PDA

View Full Version : Need to Vent... Puppy Search continues



cricket865
18th January 2008, 02:42 PM
In my search to find a puppy, I believe I am doing the right thing for my family and the new dog. I have researched extensively, I am choosing to go with a breeder (not a pet store, not a puppy mill, not a newspaper ad etc...) I found approximately 12-15 names either on the club web sites or referrals from the club breeder members. I have called about 13 different breeders...so here's my rant.

WHAT IS UP with some of this people! I understand that this is a passion of theirs and that they need to be sure before they sell to just anyone, BUT that doesnt mean they have to be so rude! I'd say about 3 people I talked to were decent, polite and willing to treat me with respect as I would treat them. The others were curt and down right nasty...this after I mentioned so and so from the "club site" recommended you. Needless to say I would never buy from them anyhow.

One woman asked me some questions I answered them and then when I started to ask here my questions she asked me rather scarcastically "if I was reading off a list a questions on the internet" I said absolutely not! I have been researching this for almost 2 months and at this point I just looking for a reputable breeder. She then directed me to her website and said if I had anymore questions to go there. She had 12 week old pups and had no intention to even give me the time of day.

The whole process has been frustrating to say the least!

I have found one breeder who I like and I will probalbly go with her but my journey there has not been a pleasant one due to the fact I never expected the type of behavior I encountered!

Cricket:confused:

WoodHaven
18th January 2008, 03:04 PM
Having been on both sides of this issue, I wish there was a clear cut way to make both sides happy.
Many breeders work, have a family and have lots to do during the evenings (when most people call). I know I try to educate the people who call, but even I have been a bit terse when someone calls and says, ' you got some of them spaniels for sale??? how much???". Or when someone calls and wants a female, tri that is 16 weeks old, housetrained (cuz no one is home for 9 hours during the day) to be delivered the end of May (???wth???). The person who wanted the girl tri was really ticked that I couldn't give it to her.

Sorry you had a bad experience. When we got our first cavalier, it took MONTHS to find a breeder and then even until the litter was born, we didn't know if one would be ours.

cricket865
18th January 2008, 03:15 PM
Sandy thanks for your take on it.

I guess It has a lot to do with supply and demand. I suppose they have a right to be picky with which person they sell to. But I was NEVER rude with them.

CavyMom
18th January 2008, 03:23 PM
You know, I'll admit I've probably offended people by refuring them back to my website or to the breed website, both with my rescues and my showdogs, but I really try to be patient and always answer all their questions before! But my attitude is if the caller obviously knows what they're talking about (and you obviously do!), I LOVE it when they ask me alot of questions and, coming from the breeder stand point, actually ask what health testing I've done and want to see proof, I'll tell you, if I have 10 people that call on a puppy, and only one does that, they'll probably be the one that I end up choosing as the home for that puppy! It shows me they've done their research before calling me, and are alot more likely to know exactly what they're getting themself into! But also keep in mind alot of people just don't have the people skills to know how to politely tell someone you're busy, and ask them to call back at a later time without offending them!

Cathy T
18th January 2008, 03:31 PM
Unfortunately this is not an uncommon occurence. I'm sorry it's happening to you as well. I ran into the same thing before I found my breeder and met other breeders. I think this has a lot to do with why people are more apt to go into a pet store or by from a backyard breeder. These people know how to "sell" a dog. I've talked to several breeders about this and voiced my concern that they are pushing people into buying from unreputable sources.

My advice....continue to work with the ones who are willing to work with you as long as they are reputable breeders. The payoff will be well worth it.

Karlin
18th January 2008, 06:39 PM
Breeders argue about this issue themselves on the breeder email lists. You kind of wonder why some bother even noting they have puppies available either thru the breed club much less a website if they aren't going to be polite and helpful.

On the other hand many people are really rude or don;t even take a second of their time to read my website for basic info they then ask me (eg do you have any puppies)-- I routinely get requests to 'come visit my dogs so I can pick out a housetrained puppy that gets along with cats and toddlers' and that sort of thing, or people noting they want an already trained dog with no behaviour problems and no health issues, as they are out at work 9 hour days.

But difficult breeders are exactly why people go to pet shops, internet brokers and puppy farm websites, and BYBs (who often say they breed 'for the love of it and to make it easy for you to get a puppy after they themselves experienced how hard it was to get one'! (and yeah, that must be why they show how much they love the breed by following no health protocols at all or pretending to do hearts when really their vet is all they ever visit).

Finding a good breeder takes time -- generally not a few weeks, often not even months. A long time.

cricket865
18th January 2008, 07:21 PM
Thanks all for your responses! they have made me feel a little better.

Cricket

Daisy's Mom
18th January 2008, 08:25 PM
It is kind of a sticky wicket. I know I asked tons of questions even if some stuff was on the website, because it is easy to put things on a website, but sometimes when the person actually is put on the spot about what specific health testing, etc. they do, it's a different story.

Plus, as a good educated buyer, you want to come across like you know what you are talking about and one way to do this is to ask the right questions and know what the right answers should be.

One breeder website talked about how healthy, health-checked, carefully bred, etc. her dogs were, but after I emailed and called her with questions a couple of times, she knew she did not have the answers I was looking for (because she really did not do health checks of any significance before breeding). After my last email with questions, she said "I'm sorry -- he has been placed." very curtly. Then I saw the little guy on her website ever after that with updated pictures, etc. She knew enough to know that she was not doing what a good breeder would do and she didn't like being put on the spot about it.

I'm sure breeders get all sorts of weird and frustrating callers, but I suppose that goes with the territory. But you probably wouldn't want to work with a rude breeder, even if they were good, so it would behoove them to be civil. Like others have said, it's kind of difficult on both sides of the phone.

Nancy
18th January 2008, 09:38 PM
As a breeder, I have encountered some extraordinarily rude and ignorant people this year. It's enough to make someone stop breeding. I've had people spend an hour with me on the phone, ask for pictures, and then not even respond when they received them.My puppies aren't that ugly, lol. I received a call the other day from someone who was given a 2 year old Cavalier and they don't even know where the dog came from. It makes you scared to place a puppy if this is what people are going to do. However, I was glad she called because she wanted some basic information, ie, whether to get their hearts checked so I will get back to her when I hear of a heart clinic. It' great when people get a few places to call, but this is not a shopping project. These are living, breathing creatures who deserve a person who is committed to finding a wonderful puppy and breeder, but by calling dozens of people , IMHO, how can you possibly keep everyone's information straight and why would they spend an extraordinary amount of time with someone only to have the caller move on to the next person without even knowing why you didn't make the cut.

cricket865
19th January 2008, 01:38 AM
I would tend to disagree. It is a shopping project. You can gather a wealth of information and a sense from a person by speaking to them on the phone. I live in NYC but have access to breeders in NJ and PA. So I have come across prices ranging from 3000 all the way down to 1500.

So if I want

a. a healthy puppy
b. a great breeder and
c. a decent price

then yes it is a shopping project!!!! absolutely!!!!

If I have to talk to 50 breeders to find the right one then I will. I believe in this part of the USA the availability of healthy cavaliers is scarce. I may be wrong , but that is the info I have gathered!

So this time (i adopted a rescue 6 years ago, she's a great chocolate lab) I'm going to be sure and adopt EXACTLY what I want and not settle for less

cricket

Nancy
19th January 2008, 01:44 AM
I believe you misunderstood. what I meant is It is not like shopping for a car or a commodity. Unfortunately, given your area, you do not have the opportunity to get $1500 quality cavaliers. So if you're seeking that, you would need to expand geography or settle for a dog that probably isn't from quality breeding. It takes time to understand and pinpoint who you should be working with but it is not a shopping project like finding the same product anywhere, you are buying trust , relationship, and a breeder who cares about the breed by doing whatever they can to insure best chances for a happy healthy puppy.And who wants you for the future home of the puppy they care so much about. You don't need to talk to 50 people , if you do, you're not asking the right questions or seeking something that doesn't exist. I've helped a lot of people find puppies across the country, just to be nice, and there is something amiss if you can't locate a puppy at this time of year from a good breeder, there are many available.

cricket865
19th January 2008, 01:56 AM
NO I think I am asking the RIGHT questions. Just not finding the right breeders and I believe it ALL has to do with location and supply and demand. I believe it is THAT SIMPLE!

Cricket

WoodHaven
19th January 2008, 02:12 AM
I have to agree with Nancy this isn't a shopping project--- if you give off the wrong 'vibe'-- you won't get a pup from ANY reputable breeder. If you are talking to breeders on the club website-- many are very good. A decent price for a cavalier on the east coast is probably 2500.00.

I was offered carte blanche for a puppy from a VERY rich person who lives on the gold coast -- he gave off a "I can buy anything I want at any time vibe" and I said no. I don't think many people have told this guy no.

pinkpuppy
19th January 2008, 02:53 AM
ITA. You must first earn the trust of a reputable breeder. They are your family for life and will be the first ones to contact for support. Plus they do not abandon you once they place their precious charge in your care.

There is no such thing as a $1500 CKCS unless they are from disreputable breeders or aka byb or pm distributors.

arasara
19th January 2008, 04:05 AM
There is no such thing as a $1500 CKCS unless they are from disreputable breeders or aka byb or pm distributors.

I have to respectfully disagree. I know I'm in a "different country" but I have to agree with cricket when she says that it has a lot to do with supply/demand. I live in Ontario (not too far from NYC) and $1500 is the norm for a health tested cavalier from a reputable breeder. :flwr:

pinkpuppy
19th January 2008, 04:30 AM
I've searched over 30-40 breeders in this part of the country. Many were asking the minimum of $3000. Now they're asking the same in the west coast. All the breeders I've searched were referrals from ACKCS and CKCS listing including referrals from reputable breeders if no pups are available. Actually the last breeder I spoke to wanted $5k for a pup that was not good enough for show. *shrugs*

arasara
19th January 2008, 04:46 AM
Actually the last breeder I spoke to wanted $5k for a pup that was not good enough for show. *shrugs*

:eek: That is a TON of money !!

The breeders up here that are charging $1500 are registered with the canadian kennel club and they do show breeding, but I guess the demand just isn't as high. I did see a cavalier in a pet store this past week for $2600 though :mad: Poor little guy was much too thin and I noticed his hair wasn't full like I remember Kosmo and Faith's being when they were his age :mad:

I can't imagine paying $5,000 for a puppy unless I was planning on showing him/her or by chance the breeder was working on SM screening their dogs. I understand the cost of MRIs are quite high, so much so that unfortunately I don't know of many breeders who do it :(

merlinsmum
19th January 2008, 09:50 AM
Not sure if this helps or at least gives an idea. In the UK the price for a pet cavalier from a reputable breeder can be £600+, whereas you can buy a cavalier in my area for as little as £325 - you can guess where that one comes from - yes a so called "reputable" kennel (cough)

WoodHaven
19th January 2008, 03:02 PM
My husband did the hunting for our first cavalier- back in 2000. I found his list and notes from his search when I cleaned out the desk years ago. I was rather shocked to see that there were two brokers on the list (years later it is easier to spot), one of which was the now well known one from Indiana. The prices ranged from 650-1500 USD and this is in the midwest.

If you and a breeder hit it off and they don't have pups (and you don't want to wait) you can ask them to refer you to another reputable breeder. When we made a decision on a breeder, one of the other breeders later got in touch with us-- she wanted to know who we picked and she was happy to give her opinion. Three years later, we went to the second breeder for a pup. fwiw

Karlin
19th January 2008, 03:42 PM
I didn;t have a clue when I started looking for puppies -- it is a learning process. Sandy I think a lot of people were duped by the Indianawoman and some others prominent as brokers still!!

On a separate issue, SM screening should never add thousands to the price of a puppy. The average cost on an MRI is about $1000-1800 with some low cost schemes in place now in Canada, east coast of the US, and certainly I have heard of neurologists giving low cost screenings to breeders if a club approaches (as was done in Washington state, twice!).

If there are four puppies in a litter, that means MRIing should not add more than a few hundred dollars to the price of a puppy if the breeder wishes to recoup that cost in a single litter (but that doesn't really make sense...lots of other tests are done for health of a line or breeding information without puppy buyers underwriting the entire cost). Studs in particular spread their genes far and wide and so screening studs and/or using screened studs should be a priority according to researchers. An MRI for a stud would be swiftly recouped in stud fees. So there are many options. Some breeders are beginning to list their MRI-screened dogs here for example

http://www.cavaliersonline.com/sharing/AAstuddogs.htm

and I know prominent club members like Anne Eckersley are eager to get people including MRI grades in the national club-supported health roster.

Very high prices for puppies will definitely drive buyers to the BYBs and puppy farms but obviously not the pet shops! I could never afford to own a cavalier at those higher prices.

sunshinekisses
20th January 2008, 01:02 PM
I know how you feel. I called a few breeders and never heard back...One was local to me, I even went to a dog show so I could meet her in person thinking she was just too busy to call me back. She ended up not being there that day, this week I talked to someone who was going to buy a pup from her...apparently this breeder is too busy showing her dogs to bother with people contacting her.

Anyway I found sunshine's breeder and felt very comfortable with her. You will find your breeder too...sometimes it is just a matter of good timing. For me I wanted someone that I felt good about and could talk to about any problems. I think I bugged them to death because I was always calling them and then visiting their home and dogs but they were always pleasant to me and answered all of my questions.

cosmic81
29th January 2008, 03:48 AM
i understand what you are talking about.
i spent over an year research for this.

Nancy
29th January 2008, 12:06 PM
The research needs to be such that yields proven information. It really doesn't take long to find out if someone does health testing and will show you results, if you're a home they want to place in. It may take a year for whatever breeder you choose to go with to have a puppy available, but sometimes "research" is just a word. I am also in rescue. Got a call yesterday from someone who is rehoming their 3 year old due to housebreaking issues(another ridiculous reason). Her "research" yielded a breeder posing as the best. She was not, it was obvious to me but not the purchaser. And she paid top dollar for her backyard breeder dog, much more than I charge. Cavaliers in the US are not that hard to get at this time. Some homes are just not suitable or comfortable for the breeders to place a small puppy in.

FranklinFreckles
30th January 2008, 03:04 AM
I'm sorry that you've had such a negative experience with breeders.

I agree that it does seem like these kinds of attitudes would encourage people to buy from back yard breeders or petstores (or heck, even BECOME back yard breeders as someone mentioned earlier!) .

I certainly wouldn't expect a breeder to place a puppy with everyone who calls, but I think that interested parties deserve the basic decency and respect of the breeder to treat them with some dignity.

The idea that people SHOULD search months if not years for a breeder, getting their hopes up and having them crushed time and time again when trying to add a member to their family is really disheartening. To me, this has nothing to do with making an informed decision and being willing to do legwork, this is just pretentious. I think that preforming the necessary health exams is much more important than price, and that $5000 starting rate for a PET quality dog is not what I would consider "reasonable".

WoodHaven
30th January 2008, 05:54 PM
Oh goodness gracious!! I know MANY show breeders who have waited YEARS for the dog they want and many are still waiting. A friend of mine has waited 7 YEARS for a tri female she could show- she went to Canada and finally got one. I have kept very patient person waiting for over two years for a girl that she could have and she is still waiting.
The easiest way to get a cavalier pup is to join a cavalier club (if you are lucky enough to live close to one) volunteer to work a fun match, make some friends and you'll have people helping you left and right to get the perfect pet. Plus you'll have a support group to help you.
Unfortunately, the most common type of email I get for pups looks like this-- "Do you have any cavalier puppies, and how much"

SHANO
30th January 2008, 09:24 PM
That's really what the typical buyer is looking for though....

I'm a doggie lover. I LOVE my Cavaliers.... but not everyone can spend $2500+ on a dog. So what can you do when you want a really great Cavalier from a great breeder? It sucks that you can't get one for what normal buyers consider a "reasonable price". And I understand all the health testing and all that and am totally for it. But I think buyer to buyer, it all depends on what they're going to have to settle for, etc, based on what they want to or can spend.

Because unlucky people like me have husbands that are like, "there's no way in heck that I'm spending over $1500 for a dog. Get a Beagle!" So what do you do? Catch 22 I guess.

WoodHaven
30th January 2008, 10:01 PM
Everyones idea of 'reasonable' is different. I got an earful from a woman who lives in an upscale neighborhood near me. She said, "anyone who pays more than 800.00 for a pup is an idiot". One the other side is the couple who were brown bagging their lunches for over a year to save for a well bred pup.

Karlin
30th January 2008, 10:27 PM
If cash is an issue, I have two suggestions, and the first is going to annoy a lot of people. And to be honest, I don't care. Sometimes you have to be blunt and graphic or the message just does not sink in. I have watched too many people join the site, take part in lots of discussions bemoaning poor breeders, puppy mills/farms, and all the rest, then go right out and ignore all the advice when they get a puppy just because they decided they wanted one *right away* and figured just this one time wouldn't matter. Of course some of these people then start to post about all the health problems those same puppies have and expect advice and sympathy when if they'd taken all the good advice here in the first place, they probably would not be facing the sad situation they and their puppy or dog are in. I've run this board now for going on three years and still do not understand this total disconnect between what people say and then what they DO... :sl*p: It is one thing if you didn't know better but I have no time for those who deliberately go support a system of cruel exploitation so that they can get *their* puppy, and to heck with the breed. I just hope that by being on this or other boards, the message eventually sinks in that THEY contribute to the good or the destruction of this breed through their OWN decisions.

So here's the advice (and by 'you' I definitely don't mean any individual -- consider it an address and plea to everyone!):

1) save for the dog from a decent breeder and don't contribute to the further decimation of this breed, which every person SUPPORTS IMPLICITLY who buys a puppy store or BYB or dog bred by a show breeder who doesn't focus as equally on health as conformation and temperament. Sometimes I don't think people really get the message that THEY become an active and willing and even ENTHUSIASTIC part of the ugly system that is literally destroying this breed when they buy from such places!! Already, too many of us watch our loved dogs die as early as 4-5 years because *too many people wanted that puppy right away* and made a rash purchase of a living creature that allowed some trash breeder to further spread poor genes all over the place. Yes, you might not breed that dog, but be very sure other buyers will breed theirs and overall, you have made a financial contribution to support that litter, that breeder, and the system that guarantees these scum continue to not just operate, but thrive. DO NOT KID YOURSELF that buying from someone other than a reputable breeder is doing something just for yourself, this one time, so you can get a dog you'd like to own, and maybe you'll do the right thing next time. Your decision is also doing something to the breed: destroying it! This is not a price or gratification issue, this is a moral issue about whether you care that because of your actions, those cute tempting puppies have a much higher risk of dying early and painfully and that even more will appear where those came from because you have made this cruel trade lucrative.

Please watch this (http://s114.photobucket.com/albums/n272/cavaliertalk/?action=view&current=Chris4.flv) if you want to see what more cavalier owners are going to go through because so many think it doesn't really matter this one time if they don't support breeders who do their best to focus on health and do proper testing, which costs breeders MONEY. Read the suffering poor Emma's Daisy went though with curly coat/dry eye disease before she was given her wings at age ONE. Read the posts in the MVD forum by those with cavaliers that struggle each day to breathe because they are literally drowning due to fluid gathering in their lungs from their poorly functioning heart valve. Read what Cathy Moon's poor Charlie went through -- daily suffering for over a year -- and balance those moral costs -- pain for the cavaliers, pain for the owners -- against financing some crap breeder in her careless breeding scheme that is only about her making money as fast as possible (that is why it is easy to get cheaper puppies any time in any colour from HER, and hard to get them from good people like Bruce, Sandy, Debbie, and our other health-focused breeders on this site.

2) get a rescue cavalier. You will run exactly the same risk of medical conditions as if you buy the trash-bred puppy, but at least you will have a clean conscience and give a loving home and a new life to a cavalier that may have even been part of these breeding factories that you would have supported with your dollars, pounds, or euros; breeders that exist only to enable buyers to have instant gratification, not to help the breed, much less improve it; not to produce beautiful, healthy dogs, but anything that the foolish are willing to pay for, often paying much the same as they'd pay a reputable breeder, had they taken time to research. The cost for a rescue will be about the same or even less than the trash breeders, but by supporting rescue you will also help even more needy dogs by enabling people like me to take in a few more such dogs and find them the homes they deserve.

Please buy dogs ONLY from reputable, health focused breeders or work with rescue. Don't be part of the problem. Do right by the breed, and cherish it.

SHANO
30th January 2008, 11:20 PM
Knowing what I know now... I'd certainly be one of those to save for one from a great breeder. I have two Cav's now and will likely never get a third black and tan like I would want, but if I ever got "permission" from the hubby.... I'd be saving like crazy to get one in the next few years from a good breeder. I'd rather pay the money up front on a good pup, than worry about the health issues to come with a not so great one.

SHANO
30th January 2008, 11:23 PM
OMG.... I just watched that video. Unbelievable! =( Poor baby! I've seen SM videos but that's the hardest one to get thru... I couldn't imagine having a dog suffer like that, let alone the anguish I would have watching them suffer.

Cathy T
30th January 2008, 11:49 PM
Amen Karlin!! You've said everything I've thought and said it so clearly and plainly.



but not everyone can spend $2500+ on a dog


And not everyone can spend $90,000 on a car and don't and not everyone can spend $1.8 million for a home and don't. :) You will either pay up front or you will pay in the end. That's just the way life is, maybe not fair but that's just the way it is. :cool:

The big important thing is, as Karlin said above, by purchasing from a byb or miller you are supporting a horrid industry that does not have the best interests of the breed in mind. Having heard so many personal stories of such devastating losses of Cavaliers at unbelievably young ages I just can't believe anyone can read all of the available information and still take that awful risk of becoming one of those stories.

If your consciousness won't allow you to pay $2000 for a Cavalier.....rescue a Cavalier, you'll still spend the money but perhaps it will help justify spending the money.

arasara
31st January 2008, 12:55 AM
If your consciousness won't allow you to pay $2000 for a Cavalier.....rescue a Cavalier, you'll still spend the money but perhaps it will help justify spending the money.

Coming from someone who did rescue a dog, it's absolutely fabulous.. !! I of course didn't pay the $2000 upfront (albeit through plane costs and adoption fees it was still quite a bit) but I pitch in a chunk every month and pay $35/month for dog insurance just in case anything were to happen. It is the best feeling ever, and as others have said, very very rewarding. :flwr: Just another way to look at it :flwr:

Cathy T
31st January 2008, 01:10 AM
Oh but Miss Faithey sure charged you plenty in attitude didn't she??!! :D

cosmic81
31st January 2008, 01:18 AM
i agree..ive heard so many people bought their dog at $600 and paid $3000 to have something fixed. especially with pure bred dogs. You might just end up spending more $ plus heart ache . a dog is a family...its priceless. a sick dog wil cost a lot more in the end.

When i was doing my puppy search so many lady helped out even if i cant get their puppy. just be polite. ask nicely and be sincere. people usually respond.

Halina
1st February 2008, 02:25 PM
I too found it difficult in dealing with the coldness of professional breeders but from their prospective they have several hundreds of calls always asking the same questions from people who may or may not be sincerely be interested in a cavalier & none of them had puppies for sale.

I did buy from a private breeder who understood the breed and its problems. I fell in love with the family, they were always willing to let me visit (3 long visits), many phone calls and I could tell the mom/dad were healthy and taken care of as were the puppies. They willingly gave me the name of their vet to talk over health concerns and at the time of purchase felt comfortable with our decision. I was told by professional breeders that ALL cavaliers will have some form of mitral valve issue so they did not make me feel that I could ever avoid that issue. The parents of my puppy had no health issues.

Nancy
1st February 2008, 05:00 PM
Haline, I noticed your other post where you seemed to differentiate between professional and private breeders. This tells me that you probably contacted less than reputable breeders. I go out of my way to help out whoever calls/emails me and usually offer to try to find them a puppy if I cannot help them. There are many reputable breeders who do this. There are many who are nice, and kind . I know of some on this board who use their free time to also be involved in rescue work. You also mentioned that you contacted breeders in several states including Michigan. You did not contact me , and probably didn't contact Sandy , Woodhaven, a wonderful breeder in Illinois, that tells me you didn't use the CKCSC.org list of club breeders where I even had a fantastic Ruby boy in puppy referral who is now placed. If you feel justified in using what I suspect is a backyard breeder, that is fine as long as you know the risks, it's a free country, but please don't use the distinctions you used because they don't really equate to locating reputable breeders. Unless you see certs from specialists, hopefully going back to more than the parents, then you cannot know the provable history behind your puppy.

Halina
1st February 2008, 05:14 PM
I actually did contact 6 breeders on that list with no luck (3 I talked to and 3 never returned phone calls or e-mails) I am a firm believer that whatever happens, happens for a reason. I educated myself obsessively and prayed and asked God to help me with this decision and I believe that this family with this dog was destined to be with me. She is my gift from God.

Nancy
1st February 2008, 05:22 PM
Using your faith to justify your decision is obviously either going to work out or not. Even people who go to the best of breeders with provable testing for generations can sometimes end up with puppies with special needs and conditions that require expensive care and result in suffering for the puppy. Hope it works out for you but I personally do not condone going to breeders , supporting their practices, who don't do recommended testing and may not be breeding according to the club code of ethics which is also unknown here, maybe they do but probably not. When someone stops asking the important questions then they taking a huge gamble and how nice the family is, and how often they let you visit is irrelevent.

Karlin
1st February 2008, 05:24 PM
I was told by professional breeders that ALL cavaliers will have some form of mitral valve issue so they did not make me feel that I could ever avoid that issue. The parents of my puppy had no health issues.

I am afraid that if the breeder you are using told you that you wouldn't need to be concerned and their lines have no MVD, then you do actually need to be concerned -- this is a classic line from backyard breeders who do not health test. They also often work closely with vets who are paid very large amounts to clear their puppies and they do tend to give glowing reports as a result (a recent court case in NY State featured the judge condemning the vet who worked with a well known puppy broker for being as culpable as she in selling sickly puppies because he routinely gave them the all clear).

The reality here is that the professional (by that I think you mean show breeders?) were all telling you the truth: any ethical breeder will be straightforward in telling you this is the reality in the breed, that almost all will eventually have a murmur and buyers need to know this! I am afraid it sounds like the people you are getting your puppy from sound like they may have really fudged the lines to make you believe they can offer some sort of heart guarantee (this is a typical selling tactic to make you, the buyer, feel they know more than ethical breeders). The statistics are that 50% of ALL cavaliers will have a heart murmur by age 6. Almost 100% will by old age, in most studies done. The dogs that have the best chance of never getting a murmur /MVD until old age are those bred by show breeders who cardiac (never, ever only vet!) test their dogs' hearts. More than half of early (breeding age) murmurs are missed by vets. Here is a diagram from a study comparing the two:

http://photos5.flickr.com/10523015_7b32082ac1_o.jpg

The way the disreputable breeders make money is by telling people their dogs are clear and healthy and all vet checked, being extra, extra nice, and promising their lines are clear. Sadly, most of their breeding stock are typically of poor quality and unknown parentage as they will come from breeders who in turn never follow the MVD protocol or pay for tests -- because all this mens they make less money off of the buyer. For example a lot of their breeding dogs typically are imported from Ireland -- where I live -- and almost no breeders cardiac test here and there's a huge and cruel industry producing cheap CKCS breeding dogs and puppies for the US market. I've worked hard along with many in welfare circles to try and shut this industry down.

If your breeder can 1(produce cardiac certs for parents' hearts; 2) prove both sire and dam are at least two and a half; 3) produce cardiac certs for the grandparents which must be heart clear at age 5, then you have a good chance of lowering the chances of early onset murmurs. If your breeder can only say the parents are healthy and the vet checked their hearts, you have a high risk puppy I am afraid as she did not follow the well-established MVD protocol for breeding (it has been around for over a decade).

We who love this breed do so in full knowledge that many of us will have dogs that succumb at a younger age than they ever should to MVD. A key reason why this remains so prevalent in the breed is because of breeders who do not heart tests their dogs or follow the MVD protocol -- it is as simple as that.

If you want to reassure yourself, do try to get proper certs for the relevant dogs. I'd also check that they can produce certs for knees, eyes and perhaps hips. Did they also talk to you about syringomyelia? Have they MRI-screened their breeding stock? If not, that would be a concern, too.

It's a total minefield seeking a breeder and does take time because there are so many bad ones out there. Unfortunately there are a lot of unscrupulous breeders who have learned just what to say to dupe people who have done some research and feel they know what to ask about. These are the ones I find most despicable because they lie through their smiling teeth, knowing they are taking people in who thought they'd found a reputable breeder. I hope this is not the case at all with your breeder but it will be very easy to confirm whether they are among the uncscrupulous -- just ask them for their cardiac certificates and the name of the cardiologist (NOT vet) that they use. Ask if they have registered their dogs' results with OFA so that you can check them on the internet.

Debby with a Y
1st February 2008, 06:26 PM
I'm jumping in at the end here, but I tried for about a year to rescue a Cavalier and due to being geographically undesireable for most rescue cavaliers (either they couldn't do a home visit or didn't want the dog to travel so far), or for two other reasons (I have cats, I work full time) I decided instead to purchase a good dog from a breeder of show dogs and yes, it was expensive on a single librarian's salary. But worth it. I figured I would pay now or pay later. Some things in life are simply worth saving up for. I do without a lot of things, I drive old cars and bring my lunch to work and don't splurge on the latest fashions and shoes, I don't even have cable or satellite TV, but I have a healthy dog and in the end, that is what mattered to me.

I am so sad when I go to the local dog parks and see the pet shop Cavaliers, not so much because they really aren't that pretty compared to my dog, but because the owners paid almost as much, or just as much, and their dogs have health or temperament issues.

I was accused recently by someone locally of being a snob. Snobbery has nothing to do with it. It was a practical decision. I didn't want to risk getting a dog with unknown hereditary defects. I realize that something can crop up in any line, but to not even know? I can't imagine.

Halina
1st February 2008, 06:53 PM
We don't know if our own unborn children will come out OK!

My mother has heart problems, my Dad had cancer, I now have sarcoidosis/diabetes/fibro/menniers & 10 other medical problems. There was a genetic predisposition for them, to me and to my children. Does that mean they should not have had me????????

I only posted because I am in love with my cavalier and wanted to learn from a group that I thought also loved cavaliers. My cavalier was already born, I could have saved her? I am sorry if I upset some of you, I did not buy from a puppy mill but even if I did, wouldn't that be helping to rescue a dog? Isn't giving a dog a loving home, caring for them what we all do?

I am sorry but having her is worth all the risk and I am able to take care of her, no matter what. Is it better to have loved or not love at all!

I am not criticizing and do not want to be criticized. I thought this board was about loving our cavs and taking care of them. I'm sorry if I offended any of you, I was just giving another perspective.

Daisy's Mom
1st February 2008, 06:56 PM
Shannon -- are we married to the same guy? :-p My husband's line was "There are thousands of homeless dogs put to sleep at the shelters every year that you could get for free and you want to spend $2000 for a puppy!?" Not only is my husband an accountant, but he was also raised on a farm and his family was unbelievably frugal -- double whammy!


He and I went round and round when we bought Daisy. I finally said, "I'm buying this dog from this breeder for all the reasons we talked about. I know you don't agree and it's not the decision you would make, but I think this is the right thing to do. (And it's my money.)" He finally just shook his head and accepted it. Of course now he loves Daisy to distraction and thinks she's the best dog ever. He just told me to never tell anyone in his family what I spent on her! And he was a strong advocate of pet health insurance so we would never have to argue about vet bills.

Nancy
1st February 2008, 08:07 PM
We don't know if our own unborn children will come out OK!



I only posted because I am in love with my cavalier and wanted to learn from a group that I thought also loved cavaliers. My cavalier was already born, I could have saved her? I am sorry if I upset some of you, I did not buy from a puppy mill but even if I did, wouldn't that be helping to rescue a dog? Isn't giving a dog a loving home, caring for them what we all do?

.
There are lots of cavaliers to love and adopt without putting money in the pockets of puppy mills and "breeders" who do NOT spend money on their dogs, and breed dogs without specialist testing. These people are the demise of our breed and I won't support them and cringe when I hear of someone getting a puppy from them. If it would stop, they'd stop doing it. I am the one cleaning up their messes, being in rescue, where a lot of them end up. No one is criticizing you but trying to educate you, because unfortunately you made a very common mistake. People are going to ask you where you got your puppy. Hopefully you'll be able to know a little more before recommending a breeder who hasn't provided everything they can.

natalieandmike
1st February 2008, 09:27 PM
I did not buy from a puppy mill but even if I did, wouldn't that be helping to rescue a dog?

Halina, I hate to break it to you but if one purchases a dog from a puppy mill-- yep, one perpetuates the cycle and dooms even more breeding dogs to a miserable life in a cage. It is simply supply and demand. Reduce demand, reduce supply. It is one of the hardest things to do--to walk away from a dog in a pet store, mill, etc. ...but many feel that it is the only option. Good luck to you with your beautiful pup! :flwr:

Theresa
1st February 2008, 09:46 PM
I am 100% behind trying to save our beloved breed and making our dogs as healthy as they possibly can be. BUT (forgive me if my exchange rates are slightly off!), in the States you are charging £1000-£1250 for a DOG!!

Don't get me wrong. I love my Missy (blenheim cav) and she is priceless to me now, but how do you expect ordinary people to NOT go to BYB when the price is so ridiculously high??

It is twice as much as my car is worth!!!

I realise that health scans are very expensive but even so?!

WoodHaven
1st February 2008, 10:10 PM
I am 100% behind trying to save our beloved breed and making our dogs as healthy as they possibly can be. BUT (forgive me if my exchange rates are slightly off!), in the States you are charging £1000-£1250 for a DOG!!

Don't get me wrong. I love my Missy (blenheim cav) and she is priceless to me now, but how do you expect ordinary people to NOT go to BYB when the price is so ridiculously high??

It is twice as much as my car is worth!!!

I realise that health scans are very expensive but even so?!

There are many breeds of dogs that are about much for a puppy here. French bulldogs, many terriers, mastiffs just to name a few. I don't see that 2000.00 as ridiculous. Not when pet stores in NYC are charging 3500.00-- not with 'designer dogs' going for 2000.00-4000.00.

Pets aren't a necessity-- they are a luxury.

Karlin
1st February 2008, 10:21 PM
Actually a cavalier from a breeder in the UK who MRIs and cardiac screens (or even a reputable breeder who just cardiac screens) is going to be round £600-£800 so the price really isn't that different depending on where in the US you live (coast and urban areas, dogs are more expensive). Cavaliers do happen to be one of the more expensive breeds from good breeders but there are breeds that cost more. The UK also has a LOT more cavaliers -- it is the most common toy breed in the country whereas there are areas of the US where you'd never see one. So supply and demand plays a role. At the same time, US and UK breeders get into long, long discussions on this issue all the time on the various lists.

frecklesmom
1st February 2008, 11:09 PM
Can't help wondering if there couldn't be a kinder way to inform members about the problems that exist when poor breeders,byb and puppy mills produce puppies that are time bombs as far as health is concerned. Some of the "education" gets so harsh and sounds so personal. :(

Cathy T
1st February 2008, 11:39 PM
they have several hundreds of calls always asking the same questions from people who may or may not be sincerely be interested in a cavalier & none of them had puppies for sale


This is why I encourage a pet buyer to narrow their choice down to 2 or 3 breeders that they really like and call them. Talk to them. Don't just ask the questions you've been told to ask. Know why you're asking the questions. Breeders are far more likely to develop a conversation with someone who is not just asking a stock question. It's definitely a sellers market when it comes to pet Cavaliers and you need to stand out amongst the many inquiries they get.

Most likely you will not reach a breeder who has puppies for sale. But, if they feel you are sincere they will often refer you to another breeder who they know will be having puppies.



Pets aren't a necessity-- they are a luxury.


And that's huge Sandy!



I was told by professional breeders that ALL cavaliers will have some form of mitral valve issue so they did not make me feel that I could ever avoid that issue


And that is a fact. They weren't telling you this to scare you away, they were telling you a fact. The first breeder I met told me that MVD was highly overexaggerated and not nearly the issue people make it out to be. I quickly left.



Does that mean they should not have had me????????



You can't compare having children with breeding puppies. With dogs...the purpose of breeding is to enhance and further develop the dog. That should be the only reason for breeding. If a dog has a genetic defect that will be carried to a future litter...that dog should not be bred.



I did not buy from a puppy mill but even if I did, wouldn't that be helping to rescue a dog?


I'm sorry but no. That isn't rescuing a dog it's supporting a mill.



Some of the "education" gets so harsh and sounds so personal. :(


I hear you but please understand...it's utter frustration you are hearing. I can tell someone until I'm blue in the face about buying from a byb, I can give them every single statistic I have....yet they go ahead and do it anyway. And then want to know why their puppy is so sick. It's frustrating and it breaks my heart to hear the horror stories. Usually they are situations that could have been avoided.

Nancy
2nd February 2008, 12:29 AM
Can't help wondering if there couldn't be a kinder way to inform members about the problems that exist when poor breeders,byb and puppy mills produce puppies that are time bombs as far as health is concerned. Some of the "education" gets so harsh and sounds so personal. :(

And I take it personally that several of the posts repeat that breeders are rude and unresponsive. I discussed a puppy with just such a person recently. After spending agood amount of time with her, she made a decision to go the opposite direction and I assure you it wasn't because of me. I was polite, helpful, and patient. When it keeps falling on deaf ears, and unfairly used as justification for saving a few hundred dollars and going in a direction that helps no one, and hurts the dogs, yes, it gets very frustrating. Then hearing "it was meant to be", they were so nice, I spoke to their vet....where is the research they said they did? That isn't research. I suppose it's good we do care so much.

WoodHaven
2nd February 2008, 01:10 AM
Giving irresponsible breeders $$$ for their pups is much like giving a suffering drug addict $$$$ for heroin to stop their suffering. It just perpetuates the problem. The pup you buy gets a nice home (we aren't saying that the pup suffers) but then the untested parents are bred season after season.
Millers are getting known for dumping their older and troublesome bitches when they don't produce well. Rescue is having to clean them up, get them healthy and fix what can be fixed. But the pups they have produced are very likely to have the same eye, knee and heart issues they have. That is the way genes can work.

Cathy Moon
2nd February 2008, 01:47 AM
It could feel a bit harsh to read the strongly held convictions of members, some of whom may have asked these same questions themselves in the past. But we all do care very much about the health of the breed both now and in the future.

One point I’d like to make is this, a person asking the question “aren’t I rescuing the dog when I buy from a pet store, BYB, or puppy mill” is not personally responsible for the fact that there are BYBs, puppy mills and pet stores. And that’s how it may come across to someone who is just beginning to learn about these establishments and why they are so horrible.

Here is a link to some articles about puppy mills and pet store puppies. Read, and then you’ll understand why we have to cut off the demand for these pups in order to put these barbaric suppliers out of business. http://www.columbusdogconnection.com/PuppyMillArticles.htm

And here is why BYB’s are just as capable of causing suffering in this breed. Case in point: last Friday my vet had to put our little rescue cavalier boy to sleep. He had numerous problems – severe SM, small head, bad knees, loose hocks, severe underbite, and he was a ‘swimmer’ puppy, so his rib cage was deformed, his chest flattened, and his front legs bowed out. He had permanent, severe neurological damage from the SM and his medication cost us nearly $200.00 a month. He had patella surgery and decompression surgery, and he was only 2 years old. His breeder neither knew nor cared to know that he existed. This is his Petfinder ad:
http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=7513512

Contrast my poor baby’s situation with that of a reputable breeder, one who retains responsibility for all of his/her dogs for their entire lives. Responsible show breeders pay for health testing and follow breeding protocols in order to provide healthy puppies. They show their dogs in order to breed structurally sound, healthy and beautiful dogs, providing puppies with the best chance of being the same. They provide pet owners with a limited registration so their dogs won't end up in a BYB's hands. They are available to answer questions, give advice, and they want to know of any genetic health problems in order to improve their breeding program and therefore the breed.

My remaining 3 dogs are from reputable show breeders, and you’re right – we can’t always expect perfect health. In fact my Geordie has just been diagnosed with SM at age 4.5. But I’d rather support a breeder who cares about the breed, health tests, follows a protocol, and is doing her best.

Many CavTalk members have strong opinions on this topic; please don’t mistake our passionate responses as personal attacks!

Cathy T
2nd February 2008, 02:23 AM
Excellent information Cathy! I think this really helps explain the passion.

Nicki
2nd February 2008, 03:58 PM
Sorry to come in so late in this discussion -just wanted to add too that it isn't a perosnal attack, it is just due to severe frustration.

I too have had a puppy farm dog - we cleaned her up, she had the worst mouth I have ever seen or smelt, her teeth were rotten from poor food; she had gone deaf due to repeated ear infections that had been left untreated and she still had black "gunk" coming out of her ears; she had dry eye - again left untreated; a heart murmur - so why was she still being bred anway {well obviously because she'd never been near a vet}; her mammary glands were hanging down from so many pups; BUT we still loved her and did the best we could for her. Very sadly she was discovered to also have inoperable cancer, and we had to make the heart rending decision to give her her wings. She was only 7.

Does anyone really want the mother of their pup to end up like that???


If one really can't afford the high prices for a Cavalier, another possible option is a dog or bitch from a show breeder who has retired from showing/breeding. Yes it seems hard that breeders part with their dogs, but if they kept them all, they wouldn't be able to carry on showing and breeding, and would also have too many to look after properly. It's kinder to let them go to a loving pet home where they will get lots of individual attention and care - and I know many breeders would be honest and tell you that that is one of the hardest parts of breeding.

Sometimes older puppies come up to - that a breeder has maybe kept until they are 6 - 12 months old and then decided they aren't going to be suitable for showing, or maybe there is some fault that means they can't be shown or bred, such as a undershot mouth, which won't affect them healthwise. They can often be picked up more cheaply than a baby puppy.

If you contact breeders and give a good account of yourself, your situation and ask sensible questions, even if they can't help you, they may know someone who can or may keep you on a waiting list. You might not get exatly what you were looking for in terms of colour or even sex, but they are all Cavaliers underneath - and usually turn out to be wonderful companions...

We were looking for a Tri girl - took on a Blen girl of 7 1/2 months who later saved the life of a friend's little girl by alerting the family to a fire...

My 19 month old {at the time} Ruby boy Teddy was supposed to be a Blen girl - BIG OOPS!! but turned out to be the most wonderful companion you could imagine, he's a cuddler, terribly naughty but with a cuteness attached to it! and is prob the dog I have the strongest bond with...even wtih all his health problems.

yes Cavaliers are a luxury - there are many things we've given up to have these dogs, but have also been lucky to take on a few who were retired breeding dogs, and we are fostering a potential breeding dog too - we are lucky to have built a very strong friendship with a breeder - whom I now consider to be one of my closest friends.

When we had Rupert 11 1/2 years ago, we only paid £300 for him - $600 - but things have changed a lot since then. Cavaliers in the UK who come from health tested responsible breeders do command £650- even £1000 for a wholecolour, so very similar to the US now.

SHANO
2nd February 2008, 05:02 PM
Shannon -- are we married to the same guy? :-p My husband's line was "There are thousands of homeless dogs put to sleep at the shelters every year that you could get for free and you want to spend $2000 for a puppy!?" Not only is my husband an accountant, but he was also raised on a farm and his family was unbelievably frugal -- double whammy!


He and I went round and round when we bought Daisy. I finally said, "I'm buying this dog from this breeder for all the reasons we talked about. I know you don't agree and it's not the decision you would make, but I think this is the right thing to do. (And it's my money.)" He finally just shook his head and accepted it. Of course now he loves Daisy to distraction and thinks she's the best dog ever. He just told me to never tell anyone in his family what I spent on her! And he was a strong advocate of pet health insurance so we would never have to argue about vet bills.

Yup, pretty much think we got the same guy! haha! My husband and I are well off, but careful about our spending, which I guess keeps us where we're at. We went ahead and got pet insurance as well.

I have an itch for a black and tan so bad I can hardly stand it. So I'm thinking maybe I'll foster for a while, help out a dog in need, while also seeing if we could handle three. And if I REALLY want a BT from a great breeder, I'm just going to set aside $100/mo for the next couple years til I can get one! :) The wait will be worth it!

Cathy T
2nd February 2008, 05:10 PM
Here's how we worked it. I got Jake, hubby got a new tv. I got Shelby, hubby got a gun safe. If you ask me he got the better end of the deal because it turns out (unbeknownst to him) that he got two dogs in addition to his safe and tv!:D

merlinsmum
2nd February 2008, 05:45 PM
Here's how we worked it. I got Jake, hubby got a new tv. I got Shelby, hubby got a gun safe. If you ask me he got the better end of the deal because it turns out (unbeknownst to him) that he got two dogs in addition to his safe and tv!:D

That rings a bell!

I got new car, Joel got motorbike
I got Merlin, Joel got a boat
I got Oakley, Joel got new dive gear......

Only I ended up paying for both the boys, the boat and the dive gear:confused:

SHANO
2nd February 2008, 06:53 PM
Haha! That's what I keep teasing my hubby about! I want a BT and he wants a 50" plasma tv. So I said, you get your 50" tv and I'll get my BT! haha! Though he's not really going for it. Plus I'm not quite sure I want a third dog YET.... Gotta make sure we're not going to have a third child first.

Before we got Wesley, I was saying it's either a CKCS or a third kid. And we got Wesley. Then with Daisy I was saying it's either a 2nd CKCS or a third kid. And we got Daisy. Now I'm thinking, it's either a black/tan CKCS or a 3rd kid. Does the cycle ever end?! haha!

cosmic81
3rd February 2008, 06:20 AM
my bf said if our chingching (bought $600) was kidnapped we will spent as much as we could to get it back, perhaps most if not all of our savings. thats why i am spending a little bit more on the cavalier puppy (over 3 times more ) Like a kid, we want our baby to be free of genetic defects. To be able to share a long and happy life with us. when you fall in love with the animal. you will not regret it. -- my personal opinion.

merlinsmum
3rd February 2008, 09:27 AM
i am spending a little bit more on the cavalier puppy (over 3 times more ) Like a kid, we want our baby to be free of genetic defects. To be able to share a long and happy life with us.

I'm sorry to dampen things cosmic. You could pay a million dollars for a puppy but you could not guarantee it to be free from genetic defects. All our cavalier essentially come from the same gene pool, defects skip generations as they do in humans and unfortunately cavaliers are predisposed to these things.

However, good luck in your search to find a puppy whose parents have had heart, eye and MRI checks and are clear - this at least will give you some comfort to know your puppy has a better chance of not developing MVD, LP and SM.:)

cosmic81
3rd February 2008, 09:46 AM
Dear merlinsmum : no you do not dampen things for me. I am very aware of what i am getting myself into. I have been waiting for 2 years before I finally decided on a cavalier puppy.

As I said, "Like a kid, we want our baby to be free of genetic defects. To be able to share a long and happy life with us." As a "dog" parent, I can only hope for the best and prepare for the worst and get a insurance plan. I am sure that is how all of us want to feel. And, you are correct I do feel better now about puppy has a better chance of not developing MVD, LP and SM.

WoodHaven
3rd February 2008, 04:39 PM
I'm sorry to dampen things cosmic. You could pay a million dollars for a puppy but you could not guarantee it to be free from genetic defects. All our cavalier essentially come from the same gene pool, defects skip generations as they do in humans and unfortunately cavaliers are predisposed to these things.

However, good luck in your search to find a puppy whose parents have had heart, eye and MRI checks and are clear - this at least will give you some comfort to know your puppy has a better chance of not developing MVD, LP and SM.:)

Merlinsmum-- excellent post

There are no pups (or humans) without genetic predispositions to health issues. But your best chance at a pup with a good health background is getting one from a sire and dam that have good health backgrounds.

Karlin
3rd February 2008, 05:47 PM
I'm laughing at those of you who have bargained with partners for dogs and yes, I think they get the better deal because they get the dogs, too. :lol:

I have two dogs from a reputable Irish breeder (now passed on), a rescue girl I got from the pound and was the only one of 50+ rescues I've placed that I kept :lol: and a retired breeding girl from a good breeder that I am caretaker of for my parents at the moment.

Probably the next dog I get will be a foster placement from a breeder to help breeders with health focused breeding programmes keep promising dogs within their programmes long enough to see how they develop -- if I can be of help in this way! :)

Also, a flip side of this discussion is that I think taking on rescues, older dogs, or dogs with known issues (behavioural or health) can be amongst the most rewarding of dogs to own. It isn't for everyone, but I think after people have had a cavalier for a while and gain confidence with the breed they may well find they are comfortable working with these dogs that often need people with a special kind of heart.

merlinsmum
3rd February 2008, 05:54 PM
Also, a flip side of this discussion is that I think taking on rescues, older dogs, or dogs with known issues (behavioural or health) can be amongst the most rewarding of dogs to own. It isn't for everyone, but I think after people have had a cavalier for a while and gain confidence with the breed they may well find they are comfortable working with these dogs that often need people with a special kind of heart.

I would love to do this, its probably when I retire though:(

Rj Mac
3rd February 2008, 06:20 PM
Also, a flip side of this discussion is that I think taking on rescues, older dogs, or dogs with known issues (behavioural or health) can be amongst the most rewarding of dogs to own. It isn't for everyone, but I think after people have had a cavalier for a while and gain confidence with the breed they may well find they are comfortable working with these dogs that often need people with a special kind of heart.

I couldn't agree more with you Karlin, when Megan 1st came home to us she was still a little shy, and wary,

but to see her confidence grow over the last 7 months to the point now that everyone who comes to our door is greeted wuth a cuddle and a kiss, has just been 1 of the best things in our lives, an amazingly rewarding experience for us as a whole family :D

frecklesmom
3rd February 2008, 06:52 PM
Rescuing a Cavalier is so wonderful :D. They have problems, as mine do, but they wrap you around their paws and bring such joy even with "living at the vet's".