View Full Version : Looking for a puppy/rescue dog

3rd November 2008, 09:58 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm new to the forum and I'm hoping you'll be able to help.

Our beautiful Brio was killed by a car on Friday night. She was seven years old and a huge part of our lives. It was my fault entirely, because I left the gates open for trick or treaters, and though I thought I had closed them again before I let her out, I obviously hadn't. I went looking for her 20 mins later and found her dead on the side of the road.

We are utterly devastated. We don't have kids and our two dogs are our family. Our other dog, Murdy, a golden retriever, is totally lost without Brio. Murdy came to us as a very timid puppy, and though she's now a boisterous (if a bit small!) two year old, she was with Brio 24/7 and is very confused by her absence. Last night she didn't stop howling so we took her into our room to sleep.

We need to get another dog. We were going to hold off for a few months, but with Murdy so upset we think we might bring our plans forward. We're a bit torn between getting a puppy and getting a rescue dog.

Over the last few days I've been doing some research on the web. I had heard about the BBC documentary, but hadn't watched it. I've now watched it and read a bit about SM. I think it is very likely that Brio had it to some degree, and she was getting worse. She had a lot of the symptoms described - scratching, rubbing her face, pushing herself along the wall or the couch, and in the last six months she had started yelping occasionally and I couldn't find anything wrong. I had brought her to the vets to check her ears and her back and the vet's never mentioned SM to me.

Poor little dog. I feel like I've let her down twice over.

When we do get another dog, we want to make sure that we get a healthy one, if at all possible. We were wondering if there is anyone here who can recommend a breeder who scans their dogs. We were also wondering if someone could tell us how the rescue program works.

Brio was Blenheim and White so we would like another colour, so as not to be too like her.

Sorry about the saga ..still feeling very emotional about her.

Thanks so much for your help.


3rd November 2008, 11:25 AM
So sorry for the loss of Brio. They are with us for such a short while, but their memories will remain in our hearts forever.:flwr:

3rd November 2008, 01:28 PM
Thanks Sandrac. We'll miss her very much.

3rd November 2008, 02:47 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. :flwr:

On getting a puppy -- you are very unlikely to find an available puppy from a scanning breeder in the short time frame you are talking about. Most would have waiting lists and any good breeder generally has a waiting list anyway -- a wait of 6 months to a year is not uncommon. Most scanning breeders that do the range of tests and will talk openly about their breeding programmes and health tend to be smaller breeders and have only a litter or two per year.

Also, a new dog doesn't replace the lost dog for its companion animal. If anything, rushing to get a new dog would most likely cause more stress for the existing dog. You aren't after all bringing back a friend but introducing a totally strange new dog. As she is already stressed, she could take that out on a new dog or puppy.

I would for now focus on giving her time and activity -- extra walks, visits to other dog-owning friends, tiring her out with practicing obedience. Maybe sign up for an obedience class (rewards-based) to get her mind and body active. Then, take the proper time to find a good breeder or consider a rescue dog at a slightly later point. But give your own dog some time right now. Your dog will likely be far more settled in just a few days. It is also not a bad idea to have Murdy able to be left alone anyway -- this is going to happen throughout a dog's life when the other goes to the vet etc and each dog needs to be able to cope with some solitude. It is a good time to work with Murdy to get over this form of separation anxiety. Her reaction to being alone is pretty extreme and a sign that this is very important to work with now, where you have the time to do this focusing just on her and doing some training. :)

3rd November 2008, 04:59 PM
So sorry to hear about your little Brio.

3rd November 2008, 05:03 PM
I am very sad for you on the loss of your little Brio and can only imagine the pain this has caused. Eileen (Lucy's maid)

3rd November 2008, 06:56 PM
Thanks everyone for your sympathy.

Thanks karlin for your advice. I think we probably are rushing things a little. I think we're rushing around a little after the pain of losing Brio. We' re still so upset I think it's probably too soon.

A year seems like a long time to wait though. We'll see.

Thanks again, and if anyone could pm me some breeders for future reference, I would really appreciate it!



4th November 2008, 01:46 PM
So sorry to hear about your loss - I'm nearly in tears imagining it, partly because it is one of my own greatest fears. I think you should wait, both for your sake and your current dog's. If you get a new dog/puppy now the memories will be too sharp and you will inadvertently be making comparisons instead of accepting the new dog on his/her own merits.

Cleo's Person
4th November 2008, 02:15 PM
I am so very sorry for your loss.

4th November 2008, 02:28 PM
I am sorry to hear about Brio.

As for another dog, I would also say it's a little too soon - not only for yourself - but also Murdy who may not take to it as well with the loss still fresh in her mind and could be hesitant if not a little defensive.

Cathy T
4th November 2008, 03:20 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Brio. :( That must have been just devastating to find her like that. I'm so very sorry.

I think I would wait on a new dog. Your and Murdy both need to go through a bit of a grieving process. A new dog would just add to the confusion for Murdy, in my opinion. Take some time to comfort each other and go through grieving for Brio. You know another dog isn't going to replace her (I'm not telling you another you don't already know ;)) but I think it would be lovely to get another dog once you have both healed and are truly ready for another companion.

4th November 2008, 09:00 PM
So sorry to hear about Brio :flwr::flwr:

5th November 2008, 09:15 PM
Hi everyone,

Thanks again for all your advice and good wishes.

Lori I know what you mean completely about it being a comfort to give more attention to our other dog. Murdy is beginning to settle down a bit. My husband goes to work first so I bring her up to our bedroom (she's happy sleeping downstairs again) first thing and she hops up on the bed for a while. Then I bring her for a run, and then we come home and have our breakfast - it's all very civilized!!

Murdy usually loves a run but for the first couple of days she was a bit agitated. I work too, but have been coming home early every day this week to spend a bit more time with her (I work for myself so have that flexibility tg!). So yesterday I got home and took her for a lovely walk down in the woods and for the first time she seemed more relaxed and back to her usual self. Today again she seems more relaxed, but is still a bit lonely obviously.

We are still very upset about losing Brio, although it is beginning to sink in. We're really unsure about what to do, because on the one hand we think we should wait and make a decision when everything settles down, and on the other we're aware that we both work and that it's lonely for Murdy. As a retriever she's really social and loves people and dogs so it's hard to know...

Right now we are just giving her loads of love and attention and trying to figure out what to do next..

Thanks again for all your advice. It is so appreciated....and I'm learning a lot from this site!!


5th November 2008, 09:39 PM
I am so sorry for your loss of your beloved pet - it must be very hard for you.

If youar elooking for a rescue Cavalier. here is prob your best bet but do have a look on some of the other charity websites to see if there are any dogs you like. Good luck in your search.

6th November 2008, 12:12 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how devastating it must be for you.

I am not sure where you are located so can't help with PM'ing breeders.

That said, I'm not entirely convinced that you need to wait to adopt another dog. Only you can decide that. Last year, a good friend of mine lost both of her dogs within a 60 day period. They each died in her house of natural causes. She adopted a rescue about a month after the death of each dog (2 rescues). Her rescues were Cavaliers as well but different colors than the two that passed. She has no regrets.

I'm sure you'll know when it is the right time for you. :flwr:

6th November 2008, 12:27 AM
I am so very sorry for your loss. Where are you located? As Karlin noted, finding a health conscious breeder is the first step, then the next step can be the longest. I waited over 8 months for our puppy, so you might want to consider starting the preliminary stage of your search as you will most likely have to wait for your puppy once you've established a relationship with a breeder.

You could at the very least continue researching the breed and breeders. I spent a couple of months doing that before I contacted anyone about a dog. Then the process of actually making contact with really good breeders takes a while too. I enjoyed the process, and it might prove "therapeutic" for you as well. Best of luck and again I'm so sorry for your loss.

Cathy Moon
6th November 2008, 01:15 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how devastating it must be for you.

I am not sure where you are located so can't help with PM'ing breeders.

That said, I'm not entirely convinced that you need to wait to adopt another dog. Only you can decide that. Last year, a good friend of mine lost both of her dogs within a 60 day period. They each died in her house of natural causes. She adopted a rescue about a month after the death of each dog (2 rescues). Her rescues were Cavaliers as well but different colors than the two that passed. She has no regrets.

I'm sure you'll know when it is the right time for you. :flwr:
I tend to agree with Lani about waiting. One of my favorite authors is James Herriot, a veterinarian in Yorkshire. Often when one of his clients lost a beloved pet, he would bring them a new kitten or puppy right away to brighten their lives again.

If Murdy is having problems with separation anxiety, I would not let it get any worse; rather I would talk to your vet (and a professional dog trainer, if possible) to weigh the pros and cons of bringing in a new dog sooner rather than later. I'm saying this because my sister had a dog with a terrible case of separation anxiety, and it can grow worse if untreated. I would do anything to prevent a full-blown case of separation anxiety!

6th November 2008, 12:41 PM
Hi everyone,

We have thought a lot about a rescue dog and have looked at lots of websites with pictures of puppies and dogs that need re-homing. . I was sure that our next dog would be a rescue dog but now that it comes to it we both really want a cavalier - my husband even more than me. It seems that the Cavalier rescue organisation mostly re-home in Dublin, as they can't do home checks outside of Dublin (at least according to the website)...

I have contacted some breeders, assuming that it would take some time and we would need to go on a list. We have an opportunity to get a pup, but now we are more confused. These breeders appear to be very reputable and responsible people heavily involved in breed (can't say anything that might identify them obviously!). Both breeders scan their dogs for heart problems but neither have MRI's carried out and both say they think MRI's are misleading and don't identify carriers. Both say that their own dogs are entirely asymptomatic.

Their puppies will be a lot more expensive than the dogs you see on donedeal.ie or similar - about 2.5 times the price at least.

Financially, that would stretch us but we would be willing to do that if it was the right thing to do???

One breeder has a beautiful ruby girl avail now (they were going to keep her) so we are trying to make a decision and are pretty confused about the whole thing ...


18th November 2008, 08:56 PM
I AM the cavalier rescue organisation in Ireland :) and I rehome outside of Dublin IF I have someone who can do homechecks -- that isn't always the case. And of course if the home passes the homecheck.

I would not even consider a dog from someone who says MRIs are misleading. You will probably need to find a breeder in the UK for this. And yes, a properly bred cavalier will definitely cost much more than the backyard bred dogs in Done Deal and Buy&Sell. An IKC registration means very little. You need to find a breeder who breeds with health in mind, breeds for conformation, and cares enough about the future of the breed to not try to dupe buyers into thinking that MRIs don't tell them anything at all about their breeding stock. If they have not MRId, they have absolutely no idea what they are breeding together in terms of SM.

19th November 2008, 02:41 AM
First off, I'm so sorry about your loss. If you feel like you're ready to get a new dog or puppy, go for it. But I have to agree that it definitely sounds fishy to say that MRIs are misleading. I spent a lot of time interviewing breeders before even making the decision to get a dog, and I found that the more I talked to, the more I learned. In the beginning they all sounded responsible, and presented themselves as such, but then I'd find a couple that would really educate me on health issues. It was conversations like these that helped me make the decision about which breeder to go with. I relied heavily on this board when I was looking, and reading everyone's posts helped me to ask the right questions. You may get a perfectly healthy puppy from one of the breeders you mentioned, but if you don't, I would hate to think of you stretching your wallet at the outset, and then have to pay tons of $$$ because of ongoing health problems (not to mention the horrible feelings that go with having a dog in pain). Getting a dog or puppy is tremendously exciting, and I think it's even more so when you're confident of its health.