Lives more temporary than our own …


We recently had a scare with my 8-year old male, Frankie a/k/a “Frankers.”  While holding him during a chiropractic adjustment for an old injury earned chasing squirrels, I found a large swelling just under his jaw.  To say I was “surprised” is an understatement because I had just groomed him that morning and didn’t find anything amiss.

The first round of antibiotics prescribed were ineffective and his condition continued to deteriorate, including spiking a high fever and complete disinterest in food.  Given his lack of response to the antibiotics, a biopsy was taken of the node to determine what exactly was going on.  While under anesthesia for the biopsy, the vet checked his mouth and esophagus for any foreign body that might be a contributing factor.  Zip, nada, zilch … meaning no clue as to what was causing it or how the swelling came about.  In the meantime, we switched antibiotics in the hopes he would respond.

The biopsy finally came back and revealed a severe bacterial infection of the lymph node (does it come through that I’m not a patient person in some situations??).  A few days later, he began to respond to the antibiotic and we were advised he’d have to stay on it four to six weeks as lymph node infections can be difficult to clear up.  Weeks later, the node has returned to almost normal, as has Frankers.

Shortly thereafter, I came across an excellent excerpt article on National Public Radio (NPR).  Written by a vet — Nancy Kay, DVM — it provides valuble tools for dealing with aging/ill pets and making decisons on their behalf … Speaking for Spot.  If you own pets, this is definitely a “must read.”  For myself, I’m tucking the information away in my mental tool box.  A guidepost for when aging bodies begin to fail and emotions run high in the face of loss.

The complete book is available at

April 6th Update:   Today is a really, really good day for our household.  After months of dealing with Franker’s issues … first the hip/back injury and then the bacterial infection … I finally feel like I have my little guy back.  He’s playing with his toys, racing through the house, trying to get Ali to play with him, and bouncing up a full flight of steps from the basement (multiple times, no less).  A huge improvement over ten days ago when I had to carry him up the stairs because he couldn’t make it.  A week ago today, he had a chiropractic adjustment and a session of acupuncture.  I think what we’ll do now is explore the options for a maintenance program, something along the lines of once every 6-8 weeks (+/-)

2009 PetExpo …

2009 Loveland Pet Expo
2009 Loveland Pet Expo

Always a good time, we attended the 2009 Loveland Reporter-Herald PetExpo the end of February.  Preparation begins several weeks prior as we make arrangements for our exhibit space and submit photos for the insert that comes out in the paper.  While there is a fee for submitting pet photos, half of it goes to the Larimer Humane Society so we’re more than happy to help support the local shelter.  It’s also good incentive to have  current photos of our pets … a momento of their life when all that remains is a memory and a pawprint on our hearts.

As this was our fourth year of attending the Expo, packing the day before is down to a science … grab the storage tub containing our booth supplies, review the inventory of  educational handouts,  pull books from the home library, and then get it all in the vehicle.  Last, but certainly not least, the dog(s) that will be attending get a bath so as to put their best foot forward for the breed.  If a foster is not available to attend, our dogs are taken to serve as ambassadors for the breed.  I always try to have one in coat there as most people have never seen an Apso in full coat outside the show ring.  Makes for some very interesting conversations with the most frequent comment being, “You must have to brush this coat daily!”  The big surprise is … I don’t do daily grooming!

We arrive early to unload and get set up — table display and dogs in place before the crowds start to arrive.  Looking across the large room, I see many exhibitors from past years and some new faces.  Later on, we’ll take a break and go visit the other booths … bronze statues, K9 photographers, pet crematorium, pet cemetery, dog bakery, canine massage therapist, to name a few.  All interesting when one has the time to browse.

Dante saying "hello" to a friend who stopped by!!
Dante saying “hello” to a friend …

This year, we were one of the few rescues in attendance and probably the only rescue with dogs in tow.  Having Dante there in coat pretty much guarantees we’ll see a lot of traffic at our booth and this year was no exception.  I love talking to the kids and seeing their reaction when they get to pet him … the little girls are especially fascinated with him.  The parents laugh when I tell them that “my husband calls this my Barbie doll.”    We’re also quick to point out that the breed comes in a “wash’n’wear” version, showing them one in a puppy cut. 

The dogs are on their best behavior and clearly enjoy the interaction with folks stopping to chat.   Dante took a shine to one little guy and proceeded to clean the top of his head for him … much to the boy’s delight.  At one point, we had a line of folks waiting to greet the dogs.  The day winds down and we start packing up all the gear, already thinking how we can add to the experience for next year’s visitors.

All in all, it’s a great way to connect with like-minded members of the community and educate folks about this unique breed that shares our heart and hearth.

Show Time!!

While this is basically a repeat of last year’s post, the same information holds true for 2009!

Tibetan Apsos at Show ...
Tibetan Apsos at an early show ...

Rocky Mountain Cluster: Once again, we’re gearing up for the largest dog show in Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Cluster held February 13-16 at the National Western Complex (Expo Hall), 4655 Humboldt in Denver. 

The Premium List, which contains information on the show, parking, maps and entry, can be found here … Premium List.  The actual times for judging and the ring numbers are not disseminated until just a week before the show.  

Show Schedule:   Saturday, Ring 6 at 3:00 p.m.; Sunday, Ring 7 at 9:30; Monday Ring 7 at 10:25.  Ring and show times on all the breeds can be found in the Judging Program.

If you’re thinking of attending, please be sure to give yourself plenty of time for parking, getting in the facility, and then finding the right ring and some chairs (rings are marked by numbers on tall poles). Parking, depending on where one finds an open lot, can run anywhere from $5 to $10 — and it may also be a long walk! Entry fee to the Expo Hall is $5.  Please note that dogs not entered in the show are not allowed on the site.  If considering crowds/parking, Friday or Monday would probably be the better of the four days to attend.

As the largest show in the region, the selection of vendors and their wares is pretty amazing … if it’s dog related, you’ll find it at this show!  From art prints, to clothing, to grooming supplies, to dog beds, to K9-related jewelry, to crates and tables, it will be at this show.  Might want to bring the plastic along (and keep in mind that the vendors start packing up on Monday for the return home).

Besides the conformation competition, one can also find other venues such as Rally, Obedience, and Agility.  These are generally held in the Events Center which fronts 47th Street.

Hope to see you there … it’s a great reason to come out and support the breed! If you need more information, please feel free to contact me at:

Loveland Pet Expo:  Now an annual event, ApsoRescueColorado will be attending Loveland’s Pet Expo on Saturday, February 28th at the Chilson Center from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This will be our fourth year in attendance. If we don’t have a foster dog ready for adoption, we’ll take a couple of our Apsos and use it as an opportunity to educate folks about the breed and rescue. If you’re in the area, please come by and say hello!

I am a Lhasa Apso …

Ch. Everglo Zijuh Tomba

By Ellie Baumann 
Lhasa Tales ~ Nov 1977
I am a small dog whose ancestors managed to adapt to the rigors of the Himalayan plateau. The fittest survived, prospered and, eventually, some of the descendants reached this country in the early Thirties. I am descended from this stock.
Adverse conditions high in the mountains of Tibet forced my evolution to follow paths on which other high altitude dwellers were also embarked. Since the area from which I came is an especially cold one with killing frosts as early as August, my body structure had to adapt to the cold as well as to the height of my homeland. I have a shorter tail, shorter limbs, and shorter ears than dogs who live in the tropics. My body is very sturdy and solid with short, heavy bones. I look as if I could go long distances and not tire easily.
Under my coat is a sound body that is quite heavy for its size. People are surprised when they find that under all that hair is an animal who is put together like a tank. I need heavy construction to stand the stress of cold and altitude.

I have not been in this country too long compared to some other dogs you see at a dog show, but those who already know what I look like will probably remember very clearly where you first ran into me. I am not like any other dog that you would meet on a city street or a county lane.

I have a long coat that stretches down to the ground and completely covers my feet. Some people call me the “Jelly Bean” dog because I come in all colors. I can be one solid color or a blending of several colors. I can be plain, or I can be spotted. Of course, with a long-haired spotted dog, the coat just keeps growing and the spot stretches out into a stripe instead. If that happens, I’m called a parti-color. I’m even brindled but again, as the coat grows longer and longer, those brindle lines all run together and you have something like layers of different colors – an overlay.

My head is a little hard to see sometimes for there is so much hair on it. I have a beard. Yes even our ladies are bearded – and my ears blend right into the beard and all the rest of the coat. And, unless the hair is out of my eyes, you wouldn’t know that I could actually see you for my eyes are well hidden by what my owner calls the “head fall.” My tail is generally up, carried in a curl over my back and it’s often hard to know if I really do indeed have a tail. It can be held so tight to my back that you don’t know that it is really there, until I straighten it out and stretch it out on the ground behind me when I sit down …

Sometimes I can be found in a pet shop, but I hope that if you go looking for a Lhasa, you will go to a breeder who is trying to produce the perfect dog rather than the one who is out to sell a litter a month or so many dozen puppies a year.

I am a breed that was raised to be an indoor dog. In Lhasa – the capitol of Tibet – I used to live in the palace of the Dalai Lama before the Communists took over, and in almost every big monastery in Tibet there were a lot of my relatives living right there with the monks. Some people call me the “The Holy Dog of Asia” because of this, but all that I really did was to keep the monks company in their lonely and cold cells. Some people say that I am the faithful dog who followed the Lord Buddha around and who could be turned into a ferocious lion in the twinkling of his eye. I guess that is why so many call me the “Lion Dog.”

The AKC Standard alls for me to be the golden colors of the lion, but the Tibetans say that their lion is the mythical snow lion who is always white with a blue mane. I haven’t seen any white Lhasa with a blue mane so far, so I guess we’ll just have to stick with the western idea of how a lion should be colored.

I can live a long time if you care for me properly and my breed generally outlives the great big dogs, like the Saints and the Danes, or the little ones like the Chihuahuas and the Pomeranians.

There aren’t any bad personality traits in my breed that have to be beaten out or trained out of me in order for me to live in close contact with all kinds of people. I have an even, obliging disposition.

Of course, when I’m going to a dog show, then I look super beautiful because that is first of all, a beauty contest, and I want to look my very best. But with general care and brushing, I can stop traffic on any street, for I am a beautiful, graceful and elegant animal.

After all, I AM A LHASA APSO!!


 Editorial note: Dog shows were originally started in the mid 1800s in England as a means of evaluating breeding stock … a process which continues today. It is not a “beauty contest” as noted above … although some might argue otherwise. Dogs shown in conformation events are not being judged against each other. They are judged against the written standard which outlines the “ideal” dog for that particular breed. If interested in learning more about the dog show, AKC has an excellent resource … A Beginner’s Guide to Dog Shows.

Thoughts on Westminster and PETA …

image002-25There’s been a great deal of discussion making the rounds in the dog communities about a recent LA Times article wherein PETA is calling for the USA Network to discontinue airing the Westminster dog show. While I do believe in animal welfare — so much so that I’m deeply involved with rescue and have been for almost a decade — I do not buy into the animal rights extremist movement as it seeks to destroy the relationship between man and animal.

Libbye Miller, DVM, left the following in the comments section of the LA Times article and which content gives great pause for thought …

No one ever seems to mention the millions of dollars that AKC and the Canine Health foundation have invested in medical research that benefits ALL dogs as well as humans.

Adorable mixed breeds” get cancer, epilepsy, allergies, heart disease, and orthopedic problems just like purebreds. I see it every day in my veterinary practice but mixed breed dogs aren’t tracked like the purebreds so they have a reputation as “healthier” that is actually undeserved in many cases.  … 

Another poster — Debz — goes on to state …

”  … All animals have a certain amount of genetic load, which is to say there is absolutely no animal without some genetic problem of some sort of another. Know anyone who wears glasses? Has allergies? Thyroid problems? Weak knees? Flat feet? A skin condition? Arthritis? A gap between their front teeth? These are all genetic imperfections.

No human is genetically “clean.” Neither is any individual of any species on earth. So this idea that dogs should not be bred because they might have a genetic problem, and that breeders are somehow “evil” for breeding them, is ridiculous. Every single individual of every single species has at least a few genetic conditions.

To use PETA’s logic, all breeding of all kinds (including having human babies) should halt immediately. And to be honest, Ingrid Newkirk (the woman who founded PETA) does believe exactly that. She thinks that humans should become extinct, along with dogs, cats, etc. This ridiculous scenario is precisely what she would like to see happen.

So folks, if that is what you want … if you agree with Ingrid Newkirk’s whacky views, send your hard earned money to PETA. They will help to ensure you are not able to own a dog or cat or hamster or any other pet in the future. They will see to it that you can’t eat meat or fish or eggs or any type of animal-based nutrition. They will work to shut down places like Sea World, the zoos, etc. so you cannot observe the many wonderful animals on the Earth. Eventually, once they accomplish these things, they may turn their efforts to making it illegal for humans to procreate.

If you don’t agree with their extremist views, wise up and start supporting those who truly do love, care for and enjoy interaction with other species here on our little blue planet.

The fanciers of the breeds, those you see exhibiting their dogs at Westminster and other dog shows, work very hard to eliminate serious genetic conditions. They screen their breeding stock with every available test. They research pedigrees before breeding into other lines, to check for similar clearances in those animals. They contribute money to research organizations to further the work being done to track down genetic problems. They contribute blood, cell samples, etc. from their own animals to help with DNA and genome studies. They have made great progress so far, and they continue to work hard at it.   [Emphasis added]

Are there unethical breeders? Certainly, there are. Just as in any group of humans, you will find the good and the bad. United States VP Elect Joe Biden, for example, managed to find a not so good one when he got his new German Shepherd puppy. I don’t know who did his research for him, but they obviously didn’t do their homework if they were looking for a responsible breeder. Joe has the right to get his dog from whomever he wishes, but if he was trying to set an example of purchasing from a responsible hobby breeder he went off the track this time. That’s too bad, but it was his choice.

Unfortunately, breeders like that may be a lot easier to find because of their high volume and high profile. If you are looking for a nice family pet from a breeder who will be there for you forever, you need to do due diligence. You won’t get that from a pet store. You won’t get that from the guy selling dogs out of his pickup truck in the WalMart parking lot. You won’t get that support from a high-volume breeder, either. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort to find someone who really cares and does all the work to breed the healthiest, happiest puppies possible and then stands behind those puppies.

This is a living being that will be part of your family, hopefully, for many years. Isn’t it worth a bit of effort to find a breeder who will be there for you and that puppy forever?

And guess what? Shows like Westminster are a very valuable resource for finding breeders who do care and who use the best possible practices, as well as for learning more about the various breeds.

Bravo to USA Network for broadcasting the Westminster Kennel Club show all these years. May they enjoy continued success through the ongoing inclusion of such programs. I will be eagerly watching this year’s show!”

You can bet I’ll be watching as well!!   As pointed out in the above, there are “Breeders” seeking to preserve who expend a great deal of time, effort, passion and personal funding in order to produce sound, healthy dogs.  There also those “breeders” who seek only to capitalize on what can be produced with no regard for dog or purchaser past net profit.  As diligent owners, it falls upon us to distinguish between the two.

Westminster:  NIGHT 1:
Monday, February 9
Hound, Terrier, Non-Sporting and Herding Groups
8-9 p.m. (ET) live on USA Network
9-11 p.m. (ET) live on CNBC
Tuesday, February 10
Sporting, Working and Toy Groups, Best In Show
8-11 p.m. (ET) live on USA Network

Breed judging highlight videos are available throughout the day on Monday and Tuesday on the Westminster Web site. These highlights will be available after the show.

Ringing in the New Year …

singingdoglrgWhen’s the last time you heard a song about a Lhasa Apso?  Probably … never.  If that’s the case, then I have a rare treat for you.  Canadian singer, Nancy Simmonds, has produced several CDs highlighting various breeds.  She’s done an excellent job on her research of the breeds, their characteristics and then weaving them into song.

One can hear Get Set Tibet in its entirety at  If you can’t access the song at Stumble, try the link below …

Scroll down and then click on the play button (circle) to the far left — not the song title.  And then even further down on the left, you’ll find all the different “litters” listed …
This link shows all the different songs/breeds on each CD. 
One simply has to listen to the one about the JRT … ’tis a hoot!!  I like ballad-type songs and the following give fabulous “visuals” of the different breeds …
CD #1   Welsh Corgi  (probably my fav)
     #2   Basenji, Borzoi
     #3   Irish Setter, Saluki
     #4   Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Newfoundland, Norwegian Elkhound
     #5   Samoyed
     #6   Viszla, Irish Wolfhound
     #7   Weim
     #8   JRT, Shih Tzu

We Need to Talk …

tzu-w-presentFor several years now, we’ve seen and heard all the different news accounts of pets being made ill or out right poisoned by products manufactured overseas.  And it doesn’t stop with just products for animals … baby formula, pot pourri, toothpaste, sea food, toys … you name it.  In the interest of our health — and our pets health/well being — owners need to be hyperviligant about bringing in items manufactured outside the US.

The vast majority of our pets will be participating in Christmas with us.  Other family members include them in their holiday gift buying … and this is where we need to talk.  Many well-meaning gifters will not be aware of the contamination of products for our pets.  This is where you — as the owner — need to carefully inspect packaging for country of origin as well as overall safety of the item.  Read the label carefully — that country of origin is often buried in small print.  Does it have small pieces that can be chewed off and ingested?  It is a ball that a tongue can be caught in, cutting off circulation?  If your dog is a “heavy” chewer, can the item be easily destroyed and eaten?  If in doubt, get rid of it!  The toy or treat you toss out may just save you $$$$ in vet bills.

Santa Paws is coming!!
Santa Paws is coming!!

Dogs and chocolate. Dogs and high-fat foods.  All deadly combinations that are accessible during the holidays.  Chocolate is a known poison to dogs (especially dark chocolate and small dogs).  High fat foods can cause pancreatitis in dogs … an extremely painful and life-threatening condition.  Skip the fat, treat with veggies if one absolutely must (and not the veggies swimming in gravy!).

Santa Paws can continue to visit … just make sure that what he’s carrying in his sack is safe for those little ones (or not-so-little ones)!!

And, if you’re still feeding the ever-popular chicken strips to your dog, please read the latest update from the FDA as of December 19, 2008.

News Flash from the Eukanuba National Dog Show …

Fernando (Best in Show, Seward, NE)
CH FFT Fernando

Just got word this afternoon that Dante’s littermate … CH FFT Fernando … took Best of Breed and Best Bred-by-Exhibitor at the Eukanuba National Dog Show in Long Beach, CA, with his breeder/owner/handler, Julie Timbers.

Best of Opposite Sex was CH Nothing But Trouble handled by Cindy Butsic. 

Shirley Clark and Paris picked up one of two Awards of Merit handed out.

Expertly handled by Julie, Fernando is a beautiful representation of the breed and well deserving of the placement.  Congrats to going out to Julie and Debby for this major win!

Dante says …. Go, Brother, Go!!!  And we’ll be keeping our paws crossed for a win in the Non-Sporting Group!

Happy Howlidays … or how you can help …

Welcoming Santa Paws ...
Welcoming Santa Paws ...

Thanksgiving came late this year so, a scant three+ weeks later, Christmas will be upon us.  This is about the time I start hyperventilating as I’ve literally not done a thing for the holiday preparations.  No gifts purchased — no decorations put up yet — haven’t even started my annual Christmas newsletter or my cards that I send out every year to the adoptive families.  I consider it lucky that I’ve made it this far in the year.  Between work, the house/yard, the rescues, being elected as a Board member with the national breed club, and showing Dante as a special, it has been an unbelievably busy year.

While the rest of you are making those lists and checking them twice, I would ask that you keep rescue in mind.  Besides the ever present need for foster homes, funding is always an issue.  I understand that the economy is an issue for virtually most of the people I know … at the current rate, my “retirement program” will be working as a greeter, “Hi, welcome to Wal-Mart.”    :::sigh:::

If you are interested in fostering — making a difference in the life of a dog — please contact me directly at  However, one does not need to foster to be of assistance … 100 Ways to Help Rescue.  Granted, a few additional foster homes would be a gift from heaven for us!!  If you’d like to make a donation of some type, please contact me at the above-noted email for details. Some folks make a monetary donation at the holidays; some on the anniversary of their adoptions; others to commerate their Apso’s birthday; and yet others in memory of a beloved companion.   Please be assured that any donation of time or money is gratefully accepted.

This post would not be complete without a “thank you” to our rescue volunteers.  If you’ve adopted from us, you’ve most likely met one or both of them … Sue S. of Parker who does our metro Denver homevisits, and Michelle R. of Wellington who has been involved with fostering and assisting/attending the various functions, i.e, pet expos and what we hope is an annual picnic.  Michelle is also our very capable webmistress.  Their dedication and service to rescue is truly priceless.  With their assistance, we’ve been able to help even more Apsos and still maintain some semblence of sanity.  Thank you, ladies …

Perhaps between now and Christmas I’ll get something up for the cat to take apart and stash down in the basement under the throw rugs.  He’s particularly fond of the little gold dingleball decorations attached to the garland that finds it way to the floor with his “help.”

The Tibetan Dog Reincarnation …

As appearing in the November 18, 2008 The Norman Transcript … 

Bedtime for Buddhas
Bedtime for Buddhas – L. Park

The Tibetan Dog Reincarnation

In Tibetan lore each Lama (like the Dali) has a Temple dog. When a Lama dies it is believed that he is reincarnated as another Temple dog. Thus he would serve two lifetimes of strict adherence to ritual worship, chanting, meditating, sacrifice, no tv, no dessert and no squeaky bone toy.

Sid saw Buster abandoned on the highway. At first she thought he was a porcupine. Covered with burrs, leaves and sticks, his hair matted in dreadlocks, he was a pitiful sight, but… he was a dog.

She pulled over, opened the door and picked up Buster. It was a hot Saturday afternoon in southern Pennsylvania. Sid drove back to the State Police Barracks and asked the location of the Humane Society.

“Don’t have one in Fulton County,” said the policeman.

“A dog catcher?” she asked.

“I saw his wife at the grocery store. He’s gone for the weekend. Be back Tuesday,” replied the officer cheerfully.

“Is there someplace I could ask about a lost dog report? Like a radio station or newspaper?”

“Nope. But you could take him to the pound in Adams County. Just don’t tell them you’re from Fulton County or they won’t take him.”

He gave Sid a pair of plastic handcuffs so she could take Buster out to pee. Bent at the waist, grasping the stiff handcuff leash she looked like a beachcomber dusting the lawn with a giant hairball.

At a strip mall in Chambersburg she bought a leash, harness, crate and dog food. This was how she arrived at her destination, the house of a friend who promptly said, “You can’t leave it here.” She put him in his crate, from which he escaped three times, the last of which was from the crate; duct-taped, bungee-corded, locked and put in the garage… in 15 minutes. Houdini couldn’t have done it better. They all agreed that Buster had adopted Sid.

Later at the dog wash, the attendant recognized the flea-bitten, moth ridden, canine flannel rag mop as a Lhasa Apso, a revered Tibetan Temple Guard Dog. Trying to recreate his recent history, they concluded that after his first life as a Lama, followed by his reincarnation as a lama’s dog, both lives spent under strict monastic guidelines, he had finally escaped.

“Free at last. Free at last,” he must have been chanting when Sid picked him up on the highway, handcuffed him, crated him, then the final indignity, had him neutered.

Which just goes to show you that the grass ain’t always greener on the other side of the Dali.

~~ Baxter Black, author, cowboy poet and former large animal veterinarian, lives in Benson, Ariz.


Bosa …

We have a new foster available for adoption … 

My new haircut!
My new haircut!

Bosa (pronounced “Bow-sah” and meaning “Ivory”) is a one-year old Apso with boundless energy! She is spayed, housetrained, up-to-date on vaccs, microchipped and healthy! Bosa enjoys daily walks and playtime with other dogs her size. Toys, nylabones & kongs keep her busy for hours. Plays well with cats.  Because of her high energy, she will not be suitable for homes with small children.  She’s a curious pup and will need someone who can provide supervision and a puppy-proofed environment.

Coming into rescue, Bosa had no obedience training. She is currently learning manners and commands necessary to be well-behaved little dog. Her new family should be willing to commit to furthering her obedience studies and providing a puppy-proofed house. Bosa is crate-trained and sleeps through the night in her family’s bedroom. If you are interested in adopting Bosa, please begin our process by filling out an application at

I'm a happy girl ...
I'm a happy girl ...
Bosa (right)
Bosa (right)

Jiggity jog …

 … home at last!!

Tashi went to his new home a couple weekends ago.  His new family from Arvada was very excited to welcome him into the fold and we spent a lovely couple hours at a park in Berthoud getting to know each other.  Tashi now has an older Apso sibling, GinGin, and is adjusting quite well to his new routine … 
Tashi and new family ...
Tashi and new family ...
Our spider-legged boy — Murphy — also went to a new home in July.  Kim and Chuck are just delighted with their new boy.  And, in typical Apso fashion, he’s giving them a run for their money and pushing the envelope every chance he gets …
MurphMan & Fam ...
MurphMan & Fam ...

Perhaps Kim or Nancy will stop by and give us an update on their boys …

Snakes ‘n Snails …

Frankers gardening ...
Frankers out for a morning stroll ...

… and puppy dog tails!  Or, more to the point, why one should consider adding a male dog instead of insisting on a female.

Growing up in a pet-friendly family in the late ’50s, the mindset was you always wanted a female because the males “marked.”  I’m sure they did as neutering, training and responsible pet-ownership (including not allowing the dogs to run the neighborhood at large) were not the norm.  Vaccinations were not widespread and distemper claimed many a pet.  What a difference 50+ years has made in companion animal care!

“Marking” is the act of releasing small amounts of urine to claim an area as their own.  Both males and females will engage in this territorial behavior; however, it’s with intact males that it generally becomes more noticeable … and especially when they bring this behavior into the home.  Basically, they’re saying “this is mine and I’m willing to fight for it.”  And when one considers the focus of an intact male dog — food, fighting and, ummm, well, fornicating — they generally don’t make good pets for the average owner.  Take away the last two parts to that equation … fighting and fornicating … by neutering and you have a dog that’s focused on you.  One that’s not climbing over the fence at the first whiff of a female in heat.  One that’s totally content being your velcro dog, following you from room to room.  Some females will do that as well, but the males are just … sweeter.  And, let’s face it.  They don’t call ’em “bitches” for nothing.  Their job, if you will, is to raise the pups and at all costs. 

Many of the male dogs arriving in rescue are intact and with little or no housetraining.  First order is business is an immediate neuter.  During the recovery period, they’re enrolled in Housetraining 101.  We also utilize a tether (a 4-6 foot leash) and belly bands if the dog arriving was previously neutered.  Why belly bands?  For several reasons — (1) you know exactly if they are “getting” the concept of housetraining (the incontinence pad in the band is either dry or wet), (2) it protects your furnishings during the training period, and (3) many dogs do not like the wet feel and that’s a deterent in and of itself.  The tether is used as a means of supervision (he’s right there with you) and as a means of issuing a correction (short, sharp jerk of the tether and a verbal command “no mark!”).  With consistency, patience and clear guidance on what is and isn’t appropriate behavior, most males quickly adapt to toileting outside. 

Another “tool” for training is the crate.  Dogs are innately clean creatures who will not usually soil their eating and sleeping areas.  That hardwired behavior can be used to your benefit when housetraining by confining them to a crate when unable to supervise and giving them ample opportunity to toilet in a designated area (with lots of immediate praise/treats for appropriate behavior).

Regarding the belly bands at the link provided above … I find the adjustable bands are much more comfortable for the boys.  Just the shape alone is more form fitting and allows for greater freedom of movement.  One of the straps is adjustable so it can be used on dogs close to the same size in diameter (for multiple male househoulds).  I also find the buckle easier/quicker to use on dogs with longer hair.  Velcro and longer hair do not mix.  The only “issue” with using belly bands:  one must remember to remove them prior to sending the dog outside to potty!

So, if you’re seriously thinking about adding an Apso to your household, don’t rule out a male based on gender alone.  They truly are delightful little creatures who easily adapt with consistent training and the right tools … and will become your best buddy in the process.

Ka Tu …

My husband finally understands what it means when I say, “Rescue allows me to have all the dogs I ever wanted … they just go live with someone else eventually.”  Despite the fact that he calls every foster “Larry” because he can’t remember their individual names when they’re milling around underfoot, he has been paying attention and can, for the most part, identify each foster.  One of the perks of being a placement coordinator is I get regular updates on the fosters who are now in their permanent homes.  Visitors to the rescue site — — read the dogs’ initial stories but hear little about them after they’re adopted.  We’re fixin’ to change that, beginning with this post (if you’ve ever been below the Mason-Dixon line, you know the definition of “fixin’ to”).

Ka Tu, a 7-month old male, arrived in rescue via a Denver vet clinic where he had been surrendered when the owner refused to pay for treatment.  I say “owner”, but it was actually the husband of the owner.  Seems the wife was out of town when the surrender occurred.  I can only imagine the conversation that ensued once she found out hubby dumped her puppy at a local vet clinic with a severe injury that was suspect for causation. 

Ka Tu ... arriving in Rescue

Ka Tu had suffered a fractured lower mandible, rendering him unable to eat solid food and in quite a bit of pain.  After a week’s stay in the Denver vet clinic, two of the ER vets drove him to Loveland after a completing a night shift.  Definitely above and beyond the call of duty.  After several trips to our vet and consultation with a dental expert, a conservative course of treatment was undertaken rather than opting for surgery.  Basically, what this meant was Ka Tu couldn’t have anything solid to eat or chew on for a minimum of six to eight weeks.  That in itself presented a problem as our dogs are fed hard kibble … it also meant that every meal was a preparation of ground-up kibble gruel for the little fella.  After weeks of meal prep and twice monthly trips to the vet for x-rays to determine how his jaw was healing, Ka Tu emerged with a fully functional lower jaw … and a crooked little smile.

Hangin' on the deck ...
Hangin' on the deck ...

Ka Tu recently celebrated his first “Gotcha” anniversary with his new family, Trudi, Paul, Helen and the three cats.  I’m getting the idea that he’s bit spoiled but … who could resist this face?

Ka Tu and feline friend ...
Ka Tu and feline friend ...


Checkin' out Dad's chair ...
Checkin’ out Dad’s chair …

Happy Gotcha Day, Ka Tu … you are one lucky little pup!