classified (Duncan) and dam is Ch. MLS Dakota Dancing in the Wind at Joyslyn (Windy). Send me an email if you are interested.

Riley with me at a show

Riley in Mary's yard

And with that I will close. Thanks for sticking with it today. I know this was a long post! Let's end with a smile.