Rocky Mountain Cluster …

Tibetan Apsos at early show

This is unabashedly a repeat of last year’s post (and the year before, et al )  … the same information holds true for 2012!

Once again, we’re gearing up for the largest dog show in Colorado … The Rocky Mountain Cluster to be held February 17-20 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; we’ll post a link to the judging program when available.

If you’re thinking of attending, please be sure to give yourself plenty of time for parking, getting into 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 very 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 canine-related jewelry, to crates and tables, it will be available.  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; Rally is held on the 3rd floor of the main building.  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:

Ancient Treasure …

Long a native of the Tibetan Plateau — some say thousands of years — the Apso is a relative newcomer to the Western Hemisphere.  The first Apsos arrived in the United States in 1933, a gift to C. Suydam and Helen Cutting of Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, New Jersey from the 13th Dalai Lama,Thubten Gyatso.  As part of the Newark Museum’s “Centennial Celebration of the Tibet Collection,” Nancy Plunkett of Tabu Lhasa Apsos was recently invited to the to speak on the history of the Lhasa Apso with special emphasis on the Cuttings’ contribution to the breed through Hamilton Farm.  C. Suydam Cutting of Hamilton Farm provided many of the artifacts to the museum’s extensive “Tibet Collection;” Helen Cutting was a trustee of the museum until her death in 1961.  Today’s offering explores early breed history and its foundation under the “Hamilton” prefix.  [“Prefix” denotes a specific line of dogs bred under a certain kennel name.]

Clicking on the graphic below will take you to a .pdf file of the Newark Museum presentation which can be navigated by clicking on your computer’s right arrow button (>).  If you do not have a .pdf viewer, one can be downloaded (free) at this link … Adobe Reader.

Our thanks to Nancy for sharing this rich and visually beautiful presentation.  Her historical research punctuated by the detailed photos and artwork captures the heart and soul of the breed.  Only by appreciating the past can we carry the breed forward into the future …

Lhasa Apso ... Bearded Lion Dog of Tibet

A Toast …

… to a new star in the heavens tonight.  A beautiful, shining red star.  It is, indeed, fitting that we raise a glass of red wine to honor her memory.  Or, perhaps, to drown our sorrow at her passing.  What she added to our lives cannot be measured except by the heart. 

Fly now, once again whole, to the high and ancient mountains … the ancestral home beckons.
Kai-La-Sha Alright Alreddy     11/06/97 – 3/21/11

I Follow the Lhasa Road …

This hauntingly beautiful reflection was sent to me by a very dear friend who is a talented writer and an Apso owner.  She has graciously allowed me to share the following with our readers …

Please note both the photo and the sentiment are under copyright and your respect of same is appreciated.

A Trip to …

… the side of a mountain. A mountain in Bhutan, to be exact, and a Tibetan monastery perched on the side of that mountain …

Taktsang in Bhutan

Makes an awesome desktop photo!

A little history:  Taktsang Dzong or Paro Taktsang (spa phro stag tshang / spa gro stag tshang), also known as Taktsang Monastery or the The Tiger’s Nest, is a prominent Tibetan Buddhist monastery of the Nyingma (Red Hat Sect), located in the cliffside of the upper Paro valley, Bhutan. It was built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup (stag tshang seng ge bsam grub) cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three months in the 8th century.

It is no wonder that the Apso is a “sturdy little mountain dog!”

Winter …

First snow… has arrived in Colorado.  Even though it’s not actually “winter”  yet as December 21st is still a ways off.  Nevertheless, winter is here.  Our first snow dumped 14 inches on the flat and formed drooping cornices where the wind swirled off the back of the garage.  One good snow and I’m ready for spring.  I dread the short days that come with a return to Mountain Standard Time, preferring the long lazy days of summer.  I’d much rather watch the flowers grow and the dogs play in the yard than heavy gray skies and blowing snow.

The dogs don’t seem to share the same sentiment.  First snow and they’re doing their best snowplow impression, kicking up heels as they run to and fro.  Every now and again, a nose is dropped and the plow carves out a long furrow.  A face finally emerges, encrusted with snow crystals … a proper little mountain dog from Tibet!

Image025We added a bit of color to the winter landscape this year … a vertical Tibetan prayer flag.  Lots of prayers going up that day!  You’ll note we have double fencing — wooden privacy and a 24-inch high interior fence.  The short fence was put up for several reasons:  (1) to prevent the boys from fence fighting with the dogs to the east and south, (2) to confine all of them to the grass areas and out of the bark, (3) to keep Frankers from chasing squirrels and re-injuring his SI joint, and (4) to keep Dad’s partially-blind Tzu from getting lost in the vegetation behind the garage.  Success on all accounts and it has definitely cut down on the barking outside.  A  good thing as barking dogs are not tolerated.  It’s rude and neither I — nor the neighbors — want to hear it.

Franker’s favorite part of winter is … when Mom drags out the fleece throw and curls up on the couch.  He’s claimed the spot right behind my knees, settling in for a long evening nap.  Standing beside the couch he waits until I’m settled and then hops up … never fails no matter what season it is.  He eventually gets too warm and starts panting.  At that point, I have to tell him to get down as he won’t leave on his own.  That’s my boy.

May you all have a warm fire and a dog at your feet for the winter.

Addendum:  Since we’re on the subject of winter, a couple photos taken with yet another storm that blew through Nov. 14th …


One of the birdhouses made by my father … after he retired he enjoyed putzing around in the yard and doing woodwork.  His back fence was lined with houses for the little red finches.

Below, our Green Man sporting a snowy cap along with a nose warmer …


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