View Full Version : Soon (in 2 days!) to be rescue cave owner--need advice!

10th April 2008, 11:16 PM
Hello everybody!! I just wanted to get some advice and encouragement ( and to introduce myself:)). I am hoping to welcome my dream dog ( a cavalier!) into my home on Saturday!! My husband and I are from Texas and I am a part-time nursing student (home lots!). I will eventually work nights as I am a night person and then I can be home with my furbabies! I have a 2 year old chihuahua named Isabel. She is happy and goes everywhere with us but I think she could use some canine companionship. Anyway, I am very excited that the foster family chose us even though we are 4 hours away and there were other applicants. I was honest and had many questions and concerns. I am mainly concerned with the dog's health since she is 5 years old and from questionable breeding. I worry about MVD and all the other diseases even though she has been "cleared" by the vet as healthy. I also worry about activity level as I have never actually owned a cavalier (though I have researched them for years) and do not know how their activity changes with age. I want to have some active years with her not only for us but for isabel. Most importantly I don't want to lose her in 5 years--or less!! I want advice and thoughts from others who have rescued a cav used for breeding (kept outside/dog-run). The is "mostly" housebroken (by the foster family) and has bonded well with the family and the other rescue dogs/cats. Everyone has agreed that we should come and see her (with isabel) with an open mind but I don't know if I will be able to resist her! I am so excited!!:D

Elaine 2
11th April 2008, 12:13 AM
Hi and welcome, l bet you cant wait to see her she sounds lovely, l adopted my girl when she was 8 and she's full of fun and lives life to the full Ive had her nearly a year and l hope to have her for a long time yet, so really 5 is not old, I've seen a lot of oldies on here some 13 and 14 living happy lives, post some photo's of her when you get her home and good luck

11th April 2008, 02:05 AM
Thanks so much for your response!:) It is very encouraging to hear! I guess I would like to hear from anyone with a 5 year old cav or anybody with experience about how they are at this age and beyond (when they kind of slow down/ decline)--not just those who rescued. I only have experience with pugs, mutts and my young chihuahua. I guess as far as health goes I might need to consider getting pet insurance while she's still healthy.:rolleyes:

11th April 2008, 02:44 AM
Whenever you open your home and your heart to a rescue dog there are probably more risks than with a dog from a resposible, ethical breeder. You do need to do in with your eyes opened and not be embarassed if you find this is not the right match for you after the visit.

If the rescue is a good one, they will be opened and honest with you and will provide you with support if you do decide to adopt a dog through them.

I have never had a rescue, but I know people who do and people who work in rescue and I can tell you they all believe they have been blessed by having the rescue come to live with them and not the other way around.

Good luck!

Cathy T
11th April 2008, 03:46 AM
anyone with a 5 year old cav

My Jake is 5 1/2 and very very full of life and energy. I used to think 5 was old but realize it isn't at all. Visited with a friend today who has an 8 year old and I would swear she looks and acts like 4. Placed two rescue boys at ages 7 and 7 1/2, I was amazed at how active they are. That's when I began to see how young 5 really is. I think we hear a life expectancy of 9-12 years but there is the potential for so much more than 9 years.

Welcome!! So glad you're here. Please keep us posted on how things go.

11th April 2008, 09:13 AM
Welcome to the board. I adopted 2 4-year olds, they are now around the 5-year mark and are full of life (Bella in particular acts like a puppy most of the time ;)). One of my cavaliers (Cassie) made it to the grand old age of 14.5 and she was still full of energy and going on walks etc.

Good luck when you meet your possible new cav. :xfngr: everything works out for you.

11th April 2008, 12:36 PM
Hi there, I adopted Maddy last Oct & it was thought that she was between 2-4 years old. She's very laid back & doesn't get too excited, but I think this is unique to her, as our last dog was a CKCS & he was full of beans right up until he died - heart failure - in 2001 aged 13 years! Having said that, Maddy loves to run around when we go on off lead walks although she never strays too far, I wonder if this is because she's a rescue & is worried about being lost again? I'm sure your little dog will be fine & will settle down to a happy life with you & your family. Best wishes & well done for choosing a rescue :rah: Judy xx

11th April 2008, 05:17 PM
Yay! Thank you everyone for your responses. Please keep them coming, I hang on your every word! I am getting very excited and it's difficult to concentrate on the dinner party I'm having at my house tonight. Only 1 more day!!!:xfngr: :D

11th April 2008, 08:22 PM
I remember that feeling of excitment before we went to pick up Maddy! I don't think I slept the night before! The day we were due to collect her was the day her neutering stitches were due to come out & the rescue vet said that he was happy for our vet to do that if we really wanted to get her that day. It was a Friday & we would have had to wait until Monday, that was a no brainer, we just had to get her that day & thankfully, our lovely vet was more than happy to remove the stitches. Have fun with your new girl & do let us know how you get on. Judy x

Brian M
11th April 2008, 08:57 PM
I bet you have many years full of happiness and fun its a very special thing you are doing best wishes from us all.

Kindest Regards

Brian Dawn & Luke

Poppy Daisy & Rosie

and Ami & Tammi :) :flwr:

12th April 2008, 04:30 AM
I just got some pretty devestating news. I feel angry but I am trying not to be. I just got an email (not a phone call) telling me that they had homed "my" girl today. :confused:This email I recieved the evening before I was going to collect her. Our plans were in effect since tuesday. In the email they said they "just wanted to let me know as soon as they could in case I had plans to come this weekend" this did not reflect our conversations at all so I am in shock. And I do not call the night before much notice! (just defending my own reaction) Of course I will never know exactly what happened so I only hope that she treated me like this because it was in the best interest of the little one and she just didn't feel like she could be honest with me. I do not know a lot about rescuing but maybe sometimes you just have to do whatever it takes to get a good home. It shouldn't be about fairness to me, but rather about placing the dog in the best home. However it still hurts a lot, I'm in shock, and I just wish she had been honest with me. Our conversations were very clear on what was happening and now I feel blindsighted. I really felt like she was mine and I LOST her. My fault.:(:(:(:(

12th April 2008, 05:33 AM
Oh that is such sad news for you!:( I agree that they should not have led you to believe that you were getting your girl this weekend and then change their minds and give her to another family without explanation.

Hopefully another dog will come along soon. I love that you said that the welfare of the dog should be first and foremost. I really am amazed at how wonderful and dedicated rescuers are. You who rescue are truly angels!

12th April 2008, 03:52 PM
Please don't give up. There is a rescue out there for you. As you said, maybe this one wasn't really the "right" one for you, but there will be one that will melt your heart and be perfect for your family. I am so sorry this happened for you especially on such short notice. I know how it is to be so excited about getting your cavalier, but surely you will be top priority for another one. Good Luck, Judy and Dixie

Elaine 2
12th April 2008, 04:31 PM
That's a disappointment for you and she sounded ideal but don't worry another one will come along, l always say "what's meant for you wont pass you"

12th April 2008, 07:17 PM
oh I'm so sorry to hear this - you are being very brave and I love that you have put the welfare of the wee dog first.

I do hope that the rescue had a genuine reason for doing this, but it was very bad not to let you know earlier - or at least warn you that someone else was interested.

Please stop with us, learn as much as possible about the breed, and keep looking for another rescue. Paws crossed for some better news soon.

12th April 2008, 07:41 PM
I would consider that appalling behaviour on behalf of the rescue if they had made a commitment to home the dog to you. If they were mainly saying to come visit before making a decision and hadn't viewed the dog as placed, then maybe the problem was poor communication. If they had made the commitment to home him, then this is very poor practice.

One thing to consider is that some people who do rescue are not very experienced at it or are very disorganised. Sometimes mistakes or communication breakdowns happen even with the best intentions but sometimes you are just dealing with idiots (not to put too fine a point on it). Believe me, get involved with rescue and your realise there are loads of people who do it who shouldn't be -- who get involved for all the wrong reasons and create all kinds of difficulties for people and for the animals they are supposedly helping.

It won't help much but I thought I'd add I've been there too. I had after careful thought decided I could take on another cavalier a few years ago -- a puppy farm breeding bitch. I really had to give this careful thought at the time for many reasons. I was all ready to make the arrangements to go and get her when suddenly I was told she had been homed as they'd decided to home her to someone they knew. :sl*p: I was really devastated as you do prepare yourself for the new addition once the adoption has been confirmed! The communication about the situation was really poor too. It was a good learning experience for me though for doing rescue and is one reason whyI am very firm when people ask me to help rehome a dog that they make the commitment to let me take responsibility for the dog because if I arrange for the dog to go someplace only to find the people have rehomed themselves, it is a huge disappointment for the waiting family that thought they were to get a dog (it's one of the reasons fosters are so essential to me, to if at all possible, get the dogs to a safe neutral space where this cannot happen).

There are other opportunities for cavaliers, so stay with your plans and keep looking. Be sure to get your details and interest out to the regional club breed rescues too.

12th April 2008, 09:27 PM
That's really bad form! When I first saw Maddy on the rescue website I enquired right away & was assured that as I was the first, she would be reserved for me until I had met her & we'd had the home check. It was 3 weeks until we could bring her home, but at no time did I think she was not ours! Keep looking, you sound like such perfect adopters. Judy x

13th April 2008, 02:09 AM
I think that same thing is what happened to me, Karlin. I ended up calling them after I relplied to their email (in which I only acknowledged my dissapointment and thanked them for finding the dog a good home) because I was feeling so lost and confused, wanting answers. Her only explanation to me was, "Well this lady came today and they clicked, it just seemed right." I think it might have been someone she knew (she was being kind of sketchy and it wasn't any of the other applicants-- she picked me.) I was too upset to say much of anything (I just accepted it then hung up and bawled) but what she needed to hear was that while it is wonderful what she is doing for animals, people have feelings too and she needs to look into how she handled the situation for next time. I think it was obvious that I was very sad though, so hopefully she will feel a little bad and learn from it. I would definitely consider rescuing in the future but I might need a little time. This whole ordeal has been a month long and I got quite attached and excited-can't get her out of my mind or enjoy much at this point (or sleep) My adorable husband offered the idea of a cav puppy (and icecream!) to cheer me up, but the only cav I can see in my life right now is "my Tess" Sounds cheesy and over dramatic but I am honestly dealing with these feelings and have slept only 2 hours since I heard the news. I know it will pass--I just wish it didn't hurt so much. I will stick around but am not on the dog hunt for the time-being. I appreciate yall's support!!

13th April 2008, 02:40 PM
I really feel for you -- this is just an inappropriate way to operate. Cavaliers 'just click' very easily -- you don;t make a commitment then change your commitment like this unless there's a serious problem you have discovered with the adopting home. I have never done such a thing and it is very callous.

I'd take a little time then write a letter to them explaining your disappointment and why. Maybe write one now that you *don;t send*-- just to get those feelings out of your system. Then draw upon it to write something shorter (like a page maximum), to the point but polite, in a week or so.

It would discourage anyone from not just going back to their rescue but helping ANY rescue dog to go through this experience -- and there are knock on effects as you would find it hard at the moment o encourage others too. They need to understand this.

13th April 2008, 03:09 PM
That is a very strange way to operate.I would be devasted too...