THE JOY AND SORROW OF BREEDING CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIELS
BEING A BREEDER IS NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES, ADMITTEDLY WE HAVE THE HOURLY JOY OF BEING WITH OUR SIRES AND DAMS, AND OF COURSE THEIR RESULTING LITTERS. SO MUCH GOES IN TO THE BREEDING PROCESS, FIRST THE SELECTION OF STRONG AND HEALTHY MALES AND FEMALES, THE RIGHT COAT COLOR, GOOD AND HEALTHY BLOODLINES, TEMPERAMENT AND SO ON. FOR THE FIRST 18 MONTHS OF THEIR LIVES, THEY EAT, PLAY, GROW, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY GO TO THEIR VETERINARIAN ON A REGULAR BASIS. VACCINATIONS, CHECK UPS, OUCHIES. THEN CLOSER TO THE TIME THEY ARE NEARING THEIR JOURNEY TO BECOMING PARENTS, BOTH MUST BE TESTED, CARDIO, OPTHALMOLOGIST AND A CHECK ON THEIR PATELLAS, ALL THESE TESTS ARE DOCUMENTED AND SUBMITTED TO OFA.ORG, STANDS FOR ORTHOPEDIC FOUNDATION FOR ANIMALS, THESE ARE SEARCHABLE DOCUMENTS AND CERTIFICATIONS THAT LETS THE ADOPTING FAMILIES KNOW THAT THEY ARE IN FACT ADOPTING A HEALTHY PUPPY, ONE THAT SHOULD LIVE A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE. THESE TESTS AND CERTIFICATIONS ALONE ARE NOT GUARANTEES BY ANY MEANS, IT SIMPLY TELLS YOU THAT THERE IS HIGHER THEN AVERAGE CHANCE THAT YOU'LL HAVE NO PROBLEMS. YOUR ODDS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED, BUT NOT GUARANTEED. ANY BREEDER THAT SAYS THEY CAN UNCONDITIONALLY SAY YOU'LL NEVER HAVE ANY ISSUES IS SIMPLY NOT BEING COMPLETELY HONEST WITH YOU. WHEN OUR BREEDING MALES AND FEMALES DO NOT PASS ALL OF THEIR TESTS, OR WHEN THE FEMALES ARE FIVE YEARS OF AGE, OR THE MALES ARE SEVEN YEARS OF AGE, THEY ARE RETIRED, SPAYED OR NEUTERED, TEETH CLEANED, FOLLOW UP PHYSICAL EXAM. THEY ARE THEN MADE AVAILABLE TO GO TO A PET HOMES. SOMETIMES THEY ARE RETIRED EARLY, EITHER THEY DON'T WANT TO BREED, OR SOMETHING PREVENTS THEM FROM BREEDING. IN ANY CASE, THEY ARE QUICKLY RETIRED AND OFFERED AS PETS YOU CAN ADOPT.
NOW COMES THE GLORIOUS DAY, BOTH HAVE PASSED ALL THEIR TESTS, THEY'VE BEEN RAISED AROUND EACH OTHER, THEY KNOW EACH OTHER, THE DAM GOES IN TO SEASON AND WE ISOLATE HER WITH HER SIRE, AWAY FROM THE OTHER MALES ESPECIALLY, CAUSES A BIT OF NOISE DURING THIS TIME, ALL THE BOYS THINK THEY SHOULD BE THE ONE. THE FEMALE'S SEASON LASTS ABOUT 21 DAYS, THE FIRST FIVE OR SO RESULT IN SPOTTING AND FLOW, THE MALE IS INTERESTED, BUT INSTINCTIVELY KNOWS THAT IS NOT YET TIME, THEY GENERALLY KNOW AT THE SAME TIME. ONCE THEY HAVE CONSUMATED THEIR TIME TOGETHER, THEN COMES THE WAITING. USUALLY ABOUT 30 DAYS AFTER THE FIRST 'GET TOGETHER', YOU'RE ABLE TO DISCERN WHETHER SHE IS PREGNANT OR NOT. THEN, ABOUT 58 TO 63 DAYS AFTER THE FIRST TIE, A LITTER IS BORN, SOMETIMES ONE, AND LITTERS AS LARGE AS EIGHT. A NORMAL LITTER FOR THE CAVALIER IS THREE OR FOUR, ALL DEPENDS ON HEALTH OF THE DAM AND HEALTH OF THE MALE. FEEDING A PROPER DIET AND MAKING CERTAIN THEIR VET CHECKS ARE ADHERED TO IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF THE RESULTING LITTER. WE LOSE A GREAT DEAL OF SLEEP AS THE DAMS IN OUR HOUSE, LIKE HAVING THEIR LITTERS IN THE WEE HOURS, AND TAKES SEVERAL HOURS TO WHELP THE LITTER. WE FALL IN LOVE WITH LITTLE ONES THE MOMENT THEY ARE BORN, TO SEE THEM TAKE THEIR FIRST BREATH, SEE THEM MOVING, CHECKING FOR GENDER IS USUALLY LATER AS IT CAN BE A LITTLE HECTIC AT THIS TIME. THEIR EYES ARE CLOSED, AND WON'T OPEN AND BE ABLE TO SEE UNTIL THEY ARE 12 TO 15 DAYS OLD, THEY CAN'T HEAR EITHER. ONCE THEY ARE CLEANED UP AND BREATHING WELL, WE WORK DILIGENTLY TO KEEP THE PUPPY WARM, THEY CAN NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET COLD, IF THEY GET TOO COLD, THEY WON'T NURSE. WE ALL USE DIFFERENT METHODS TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, BUT THE END RESULT IS THE SAME. WARM PUPPY....FULL PUPPY.
SADLY, THIS IS THE TIME THAT SORROW CAN REAR ITS UGLY HEAD, A PUPPY NOT BREATHING RIGHT AWAY, OR WORSE....STILL BORN. FOR REASONS UNKNOWN IT HAPPENS AT BIRTH. BUT WAIT. SOMETIMES IT HAPPENS SEVERAL WEEKS DOWN THE ROAD, THE REASON CAN AT TIMES BE EASILY IDENTIFIED, AND SOMETIMES THERE IS NO CLEAR CUT REASON WHY THE PUPPY FALLS ILL, UNABLE TO EAT, AND AFTER MANY VISITS TO THE VET, PERHAPS EVEN A HOSPITAL STAY, THE PUPPY BREATHES ITS LAST. A PUPPY YOU HAVE KNOWN AND HELD AND PLAYED WITH FOR SEVERAL WEEKS AND UNEXPECTEDLY FALLS ILL, DEVELOPS A DIGESTIVE PROBLEM, SUGAR CRASH, ANY NUMBER OF THINGS AND REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU AND YOUR VETERINARY TEAM DOES, RESULTS IN THE DEATH OF THE PUPPY. THAT SORROW IS NOT QUANTIFIABLE IN ANY WAY. SOMETIMES THE MOTHER WILL GIVE SUBTLE CLUES, NOT NURSING ONE PARTICULAR PUPPY, SO WE STEP IN TO TRY TO DO WHAT WE CAN AND WHAT WE KNOW TO SAVE THE PUPPIES LIFE. MANY TIMES, THE RESULT IS POSITIVE AND THE PUPPY GAINS THEIR HEALTH BACK AND GOES HOME SUCCESSFULLY, AND THERE ARE TIMES THAT NO MATTER WHAT YOU AND THE DOCTORS DO, THE PUPPY STILL PASSES AWAY. THAT IS TRULY SORROW. A FAMILY THAT HAS BEEN ANTICIPATING THEIR PUPPY COMING HOME, HAS TO BE TOLD THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH. SORROW AGAIN. TESTS HAVE BEEN MADE AND PASSED BY BOTH PARENTS, YET THE UNSPEAKABLE HAPPENS. MOTHER NATURE TRULY HAS THE LAST WORD.
THEN THERE IS THE TIME OF WHAT WE TERM, 'JOYFUL SORROW'. OVER A PERIOD TIME, THE ADOPTING FAMILY HAS COME AND CHOSEN THEIR NEW FAMILY MEMBER, AND THEN IT IS TIME FOR THAT LITTLE ONE TO GO TO THEIR FOREVER HOME. AS PREVIOUSLY STATED, WE FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM AT FIRST SIGHT, FIRST BREATH, FIRST MOVEMENT. WE SEE THEM GROW, THEN OPEN THEIR EYES AND ARE ABLE TO SEE, START TO WALK, START ROUGH HOUSING WITH EACH OTHER AND WITH US. WE KNOW THAT SOMEDAY COMES WHEN THEY LEAVE OUR HOME, TO GO TO THEIR NEW HOME, AND THAT IS COMPLETE JOY FOR US, FOR THE ADOPTING FAMILY AND FOR THE PUPPY AS WELL. BUT IT IS A LITTLE SAD TO SEE THEM GO DOWN THE ROAD, PERHAPS NEVER TO SEE THEM AGAIN. THUS THE TERM, 'JOYFUL SADNESS'. WE ENTRUST YOU AS THEIR ADOPTIVE PARENTS TO SEE TO IT THEY ARE KEPT HAPPY AND HEALTHY. WE AS THEIR BREEDER, OWE IT TO THE PUPPY THE CORRECT FOREVER HOME. WE DO WONDER HOW THEY ARE DOING, AND LOVE TO HEAR FROM OUR EXTENDED FAMILIES, THE PUPPY'S PROGRESS AND THEIR PICTURES AS WELL.
JUST BE GOOD TO THEM, THEY WILL GIVE YOU UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AS LONG AS THEY LIVE.
WHAT YOUR DOG REALLY THINKS ABOUT YOU.
We know and feel a dog’s love. They give us hugs and comfort at times when we needed it most.
But have you ever wondered what dogs think and dream about?
To give you an idea, read on to find out how we imagine your dog really thinks of you.
I am your dog, and I have a little something I’d like to whisper in your ear; I know that you humans lead busy lives. Some have to work, some have children to raise. It always seems like you are running here and there, often much too fast, often never noticing the truly grand things in life.
Look down at me now, while you sit there at your computer. See the way my dark brown eyes look at yours? They are slightly cloudy now. That comes with age. The grey hairs are beginning to ring my soft muzzle. You smile at me; I see love in your eyes. What do you see in mine? Do you see a spirit? A soul inside, who loves you as no other could in the world? A spirit that would forgive all trespasses of prior wrong doing for just a simple moment of your time?
That is all I ask; To slow down, if even for a few minutes to be with me. So many times you have been saddened by the words you read on that screen, of others of my kind, passing.Sometimes we die young and oh so quickly, sometimes so suddenly it wrenches your heart out of your throat. Sometimes, we age so slowly before your eyes that you may not even seem to know until the very end, when we look at you with grizzled muzzles and cataract clouded eyes. Still the love is always there, even when we must take that long sleep, to run free in a distant land.
I may not be here tomorrow; I may not be here next week. Someday you will shed the water from your eyes, that humans have when deep grief fills their souls, and you will be angry at yourself that you did not have just “One more day” with me.
Because I love you so, your sorrow touches my spirit and grieves me. We have NOW, together. So come, sit down here next to me on the floor, and look deep into my eyes. What do you see? If you look hard and deep enough we will talk, you and I, heart to heart. Come to me not as “alpha” or as “trainer” or even “Mom or Dad,” come to me as a living soul and stroke my fur and let us look deep into one another’s eyes, and talk. I may tell you something about the fun of chasing a tennis ball, or I may tell you something profound about myself, or even life in general. You decided to have me in your life because you wanted a soul to share such things with. Someone very different from you, and here I am.
I am a dog, but I am alive. I feel emotion, I feel physical senses, and I can revel in the differences of our spirits and souls. I do not think of you as a “Dog on two feet” — I know what you are. You are human, in all your quirkiness, and I love you still.
Now, come sit with me, on the floor. Enter my world, and let time slow down if only for 15 minutes. Look deep into my eyes, and whisper to my ears.
Speak with your heart, with your joy and I will know your true self. We may not have tomorrow, and life is oh so very short.
So please… come sit with me now and let us share the precious moments we have together.
Please don't forget Your Breeder
I know from day one not every puppy could stay - preparing them for life took many hours each day.
I love every minute watching them develop and thrive - helping them discover the world fills me with pride.
The weeks are numbered - never enough time- I worry even though I know the puppies will be fine.
Now I trust you with this puppy and hope you understand, I handpicked you and expect you to follow the plan.
Continue to provide new experiences each day - never stop training - and always play.
I will never forget my puppies and will always have special place in our hearts - please provide them the best for the rest of their years.
No matter how long ago your baby was here - not staying in touch is my biggest fear.