Choices …

CH Everglo Zijuh Tomba

I have long been an advocate for rescue, taking in dogs that need a second … or third or fourth … chance at a new home. However, I also respect those owners who decide that, for their lifestyle and family, a predictable and purpose-bred dog is the better choice. IOW, they know what the size of the dog is going to be as an adult, what type of temperament it will have and the grooming requirements of a specific breed. They will also have that breeder behind them — and the dog — for the life of the dog.

I came across this recent posting on FB and wanted to share it …

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“I have been helping a friend find a puppy. She wants a specific breed, for a specific purpose, with a specific temperament. I have found her several responsible breeders who I think would have puppies that would fit all of her criteria. Then she says to me, “I just want you to know that I am not spending $1,000 on a dog. Not when so many need homes.” And you know, if that was the end of what she said, and she wanted help finding a rescue dog, I would have been all about helping her. But she is still not opposed to buying a puppy… just not one for $1,000. So, at first, it didn’t really register what she said, but as I thought about it, I became more and more offended. Because basically what she said to me was that as a responsible breeder, my dogs are not worth any more than Joe-shmoe’s down the block… that all the time, effort, and money that I have put into health testing, temperament testing, training, proving, and selecting my dogs for breeding has no value. I have to say, this really got under my skin. Maybe it’s because I have driven my girls as far as CA to breed to the most perfect stud dog that I could find… or that I just spent over $2,000 on progesterone tests, and I still don’t have a litter to show for it… or maybe it’s because I have proven my dog’s over and over again, and it just plain pissed me off that someone doesn’t see the value in that.

So, what do you get for a $1,000 puppy? Proven temperament and trainability… mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and great-grand parents for many generations are trained and temperament tested- and they have been to a million dog shows, earning titles to prove it all. Proven health… mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and great grand parents for many generations have had their hips, elbows, knees, eyes, heart, & thyroid tested, they are clear of all genetic disease that I can possibly know of. They are to breed standard… which may not mean a lot to you, but it should. It’s what keeps a Rottweiler from looking like a Black and Tan Coonhound, or a Bernese Mountain dog. It’s what maintains structure and soundness, and what makes a breed a breed. You also get me. You get a knowledgeable breeder and expert in your breed. You can call me day or night, and even on holidays. I am there for you through all your joys and frustrations, sickness and health. I will do anything I need to do to make sure that owning one of my puppies is the most wonderful experience of your life. You have the peace of mind knowing that no matter what ever happens to you, your dog, your best friend, has a safe place to live out the rest of his life.

So what about that $400 puppy out of the paper? You get a puppy with unknown temperament, health and type. You get nothing else. You can potentially get a dog genetically predisposed to fears and aggression, a dog with debilitating health issues, a dog who will never be able to fulfill the goals that you have set out for him. And if you ever needed to return that dog (life can sometimes throw you a curve ball), that person will not take your 5- or 8- or 10-year old dog back … you will be stuck putting your dog up for adoption or euthanizing him.

So, who’s making money? I have never actually figured it out, but I would guess that I lose about $1,000/puppy. I don’t breed dogs to make money. I breed dogs because I love my breed and I believe that there are wonderful people out there who should have the opportunity to own wonderful dogs. The person selling the $400 puppy is making a profit of about $350/puppy. That person breeds purely for profit. Oh, I am sure they love their dogs, and their breed, but not enough to be any benefit to anyone other than themselves.

I guess people don’t really understand value. It is not about the price you pay, but what you are getting for that price. And in the end, if what you are getting for $1,000 is not worth anything to you, then by all means, the $400 puppy is a much better value.”

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It’s all about choices, folks. If your choice is to open your heart/home to a rescue dog, then I’m behind you 100% and will help you find that perfect match. Conversely, if your selection is a well-bred dog from a responsible breeder, I can respect the thought process and reasoning behind that choice as well.  For some, the allure of a dog bred to type goes beyond the health and temperament, connecting one to the rich history and culture of the sturdy mountain dog as a landrace in it’s native country … Tibet.

Paws on the Promenade 2015

Sammy & Budha, waiting for breakfast ...

Sammy & Budha, waiting for breakfast …

Update:  Sammy and Budha were adopted this past weekend (June 20th).  Wishing them and their new owner many happy, healthy years together.  And we are just thrilled that the new owner decided to take them both … dogs are pretty darned happy too!

Always a good time to interact with the dog community … Paws on the Promenade at the Shops at Centerra!  Come on out and join the fun on Saturday, May 16th with a variety of events as noted below.  We’ll be there with our foster Tzus, Sammy (l) and Budha (r), for a meet/greet.  Hopefully, the weather will be better by Saturday … anything but pouring rain or blowing snow!

Sammy is a five-year old Tzu that would love to find a retired or semi-retired couple on which to work his charms.  He’s a cuddle bug and gets along well with other small dogs.

Budha is a two-year old Tzu, originally from Wyoming.  We think he looks like Toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon.” A sweet boy, he’d do well with with an active couple and gets along with other small dogs.

10th Annual Paws on the PromenadeSaturday, May 16, 2015
10 am to 3 pm at the Main Plaza, the Shops at CenterraIt’s a fun-filled day for you and your dog!  Enjoy giveaways, dog adoptions, live demonstrations by the Larimer County Sheriff K9 Unit and the Longmont Fire Arson Dog, Yappy Hour, dog contests for prizes & so much more!

Schedule of Events:
10:00am    4-H Agility Demonstration
11:00am    Dog Costume Contest
11:30am    Larimer County Sheriff K9 Demonstration
12:30pm    Longmont Fire Arson Dog Demonstration
1:00pm      Dog Trick Contest
2:00pm      Yappy Hour

This event is free and open to the public.

Gracie …

Gracie ...

Gracie …

Update:  Gracie has found her new family and was adopted!!

Calling folks in the Midwest … or someone willing to travel/fly!  Gracie is a retired champion looking for a home to call her own.  Some things prospective adoptive families should know:

  • Is a heavy chewer and will need plenty of good chews;
  • Loves attention, to the point of pushing out other dogs for attention (this is a training issue, under resource guarding);
  • Needs a fenced yard to run and play (no invisible fencing allowed);
  • Is crate trained;
  • Needs a home with someone home most of the time or working less than 40 hours a week;
  • Needs to be an only dog or with only one other dog in the house; and
  • An experienced dog owner, someone with no young children.

Please see the flyer for contact more info; an application process is required.  If interested, please contact: jen@sunriselhasaapsos.com.

The Littles …

Shih Tzus, Sammy & Budha

Our latest fosters have arrived and are settling in.  With new dogs, I never know what to expect out of the ordinary or what issues will arise while integrating them into the household routine.  Other than knowing that “something” always comes up.

Assessments are made as to whether or not they are crate trained and clean in their crates … are they housetrained or do we need to utilize belly bands for a while … can they be transitioned over to a new food or will they decide to go on a three-day fast when presented with a new kibble?  Kibble wasn’t the issue, it was the bowl … Budha will only eat out of a particular bowl.   Will they sleep through the night in a crate and continue to sleep quietly well past the dark hours that see hubby up/out of the house?  Can they tell me they need to go outside or should we just count on potty runs every couple hours or so?  How will Teller react to them and vice versa … what’s the best option for integrating the three males together so they get along without it becoming an indoor pissing contest (literally and figuratively).  If they don’t get along, who is the instigator?

Sammy and Budha are, at first glance, two peas in a pod.  Both small, both black and both very similar in facial expression, Hubby is having a hard time telling them apart without looking at their collars … lime green for Sammy and bright red for Budha.  Sammy is the more reserved of the two while Budha is a happy outgoing fellow.  Sammy is content just to hang on the back of the couch or nestled in the couch pillows while Budha works at getting every. single. toy. strewn across the front room from not one – but two – toy boxes.

Budha chillin' on the footstool

Budha chillin’ on the footstool

We’re finding the moment needed to make a verbal correction about something is lost as we try to figure out what dog’s name we need to be speaking in that correction.  While Hubby hasn’t resorted to calling them both “Larry” because he can’t remember their names, I suspect it’s only a matter of time.  We are, however, referring to them as “the Littles.”  At about two-thirds the size of the two male Apsos in the house, it fits them perfectly.  Can’t say “the boys” because – with the exception of yours truly – everything in the house is male!  Then it would become a question of “the big boys or the little boys?”  So, the Littles it is.

Once through the assessment period and vetting procedures, Sammy (age 5) and Budha (age 2) will be looking for a home(s) of their own here in Colorado.  Ideally, I’d like them placed together but am well aware of the realities of placing a pair.  If interested, please contact me directly at: ApsoRescue@aol.com.  Please note we require an e-application, vet and personal reference checks and, finally, a home visit.  Sorry, no out-of-state placements.

 

 

 

Sabbatical …

After a year off the blog, it’s time to return.  Suffice it to say that a herniated cervical disc drastically limited after work computer time for most of 2014.  By a stroke of luck, acceptance in an FDA study for an artificial disc and a surgery in September finally stopped the chronic neck pain/arm numbness when nothing else worked.  So, here we are again.

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Daisy n/k/a Piper

Last year was slow for rescue with only one intake, Daisy.  Daisy came from a shelter in Aurora, Colorado via a family who quickly realized their lifestyle didn’t mesh with dog ownership.  Thankfully, they took the time to search out rescue to ensure she would be placed appropriately and find a good home.  A darling little thing at only eight pounds, she made up for her petite size with a big personality.  Daisy was placed with a family in Casper, WY who adopted Kersey from us many years ago.  Promptly named “Piper,” I have it on good authority that she’s spoiled rotten by Jan and Neal.

Christmas brought news of Lucy doing well in Westminster … Bubba n/k/a Max is living the good life … Murphy, our long-legged boy is enjoying life with his family.  Mary reported that we’d lost Kalsang to age … I know with certainty that the best years of his life were spent with Mary.  John, Neil and “the boys” are doing well in their new home in Oregon; Andy, our puppy mill survivor, has positively blossomed in their care.  As a foster home for rescue, their presence is greatly missed here in Colorado!  PippyDo and BellaToo were getting ready for a move to Covington, Louisiana to become real southern belles.  Judy advised that Magoo is doing remarkably well despite his blindness and advanced age.  Katu and Emmy are keeping Trudy amused with their antics.

Best of Opposite Sex

Best of Opposite Sex

On the show front, Teller completed his championship in August and went on to pick up Best of Opposite Sex in the Maturity classes at the American Lhasa Apso Club’s National Specialty in St. Louis this past October.  While there, we visited the Missouri Botanical Garden, the oldest botanic garden west of the Mississippi.  We could have spent the entire week wandering the grounds!  Teller is now retired from the ring, preferring to ride the couch rather than the show circuit.

Rescue is ramping up with an intake here very shortly.  Unfortunately, due to a death in the family and other circumstances, Sammy, our little black Tzu, is coming back into rescue.  And he’s bringing a friend with him … Budha, another little black Tzu!  Ideally, we’d like them to go together but are all too aware of the realities of placing a pair in the same home.  In any event, we’re off and running for 2015.

Spicewood SaltAs if all that wasn’t enough, we recently launched our e-business, SpicewoodSalt.com.  Some of you know the product as “Little Lion Dog Master Salt Blend.”  With a new name, new logo, new packaging, two new products, a website and a Facebook page, we’re officially open for business!  As part of the global community, a portion of our proceeds will be donated to rescue.  Visit the Facebook page and say hello or just browse the website.

 

Of Yard Guards and Bird Dogs …

Spring has arrived here in Colorado … one day it’s almost 70 degrees and then we have a 50 degree drop in temps and snow falling.  Warmer weather brings to mind getting out in the yard, even if only a tease through February, March and April — typically our major snow months.  Like the human residents of the household, the dogs also enjoy spending more time in the yard, especially when the x-pen “snow fencing” comes down and they have run of the entire grassed area.  High on their “to-do list” is grabbing a Frisbee on the way out the door as one can always coax Dad or Mom to throw it for them.  The fact they actually bring it back and drop it at your feet certainly makes it easy to oblige their happy request.

On duty ...

On duty …

Frankers was our first “retriever” and, in later years, got to where snagging the Frisbee and then laying in the grass playing with it was more fun than having to chase it down again.  You want it … you come get it!!!  Summer days were spent checking out his pee mail and generally being lazy.  Unless you were a bird or squirrel.  Varmint visitors and nuisance birds were cause for a race across the yard to chase them from the premises.  Many years ago, he actually injured his sacroiliac joint bouncing up/down at the base of the ash tree in the corner of the yard and/ or chasing them down the fence line (the vet advised that this is an injury very common to the “treeing” breeds).  One of the reasons we put the x-pen fencing up, keeping the dogs confined to the grass areas only.  While he had a decent recovery from the initial injury with the use of anti-inflammatories and acupuncture, the injury would follow him down the years.

He was my first ever male dog.  He arrived as an 8-month old “home school” project.  I was to work on his house manners and then help find him a home.  Ali, however, had other plans.  She had been with us a year and was completely bored with the human company despite our many activities.  The bond forged between the two of them secured his place in our home.  A sweet boy.  A quirky boy.  A little old man even as a young dog.  My velcro dog, he could always be found just steps from wherever I was located.  Second to being near me, his favorite place was the yard … his self-claimed dogdom.

frankali

Tramping in the Tetons …

His passing on March 14th marks a sad milestone.  He was the last of the original “family” … Boogins, Ali and Frankers.  Memories rush in but cannot replace his quiet presence.  My second shadow.  Sleep well little one … you’ve earned your rest.

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Summertime … and the livin’ is easy

Soapbox …

The following post has been making the rounds on Facebook … couldn’t have said it better myself.  And, yes, I own three dogs from responsible breeders.  Dogs who have the qualities and characteristics that make an Apso “an Apso” … something that can’t be said about the dogs coming from the mills or backyard breeders.  And, yes, I know this first hand from my work in rescue, taking in dogs that were produced in the mills and backyards.  There really is a difference …

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“Neither Of My Dogs Killed a Shelter Dog” – Our favorite Facebook status update in awhile [from Showsight magazine].

A big thanks to dog lover (and Facebook friend) Michelle Gonsalves, for this well worded commentary on “purebred dogs creating shelter dogs”. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Over the years there’s been a growing number of uninformed voices rallying against the wonderful LOVING world of dog shows and ANY form of dog breeding. We thank Michelle, and any other people brave enough to speak up on the subject!

“Neither Of My Dogs Killed a Shelter Dog”

A Facebook Status update by Michelle Gonsalves – Reprinted by permission.

I am NOT ashamed to be the owner of two responsibly bred dogs.  Neither of my dogs killed a shelter dog.  Neither of my dogs took a shelter dog’s home.  Neither of them added to pet overpopulation.  If I didn’t have them, I just would not have a dog.

Do you know what kills shelter dogs?  Irresponsible owners kill shelter dogs.  They kill them when they don’t do their research and add the wrong dog to the wrong household, then ditch it to die at a shelter when they can’t or don’t care to properly care for it.

Let’s not forget that in many breeds, it was responsible breeders who started their breed’s national rescue club.  Not to save their own dogs (which don’t need saving), but to save the dogs that they never bred.  To save the ones that don’t have safety nets.  Responsible breeders did that.  They did that in IGs [Italian Greyhounds].  I was interviewed more intensely to buy my two responsibly bred dogs than I ever interviewed a rescue candidate.  I had supervised visitation … multiple times.  I don’t even own them outright, they are on co-ownership, so that if anything ever happens to me they will go back to their breeder (yes, even the neutered one).

How do I know this will come to pass>  I’ve seen her do it with another of her dogs when the owner died unexpectedly.  And I saw her do it with my own dog when I nearly died myself.  No questions asked, she opened her home to him for as long as I needed her to … potentially forever, if it came to that.  Because that’s what responsible breeders do.  And trust me, I researched until I found a responsible breeder.

Added to that, I am PROUD of the responsible breeders in this country who work SO hard to preserve our wonderful breed.  Without them, the IG would be an unsound, neurotic, unhealthy creature.  Not the elegant, sweet, healthy blessing that I love so much.  Without responsible breeders, we’d never have gotten the amazing genetic health tests for enamel hypoplasia, the vonWildebrand’s test, the CDA test or the PRA test that are on their way.  Without breeders, the domestic dog would CEASE TO BE!  I do not ever want to live in a world without dogs.  What a terrible place that would be, yet so many professed animal lovers are campaigning through shaming to create just such a world.  Because that’s what it means when you say things like “adopt don’t shop,” “don’t breed while shelter dogs die,” and “people who buy dogs from breeders should be ashamed of themselves.”

What do you think will happen if we sterilize all dogs?  What do you think will happen if all breeders stop breeding?  You’d very quickly lose the rare breeds and the giant breeds FOREVER.  Wait a bit more and you’d lose important genetic diversity, causing untold suffering for dogs that have to come from increasingly small gene pools.  And then, the dog — man’s best friend — would become extinct.  Gone the way of the Dodo.  Gone forever.  So shame on YOU!  Shame on you for hating dogs!

I am not ashamed of my dogs.  I am not ashamed of their breeder, who is an amazing person who has given so much of herself for this and other breeds.  I am not ashamed of my extended family all around the world in the sport of dogs.  And I am not ashamed of myself for daring to want a responsibly bred dog that fits my lifestyle.

Blaming me for the death of shelter dogs is like blaming a parent for the death of orphans in Uganda because she chose to have a baby through pregnancy, rather than adopt one. I have never surrendered an animal in my life.  I have never caused the death of a dog in all my life.  So why don’t you focus your ire on the people who did — the people who dumped those dogs at the shelter.  They are the ones who left those dogs to die.  Not me.  Stop bashing your allies.  Stop the shaming.  We ALL need to work together for the good of dogs.  Because there are scary people out there who want your dog gone.  Who want your cat gone.  Who want the horse out of your paddock, the guide dog out of his harness, the chicken out of the coop and the cow out of the dairy.  Keep shilling their slick propaganda and shaming your fellow animal lovers and you help Animal Rights militants erase your dog from your very own home.

If anyone has a problem with that, feel free to unfriend me.