HNC Home Page
News Business Arts & Life Sports Opinion Calendar Archive About Us
ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

Speak up! Comment on the WORD at


Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Millville woman opens Shih Tzu breeding kennel

By Jessica Allen

March 30, 2009 | MILLVILLE -- After four years of studying and preparation, Rael Thompson is ready to start her own small Shih Tzu breeding program with the goal of producing healthy, high quality, beautiful dogs.

Thompson said in a phone interview that she has loved and owned the breed for 12 years now and has enjoyed their sweet disposition and non-shedding long coats.

Belonging to a breeders group she has learned a lot about breeding from them as they help each other out, she said.

Thompson plans to own up to six Shih Tzus for breeding purposes, two of them being male, though right now she only owns two females and one male that are American Kennel Club registered that she plans on breeding.

"I want to be known for having good quality dogs," Thompson said, and has gone to makes sure that she does just that as she has bought and flown in two of her dogs from breeders in Alabama and South Carolina to ensure good quality breeding lines.

One of the problems with that, Thompspn said, was that she didn't get to interact with the puppies before she bought them and had to trust the breeders word, but she said she has not been disappointed with the dogs as they have been great with her family and other dogs with the exception of one. She said that she bought one female and had to find another home for the animal as she would fight with one of her other dogs.

"I had one dog that hated one of my other dogs, it was sad," Thompson said.

Shih Tzus aren't the only breed of dog Thompson that are a part of her family and owns a couple other pet dogs as well, which was one of the dogs that the female Shih Tzu didn't like.

As far as breeding her dogs go, Thompson said she will never do anything to get the dogs to go into season earlier than they naturaly would and finds such practices unethical and plans to breed her dogs when she thinks they are ready to.

Thompson said determining when she thinks they will be ready to be bred will be based on each individual dog's personality, but that on average Shih Tzu is physically able to be bred when they are two years old.

Finding good homes for the puppies is one of her top priorities when she goes to sell them and even has it in her contract when she sells one that the new owner has to contact her if they want to sell the dog at a later date or give it to someone else to make sure that it goes to someone who will appreciate it.

Thompson said it depends when the puppies are ready to go to new homes and can very from 8-12 weeks in age, but said "I won't let a puppy go before it's two pounds".

The puppies Thompson will be selling will be under what is called limited registration, meaning according to the AKC Web site that "the dog is registered but no litters produced by that dog are eligible for registration".

Thompson said that for advertising when she has puppies she will use the Internet, possibly newspaper ads, and word of mouth.

"I really hope at one point to be at word of mouth," Thompson said and explained that it would mean that as a breeder her buyers will more likely be more appreciative of the dogs and truly want them.

Shih Tzus are high in popularity and are ranked as number 10 in desirablity according the AKC's registration statistics on their Web site.The Shih Tzus that Thompson has have harder to find coat colors and due to their high quality lines and beauty the puppies will range in price from $800 to $2,000.

The Shih Tzus that Thompson has right now are still too young to be bred and has yet to have a litter from the ones she currently has, though that doesn't mean she hasn't had puppies before.

Thompson said one of the hardest parts of being a breeder, besides finding good homes, is for her family is having to sell them as it is so easy to get attached to and love the puppies.

For more information on Thompson's breeding program go to Enchanted Mountain Shih Tzu. For more information on the breed, go to


Copyright 1997-2009 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
Best viewed 800 x 600.