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Family Christmas 2008 065 - CopyOur Christmas celebrations are always highlighted by little lives that give us a kind of joy that we count on each year.  They are the furry bunch in the Fong family.  During this season of celebration these little guys give our Family times a kind of warmth that is immeasurable.

They are Lhasa Apsos.  For our family that was a tradition that began when our children were tiny little guys themselves.  His name was Dusty and filled their childhood with love, laughter and plenty of adventures.

His silky fur soaked up tears, enjoyed hours of stroking and taught them how to take care of a family pet with plenty of baths.  His ears heard many stories and fussing.  That wet nose nuzzled many hurt feelings.

At Christmas he never knew what  the celebration was all about but he knew that the family was together and having a great time.  Our squeals and boisterous conversation must have made him curious.  Of course he was decorated with leftover bows, ribbons and wrapping paper.

Now, we have Oscar and Cooper to entertain us.  Their personalities are immeasurably unique.  Oscar is finicky and fussy.  

This Lhasa picks his times for fun.  No one can convince him easily.  But, if you ignore him long enough he will come and wiggle his way under your arm for a snuggle.

It is nearly prophetic and certainly comical when you stare down at this “too cute” face.  The warmth of a Lhasa hug is a gift of life.  His closeness makes his lovable spirit wonderfully inviting.

Cooper is a feisty active little guy.  He is an alarmist and barks at everyone who has not been a recent contact, recent as in the last 20 minutes.  If anyone is absent for that length of time, then you are strangers once again.

The ignoring routine works well with him.  He will run up to you and growl but just don’t react.  Keep on talking with someone or watching TV and eventually he may climb up on the sofa and look at you with massive suspicion. 

At Christmas he gets his bows and treats too. He barks and announces imaginary dangers.  We keep on celebrating and let his calls of alarm add to the joyous noise.  It is a Fong Family Christmas with family at the heart and center, including our canine cuties.

photo credit: brucefong photography

He is a Fong.  Our family has many special members both human and not-quite human.  One of them is Nemo. 

Nemo is a Lhasa Apso.  The Chinese called them Lion dogs because of their mane.  They are often portrayed in stone guarding the entrance to important places like palaces or homes of dignitaries. 

They are a determined breed.  Diminutive in size, they have a heart that will challenge a foe twice their size.  No, they are not vicious, just courageous.

Once the serenity of life has returned, they are quite docile.  Now, that they have driven off the threat to their family, they soak in the attention, petting and pampering.  They return the affection with deep sighs, comical play and unexplainable personality that beams from their Star Wars Ewok looks.

Their face will melt your heart.  Add antics and individuality to that already winning combination and you have a family member that is a favorite  of everyone.  You have to reach out and hug these guys.

Nemo is one of our family members.  He lives in Oregon with our daughter and son-in-law.  Over the years he has brought many laughable memories to our gatherings.

Now, after weeks of fighting cancer, he has lost the battle.  Yesterday, he was gently put to sleep to end the pain and suffering.  Each of us Fong’s wept at the loss of this special life that gave so much and took so little.   We will miss him.

photo credit: brucefong photography

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