A New Arrival …

… is always exciting! 

Tomorrow, if all goes as planned, “Bentley” will become the latest foster in rescue.  An unneutered three-year old, he will be looking for a new home that can spend more time with him.  While we gather as much information as possible on our intakes, there’s always the unknown.  How will he do with other dogs … how will he come through his neuter … how will he react to his first grooming in rescue … what will he think of the resident felines … will he sleep through the night … is he *really* potty trained and crate trained … does he like children or do we need to find a home that limits his contact with toddlers … is he a hearty eater or a picky one?  So many questions!!

These little ones arrive in rescue and we treat them just as one of the pack.  They are expected to behave and, with training (some more, some less), they usually live up to our expectations.  They thrive on attention and structure.  It isn’t long before they settle in … and it’s like they’ve been here their entire lives.  Every now and again, a foster will return for an extended visit.  They walk through the door and move seamlessly from their house to ours again, like they never left. 

I used to think my dogs couldn’t live without me — wishful thinking on my part.  After all the fosters that have passed through my home, I’ve come to realize the canine is much more adaptable than we give them credit for.  Indeed, it is this adaptability that has ensured their survival through the ages! 

Welcome, Bentley … we look forward to getting to know you.

UPDATE:  Well, things *didn’t* go as planned, unfortunately, and, for the time being, Bentley will not be entering rescue.  Bentley managed to run away from home on the eve he was to arrive in rescue.  We hope he finds his way home again, safe and sound.  If anyone happens to find a little grey/white Apso in Lochbuie, Colorado, please contact us!

Treat Me Like a Dog …

“Furbaby” … the word sends chills up my spine.  While we love our four-legged companions dearly, we must never lose sight of the fact our canine companions are a species unto themselves.  Many of the surrenders we get into rescue are there because the owners lovingly, yet mistakenly, anthropomorphize (attribute human form or personality to things not human) these cute little dogs, not realizing that the Apso is one of the most dominant dogs in a small package.  Give them an inch and they will take a mile … you can bet on it!

Jan Warren, active in Dalmatians since 1988, was a guest columnist in the December AKC Gazette.  She is an AKC judge and has served as an officer, committee chair, and show chair for several kennel clubs, including the Dalmatian Club of America.  She has graciously given permission for reprint of her column submission …

Treat Me Like a Dog

At a recent show, I was dumbstruck by the sight of a girl walking a Chihuahua fully attired in a flowered sundress with matching bonnet.  While many folks saw the embodiment of cute, I was appalled.  In my opinion, this dog didn’t look cute — just plain foolish.

Unfortunately, this notion of turning our dogs into furry people appears to be growing out of control.  We see them sporting the latest fashions, pushed in strollers, and slung in totes.  Day care, therapists, and even pet psychics are available.  Dogs are not people!  Yes, we do have some traits in common.  However, a trait or two does not a human make, and when we expect our dogs to act accordingly, we set them up for failure.

Dogs are thinking, emotional beings but not in the same ways we are.  Their lives are governed by instincts with which we cannot reason.  While we strive to provide them with the best of nutrition, they are still predators born to the chase.  We should not be surprised when they go for a cat, squirrel, or even another little dog that crosses their path.  We should not be offended when our intact male dogs makes eye contact and bristles at another boy.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they have a poor temperament or are aggressive.  They are males with the male need to defend their territory against a possible sexual interloper.  We can train and socialize our dogs to the best of our abilities but, in the long run, genes will win out.

Yes, I believe in training and socialization.  We cannot allow our dogs to mark their territories in our homes, bark incessantly, or run loose, terrorizing the neighborhood.  However, training should be tempered with the understanding that in certain circumstances, nature will take precedence.  Anyone who has had an intact male dog living with a female in season knows no amount of reasoning will calm his need to breed.  You either live with the howling, slobbering, barking and panting — or temporarily relocate one of the parties.  Telling him “next time” or “not this girl” will not appease him.

Dogs are unique in the animal world.  No other creature has ever been designated “man’s best friend.”  There’s something special in the makeup of a dog that has earned him this one-of-a-kind title.  It is his joie de vivre, his unconditional love, his unswerving loyalty?  Yes, yes, and yes.  Dogs are all these things and more, because their joy, love and loyalty are not contaminated by human traits of bitterness, vindictiveness and betrayal.  By attempting to remake them in our image, we are demeaning the very character of the dog.

Think of it this way:  How exciting and fascinating is it to be able to develop such an intimate relationship with an entirely different species?  Let’s celebrate those differences and try to look for the good, savor the moment, be content with what we have, and who we are.  In this way, maybe we can both, as species, become a bit better than we would be without each other.     ~~ J.W.

Rescue Me …

RESCUE ME    (~Terri Onorato)  

Rescue me not only with your hands but with your heart as well. I will respond to you.

Rescue me not out of pity but out of love.  I will love you back.

Rescue me not with self-righteousness but with compassion.  I will learn what you teach.

Rescue me not because of my past but because of my future.  I will relax and enjoy.

Rescue me not simply to save me but to give me a new life.  I will appreciate your gift.

Rescue me not only with a firm hand but with tolerance and patience.  I will please you.

Rescue me not only because of who I am but who I’m to become.  I will grow and mature.

Rescue me not to revere yourself to others but because you want me.  I will never let you down.

Rescue me not with a hidden agenda but with a desire to teach me to trust.  I will be loyal and true.

Rescue me not to be chained or to fight but to be your companion.  I will stand by your side.

Rescue me not to replace one you’ve lost but to sooth your spirit.  I will cherish you.

Rescue me not to be your pet but to be your friend.  I will give you unconditional love.

Rescue me with true love in your heart and I will give you these things all the days of my life.

ShowTime!

Rocky Mountain Cluster:  Once again, we’re gearing up for the largest dog show in Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Cluster held February 15-18 at the National Western Complex (Expo Hall), 4655 Humboldt in Denver.  The local show club … the Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado … will be holding its specialty on Friday, February 15th.  This is an opportunity to see the both the Regular classes (for points) and the Sweepstakes (“Sweeps”) for young dogs 6-18 months of age.  Basically, you’ll get to see two shows  — Sweeps and then the Regular classes.  Friday also sees less attendance so parking and getting in and around isn’t as hectic.  If one can’t make it on Friday, there’s always Saturday, Sunday and Monday but with only Regular classes being shown.

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.  As that information becomes available, I’ll post it here.

Show Schedule:  As promised, following is information regarding times and ring numbers …

Friday:     Sweeps begin at 11:40 a.m. in Ring 9; Regular classes at 12:10 in the same ring;

Saturday:  Regular classes at 10:40 a.m. in Ring 8;

Sunday:  Regular classes at 8:00 a.m. in Ring 6 (basement).  Some of you may not realize what it takes to get a coated dog in the ring this early as well as factoring in travel time to the show site.  You can bet several exhibitors (if not most) will be up at 5:00 a.m. … or earlier!!

Monday:  Regular classes at 10:10 a.m. in Ring 6.

 A complete judging schedule can be viewed here:  Judging Program.

We have a huge turn out for the area and have exhibitors coming in from as far away as Canada.  Sweeps has an entry of 10 Apsos and the regular classes have 27 entered (9 dogs/14 bitches/3 dog specials /0 bitch specials.  “Specials” are finished champions competing only for Best of Breed. 

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 generally $3.  Please note that dogs not entered in the show are not allowed on the site.

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 …

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:  ApsoRescue@aol.com

Loveland Pet Expo:  Now an annual event, ApsoRescueColorado will be attending Loveland’s Pet Expo on Saturday, February 23rd at the Chilson Center from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This will be our third 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!  Update on the Expo … article from the Loveland Reporter Herald.