It’s All In the Numbers …

Edie -- Ambassador for the Breed

On September 18, 2011, I attended the “Bark in the “Park” expo sponsored by the Arapaho Kennel Club at the beautiful Exposition Park in Aurora.  Dante’s co-owner/breeder came down with two of her dogs who had the very important assignment of being breed ambassadors.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day in Colorado!

While there, we did an intake on a puppy being surrendered to rescue.  Notable in the fact it was a puppy — we rarely get puppies in rescue — and this marked our 40th foster dog.  Doesn’t seem like 40 fosters but it is when counting them down.  Of those 40, 37 have gone on to new homes.  Unfortunately, three of our fosters were euthanized while in foster care … two for unprovoked biting issues and one for medical issues.  That’s probably the hardest part of rescue [euthanasia]  because “rescue” isn’t supposed to end that way. 

Sang-Po ... a happy boy!

In any event, meet our newest foster … Sang-Po!!  Given a Tibetan name in homage to his ancient origins, it means “kind and gentle.”  That describes this boy to a “T”.  He’s a very loving dog and would like nothing better than to sit in one’s lap.  His ideal home would be one with a dog in residence — a dog that likes to play and is willing to put up some puppy antics.  A home where the new owner will follow through on the crate training and finish up his house training (he’s working diligently on the house training but he’s still a puppy and will need an owner that can provide routine and consistency). 

He’s still in the assessment/training phase of foster care and will not be placed in a home until the end of October.  However, we are accepting applications at this time.

Make sure you get my good side ... and my pearlies

Pure bred vs. well bred …

What exactly does that mean … “pure bred versus well bred”?  In my many years of involvement with rescue, I’ve had countless “pure bred” Apsos with “papers.”  Papers being a document saying the dog was registered with the AKC (or any of the other questionable registries which have sprung up to circumvent AKC’s DNA requirements).  However, having “papers” in hand does not mean the dogs in question were “well bred.”  “Well bred” meaning they had the qualities and characteristics that make an Apso “an Apso” … a dog possessing breed type.  “Well bred” meaning the breeder strived to produce a dog that could, on any given day, survive at altitude in its native homeland of Tibet (this link contains an excellent article on what makes a Lhasa Apso).  “Well bred” meaning the breeder could document at least five generations of dogs and the health of those dogs.  Dogs whose pedigrees reflect a multitude of champion relatives — not just one or two champions in five generations.  Dogs whose breeders stand behind what they produce for the life of the dog.

Next question is  … where does one find a well-bred dog?  Certainly not from a pet store as supplied by the puppy mills.  Or a “backyard” breeder  (“BYB”) who has thrown a couple of dogs together for a quick profit.  Despite the broad brush used by the animal rights movement to paint all breeders, the majority of show (hobby) breeders strive to produce sound, healthy dogs.  Hobby breeders cannot keep every dog they breed and maintain a breeding line — much like rescue can’t keep every dog that arrives in foster care.  These breeders often have retired champions, young adult show prospects that didn’t turn out as well as anticipated, or pet-quality puppies available for placement … well-bred dogs that need homes of their own.  And for much less than what you’d pay for a puppy produced in the mills and sold by a pet store. 

Always an advocate for rescue, I also believe in providing prospective families with options other than the petstore or BYBs.  A sad fact is 100% of my rescues have come from either pet stores or backyard breeders.  So even though one is obtaining a “rescue,” they were produced for profit with little thought given to their health and breed type. 

Remind your family and friends what breeding does: Every kitten or puppy born is a death sentence to a shelter cat or dog waiting to be adopted.

As a responsible owner and long-time rescue volunteer … I take an exception to the above statement. If not for the responsible, ethical breeders, good representations of my chosen breed would have vanished into the mists of the Himalayan mountains decades upon decades ago. It is only through the work of quality breeders that the Lhasa Apso has survived a forced flight into Nepal, Bhutan and India as well several genetic bottle necks and the invasion of the Chinese into Tibet.  
 
I have more than done my part when it comes to rescue. However, it is not by any of my actions that there are dogs and cats in shelters. Now, I am supposed to give up the breed I love … and have worked tirelessly for … because someone else was irresponsible?  That *all* breeding is bad and my only option is to accept what is coming out of the mills?  That my only choice is an ill-bred dog with a myriad of health problems?   Seriously??  Perhaps if the statement had made mention of “puppy mills,” it would go a bit further in educating the public.
 
Following is listing of well-bred dogs looking for homes of their own.  While these dogs are located in the western half of the US (or Canada), they can be flown to a new home.  In many instances, dogs can travel to other areas with exhibitors headed to shows.  Depending on location, a road trip may be in order.  Don’t like the full coat?  No problem … Apsos can also be kept clipped in a “wash-n-wear” version.  
 
Vinnie:  retired champion, on the larger size, about six-years old.  Very loving dog; great with adults, never been around children; teens would be okay.  Needy in that he wants to be right with you on the couch, etc.  Would need to be neutered.  Located in New Mexico.
 
Zach:  retired champion, almost two-years old.  Still in full coat.  Quite loving and a lap dog; enjoys sitting in the recliner with my husband and will do so for hours.  A real people dog.  Needs a home where he is an only dog or could live with a female dog.  Located in Wisconsin.
 
Big Boy —  He was 1 year on Aug. 30.  I gave him a haircut yesterday; he has a wonderful coat. His markings aren’t as red as his brothers.  I don’t think that he will be hard to housetrain as it was going good until I got sick. The brother didn’t have any accidents. He is very playful, gets along good with other dogs and kids. He is very sweet!!!  Located in Minnesota.
 
Oreo and Ready — retired champions (4-5 years old).  Fully housetrained, would be spayed/neutered prior to placement.  Oreo is very outgoing, wags her tail at everyone, never met a stranger.  Ready is more of a “got-to-get-to-know-you” type; probably do best in a home with no other males.  Located in Utah.
 
Gracie — red/white parti-color female, 10-weeks old.  Dew claws removed, dewormed, tattooed (ID), vet checked, first vaccs.  She loves to have attention and is very playful. She loves toys and actively plays with her brothers. She loves people and has had lots of interaction as she was born and raised in my family room. Located in British Columbia
 
If interested in any of these dogs, please contact me directly at:  ApsoRescue@aol.com.  Serious inquiries only … the breeders of these dogs are looking for owners that will commit for the life of the Apso.
 

Just because …

… I can. And I love this photo!!! A shot of Bella and PippyDo in their new home in Texas with friend Mazzi …

Bella & PippyDo resting after a hard day of play ...

These two bonded in foster care and, thankfully, met up with Mazzi who just had to have them both.  While I normally do not do female/female placements, these two are the exception.  And exceptionally cute … enjoy!

The house remodel continues.  Mostly at a snail’s place it seems.  While we are moved back into the kitchen, the rest of the house is yet to follow.  Appears we’ll be moving furniture in next weekend … finally!

 

When You Adopt …

I came across this saying from another rescue group, one that helps find foster homes and permanent homes for dogs in rural areas, coming from high-kill shelters …

“When you adopt a rescue pet, you help save TWO lives:  the one you bring home and the one that takes its place.”

Sharing a bed ... Leo (l), Jody (r)

There’s always a period of adjustment for the foster placed in a new home.  However, with consistency, patience and a set routine, it isn’t long before the “new dog” (literally and figuratively) just shines.

Our latest foster, Leo, is no exception.  The first couple days in his new home were a little rocky for all involved.  Jody, f/k/a Jasper and previously adopted from our group, definitely wasn’t happy with the prospect of a new roomie (not entirely unexpected).  Leo wasn’t sure what was going on.  Joan and Rich were left scrambling to come up with ways to integrate the two that didn’t include Jody growling (we have links and articles just for this scenario).  Days three and four saw “the boys” almost joined at the hip.  While they weren’t playing together, they were following each other around the house.  If one moved, so did the other and vice versa.  Yesterday I got word that Jody and Leo were, indeed, playing together and racing through the house.  Given what I knew of the two dogs, I didn’t think it would take too long before the canine bond was established between these two.

Joan, Leo & Rich

Here’s to Leo’s new life with Joan, Rich and Jody!  Many thanks to Debra and Mark of Berthoud for fostering this boy.

Leo isn’t the only winner with this adoption.   Rich and Joan have volunteered to help out in their area once they get moved and settled into the Canon City area.  Likewise, Tootsie’s new family — Jane and Jerry — have also stepped up in southern Wyoming for transports, pulls and home visits.  “Local” is a relative term out here in the west and can mean 30 minutes to three hours for driving time.  Having volunteers along the Front Range means rescue can be more effective.  Our sincere thanks to Leo and Tootsie’s families for their involvement … welcome to rescue!

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

The Golden Boy …

TodayKalsang we have an update on Kalsang (now known as “Biscuit”) from his owner, Mary.  Picked up as a stray by the Larimer Humane Society, we were called in when it became obvious the boy needed a major dose of TLC.

“It’s hard to describe the bond between Biscuit and me….we are so in tune with each other. He is the most perfect dog and we couldn’t have a better life. I still think it was a miracle finding him sitting at that booth, after falling in love with him on the internet, thinking he was probably already adopted. I had never been over to the animal house and certainly didn’t know you would be there. It was divine providence and we needed each other so much.

He is spoiled rotten but is still very much the little gentleman. He is doing well physically, thinks he’s a pup, albeit a couch-potato pup, and it’s comical how we communicate. I talk to him like I would anybody and he knows just what I’m telling him. He cocks his head and stares at me and he listens and he just knows. That took a while and I love it! We seniors get along just fine! He is always close to me, even comes down to the basement when I practice clarinet. That’s true love!

I have seen the recent pictures of dogs you have placed in homes and God bless you for your work. These dogs have so much affection and companionship to share and it’s your work and dedication that saves them. Hope you are keeping cool in this humid weather. We are doing as little as possible. Try it, it works. Love and best wishes, Mary”

What a delight to hear that he’s doing so well.  And I’m sure he believes Mary set the moon and stars just for him!  Given his condition when he arrived at the shelter, it was obvious he had long been neglected.  Golden years for the golden boy.

Biscuit is, no doubt, having a better summer than our household.  Still in the midst of the home update, I’ve decided that as long as I have:  a shower, a toilet, and some place to wash my clothes, everything else is just white noise.  Seriously.  As with most major home projects, we’ve had some unexpected issues crop up.  Like a leak in the pipes underneath the sink and going down an exterior wall.  Which means we’re without water in the kitchen or a dishwasher until it’s repaired … sometime next week.  In any event, I’m keeping my sights set on Labor Day to be moved back in.  Or at least moving back in.

The dogs have been troopers throughout the whole ordeal … watching the furniture disappear … seeing all the carpet in the house walk out the door … moving into the unfinished basement … moving into the brother-in-law’s house for eight days while the floors were being sanded/sealed … moving back in.  With still no furniture on the main floor.  Given that both Frankers and Dante are crate trained, they settle in wherever we happen to land, finding “normal” in the familiar.  Having a crate handy — and a dog that willing goes into his crate — is also a boon when it comes to the various workmen traipsing throughout the house.  Keeps the dogs calm (read that “quiet”) and out of the way … definitely appreciated by all involved!