Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Disappointing, yet not

ALAC National week in Albuquerque, NM was mainly a much needed vacation for me with dog stuff thrown in.
Headed south on Thursday morning, picked up Julie and her three dogs, we drove to Oklahoma City and spent the night. We made it to Albuquerque late afternoon on Friday.

The weekend trial was a UKI trial, an entirely new organization for me and the crew, yet the trial was very small, so quite enjoyable, Josie and Suds picked up a Q or two, Myth & Ella had a fair time.

Monday was the top 20, I was recruited as a ring steward, and it was actually very fun.
Tuesday was the Colorado club’s specialty – I had Myth entered, but since I was on vacation and she is still very immature looking for a special I decided not to show her and just enjoyed the show ;-)

Wednesday, ALAC agility day, well, being chief course builder and the fact there were so few dogs presented a few disadvantages, it did not allow me to give each dog the warm up/pre- run routine or prepare myself and focus on the course. This really showed on Josie’s runs, she was a good girl, but it felt a little disconnected and thus no Qs…oh well. With Suds it really didn’t matter, since he usually runs best going straight from crate/van to the ring, he ended up with a Q in JWW and almost Q in STD (I just needed to support weave poles #11 & 12 more). Myth, would have been really nice to get 1 Q, but, still trial stress shows up at the weaves, especially with how little warm up I was able to do. Ella, she had a super time, she only missed a few obstacles, but stayed with me 90% of the time! The potential is there for her to be better than Josie.
The little blob heading toward the chute is Ella;
Thursday was the Regional. I had Josie entered with the hopes that she would make the cut. She showed really well and not only did she make the cut, she ended up with an Award of Merit! Very Cool ! and she was the only one in the ring with additional titles, little superstar ;-) The official photo has not come yet, but here is one a friend took;
Thursday was also the ALAC meeting which I skipped…….and the awards banquet. The food at the banquet was OK, way overpriced. The award presentation was very nice, Suds, Josie and Ella were all in it :-). Next year, although I most likely will not be attending, Myth will join the gang in the presentation.

Friday was the National, I did not have anyone entered, so just relaxed and watched. Ella left in the morning with Debby to head for Colorado and hopefully give us some puppies. In the late afternoon did most of our packing for the trip home.

Saturday were loaded up and headed home by 7am. We made it to Kansas City and spent the night, was a restless night as a couple of the dogs would not settle. We made it to Julie’s by about 1:30, unloaded her dogs and stuff. I made it home by 2:30 and had all afternoon to unload and relax.


Monday, October 3, 2011


Yes, the blog has taken a backseat ;-)

It’s been a busy summer; Agility, Conformation, stuff…..Myth picked up her second major at the Kettle Moraine Kennel Club shows in July, unfortunately her picture was just awful ;-( I didn’t even buy it. August brought another successful TCLAC Specialty. While not a huge entry it was a relatively good showing. Josie and Myth were entered, Josie entered to help the numbers she ended up earning Select Bitch on Friday. Myth showed well, no wins, but on Saturday at the St. Croix Valley Kennel Club show, she won Best of Winners (2 pts) to earn her Championship ! Yeah !

Both have done a few agility trials, Josie as usually has been awesome, her weaves have really sped up, so Happy !! The key is to remember no matter what do NOT let her think she has made a mistake, she will slow down and get very careful. Myth has had a little confidence issue, if I get to far ahead of her she stops. I have been trying to keep her training sessions short and fun. She ran really well at both the AKC and CPE trial we did at soccerblast. In CPE she Q’d in all but 1 class, earned her CPE CL1-H title, alas, we are stuck in Open purgatory in AKC…..She had a single error in all her classes, I am not fixing things (going back for missed jumps, re-starting weaves, etc) to keep her motivated and moving forward.

Ella has been in the Tweeners class at On the Run, a class for experience handlers with dogs that are not quite beginners. She has really come a long way. She is working really well at class, although will find the dog walk from anywhere ;-). She is still not terribly focused working outdoors, but is now able to put a couple of obstacles together. She ran in her first agility trial, CPE at soccerblast, she was awesome, Q’d in all 3 of her runs and earned her CPE CL1-R title. She also got a hair cut…..

Suds ran great at the Rochester MN KC trial, loves outdoors, a couple of minor things kept him from a QQ, but he Q’d in either STD or JWW each of the 3 days.

Exciting news. Myth’s win at the SCVKC also earned her an invite to the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. So, Josie, Ella and Myth all earned invites….Suds was so close, because he runs in preferred he is in line after all the dogs running regular. I believe he ended up 8th – not bad for the little boy. Of course, the only one making the trip this year will be Josie. She is entered and we have our plane and hotel reservations. I am hoping to finish with 4 clean rounds and a better overall time than last year, making it to the finals will be icing ;-) I think the competition in the 8” division will be a little tougher this year.

This week we head to Albuquerque, NM for the American Lhasa Apso Club’s National Specialty. This past weekend was filled with dog baths, organizing the van and packing, since we have classes Monday and Tuesday evening. I am really looking forward to it, should be a fun week. Everyone is entered in a UK Agility International agility trial on the 8 & 9, then we have Monday off to watch the top 20 competition. Tuesday Myth is entered in the Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado’s specialty. Wednesday is Agility day all are entered. Hoping Myth can get one Q and maybe earn a title. Thursday is the Regional, Josie is entered, I believe she will be the only Champion entered with agility titles. Friday is the National, I have no one entered so get to watch.

“There isn't a person anywhere who isn't capable of doing more than he thinks he can.” Henry Ford

Friday, July 22, 2011

You've heard of

The Green Lantern, The Green Arrow,





The Green Apsos....

I have always said Green is Josie's color, she now matches her bands ;-)

We had a private lesson this morning, just as we arrived they guy was mowing....granted I am not sure I could have found my dogs if he had not mowed, but makes for Green Apsos ;-)

Suds was a little sluggish since it was kind of muggy, but he was a good boy.

Josie was stellar, awesome, fast weaves, very nice teeter, some beautiful dog walks and was a speedy little girl !!

Myth, hmmm, not super, but OK... kind of hesitant and a little tentative, very different from the trial where she was more confident and enthusiastic, hmmm.

Ella did not go to the lesson, we are currently working on building teamwork and figuring out what motivates her.


"Be curious, not judgmental" ~ Walt Whitman

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Breakthrough Agility Weekend

This last weekend Suds & Myth had an agility trial (Josie is still on vacation :-) It was the MAC (Minnesota Agility Club) AKC Trial held at Soccerblast. Indoor air conditioned – thank goodness with temps in the upper 90s and dew points at 80+ most of the day.

The last time I tried to run Suds at this particular location he was so freaked out he tried to jump out of the ring through the Plexiglas….poor boy. He has come along way and has gained a lot of confidence since then, so I decided to see how he would do –with absolutely no expectations except to have fun! He started a wee bit nervous on his first run, wanting to be close to me he skipped a few jumps, no problem lets just keep running, he did and finished faster and happy. His second run was OK. I felt him start to stress about half way through the course, so just ran for the finish. Sunday, he was more relaxed and his first course was better, still skipped a few jumps. I have a friend who was watching and she notice the jumps he skipped were where he was on my right, aha! He is less comfortable on my right, something we are working on. His last run (JWW) he did not skip any jumps, I made sure to really support and not get to far ahead when he was on my right, ended up just a few seconds over course time. He finished the weekend strong and did all his weaves all weekend !!! A couple of Suds pictures from the weekend can be found here;

Myth, I was not sure if she would totally melt down and leave or what to expect from her. She only had a couple of stress moments, where she would stop in the middle of the course. She started every run fast and happy, did miss her weave entrance in one class and popped out of the weaves in another, but I did not go back to fix it, we just kept running. I also discovered Myth is a rear cross dog...I did her standard run on Sunday with all rear crosses, not by choice, the bar setter was very close to the chute –second obstacle. I wanted Myth to at the very least keep running so I needed to be between her and the bar setter, which meant I would need a rear cross at the next obstacle. It worked so well I did several more in the course, WOW! super speed and fun. Unfortunately, I was a bad handler and did not notice the ring crew/judge forgot to remove the number from the weaves after the course walk, it was placed right between poles 1 & 2. The judge did let me re-attempt them, but it stressed her to much and she didn’t weave.

Some Myth pictures here;

Here is her Jumpers run from Sunday…or part of it ;-)

Course walks will be a challenge when Myth gets to Excellent….front crosses for Josie, rear crosses for Myth, special handling for Suds...Ella, yet to be determined. I am very excited to see how each develops !

“It is what we think we know already that often prevents us from learning.” Claude Bernard

Monday, July 4, 2011


Once Again a little behind....maybe a lot...
Back in April the Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club successfully hosted it's first Agility Trial. Lots of effort from a lot of club members went into the trail. To make this first trial extra special the first dog to earn a MACH title at the trial was a Lhasa Apso ;-) guess who.....Josie earned her MACH2.....

Here is the Jumpers portion of QQ #20

and the Standard portion with our victory lap :-) Had me just a smidge worried she was going right off the table.....

Josie has really turned into an awesome agility partner, and all around Lhasa Apso. Little did I know what I was bringing home in that little parti bundle, what a ride ;-)
She went on to earn her Rally Advanced title in May at the Indianhead Kennel Club show in Eau Claire, WI. This also earns her the American Lhasa Apso Club Versatility Certificate....I can't say enough about what a joy she has been, and sometimes a little pistol ;-)

New Title - Rally Advanced with a first place !

The Indianhead Kennel Club show was not only a great show for Josie, but also Ella - who earned her Grand Championship and received a Group 3 place from breeder judge Keke Kahn.... Awesome way to end her Conformation career - onto agility training ;-)
Pretty, pretty girl....

And little Myth earned 2 points toward her Champion ship 1 each on Saturday and Sunday.

For fun I did a picture of the two title winners together ;-)

The gang and I headed up to Fargo at the beginning of June for the Fargo-Moorhead Kennel Club shows, Myth was the only one entered - easy show for me.... and she didn't disappoint, not only did she win Best of Winners, it earned her a 3 point major towards her Championship and a Bred By Exhibitor Group 2.

Looking good isn't she?

Next up was the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America's Agility trial, which I was really looking forward to...one of the only outdoor trials held here. I did a lot of prep work for this trial, I really wanted it to be a good experience for both Myth and Suds, thanks to Kris Osojnicki who invited us for the run throughs that were only open to their students and who meet us there one Sunday morning so I could work my dogs, it was a very good trial for the MeLou gang; Josie of course double Q'd each of the 3 days ;-) Suds earned both a Q in jumpers and standard and little Myth is definitely an outdoor girl, she Q'd in all her classes, earning 2 open standard Qs and 2 open jumpers Qs, only needs 1 each for both open titles, she had prefect runs on Saturday, here is her Standard run.

And I got to run my buddy Casey Mae the Toller, she also QQ all 3 days !! yeah !!
Her loot ;-)

Here are a couple of Casey's runs ;-)

Josie is currently on vacation from agility trials....Myth and Suds have one coming up July 16 & 17. It will be held at Soccerblast - indoor air conditioned facility, not sure how Myth will do since she prefers outdoors ;-)

Mid June Josie and Myth headed up to the Cambridge conformation shows. Myth was very good, she won the point both days and on Saturday was Best Bred By Exhibitor. Josie won breed on Sunday, and picked up a few points toward her Grand Championship if I decide to go for it.

This past weekend Val and I headed to West Bend, WI for the Greater Milwaukee Lhasa Apso Club's specialty. Very nice show grounds, indoor A/C (yeah!) room for the tag along gang to come in, since it was quite warm and humid. Myth showed like a champ, training really does pay off. Saturday in the regular show she was 3rd ;-( and ended up 2nd in the specialty....BUT Sunday.........she took Winner for a 5 point major whoooooo, at least at the moment I think it is a 5 point major could be a 4 point major -don't care either one is super, will have to wait until it is official with AKC before I know for sure. Don't have her win picture, that will come in a couple of weeks but here are her ribbons ;-)

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you. ~Maori Proverb~

Monday, February 28, 2011


Whew, how time flies…..

Back on February 11-13 the gang and I had an agility trial at On The Run. Friday was for excellent only;

Josie started with her very first Q in Excellent A Fast – the send was a relatively easy one for Excellent but still we had to work for it – she was a very good girl with some pretty decent weaves. She did Q in both Standard and Jumpers with two second places and double Q #10 towards MACH2. Suds had an OK day he didn’t Q in either but it was only the weaves that knocked him out – they were set up very close to the timer/scribe and the spectators and that is always difficult for him.

Saturday Myth started the day with Open jumpers – had just a little difficulty with her handler….a little off course handling, ops, but Myth was fantastic running fast and happy! She then had her standard run, had to take two attempts at the weaves, but nailed the chute !!! Yeah!! good girl, this was her 2nd leg towards her Novice Standard title.
Josie was as good as usual, Q’d in both Jumpers and Standard with a 2nd place in standard and 3rd in Jumpers – the darn weaves and teeter keeping her out of the blue……QQ #11. Suds still struggled a little, but I was so happy with him since his second run was not until 5:30pm and we had been there since 7am, not quite as energetic, he still ran happy!

Sunday Josie had a pretty good jumpers run – slowest weaves all weekend. Unfortunately she had an off course in Standard; Tunnel/A-frame discrimination, suppose to take the A-frame, well silly me, I was a little lazy since the A-frame is one of her favorite obstacles figured she would take….nope, had a blazing time and the rest of the course was just awesome! Suds finally got a Q in Jumpers with a 1st place. He was a good boy and did the A-frame, of course I handled it better for him;-). It was also the first time Suds has done a 3day trial and he finished strong.

Myth had a little issue in Open Jumpers, was kind of distracted at the start, about half way through really kicked it up – fantastic weaves! AND her standard run was pretty good, there was one moment the judge was closer to her than me and she hesitated, but came right back to me and finished the course for 1st place and her title ;-) She is now MeLou Shambhala NA NAJ !

Myth's standard run;

Over all a very good agility weekend, had some fun, picked up some Qs and a new title.

This last weekend Josie and I did her first Rally trial…..Saturday she was a bit distracted (could have been a bit of nerves for both of us), very wide, not very good heeling. The judge was very forgiving and we did Q with a score of 93. Must remember this Judge ;-)

Sunday was way better, much more focused and willing. We Q’d with a score of 97, we lost points on her around finish – way to far from me, something we need to work on and her down from the sit took two commands as she was keeping her eye on the judge (reminds me of someone else). It was fun to do a Rally trail again, and think it was a good change of pace for Josie. It will be interesting to see how she runs in the agility trial this weekend, it is at the same place as the Rally trial was.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 21, 2011

It seems like yesterday I brought a whirling dervish of a parti puppy home…

Could it really be that she is 5 years old today ?....
Happy Birthday to the one who has led me to so many new and exciting places….

To be continued………………………..

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quick note

Busy working on the ALAC Handbook so just a quick brag....

The MeLou Lhasas have been on a little vacation from trials, we'll be back at it with a 3 day trial this weekend, but I had the great pleasure to run a friends dog this last Sunday. Debbie had to go to somewhere in Wisconsin to watch some football game.......since she had her dog entered in an agility trial.....I volunteered to run her.....We had fun!!



Yes, if you noticed it is NOT a Lhasa ;-)
Casey Mae is a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever "Toller"
Cute huh?
CM stayed with us Saturday and Sunday, she is an awesome dog and got along great with the Lhasa crew.
Thanks Debbie for letting me run her, it was FUN, FUN !!! A tribute to the great training Casey has received !


Friday, January 21, 2011

And so it goes

In this weeks class Myth had absolutely NO issue with the chute - go figure (although we have been practicing it at home), so I believe it was most definitely a combination of the proximity of the chute straightner and trial stress – guess we will be proofing people sitting close to the chute and trial stress, well the only thing I can do about that is trial ;-) Here teeter was also beautiful.

Suds was even better this week, boy he sure is speeding up – I looked back, he use to average 2-2.5 yps in JWW, he is now running 3.1 – 3.5 yps and in class he is jumping 12” just great. This spring I may move him from preferred (jumping 8”) to regular (jumping 12”) especially when Myth gets to Excellent. It will be way easier have Suds in the 12” class instead of three dogs in the 8” class.

Josie was pretty good, we continue to struggle with speeding up her weaves, she has it in her. Very frustrating. In the summer I would send her through the weave once or twice each evening and that seemed to really speed them up, unfortunately there is no room in the house for a set of weaves – unless I were to take all the furniture out ;-)

We have a private lesson scheduled this weekend, the first since the beginning of November !

Stay WARM!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Suds & Myth

For a while now, Myth starts out full of exuberance and actually runs….the first couple of exercises; I am not sure if it is a confidence issue or just the Lhasa Bitch coming out. I am leaning towards confidence, since more often than not she is more than happy to play and interact with me outside the ring. It is easy for me to forget she is still really a puppy (19 months), she is so much further along than Josie was at this age – thank you Josie. So, last week I decided for the immediate future (always subject to change ;-) Suds and Myth are sharing a class. Suds will get the first part of class and Myth the second. Last night was the first class I implemented this; to a resounding success for both Suds and Myth. Suds was just full of it and so happy to be at class – it’s been awhile for him. Since there were no spread jumps in the sequence we were doing, I decided to run him at his regular jump height, 12”, he was fantastic, actually jumping really well ! There was only one jump where he took off exceptionally long. I was quite a bit ahead of him so I think he took off long to try and catch me.

I found out at the last minute about 10am Friday, that there were runs open in the CPE trial on Saturday 1/15 and I could have them if I wanted. We went and both Suds and Myth were awesome. They were both in the first two classes, Suds ran Level 2 Fullhouse (for an explanation see here; http://www.k9cpe.com/forms/2011rb.pdf -page 18) was a very good boy did miss the weaves but still Q’d, he also ran level 2 standard and Q’d . Myth was a VERY good girl, ran Level 1 Fullhouse, was very focused and fast ;-) and nailed her weaves, and earned her CPE title CL1-F ! She also ran Level 1 standard, WOW ! was super, running about 4 YPS (no weaves or teeter in level 1) for a Q and her CL1-R title. Josie ran also but, I was a little unmotivated and in standard she missed her dog walk contact – jumped it, naughty girl, she was running well and did have an awesome time – 10 seconds under the first place dog. In Wildcard we had an off course - handler error ;-).

We now have a little break from trials, nothing until the second weekend in February.


“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 in review.....on to 2011

To wrap up 2010 …..the gang and I headed to Amherst Junction, WI for an agility trial the weekend before Christmas. The goal was to get Suds either a Standard or Jumpers Q to finish a title…..He did both !! not on the same day, but considering this was a facility he had never run at before he was great. I think this was the first time he has run both Standard and Jumpers on the same day, two days in a row. He use to get stressed, lose focus and start to wander if he had to do more than one class
He now gets to add AXP and AJP after his name and move on to Excellent B Preferred in both Standard and Jumpers !!

Josie continues to be very consistent, although did a little tunnel wander in one class…..for the weekend she earned 2 QQs and 100 points, she took a couple of seconds and thirds, we were competing against a Toy Fox Terrier that was National Champion several times, to say he is fast is a mild understatement ;-)

Myth made her AKC debut….Saturday was really good, she ran well, a little tentative, so a bit slower than I know she can run, also had to attempt the weaves a couple of times, (not a fault at the Novice level) she usually nails them so I know her stress level was a little high. She did get qualifying scores in both Jumpers and Standard. Sunday the wheels fell of the bus…..she did run her Standard course with no course faults, but was so tentative and got stuck a few times she ended up with to many time faults to qualify. Jumpers was a little to much for the baby Lhasa, she took 2 or 3 jumps and wanted to leave, she did manage to stay in the ring and come to me (better than her Mom did when she first started trialing).

2010 was a good year for the MeLou Lhasas;
Ella earned her Championship, 4 points short of her Grand Championship, finished in the top 20 Lhasas in the nation (not final yet, but she should stay in there) and received an invite to the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational
Josie earned her MX, OF and MACH titles, earned an invite to the ACK/Eukanuba Agility Invitational as the #1 Lhasa, finishing in 10th place, #1 Lhasa, #10 High Conformation Dog after all four rounds (dog with a Championship, 1 of only 2 8” dogs in the top 20) #9 in the Non-Sporting Group (the only 8” dog in the top 20).
Suds earned his OJP, OAP, AXP and AJP titles and continues to improve his confidence and focus.
Myth earned 2 points (with very limited showing) towards her Championship and successfully debuted in Agility.

On to 2011…..

We did a New Years Day trial in familiar settings at On The Run. Josie and Suds both in Excellent B. Josie earned 1 QQ and 78 points, the only thing she missed all weekend was a very difficult weave entry, about 80% of the class NQ’d at the weaves. The judge was a former world team coach and previous years Nationals judge = challenging courses that were very fun!

Suds almost pulled out his first QQ – almost. Saturday he ran just great, Q and first place in Jumpers, unfortunately he dropped a bar in Standard, I think I may have been to close when I did my front cross, unlike Josie he needs a bit more room on the landing side….Sunday his Jumpers run was just as good, ended up second. In Standard ,the same weaves Josie missed was also Suds' trouble spot, although he nailed the entry, he popped out at the second pole….the rest of the run was just beautiful. This was his second time running both classes, both days and he was fantastic, running very enthusiastically, although he did start out just a bit tentative on the second day once he got rolling he picked it up. Now to try for a three day trial – coming in February.

Myth’s weekend was full of ups and downs, thankfully the ups outweighed the downs and we ended with an up! Her first run was Standard and it was a beautiful run…..except for the big, scary, Lhasa eating, monster = the Chute. Guess what we will be doing in class, at home, wherever we can. It may have been partially due to the chute straightner (ring crew) who was seated about 10 feet away from the entrance, this is to close in Myth’s mind. Her Jumpers run was fantastic ! I compared her yps (yards per second) against what Josie ran in Novice and they are pretty close. Myth is running an average 3.55/yps, Josie average was 3.68/yps, and Myth is about 6 months younger so her time will only improve. It does feel like Myth is running slower than Josie did, but it is probably due to the fact that Josie is currently running about 4.5/yps and she could shave some off of that if we could speed up those weaves like I know she can ! Sunday’s Standard for Myth involved a very tall judge being to close to the teeter and dog walk….we will be having people standing in the ring during practice! She came out of the tunnel and the judge was on one side of the teeter and I was on the other, she took one look at the judge and stopped dead, made a wide berth around him proceeded on course over a jump to the table, turned to go to the dog walk and he was right next to me, she said "nuh uh", turned to go the other way (out the ring), I called her, she looked at me, looked at the judge, turned to leave again, I took off across the ring –away from the judge and she said OK! jumped a couple of jumps and we left. Oh, the challenges of baby dogs ;-). Jacque had the judge give her treats between classes, not sure if that helped or the fact the judge was not as close, but her Jumpers run was fantastic! Ended up first and earned her Novice Agility Jumpers NAJ title!

Overall a very successful weekend, came away with things we need to work on for Myth and had a good time.


“Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” Denis Waitley