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There are many better reviews on Ciao regarding whether you should buy a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (henceforth for the sake of Repetitive Strain Injury now known as a Cav). Mine is to introduce those interested into my little troup. It will be updated regularly as my tribe grow up.
**Why was it a Cav that did it for me?** As anyone who knows me could tell you, I love animals more than most people. I don't have to be funny, I can be sarcastic, I don't have to listen, I can talk, and most importantly I don't have to share my chocolate, only when I feel too sick to eat the last chunk, and I have someone to stroke without it leading onto sex!!
I've always been a big dog lover, and when my second daughter started playschool I was as clucky as a chicken. Darling Husband (DH) was informed that if I had a puppy I would never need another baby! Okay, so I was wrong again (but we have an abnormal smear and consequent treatments to blame for Satan's son, but that's another story!) Searching through the local Loot press I saw loads of breeds, but it was always the spaniels that took my heart. Cav's are just so sweet, adorable and small I knew one could be my lap dog and my baby.
**Rizla** I have had Rizla for nearly four years, he is a Blenheim coloured (ruby and white) Cav. He cost me £275 without any Kennel Club documents or proof of pedigree, which was an option at higher cost. I chose him because he had a bright shiny pink nose and was the smallest of the two remaining pups! Just two things which meant he was "no good" for showing or breeding, hence less stealable. Since the first weekend we bought him home he has suffered collitis, something I have since discovered to be common in the breed. It isn't a bad thing necessarily, something similar to food allergies in humans. Rizla is now a spoilt babe who only eats white meat, and rice with CSJ biscuits. Occassionally he has tinned dog food (chicken, tuna or turkey). This means I know he has little to no additives and floor scrapings in his system.
From the very first moment he sat on my knee it appeared he clambered his way into my heart. Rizla was the chosen name as we couldn't decide on anything, used orange papers of the same name, and he was Christened. We never do sane names!
**Training** Rizla, or Rizzie when he's in good books, as opposed to being in the dog-house, is fairly obediant. I know if I had the time or inclination to train him, he could do those doggy dances you see at Crufts. The thing is, Rizzie was scared that his cousin would take the p*** (my brother has a Doberman) so we never really tried. He can sit, refuses to stay, will lay down, and won't beg or roll over. He will
Pictures of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Diamond on day 2
chase after a ball, when he wants, and NOT before, thankyouverymuch. He sleeps on command, or is that because that's ALL he does?? He likes a little yap at my overly noisy neighbours, which I know annoys them, so we let him carry on!!**So................ Goose and Diamond?** As I said, Rizzie is coming up to 4 years old, and he never grew out of sleeping, snoring and farting all day and night. We decided a playmate was in order. Well, I did, and DH didn't know what to buy me for our anniversary!
I've been looking online for around three or four weeks now, for a little buddy for my baby. To buy another puppy we would now be looking at around £400+, which just wasn't an option. Luckily two weeks before we went to Bude on holiday I found Diamond advertised. A fair amount of chatter later I had reserved her for £150. She is 2.5 years old, a breeding bitch who was now surplus to requirements. She is also Blenheim. She has all her papers, something which I care very little about.
**AND..... Goose?** Goose, where do I begin? Two days before we went away I wanted DH to ring the breeder to make sure Diamond was still mine. All was well, and he passed the phone to me. The breeder then informed me that Diamond's last litter was 6 weeks previous, and had produced 5 puppies two weeks premature. All died except one.
Goose was that one, he couldn't be sold because he is blind. For no apparent reason he has white spots on his eyes (similar to tippex blobs, one on each eye). She didn't want to take him to the vets for treatment, as she knew she could not recover money spent. I turned to jelly, and apparently, according to DH, a cooing idiot. She didn't need to ask me if I would take him too, it was something left unsaid, but agreed.
The name Goose comes from the way he walks, the Goosestep is a march where the legs are extended straight out at an angle to the body. My little one does this to feel his way around. He was called Bumpa by the breeder for obvious reasons, but it seemed to ridicule him in a direct way.
**The first 22 hours** We arived home with them both around 11.30pm yesterday. I marvelled at how well they behaved in the car (Rizzie screams blue murder, he gets so excited.) I introduced them to Rizzie on the front of the house and allowed them to make their own way inside. Goose being only 5" tall needed help to climb our 3" step and Rizla promptly peed on Satan (my son) who had come down to investigate. (Note how he became his full and proper name then?)
Since then, all have basically slept, aside from eating, sleeping and farting. The odd poo has been done in the garden, funny how no Cav can stand still and do it one spot, they have to trek all around and scatter their contents like confetti. The wees thankfully are all outside, by the elder two, and not up a toddler's back. Goose.... Well Goose is in reality 5 weeks old. (7 weeks old but 2 weeks premature). When he circles for more than 2 seconds you know he needs to pee. We have had a few accidents, luckily his bladder holds no more than a thimble full.
I am so proud of my babies, and as Goose chews his way through my new Kickers sandals I want to be able to remember how lucky I am to have him. As Diamond now needs to restart her injections after not having a single booster; and needs to be spayed, I need to remind my pursestrings that I can live on love. And that is something she has plenty of, her eyes are already losing their sorrow and starting to shine again as she looks up and shadows my movements. As Rizla is bitten by some needle sharp baby teeth and jumps back two feet, before bouncing back at Goose I can see there is so much more laughter to come in this house.
As I watch an 8" long bundle of fluff bound around I know I have done the right thing. Keep the old 'uns young and the young ones occupied!!
**Day 2** All going ok, Rizla still not taken to either new addition that well, he prefers to be in a different space than either Diamond or Goose. Fingers crossed for the future. Goose and Diamond had their first visit to the V.E.T (spelling it out in case anyone is reading this aloud and a pet hears!!) It's a long story, but Diamond has now restarted her innoculations as she only had them at 11 months so she could be bred with. None since. We are now looking to save and raise cash to get her spayed so she doesn't suffer anymore trauma of pregnancy, birth and loss. Goose, well, bless that poor baby. Most mothers will know about the fontanelle, a soft spot on babies heads where the skull doesn't fuse until later on in life. Puppies don't usually have this, and if they do, they die. Goose's skull hasn't fused. She also looked at the white spots on his eyes, and thought they were cataracts, probably due to him only being carried for 7 weeks instead of 9. She took him through to the senior vet who also noticed his iris isn't attached properly, and he has holes surrounding the lens. The best we can hope for is that Goose can carry on seeing shadows.
**Day four** Well, it just goes to show the adaptability of the breed. Rizzie has taken to Goose in a big way. In between having his bottom legs chewed, tail bitten and ears tugged he escorts Goose around obstacles in the garden. He walks alongside him near the wood lawn roll until he can get on the grass safely, he plays fighting tag with him and has showed him how to yap at the noisy neighbours. He is an excellent stepdad!!!
Diamond has settled right in too. Although her tail spends a lot of time between her legs which still shows vunerability (I wonder if that's because Goose hangs from it??) she is always coming for cuddles and attention. She is still slightly hand shy but is no longer frightened enough to back away. She is also now happy to let Goose wander in and out and doesn't feel the need to shadow him constantly.
Today Goose weighs 900g!
**Day 23** My, how time flies. Just a little and speedy update. Goose now weighs 1.3kg, and appears to have grown somewhat. He is now comparable to a circus cavie, ie, a Guinea pig on stilts. He has quite a little yap on him, now bites instead of just plain nibbling and has a fondness for toes.
We took them all into town on Saturday, Goose still gets to ride shotgun in the buggy as he is still not big enough to be inoculated. We didn't get far, or much done. But we did help a blind lady out with her collections. She was in the centre with her three guide dogs and said the most she had taken all day was when we joined her. She now has my number and we're set to join her when she collects again in August. Such is the appeal of the Cavalier King Charles.
Diamond is now able to walk as she has had her jabs, which only cost £25 for the first and £11 for the second, given two weeks apart . Booster is around £25 once a year. Once she stops feeding Goose we can frontline them all as we still have the odd flea join our family. Hopefully she can still be spayed soon, rather than risk more pups.
Rizla is now fighting Goose back, and it's hilarious to watch and wonder how come he never learns. Goose now has the habit of peeing Rizzie off to the point Rizzie growls. Goose then plays dead until Rizzie backs away. Yes, you know what's next, Goose dives right back at him, jowls flapping and mouth yap yap yapping.
**Goose is 12 weeks old** He had his first injection yesterday, and typical to the breed he cried for around 10 minutes afterwards, and I felt like a proper git. With lots of love and cuddles bestowed on him, he opted to gain more sympathy by screaming louder. My, his lungs have developed. He is due back in 2 weeks for his second shot, then 1 week after he will be able to walk. (Whether or not he will want to.....) With regards to his sight, sadly, I think it is deteriorating, he now bumps into things on a regular basis. I'm hoping it's just because of his slow to react focus time as he now does everything at top speed. He now weighs 1.75kg, the little porker!! His baby hair has gone and his coat is soft and smooth. He has a new collar to show him he belongs, it's the weeniest cat collar adjusted to the smallest setting!! He is teething like crazy as my locket, desk and new Harry Potter book proves!!
So, all in all, it's going okay, I don't think I could have taken on three dogs of any other breed, yet my tribe give me the most wonderful feeling inside. Even with one blind, one very shy and one manic barker I couldn't ever be without them.