Friday, April 7, 2023

Welcome April - Hurray for Spring!

"A gush of bird-song, a patter of dew, a cloud and a rainbow's warning. Suddenly sunshine and perfect blue: an April day in the morning." ~ Harriet Prescott Spofford

I am sitting at the computer, trying to think of how to begin this blog, trying to arrange all the thoughts and happenings over the month of March into some kind of logical order. I may or may not succeed, but here goes:

March was a crazy month for the Johansons and our Lhasas. The craziness actually started at the end of February when suddenly our hot water heater decided not to heat water. Now, for many, many years I have had an appliance maintenance warranty with Sears for just such a circumstance. I called Sears, explained the problem. Then the headaches began. Certainly they could send a repair person to us -- the first available appointment: March 7! "You have to be kidding," I protested. Nope, they were not!

Okay, so we looked forward with hope for March 7 to arrive. We heated water on the stove for cleaning, bathing (sink baths), and hair washing. The dishwasher heated water so at least the dishes were clean and sanitized. The clothes were washed (as usual) in cold water. The dogs went without baths.

The repairman arrived on the 7th, looked at the water heater, said he had to order parts and he'd be back on the 14th. OMG...another week of heating water and washing at the sink, etc.

Then I received an email. The appointment on the 14th had to be cancelled! The parts were backordered!

In the meantime, I had Rusty and Ebony to bathe for dog shows. For the first show, they went to the groomer at the vet's office. They were bathed and taken home (wet) so we could dry them at home. The second time, I took Ebony to the bathing station at our Pet Supply Plus.

The saga continues. An email arrived from Sears: The parts had been shipped. Select the date you want the repairman to come. Well, "tomorrow" was not an option! The earliest date on the list was March 28. The guy came, put in the parts, and we finally have hot water, after a month an a few days. 

Show Results
In the midst of all the grumbling about the hot water situation, were preparations for three dog shows in March. We went to Louisville, KY; Maquoketa, IA; and Manitowoc, WI. (Yes, I took advantage when the venue had shower facilities available!)

Louisville, KY. First on the list was Louisville. My friend Jane, who shows Shibas, has an RV that we travel in to shows. We wanted to make sure we got a parking spot that was not blocks away from the show building, so we left late on Tuesday for the Thursday show. We stayed at a KOA in Indiana then left early Wednesday AM for the rest of the drive to Louisville. The Louisville shows are huge, with many rings, many dogs, many people, and many vendors! Yes, I bought things for my dogs and myself!

This is not a show I usually attend. The last time I was there was when Josh was a year old and he is now 9! (I remember that trip only because that was the show where he finished his championship.)

One reason I went this year was that I was meeting CJ, Rusty's breeder there. We decided to co-own Rusty and I was taking him to give him to live with CJ for a while. Let me tell you that the tears fell when I left Rusty. I don't know why things felt so final. He will eventually be coming home to me. It was just sad. CJ reported later that Rusty was playing with his dam and enjoying his walks.

Here is Rusty with CJ shortly after we showed on the first day. Rusty took Best of Opposite Sex to my friend Sandy's bitch, Samantha, that day. 

That night we went to celebrate at Cracker Barrel.
Left to Right: Sandy, me. CJ

Friday's show was a bust for us. The judge was evidently not impressed! The wins went to others.

Saturday was our day. Rusty took Best of Breed! What was extra exciting for me was that the Group judging was going to be televised on I filled out a form with details about Rusty so that the announcer could give his name, etc. as he was being shown. I called and emailed friends and family telling them when to tune in to see us. Well, come to find out from all of them, something went wonky with the broadcast about the time it was our turn and they could see only quick peeks among the pixelated mess. Darn! Some saw me put him on the table. Others saw some of our down and back. My husband, thinking the glitch was the fault of our router, ordered a new one! (We needed a faster one anyway.) Later someone emailed me this strip of photos of us in the group ring.

The Lhasas showed late in the day on Sunday and, since I had already turned Rusty over to CJ, Jane and I decided to get an early start home after the Shibas were done showing.

That was Rusty's 3 days in Louisville, so now on to Ebony. Since she was only 5 months old, Ebony was entered both Thursday and Friday in AKC Beginner Puppy Competitions. Puppies ages 4-6 months are eligible for this competition. It is not for points but basically to give up-and-coming puppies chances to experience dog shows in a fun environment and to help them prepare for "the big time!"

Ebony thinks highly of herself. Ebony is full of energy. She likes to go, go, go. People and other dogs excite her! She did very well in Louisville. The Beginner Puppy Non-Sporting Group had 11 puppies in it. Both days Ebony took a Group 4. These wins were in spite of herself. She doesn't like to stand still and she really does not like it when I kneel beside her and attempt to make her stand still! Let's just say that my friends outside the ring were laughing so much at her antics (jumping, rolling on the floor) and my mostly futile attempts to get her to stand still that -- thankfully -- they forgot to video. 

Maquoketa, IA. Five days after returning from KY, Jane and I were on our way to Iowa, thankfully a much shorter trip. Ebony was entered in Beginner Puppy on Saturday because she was still 5 months old. Sunday was her 6 month "birthday" so she had to be entered in the regular puppy class.

On Saturday she did well! She took a Non-Sporting Group 1 placement and made the cut for Best Beginner Puppy in Show. She even behaved herself! I was proud of her for sure. Here is a picture of her actually standing still in the Beginner Puppy Best in Show competition.

Regular readers of this blog know that I say "my dogs teach me humility." They seem to strive to embarrass me. Ebony is no different. I was riding high on Saturday and so confident going into Sunday that she would do well at her very first official point show. What did she do? Well, she managed to win the prize for making me humble. I can truly say that never has one of my other show dogs in all 50 years done what she did in the ring. Oh, she went around like a champ. She stood well on the table. She did her down. She did her back. Then as the judge was looking at her, she peed. I cleaned it up. Judge said, "Let's do the down and back again." We got halfway down and she threw up some foamy white stuff. I cleaned it up. We finished the down and went back. She stood in front of the judge. He sent us around. We got back to our spot. She pooped!! I cleaned it up. And I am telling you that I put her in the exercise pen where she peed and pooped only an hour before! 
Eventually we got out of the ring, thank God. She took 3rd place out of 4. Again, we were laughed at (well, maybe with). I was wearing a red dress and think my face was probably as red as the dress!

Ebony first point show

Oh, the other unpleasant surprise in Maquoketa was the weather. We heard it was supposed to rain and heard rain during the night, but when we opened the RV door Saturday AM, we found snow! Lots and lots of snow.
Here is a picture of the RV that morning and another of me trying to dig the exercise pen out of the snow.

Having no snow shovel, we cleared an area for the exercise pen and mat using a dust pan. It worked, just took some time. Soon a snow plow arrived to clear the parking lot and by noon, all the snow (except the huge piles made by the snow plow) had melted. Unfortunately, we were parked in a low spot and now had to avoid walking through a "lake" to get to the RV.

Manitowoc, WI. We had a quick turn-around, with only a couple days after returning from IA until Ebony and I left for our next show in WI. Manitowoc is a 4-day show, but I entered only 3 days because I wanted to be home for the Palm Sunday services. 

I enjoy the Manitowoc show for a lot of reasons, but mostly because it is there that I get to see so many of my Lhasa friends who come from WI, MN, and MI. A special thanks to Sally (Ginger and Jaxon's owner) for making the trek again this year to come to see me at this show. It was great to see her and both dogs again. Great job on the coats, Sally!!

I stayed at Jan's house, along with LaVonne. We were excited to see that for all four days there were majors in bitches. Alas -- no such luck. On Thursday, there were 2 dogs and only one bitch (mine) that showed up. The judge awarded Ebony Best of Winners, so she earned her first point. She showed very well. Hurray!

On Friday, an adult bitch joined the competition and Ebony took Reserve that day. That bitch did not show up again until Sunday. The weather was not good for driving that weekend!

Waiting to go into the ring

On Saturday we were back to no points in either dogs or bitches because there was only 1 male puppy and Ebony. One of them had to take Best of Winners to get a point. It was not Ebony. She wanted to play with the male puppy and just would not stand still. It did not help that the guy handling him kept turning him around to face her (and smirking at me all the while). Grrrr...

On Sunday afternoon, I received a call to tell me that on that day, all the other bitches had shown up and that there was a nice big major as a result! Oh well...

Notes and Photos from Others
Thanks to all who sent or posted photos and emails this past month. I don't do much on Facebook any more, so if I missed something you posted, I apologize. I found Facebook was sucking away most of my time, so I just had to quit visiting the site so often.

Jody wrote about Bernie. "He loves to swim at The Puddle and enjoys exercise sessions at TOPS. Can't wait to see his neighborhood friends; Peaches, Ripp, Judah, Lexi, Bailey, Jack, Bubba, Big Hazel, little Hazel, Cinnamon and Millie. Doesn't know a stranger, everyone is his friend. Loves to ride in the car. Gives everyone a kiss for helping him at the vet clinic or groomer. Is the mascot for a first grade class in Humble, TX. They have a stuffed version of him and he can only talk to adults and will report bad behavior! Bernie is just a joy to all who know him!"

Sally sent this picture of Ginger and wrote that Ginger was sad because Jaxon was in the March blog and she was not.

Later she sent this pictures of both dogs in the snow.

Ugh. So glad Macomb, IL did not get that much snow!!
Lisa wrote, "Duncan has brought so much joy, companionship and laughter to our home. So very thankful for him - especially after seeing last month’s blog where one woman said she was on your waitlist for a puppy for over 2 years!!!"

Becka posted this photo on FB and commented about Karma, "
Our little mischief maker turns ONE today. Her Birthday Puzzle/Snuffle Mat did not arrive on time, but we can at least play ”ball ball.” Thank you to Joyce Johanson for entrusting us to love this sassy girl."

Judy G wrote about how Onyx (aka Nyx) is getting along with Winter. "She and Winter get along very well. They run together in the backyard. Winter is still on the bottom step of the stairs. Every time I put her on the second one I think she is going to launch. She enjoys the jumps and the raised beds in the yard! She is always busy and then collapses for a rest. She is a doll. Love her and her antics!" Both Nyx and Winter are Joyslyn's girls who are "retired" from breeding. Judy is training them for agility and rally trials. They have CH titles in front of their names and will one day have some rally and agility titles to add to the end of their names!
Here is Onyx, who loves tunnels! Just as an aside, Onyx is Pearl's mom.

Judy later sent an update about:  Winter has attended three Rally classes and is learning to sit. She has mastered the stand and anything that is part or an entire circle (360, 270 or 180). She is happy in class, and loves traveling with Ty. We are still on 2 steps so the stairs may take awhile. She loves being with Nyx. They run and play together all of  the time. Nyx is still faster though, but she has been running for a year now...She is such a clown. She is always busy, chewing on cardboard in the studio, unrolling toilet paper, and wanting to kiss the other dogs. They all put up with her antics. 
So much fun, and thank you for thinking that she would be a perfect fit. She is!! Ty and I will be walking 55 minutes a week for the fit dog title. We will begin the first week in April. He already has a performance title. I will be taking Winter and Nyx also just to keep them busy. Nyx is starting her agility career working toward a 'Tunnels' title in UKC. We begin May 21. UKC does not offer a jumpers and weaves course, but last fall they started offering a 'jumpers'  title and a 'tunnels' title. She loves tunnels so this will be a good starting point."
The Ty Judy refers to is another of her Joyslyn Lhasas.
From Priscilla about the adorable Trixie: "Just a short note to send you a picture of Trixie, taken on March 4, 2023–her one-year birthday. She loves playing with Ozzie (another one of your Lhasas, who turned 8 on December 30th). Trixie is a very affectionate and happy girl. She enjoys chasing and playing with Ozzie, and sitting on one of her humans and giving them kisses. Such a joy!"

Paul sent this picture and asked when I started breeding frogs! LOL ... I love it when the dogs stretch themselves out like that. They look so comfortable!

Steve wrote about Bogey, "our family bought “Bogey” from you last May.  He just turned 1 on March 1st.  He is doing great and we love him to death!"
Cathy wrote about Willow: "It has been 5 days since she was spayed. She is doing well and is acting and moving like she never had the surgery! She is a very healthy puppy. Had a woman stop me and ask at a walking trail this morning about Willow and asked me where I purchased her. She maybe contacting you. Says her mom's dog passed and wants another dog. I told her that you were great! With love from me and Willow!!!!"  I am always proud when my Lhasas are good ambassadors for the breed.
Dianna wrote, "Congratulations on celebrating 50 years of owning Lhasa’s!  What a joy!!  We are at 21 years of owning Lhasas...Our current vet met Miika and said, “I don’t normally tell people this but she is so well behaved and sweet that if she wasn’t fixed I’d suggest you breed her.”  That is something I would love to do again someday, but not with just any dogs.  I agree, I fear for the breed.You are the closest breeder I was able to find that I would be willing to support with a purchase. In Michigan I don’t believe there are any.  Most people that see Miika assume that she is a Shih Tzu. Our vet has told us we may be their only client with a lhasa apso and it is not a small clinic."

From Jan, Mike, and Pebbles: "Just wanted to touch base with you and say Happy Birthday to Millie.  Can you believe that our BEAUTIFUL pups are FOUR (4) years old.  The time has went so fast. And what Mike and I have been trained to do.LOL The first picture is of her going for a ride to the rock quarry. She loves it.  Second is of her just being cute.❤️" Pebbles is Millie's litter sister. I was trying to decide which one to keep and basically had to pull a name out of a hat because the two girls were so similar. Here are two pictures of Miss Pebbles.

Julie and Jerry wrote about Bekka, "We love this dog!  She gets cuter, more loving and more fun every day!  Thank you, again!"

Gwen sent this photo of Mozart captioned "First points." Hurray!!! Congratulations Gwen and Mozart! Mozart is an Archie x Millie daughter.

Michelle wrote that Sunny got a new crate. "We had to get Sunny a new crate. Of course he’d rather lounge on the chaise by the window until he has to alert us about something going on in the hood! Our boy chipped his left canine tooth and had to have dental surgery to remove it on the 10th. We think it might have happened from biting the wire on the old crate so looked for something he can’t get his teeth around. He bites the outdoor pen too so we have to watch him closely. He’s definitely got a mind of his own!  He’s been doing very well, you’d never know he had surgery. Soft food for 2 weeks and no chew toys…. He wants to play with his piggy! I’ll have to take video of him once he can play, just a couple more days! Hope you, your family and the dogs are all doing well!"

Vickie sent this picture of Quincy.

And Nanda sent this one of her look-a-likes, Ty and Gigi, who are full brother and sister from different breedings. Gigi is the younger of the two. 

You might recall the story of Minnie, the puppy born weighing 2.7 ounces. She recently visited us, weighing in at a bit over 7 lbs. at a year old. She is still a mini! Here is a picture of her with Ebony. Those two had so much fun together!

Puppy News
Unfortunately, there is no puppy news. We bred Pearl, but it is highly doubtful that she is pregnant. We have an appointment for an ultrasound next week to be sure.
I am so disappointed, as I am sure those of you on the waiting list will be when you read this news. My next show puppy was supposed to be in this litter. We probably will not have puppies now until fall because we put all our hope into this breeding instead of also breeding another of our girls who was in season at the same time.
Upcoming Shows
We are taking April off, but will be back in the ring again in May. The Mississippi Valley Cluster (4 shows) will be the 11th-14th in Davenport, IA. May 26-29 is the Heart of Illinois Cluster in Bloomington, IL. If you live near to either cluster, come to the show to see us. 
Other Things That Mostly Have Nothing to Do with Lhasas
First, Lynn's new novel is now available from Amazon and soon book stores and libraries. It is the 4th in the Detective Joe Erickson series and is titled One of Ours. And, yes, it has a Lhasa in it! Look for One of Ours by Lynn-Steven Johanson. Early reviews have been positive. 
Second, a bit of trivia. Did you know that the inventor of Monopoly was a woman who lived in Macomb, IL? Her name was Lizzie Magie, and she is described as "a radical who created a board game, called the Landlord's Game, as an anti-land ownership teaching tool that eventually inspired Monopoly." Our county museum has a section about her, and PBC recently aired a program about her. If you are interested, there is more on the internet, of course. Locally, we have our own version of the game:
From Google: "
The Landlord's Game is a board game patented in 1904 by Elizabeth Magie as U.S. Patent 748,626. It is a realty and taxation game intended to educate users about Georgism. It is the inspiration for the 1935 board game Monopoly." Read more: Monopoly's Inventor: The Progressive Who Didn't Pass Go.

Next: Thinking about getting a second Lhasa? This article may help you as you plan for the new addition: "So You Want Another Lhasa!" I wrote it about 13 years ago, but the advice is still applicable.
Finally, the usual reminder...

Thanks for reading. If you own a Joyslyn's Lhasa be sure to send me photos and comments for posting. People tell me they enjoy seeing others' dogs and reading about them. I really appreciate those of you who keep in touch.

Happy Spring!