Monday, March 4, 2024

March -- Spring At Last??


"March is a tomboy with tousled hair, a mischievous smile, mud on her shoes and a laugh in her voice."
~ Hal Borland

Happy Spring everyone! And while the daffodils may not yet be blooming in your garden and while the weather people are still forecasting some cold windy days, the promise of spring is in the air. 

Let's also keep in mind that March is Women's History Month. We women need to take time to read about the many brave women who throughout the history of our country stepped up and fought for women's rights to be treated equally and paid equally. We are not there yet! That is for sure. But these brave women have paved our way and inspired each generation of females to stand up until equality is ours. Google "Famous Women in American History" and take a few extra minutes each day to read up on a few of them.

"As women achieve power, the barriers will fall. As society sees what women can do, as women see what women can do, there will be more women out there doing things, and we'll all be better off for it." 
~Ruth Bader Ginsburg

What's Going on Here
February was over quickly around here. We went to a dog show and had fun, but both my dogs totally bombed. That show was Ebony's "swan song." She loves going to shows and hanging out. She doesn't mind showing off her beautiful movement going around the ring. Her tail is never down. However, she HATES strangers touching her! Every judge is a stranger. I love her too much to put her through the fear of the table exam.

My big disappointment was the puppy Deacon. This was his first show experience and the crowds and noise got to him. He went around the ring with tail down. Both of his judges, Bob Hutton and Jason Hoke, were absolutely wonderful with him, talking to him and encouraging him. I do think if there had been another dog in the ring with him to follow, he may have relaxed, but he was the only male showing.

Better luck next time, I guess!

Here is a picture taken at the show of Deacon and me with LaVonne and her Misti (on the left) and Adrian on the right.

And another of just Adrian and Deacon.

If you follow me on FB, you know that I brought a Lhasa named Kuper home from the show with me. His owners asked that I find him a new home. With the help of American Lhasa Apso Club members on behalf of ALAC Rescue, Kuper found a new home within 5 days. Here are pictures of him.

Another thing that came home from the show with me was a terrible cold! I hoped it was not Covid, so took a Covid test and was relieved to find out it was not Covid. In case you were not aware, e
very home in the U.S. is eligible to order from the CDC 4 free at-⁠home tests. If you did not order 4 tests in the fall of 2023, you can place two orders for a total of 8 tests.
What's coming Up
I need to get over the rest of the cold symptoms quickly because next week we will be on the road again to Louisville for shows. I, along with my friend Jan, will be co-presenting the ALAC Lhasa Apso seminar to judges who want to add the Lhasa to the list of breeds they judge. I enjoy giving that seminar -- always a teacher at heart! I just hope I have my normal voice back by then! This cold has taken a toll on my throat.

We return from Louisville on a famous March day of celebration: St. Patrick's Day.

  • "There's the joy of ole' Killarney, in these wishes meant for you; There's a bit of Irish blarney, and a touch of magic too. There's a wish of lots of laughter, and good luck, be sure o' that; And a wish that all your dreams may come true in no time flat." ~Irish toast
Our show after returning from Louisville is in Maquoketa, IA, on March 23 and 24. Then there is a hiatus in April while I lay around following cataract surgery. 

Spring is the time for new life! If the breeding resulted in pregnancy, we should have April puppies. I love Lhasa puppies!

Show Prospect vs Pet
Because I am often asked, "What is the difference between a show prospect and a pet puppy?" I am sharing the following article from my website. The site contains a lot more helpful and interesting articles so I hope, if you have not already visited and read some of the articles, that you find time to do so.

What Makes a Puppy a "Show Puppy?"

by Joyce Johanson

When people call me to ask questions about the Lhasa Apso or to inquire about puppies Joyslyn's might have for sale, I am often asked to explain the difference between "show" and "pet" quality puppies. I find the difference often hard to explain without leaving the impression that "show" means "good" and "pet" means "bad." I have many times heard breeders (myself included) refer to a puppy in a litter as "just a pet", inferring that there's something wrong with him. What qualities are necessary for a puppy to be labeled a "show quality puppy?" And what lack of qualities cause a puppy to be "just a pet?"

There is often a fine line between what is considered "show" or "pet" quality, and two breeders evaluating the same puppy may come up with different answers, depending on what they value in a dog. Some people like a refined Lhasa and will sell more heavily-boned puppies to pet homes. Some like a Lhasa with a longer muzzle, so if there happens to be a shorter-muzzled puppy in the litter, it gets sold to a pet home. I could go on and on in this vein. The point is, for every quality one breeder values, another breeder may decide that it is an undesirable trait, and label the puppy "just a pet." These qualities do not necessarily have to be structural. Many a breeder has agonized over the "absolutely breathtaking" puppy that is a shy violet that could never withstand the rigors of the show circuit.

Usually, to a person with little knowledge of canine structure or the Lhasa Apso standard, there is no difference between the classifications "show" and "pet" unless the puppy in question has some obvious flaw, such as a pink nose, a parrot mouth, a grossly undershot bite, or a poor topline.

What it boils down to is this: if you want a Lhasa Apso as your family pet, and you have no intentions of ever showing, then don't feel that your potential puppy is being downgraded by breeders' jargon, the reference to "pet" quality. More important to you than a straight front, lovely movement, level bite or all those other things "show" people might admire is that your Lhasa puppy have a great dispostion and fit in with your family's lifestyle. And don't apologize to people for having "just a pet." Showing is definitely NOT for everyone!

However, if you are looking for a Lhasa to show, keep in mind that dog showing is expensive and you want as high a quality puppy as possible to be competitive. If you buy an older puppy or young adult, you have more of an idea of structure and "show quality" than if you buy a young puppy. Many breeders will advertise their older puppies as "show quality" and their younger ones as having "show potential," simply because there are times when even an experienced breeder finds it hard to predict exactly how a young puppy will develop.

Sometimes a buyer will ask, "If I buy this 'show puppy' will you guarantee that it will get a championship?" My answer? NO! Why? Because so much depends on the buyer and what he/she does with the puppy after it leaves my house. Will the puppy be socialized, taken places to get used to different people, sounds, and smells? Will the buyer train the puppy correctly? Will the puppy's coat be groomed and conditioned properly? There are many aspects to showing a dog that go far beyond the dog's structure.

Concerned breeders carefully evaluate puppies before choosing a show potential puppy for themselves or their puppy buyers. They want the Lhasas in the ring with their kennel prefixes to be as outstanding as possible. They want what they consider the best of what they have produced out there speaking well of their breeding programs.

Also keep in mind that show quality includes attitude as well as structure and movement. An average Lhasa that has that "look at me! I'm special!" attitude often has a competitive edge over the more structurally sound dog that is not excited about being in the ring.

And don't forget that "there is no perfect dog." There is something about every Lhasa that someone would like to change: "He's got a great profile, but he holds his tail on the wrong side." "He has a lovely head, but I'd like to see a little less muzzle." "His movement is to die for, but I wish he were an inch shorter!" "He has lovely straight forelegs but lacks shoulder layback." etc...

Even when a breeder keeps a show potential puppy for himself it's usually a matter of trade-offs. He decides what quality or qualities he really wants (or needs) in his line and what traits he's willing to overlook to get them. He might say, for example, "I don't mind a bite that's a little undershot but cannot tolerate a bad topline." or "I don't mind that slight curve to his upper foreleg because he has the rear I've been looking for." or "This dog has the neck I'm looking for; I can live with his soft coat."

Each Lhasa was born to love and be loved, and whether that Lhasa is a family pet or top dog in the country, he is loved as "pet" and deserves to be "Best of Breed" in the hearts of his owners.

Please note: Permission to reproduce and/or circulate information in this article is granted. However, the article must be disseminated in its entirety and credit must be given to Joyce Johanson, Joyslyn's Lhasa Apsos. Thanks!


Notes and Photos From Others
Kathy G. wrote, "A note regarding Sophie—Since she turned 8 in October, when I took her for her annual vet check-up in December, she qualified (for a fee) for “senior” in-depth bloodwork and urinalysis.  The vet called me personally to give me the results.  She said, “I seldom see results like these!  Sophie is in PERFECT health!  You must be doing everything right!”  I told her that the secret was good genetics!  Thank you for a healthy girl, who’s still going strong!"

Sally, Jaxon, and Ginger sent Valentine's Day greetings. 

Doreen wrote about Henry, "He just came home from the groomer and has his vday kerchief on. He’s doing great-sweet as can be. Loves to run and wrestle with his big bro..I mean really big..Auggie hopefully is full grown now at 70 pounds. They patrol the yard together and love to sit on the patio together watching the world go by. Henry loves his walks and always has to lead the pack. Despite the size difference, Henry is the alpha. We couldn’t love him any more. Thanks so much for this sweet, funny boy. "

Paul sent this picture and update on Rocky/Rusty: " We went for a ride on Tuesday,  Rocky stood up all the way to Oshkosh and back looking out the window.  He loves to look at different things. 
As you can see below,  he was really tired the next day,  passed out in his recliner..."

Marilyn wrote, "I’m so glad to hear that your hacking situation is behind you. It seems like you have to constantly be alert to something about to happen...Just going through all the passwords and contacts seems like a daunting undertaking. I had sent photos of Maci and Hunter right around Dec. 30th, Maci’s 9th birthday. Duncan and Windy should be proud of their offspring! Maci is a beautiful girl with an attitude! Hunter is also a true testament to the breed, proud, loyal, and wary of strangers. Kimmi and Rafe produced a handsome boy. Good luck at the upcoming shows. Spring is in the air!"

From Michelle:
"We sold the motorhome ...and bought a smaller travel trailer for new adventures. We are going to TX for a couple of weeks and of course Sunny is going along for the adventure! I love that we can have him without us in our tiny home! We have a new little crate for him. I think he will do better traveling in the comfort of the truck. He always got anxious in the motorhome. I’ll send you some pictures of him on the trip!"

Victoria wrote, "Here’s a picture of Honey. (2 1/2 years old). We continue to be in love with her- she’s the center of our universe and the kids enjoy every minute covering her with kisses  ! She’s loyal, loving, spoiled and she knows it- ha! also she’s the best snuggler ever! We just love our spoiled Lhasa ! Can’t imagine a life without her. Thank you for making it all possible for us.

A note from Linda B: "I had Mary R's sister of Belle ; Gracie, Xmas puppies. Gracie was not into sports, she had a lot of love in her. When my husband was dying she was always with him. When the nurses came to the house, she would lay in his lap and they would work around Gracie. She would check to see what they were giving him. It will be two years in July that Gracie  died of lung cancer. I have now Daisy (Joyce puppy) who takes care of me."

Judy L sent me these before and after photos of Lippy, featuring an attractive new hair style and purple hair color accents! What fun, Lippy! And just in time to celebrate your 2nd birthday!

Minnie, Lippy's litter sister had a special treat for her second birthday.

Cherry posted this picture of her way back in 1981 when she got her Lhasa puppy, Andy, from me. She showed and finished him and the next thing I knew, she was showing Chihuahuas!

Courtney sent these pictures of her Amelia.

I wish I had had that second picture to include in the article I wrote about Lhasa color change for Show Sight Magazine's January issue! This photo describes it perfectly!


Show Sight Magazine invited me to participate in its the Non-Sporting Group feature. Here is the URL if you want to read it.

I guess I need to be less of a stickler about rules which, in this case, said 300 words! I see that others didn't care about the 300 word limit!! Darn...I could have written so much more!

The American Lhasa Apso Club has a brand new look and, if you are familiar with the old ALAC website, you will be pleasantly surprised! It is lovely and easy to navigate. The URL is still

Let's Talk About Legislation
"From the American Kennel Club's Government Relations Department:

New Hampshire House Bill 1102, describes brachycephaly as a “birth deformity that causes suffering” and would CRIMINALIZE the sale and breeding of brachycephalic dogs and any dog that could be claimed to have a birth deformity.

On Tuesday, March 5, at 1PM, the New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider HB 1102, “Defining Animal Cruelty,” in a public hearing.  The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the New Hampshire Dogs Owners of the Granite State (NH DOGS) are in strong opposition to HB 1102, which describes brachycephaly as a “birth deformity that causes suffering” and would CRIMINALIZE the sale and breeding of brachycephalic dogs and any dog that could be claimed to have a birth deformity

HB 1102 is one of the most egregious anti-breeding bills introduced in a state legislature over the past decade.  While it may appear that this bill only targets a subset of breeders, its expansive language actually targets breeders of all dogs. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the New Hampshire Dogs Owners of the Granite State (NH DOGS) believes it is imperative that all New Hampshire breeders, owners, and residents, and AKC-affiliated clubs in New Hampshire and national breed parent clubs express strong opposition to HB 1102.  

Summary of HB 1102:

  • Labels brachycephaly as an animal deformity that causes suffering.
  • Adds the sale and breeding of brachycephalic animals to the state’s criminal definition of animal cruelty.
  • Adds the intentional breeding of two animals with “the same birth deformity that causes suffering” to the state’s criminal definition of animal cruelty.
  • Provides for the criminal prosecution of breeders.

Talking Points in Opposition to HB 1102 (As Introduced):

  • HB 1102 will devastate New Hampshire’s ability to produce purebred dogs and will establish a dangerous precedent for radical legislative proposals around the country.
  • HB 1102 inaccurately concludes that all brachycephalic animals, including dogs, suffer from serious health issues. In reality, brachycephaly does not equal unhealthy. Across all dog types, multiple factors can contribute to differences in dogs’ breathing, including physical condition, environment, and genetics.  Nevertheless, all breeding of brachycephalic breeds–regardless of respiratory quality, breeder background, fancier status, or club affiliation—will be a criminal act under HB 1102, which will have a chilling effect on all responsible dog breeding.
  • HB 1102 inaccurately implies that all who breed dogs do so without regard for the dogs’ welfare. Facts demonstrate that responsible purebred dog breeders are passionate about both preserving breed characteristics and producing healthier successive generations
  • Protecting and promoting responsible breeders and the puppies they produce is a better solution than threatening them with criminal prosecution based on inaccurate information that creates a perverse incentive for New Hampshire residents to buy puppies online that are not protected by New Hampshire consumer protection laws.
  • By banning intentional breeding when a “birth deformity causes suffering”, HB 1102 targets all breeds regardless of phenotype. Breeding dogs is part art and part science; and despite best efforts chance plays a part when it comes to inherited disease or health conditions.
  • HB 1102 is unconstitutionally vague. There is no way to know for each breed type how the provisions of HB 1102 would be interpreted and enforced.
  • New Hampshire’s pet buyers would be better served through enforcement and strengthening of its consumer protection laws for pet purchasers."

What follows is a list of brachycephalic dogs (i.e., short-nosed breeds):


American Staffordshire Terrier

Boston Terrier


Brussels Griffon

Bull Dog

Bull Mastiff

Cane Corso

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


Chinese Shar Pei

Chow Chow

Dogue de Bordeaux

French Bulldog

Lhasa Apso!!!!

Japanese Chin


Neapolitan Mastiff





Shih Tzu

Tibetan Spaniel

Yorkshire Terrier

Many of these breeds, such as the Lhasa, have been in existence for hundreds of years. And even if your favorite breed is not on the list, there is always a new list waiting in the wings.

I keep thinking of the old Niemoller poem that began "First they came for the  __________ and I did not speak up because I was not a ________ .... " and went on in that vein until it ended with "Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me." 

Yes, that is (for now) just New Hampshire but a passage of such a law in one state can easily gain popularity in other states. Did you notice that Lhasas are on that list? I hate to think that I would be convicted of animal cruelty by breeding a litter of my beloved Lhasas. I am sure the breeders of all those other breeds feel the same. 

On that Distressing Note....
Thanks for reading. Wish us luck in the ring and during the seminar presentation. 

Happy Easter!


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