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Blondiemonster
13th February 2011, 04:40 AM
Everytime I bring up Cavalier health issues or my dog's SM, to people around that are not dog owners, with the objective to raise awareness, I'm always shocked how quick they are to point a finger towards me, blaming me for owning a Cavalier.

" I'm against pure breeds". "You should get a cavalier mix next time, or a dog from the pound.." "I can't believe you own one of those dogs, it's unethical..." "They should make those dogs illegal" etc.. Blah blah blah etc..
It makes me mad. I may have not made the right decision by not researching the breeder enough and asking for parents MRI's but seriously; it offends me that people blame owners for current health status or just simply think eliminating the breed all together is the solution.
I always try to explain to them a cavalier is not just like "any dog" but has such a specific, beautiful personality that can not just be found in any dog from the pound or other breed and that I simply don't want any other breed.

anniemac
13th February 2011, 05:20 AM
You should not feel bad. Now I would love a cavalier rescue but I love the personality and it is the reason I got ella. I needed that type of temperment. Sure there maybe a dog needing a home and could be just as beautiful inside but I love cavaliers.

The thing about pure breeds is that you can trace health issues and are more known. Cavaliers have serious health issues but like you, I now unfortunately am well aware of now. I would not trade ella for the world. I also will always want a cavalier but because I know more about the health issues now, my next cavalier will be a rescue. If I bought a puppy, I would make sure that they breeder is very health oriented and does even more than what is expected.

I hate that too b/c I don't need to feel bad for having or wanting a cavalier. I don't, they simply are the best little dogs especially on the inside and out

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Blondiemonster
13th February 2011, 05:39 AM
Thanks Annie. Yes, I agree with you. I would also do better health checks on parents or get a rescue. But I don't want any other breed than a cavalier.
Sure there are tons of wonderful dogs out there, but this breed touches my heart. :lotsaluv:

ByFloSin
13th February 2011, 09:10 AM
Thanks Annie. Yes, I agree with you. I would also do better health checks on parents or get a rescue. But I don't want any other breed than a cavalier.
Sure there are tons of wonderful dogs out there, but this breed touches my heart. :lotsaluv:

Me too, because that is what happened to me when we got our first Cavalier in 1983.

I have also had bad experiences from Joe Public. Holly Poppet has Dry Eye/Curly Coat Syndrome, which makes her coat stand on end and is also probably unique in having a double paw attached to one of her front legs, which is obvious to see. She went through some terrible suffering as a tiny pup, which took some months to diagnose and treat successfully. Now she has a happy and as near normal life as I can give her. She is a keen competitor at Companion shows in the local parks - 'tail wagger extraordinaire' I call her.:snap:

People stop me when she is out in the stroller with me, while using public transport or at the vet's. They ask what breed she is, then make remarks about sick dogs. One idiot even said in a very loud voice that I was some poor old dear who had 'lost the plot' and been sold a sick pup. 'That's what them breeders are like' she said. One of the neighbours makes a point of stopping me in the street to tell me what a cruel woman I am by keeping a sick and ugly dog alive.

I long ago gave up on telling these idiots that I have a cute little dog who is beautiful on the inside, that she has as much right to life as any other living creature and almost every dog that ever was will sooner or later suffer from one health problem or another and isn't that why they are sitting in the vet's waiting room right now? :bang:

You hit the nail squarely on the head by saying 'but this breed touches my heart'

Jane P
13th February 2011, 12:28 PM
I have also had bad experiences from Joe Public. Holly Poppet has Dry Eye/Curly Coat Syndrome, which makes her coat stand on end and is also probably unique in having a double paw attached to one of her front legs, which is obvious to see. She went through some terrible suffering as a tiny pup, which took some months to diagnose and treat successfully. Now she has a happy and as near normal life as I can give her. She is a keen competitor at Companion shows in the local parks - 'tail wagger extraordinaire' I call her.:snap:

People stop me when she is out in the stroller with me, while using public transport or at the vet's. They ask what breed she is, then make remarks about sick dogs. One idiot even said in a very loud voice that I was some poor old dear who had 'lost the plot' and been sold a sick pup. 'That's what them breeders are like' she said. One of the neighbours makes a point of stopping me in the street to tell me what a cruel woman I am by keeping a sick and ugly dog alive.

I long ago gave up on telling these idiots that I have a cute little dog who is beautiful on the inside, that she has as much right to life as any other living creature and almost every dog that ever was will sooner or later suffer from one health problem or another and isn't that why they are sitting in the vet's waiting room right now? :bang:


How terrible, you've brought tears to my eyes:cry*ing: I can't believe how cruel people can be in their ignorance! Everyone always thinks Dylan is a very old dog and when I tell them he is only 5 but he is very ill you can see the shock on their faces. Whilst no-one has ever said anything to me you can tell what they are thinking!

Little Holly Poppet is as beautiful as any other dog.:)

GraciesMom
13th February 2011, 02:03 PM
I can't imagine they would not change their minds. They are irreplaceable. Period. End of story. Their loss!:swear:

Margaret C
13th February 2011, 04:02 PM
I can understand how it offends you that owners are blamed when the information is not available and breeders are not honest about the health problems, but I have to say there are some sentiments being expressed on this thread that make me stop and think.

I don't mean to offend, the special needs dogs written about on this thread, and indeed on this forum, are lucky to be owned by people who love and delight in them so much, but there are complex welfare issues in the future if cavaliers continue to be bred and their health issues are not controlled.

Cavaliers have been part of my life for decades. I am someone that has owned shown and bred cavaliers for thirty five years.
I had a UK top stud dog ( Ch. Mareve Indiana )that produced champion offspring all over the world. I was one of the first owners that went public about the problem when I first saw him writhe and scream in pain when he was eleven years old.

Since then I have kept myself well informed about SM and I provide material for research. I have people contacting me all the time, some of them have puppies under a year old with severe symptoms, and more & more I have come to the conclusion that it is the beautiful sweet temperament of the cavalier that makes it so easy to exploit and ruin.

In so many ways cavaliers are their own worst enemies. Easy to breed, if you don't bother to test, and very easy to sell, it is a breed that quite rightly touches the heart of pet owners, and that is why commercial breeders favour them.

Let me put to you all a question that may make you feel indignant and uncomfortable, but I'll ask it anyway, because it is the demand from pet owners that makes it worthwhile for breeders to continue to produce cavaliers.

I know that you love your cavaliers, and they are special, and you would want another cavalier, but do you think it is right that a breed of dog continues to be bred and suffer, in the way that so many of the SM dogs suffer, so that pet owners can have the dog of their choice?

I am talking about what is in the dog's interest here, not what the owner is prepared to do for a special needs dog, because it is not the owners that suffer the pain.
Is there a point at which caring people should say no more?

I ask this because I must very soon make the decision to mate my little Faith again ( the mating did not 'take' six months ago ) and increasingly there are many knowledgeable people, that I really respect, who think it is wrong to continue to breed dogs that have such an ever increasing risk of suffering severe pain sometime during their lifetime.

And of course SM is only one of the many health problems in cavaliers

lovecavaliers
13th February 2011, 04:13 PM
Those people are just ignorant:mad: I deal with similar comments about how it's cruel to own a purebred dog when there are so many unwanted dogs in shelters. I say if all humans who decide to get a dog (shelter or purebred) would be responsible owners there would be little to no dogs in the shelters/rescues. Unfortunately many of the people who make those stupid comments are the ones who will give up their dog if they turn up health issues, or their new significant other doesn't like dogs or simply the dog is not so cute anymore. They think pets are disposable and don't realize they are a lifetime commitment.
People say to me all the time when they hear about Jack's health issues, "wow, he is lucky to have you, I would have given up my dog", I always reply, "No, I am lucky to have him and he is stuck with me for life":)
I love all animals and types of dogs but cavie's will always have a special place in my heart:lotsaluv:

lovecavaliers
13th February 2011, 04:21 PM
Margaret I just saw your post after I posted my reply.
That is a tough questions to answer because as a cavi owner I love the breed and cannot imagine them not being in existence. I do however not want to see them suffer. Can an answer be to just continue to make the public aware that these little dogs have tons of health issues and should not be purchased from anyone but a breeder who is invested in perserving the breed? I know it is a huge task because with pet stores and internet sales there is such a vast amount of poor breeders/puppy farms contributing to this and many other breeds demise.
I think this was an important question to ask because we must think of the dogs well being first.

Zumie05
13th February 2011, 05:06 PM
I knew about the risks involved with owning a cavalier. Part of it yes, is the fault of the owner for not carefully researching the breeder. But how on earth is it our fault for wanting one of the sweetest, cutest, and best personalities in a dog? With a mutt, these things just cannot be predicted as well with a pure bred. The whole point of getting a pure bred animal is to have a greater chance of a pet with desireable traits!!!!

Blondiemonster
13th February 2011, 05:49 PM
I can understand how it offends you that owners are
Let me put to you all a question that may make you feel indignant and uncomfortable, but I'll ask it anyway, because it is the demand from pet owners that makes it worthwhile for breeders to continue to produce cavaliers.

I know that you love your cavaliers, and they are special, and you would want another cavalier, but do you think it is right that a breed of dog continues to be bred and suffer, in the way that so many of the SM dogs suffer, so that pet owners can have the dog of their choice?

I am talking about what is in the dog's interest here, not what the owner is prepared to do for a special needs dog, because it is not the owners that suffer the pain.
Is there a point at which caring people should say no more?

I ask this because I must very soon make the decision to mate my little Faith again ( the mating did not 'take' six months ago ) and increasingly there are many knowledgeable people, that I really respect, who think it is wrong to continue to breed dogs that have such an ever increasing risk of suffering severe pain sometime during their lifetime.

And of course SM is only one of the many health problems in cavaliers


Hey Margaret. I think the solution may be to regulate breeding much more carefully? I honestly think it needs to be made pretty much against the law to breed and sell Cavies who's parents are not clear of SM and heart disease. That also goes for other breeds with similar problems. The main issues per breed need to be identified, and then tackled. I know it is almost impossible to do... because there will be so many less cavies, and waiting lists of years and years and then they will become very exclusive, then expensive and then... you'll have a bunch of scumbags breeding them in there back yards and then ure back to square one... But ofcourse, I do think the fact that breeding is not regulated at all, and "everything goes", doesn't help.

As for your little Faith; I assume she is scanned and free of SM? i dont think it's irresponsible breeding only the best dogs. At the time I got Blondie, I wasn't aware of SM, and to be quite honest it was a bit of a reckless decision. One I don't regret however, because I also knew that I would never get rid of a pet no matter what and so I was accepting the consequences.
To answer your question; no , I would not want to own another cavalier at the cost of the breed suffering. Therefore I am determined to either get a rescue or get a dog from parents with the best proven track records. And if that means I have to go on a two year waiting list. So be it. :)
I know that SM can show in later age too.. so not even a clear scan on the parents guarantees no problems.. but we have to start somewhere... And when we keep scanning our dogs and only breeding the best, eventually we will eliminate or seriously diminish down the problem...

p.s As for " it's not the owner who suffers the pain" I'm not sure I agree with that Margaret. I know what you mean , in terms of the physicial pain, but I sometimes have a feeling we suffer even more than they do. I can literally feel my heart fall to pieces and my stomach shred when something is wrong with my girl. The emotional pain of dealing with a dog you love that is sick is borderline unbearable, and is one of the biggest lessons in "responsible buying/ownership" you can ever learn. I will not ever be the same person after this, leave alone buy a dog the way I did before.

anniemac
13th February 2011, 09:30 PM
U
Margaret I just saw your post after I posted my reply.
That is a tough questions to answer because as a cavi owner I love the breed and cannot imagine them not being in existence. I do however not want to see them suffer. Can an answer be to just continue to make the public aware that these little dogs have tons of health issues and should not be purchased from anyone but a breeder who is invested in perserving the breed? I know it is a huge task because with pet stores and internet sales there is such a vast amount of poor breeders/puppy farms contributing to this and many other breeds demise.
I think this was an important question to ask because we must think of the dogs well being first.

I feel so much like both of you and maybe it has something to do with being in the same country especially with how many dogs are put to sleep etc. If we have responsible breeders then I think the same way, less would end up there.

I too have been told there is a reason that God gave me ella. Yes I fell in love with the breed, but I also am very sad that people don't know about the health issues or choose to ignore them at the cost of health. I know there is a demand for cavaliers and it makes me so upset to see the internet ads and breeders who don't do anything or follow protocols. However, I am not helping those breeders b/c I would never buy a cavalier from them. In fact, I would like to raise awareness, make it stricter or mandatory to follow protocols, whatever it takes to not allow for irresponsible breeding. Its a very tough question but giving up or having breeders that are trying to breed for a A cavalier or without CM/heart issues would not be a solution I feel.

I agree with lynn about waiting however long yet people do want instant gratification and there will still be people to ignore that. We just got back from a cavalier meet up. Ella had so much fun! However, I was talking to someone who said she wanted a cavalier and they happened to have one at a furniture store. Didn't want one that was fixed so she could breed (she said she is lucky her vet said he was healthy when asked about testing) Luckily, the cavalier was fixed not to her want but it shows how people will ignore it.

I had people tell me didn't you buy ella from a breeder to eliminate health issues? They meant mvd because they never heard of sm. Ellas parents hearts were clear and she was breed from parents age 5 & 6. After people blamed my breeder (she must have come from a puppy farm or byb) no, she came from a breeder who is members of both clubs but did not scan at the time but that is a whole other issue and trying to raise awarenes, I was upset to see an email go out to the meet up group with pictures of cavalier puppies saying "just in time for christmas"

This was not the first time someone used this to advertise puppies. My best friend at the time a while back with a cavalier who knew how I felt about breeding for health and ellas problems said "I want one" when an email was sent. My heart dropped and it has been a sore place. I sent something to the person who started the meet up group about how wrong this was whatever.

To answer your question, it is not simple. I am torn b/c I think people love cavaliers see their cute face and buyers (even ones who I were close to) will still want one. Then I feel like I can still want a cavalier in the future also but buyers would need to be like me. I will only get a rescue or from a breeder that breeds for health or follow protocols. Ella is with me for as long as possible and like lynn, I am a changed person. everything important to me are not the same.

It is complicated and I want better regulations, if the pet buyers that want to purchase a dog on a whim (christmas present as the email said) could not, then maybe it would help. If 10 years down the road I want to get a cavalier, I hope those who are working hard to do what the can to save the breed did not give up.

Margaret, you are one that would breed for health. I know you would not breed a cavalier not scanned so I feel you are needed. Even with the chance of a offspring with SM, there is a chance with anything. That is why it is tough to be a great breeder. No dog (purebreed or not) will you know that all the puppies are going to be healthy.

The good thing, I feel, is that you can know what to do to make it more likely.

That's my opinion.




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Blondiemonster
13th February 2011, 09:43 PM
I totally agree with Annie. Breeders who aim at breeding healthy pups cannot give up or it will make the problem worse. The downfall of the cavalier is pretty much a guarantee when responsible breeders give up.

anniemac
13th February 2011, 09:54 PM
Also I wanted to add the reason I feel so strongly about their temperment.

I did not get ella b/c of her pretty face (sure it helped and it was a "sex in the city" dog) but I needed a dog to help me during a depression. So went I looked up breeds and read about cavaliers, I was drawn to them for their affection. She healed me.

Long ago cavaliers stemed from the origins of the original breed or class were called "comforter spaniels" then toy spaniels etc. I read that from barbara garnet wilsons book. They were used to heal and were in hospitals among other things. So whether its a cavalier or "comforter spaniel" as long as they don't lose that instinct and temperment is something I feel strongly about but I do believe its time to return the favor for what they have been used for years and what ella has done for me personally.

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anniemac
13th February 2011, 10:02 PM
I totally agree with Annie. Breeders who aim at breeding healthy pups cannot give up or it will make the problem worse. The downfall of the cavalier is pretty much a guarantee when responsible breeders give up.

Totally agree. That is why I choose to support them because they are needed


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Zumie05
13th February 2011, 10:20 PM
Also I wanted to add the reason I feel so strongly about their temperment.

I did not get ella b/c of her pretty face (sure it helped and it was a "sex in the city" dog) but I needed a dog to help me during a depression. So went I looked up breeds and read about cavaliers, I was drawn to them for their affection. She healed me.

Long ago cavaliers stemed from the origins of the original breed or class were called "comforter spaniels" then toy spaniels etc. I read that from barbara garnet wilsons book. They were used to heal and were in hospitals among other things. So whether its a cavalier or "comforter spaniel" as long as they don't lose that instinct and temperment is something I feel strongly about but I do believe its time to return the favor for what they have been used for years and what ella has done for me personally.

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Couldn't have said it any better. These guys truly have this amazing personality, I am incredibly bonded with mine. I hope breeders dont give up, and that we all continue to try to educate people to not support BYBs and mills.

Karen Rawlins
13th February 2011, 10:30 PM
I can't believe that people would blame the owners for loving these dogs soooo much. I knew about syngromyelia before I purchased Churchill. But really I wouldn't change a thing. Never had a dog I loved sooo much that has loved me back with such a great personality. Hang in there. :p

LexieAndSprinkles
14th February 2011, 04:22 AM
I'm sorry you have to deal with people's ignorance. I think a lot of the issue is that if you don't have a Cavalier, you usually don't know that it's worth the risk. When I got my babies I absolutely knew (and still do) the risks as does anyone who gets any dog. A perfectly healthy mixed breed could run out in front of a car or eat something wrong costing thousands of dollars in medical bills. It's a lot like having children... you just never know, but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying them while you can :)

Jane P
14th February 2011, 07:54 AM
I know that you love your cavaliers, and they are special, and you would want another cavalier, but do you think it is right that a breed of dog continues to be bred and suffer, in the way that so many of the SM dogs suffer, so that pet owners can have the dog of their choice?

I am talking about what is in the dog's interest here, not what the owner is prepared to do for a special needs dog, because it is not the owners that suffer the pain.
Is there a point at which caring people should say no more?



Good question. I hate to think that Cavaliers as a breed could die out because of their health problems. However, as much as I dearly love these little dogs I honestly don't know if I would buy another puppy as things stand at the moment. I just don't think I could bear to watch another dog suffer as my Dylan has.:( You have a very difficult decision to make.

ByFloSin
14th February 2011, 09:43 AM
Margaret said:

I am talking about what is in the dog's interest here, not what the owner is prepared to do for a special needs dog, because it is not the owners that suffer the pain.
Is there a point at which caring people should say no more?

Holly Poppet's suffering was harrowing to say the least. How many of us have been part of a team of 3 struggling to hold a young puppy still for the opthalmologist to examine her eyes. The pup is screaming in agony every time her left eye is touched but drops have to be inserted and an opthalmoscope used. The pain is so great that the local anaesthetic already applied is not working. The fact that the owner has already been told by the GP vet that the eye should be taken out just added to the sleepless nights and the feeling of guilt for having taken Holly on and getting her this far.

The examination is finally completed, with the owner being given a lengthy prescription for medicines which may help to save the eye, but most of these things are not licensed for veterinary use and the GP vet refuses to either obtain or dispense them. A shouting match ensues between vet and owner, who then realises that the prescription can be dispensed at a pharmacy.

The owner gets little sleep, because the puppy needs 3 hourly medication, 24/7 for throughout the week before returning to the opthalmologist. Owner sheds tears and prays that she is doing the right thing for puppy. Suddenly puppy stands happily while eyes are being medicated, then puppy seems to forget the pain and plays with the other dogs for the first time as if discovering for the first time how life should be.

Puppy returns to opthalmologist, examination is made without a struggle and Schirmer Test approaches normal. Owner is advised to gradually reduce medications to 4 daily, tears and derma ointment as routine, but other meds to be applied if needed. Puppy is discharged back to GP Vet. Owner and vet embrace and exchange animosity for collaboration in dealing with puppy's problems.

2 years go by with puppy growing into otherwise normal but dependent on medication young dog. Schirmer tests eventually reduced to twice yearly, with well above average results. No recurrence of eye ulcers in that time.

Imagine going through that Margaret - the guilt and the pain, then the joy at knowing that you have done your very best for a sickly little scrap of nothing, who will never look or live as a Cavalier should, but has a zest for life which exceeds everyone's expectations and is mainly healthy.

Having read this, are you still of the opinion that it is the dog and not the owner who feels the pain and how could this owner ever say that there was a point when she should have said 'no more'?

sins
14th February 2011, 11:07 AM
Very few of us willingly asked for this burden.Its great that we all strive to make life better for our dogs who do not enjoy the best of health.
With the right to own a dog,comes the duty to take care of it's health requirements as well as it's welfare etc..
It's hard for people who do not own dogs to understand the bond between dog and owner.
No doubt some of us go the extra mile to keep our dogs alive.
But there's a limit to how much pain I can inflict on my family and a limit to how much I can allow the dog to suffer in order to extend it's life.I don't ever want any of my dogs to become martyrs.
I think it might take a healthy dose of reality from a friend or family member to push me to make a decision.I can recall a screaming match with my mother last year when it came to having their 14 year old labrador PTS.It was clearly time for him to be
released and she could NOT bring herself to make the call to the vet.She was just not sufficiently detached to see just how far gone he was.
When it was done she was relieved and grateful for the push.
I hope she'll do the same for me if I fail to see the signs.
Sins

Charlifarley
14th February 2011, 11:29 AM
She was just not sufficiently detached to see just how far gone he was.
When it was done she was relieved and grateful for the push.
I hope she'll do the same for me if I fail to see the signs.
Sins
Well said Sins, I think we should all have a trusted friend/family member who can be objective and honest to help us see when the time has come if we just can't see it ourselves.

AgilityLola
14th February 2011, 11:45 AM
Good question. I hate to think that Cavaliers as a breed could die out because of their health problems. However, as much as I dearly love these little dogs I honestly don't know if I would buy another puppy as things stand at the moment. I just don't think I could bear to watch another dog suffer as my Dylan has.:( You have a very difficult decision to make.


Same here, i don't think i shall ever own another cavalier even though i adore the breed. I don't think i could bear being that helpless again, watchin a dog suffer and not being able to do enough to help :(

waldor
14th February 2011, 01:42 PM
" I'm against pure breeds". "You should get a cavalier mix next time, or a dog from the pound.." .


FWIW, I gave a lot of consideration to getting a pound/rescue dog before I bought Sophie. I also bought Sophie with my eyes wide open. I had done my research and was informed about SM before I decided to make the gamble.

A lot of wonderful dogs come from pounds & shelters, and I know one personally. But at my age, I have neither the time, energy, nor do I have the patience and skill it might require to deal with an emotionally damaged dog. Nor do I have the knowledge to weed out the nutters when I choose a dog. Sophie is sufficient challenge for me right now.

My DIL's sister got a rescued shelter dog and it has all sorts of mental health problems that are not being resolved, on top of the fact that this young woman chose a Border Collie mix that is receiving neither exercise nor training from her.

I chose a pure breed because I have an idea about the temperament. I choose my breed based on size and temperament. Even the popular dog trainers on TV say that when you get a mixed breed, you really don't know which temperament will emerge in the dog, and that you can get the WORST of the breeds in the dog. This might be why DNA testing is becoming popular for dogs.

IMO, your best defense may be to not bring up the subject at all, and if someone else brings it up, dodge it gracefully and change the subject.

anniemac
14th February 2011, 03:37 PM
Blondiemonster said:


“" I'm against pure breeds". "You should get a cavalier mix next time, or a dog from the pound.."

I can ignore those comments especially about getting a dog from the pound because there will always be people that think never to buy a dog when there is one in a shelter. There is nothing wrong with their opinions and those are not going to change especially ones with dogs. However a mix is not an answer to be healthier because you can mix two of the worst and add MORE health problems but there is no use to give them thought.


"I can't believe you own one of those dogs, it's unethical..." "They should make those dogs illegal" etc.. Blah blah blah etc..
It makes me mad. I may have not made the right decision by not researching the breeder enough and asking for parents MRI's but seriously; it offends me that people blame owners for current health status or just simply think eliminating the breed all together is the solution.”


This and what ByFloSin said is where I get hurt:




“People stop me when she is out in the stroller with me, while using public transport or at the vet's. They ask what breed she is, then make remarks about sick dogs. One idiot even said in a very loud voice that I was some poor old dear who had 'lost the plot' and been sold a sick pup. 'That's what them breeders are like' she said. One of the neighbours makes a point of stopping me in the street to tell me what a cruel woman I am by keeping a sick and ugly dog alive.”


I am so sorry you are told that! We did not choose this like Sins said and I would never choose to have another dog with health problems unless I happened to run into money and wanted to help a rescue. I have changed a great deal and this has been the worst year but one where I realized who was there for me and Ella. We DO hurt too and I wish I could feel what Ella feels. Maybe since Ella is my first Cavalier, I would have a different opinion if I have seen several Cavaliers I loved from 30 years like Margaret die. However, why should I feel the way I do sometimes like I am being cruel to keep Ella alive? I know SM is painful and even CM can be more painful than an asymptomatic SM cavalier. So knowing that, it kills me inside. I only know if she is in pain by her eyes. Many others can not see what I see. So yes every time she licks her paw or scratches, I KNOW it might be something with SM. She has bad days and I freak out at every little thing. She is being managed on medication but I do wonder how much she is in pain and reading some comments or hearing things makes me feel that I am being selfish and how can I let her suffer?
I agree with Sins that there is a time to let go but not now. She was running and jumping, playing at the meet-up yesterday and had so much life that it is not the time now so why should I feel that this is being cruel? The only thing people notice about her is her eye which just seems a little red or different. Her eye like BloFloSin I spent several nights wondering what I should do. Should I just take it out and be done or since it does not seem to be bothering her I waited. A decision that turned out to be good since her eye greatly improved.
I am the only one to notice things right now since she doesn’t scream in pain. Yes she will yelp occasionally if I pick her up in a way it hurts her but that yelp hurts me to the bones. So why should I feel cruel since I own a Cavalier with SM and agree with Lynn that I don’t want to be blamed for the condition of the cavaliers health? No one should place blame since there are several factors including pet owners that choose to buy a puppy without researching the breed, Clubs, breeders, government etc. Yes, I too should have known more and I simply relied on the Club referrals. CHIC certificates, heart certificates, eye etc. and knew nothing about SM. I thought that the National Clubs would have the most information and I did not go to Rod’s website. I still wish they would put more on specifics on the club sites, however, I know now.

“I know that you love your cavaliers, and they are special, and you would want another cavalier, but do you think it is right that a breed of dog continues to be bred and suffer, in the way that so many of the SM dogs suffer, so that pet owners can have the dog of their choice?

I am talking about what is in the dog's interest here, not what the owner is prepared to do for a special needs dog, because it is not the owners that suffer the pain.
Is there a point at which caring people should say no more? “

I still keep thinking about this because no I don’t want the breed or a dog to suffer and the way it makes it sound is that since I do want the opportunity in the future to own a cavalier, I am contributing to this. If I said no more, then I still would be hurting inside. It is hard not to say anything but the answer is not simple. Margaret, I have no idea what you have gone through and I feel so bad to know you have felt heartache for so long.
I feel everyone has the right to an opinion and there is no right answer. You have to do what you think is best not just breeding but with decisions regarding their health. It is hard not to feel bad or blamed for things or think that Ella should not be around because she has SM and I see her having difficulty climbing stairs. I am always asked how old she is because she seems older. So after feeling like I am cruel and she is in pain, I went to the meet up and I could see her how she is always greeting people, getting excited at the word squirrel, yesterday jumping up on her back legs to play with another, and it hit me. She does have a very serious condition but she is HAPPY and I will not let her not have a life because I am scared of what is around the corner. I have to enjoy every day with her. I know more now about her symptoms, the look in her face, the things others can’t see, but when the day comes like Sins said, I will count on others to help support me.

Love my Cavaliers
14th February 2011, 06:06 PM
“I know that you love your cavaliers, and they are special, and you would want another cavalier, but do you think it is right that a breed of dog continues to be bred and suffer, in the way that so many of the SM dogs suffer, so that pet owners can have the dog of their choice?"

Margaret, this is one of the most profound questions I think I have heard and it actually brings tears to my eyes. Even though I have four cavaliers, one with SM, one with CM and a grade one murmur, I have still thought that I would always have cavaliers in my life. Your question however makes me rethink my whole value system. Like Lynn and Anne, my heart breaks every time Riley's SM causes her some distress or I notice that she seems to be getting worse. And my heart breaks every time I read stories of cavaliers who are in the final stages of heart disease and are struggling to breathe and to walk, or even just to sit or to lie down comfortably. And I realize that it's not just about whether I can take care of my dogs, and whether my dogs are comfortable and happy. It's a philosophical question about the future of the breed that I am not equipped to answer because my emotions get the better of me. I actually feel selfish because I want another cavalier. Could I learn to love another breed without feeling like a traitor? Absolutely, but it would take time.

My hope is that there is a future for the breed. I have sent the DNA and MRI of my oldie (he was 9 when he had the MRI) who does not have SM or MVD to Penny and Clare to add to their vast data bank. I love this breed. I hope they are here to stay in a much improved form.

Bet
14th February 2011, 06:10 PM
Blondiemonster said:


“" I'm against pure breeds". "You should get a cavalier mix next time, or a dog from the pound.."

I can ignore those comments especially about getting a dog from the pound because there will always be people that think never to buy a dog when there is one in a shelter. There is nothing wrong with their opinions and those are not going to change especially ones with dogs. However a mix is not an answer to be healthier because you can mix two of the worst and add MORE health problems but there is no use to give them thought.


"I can't believe you own one of those dogs, it's unethical..." "They should make those dogs illegal" etc.. Blah blah blah etc..
It makes me mad. I may have not made the right decision by not researching the breeder enough and asking for parents MRI's but seriously; it offends me that people blame owners for current health status or just simply think eliminating the breed all together is the solution.”


This and what ByFloSin said is where I get hurt:




“People stop me when she is out in the stroller with me, while using public transport or at the vet's. They ask what breed she is, then make remarks about sick dogs. One idiot even said in a very loud voice that I was some poor old dear who had 'lost the plot' and been sold a sick pup. 'That's what them breeders are like' she said. One of the neighbours makes a point of stopping me in the street to tell me what a cruel woman I am by keeping a sick and ugly dog alive.”


I am so sorry you are told that! We did not choose this like Sins said and I would never choose to have another dog with health problems unless I happened to run into money and wanted to help a rescue. I have changed a great deal and this has been the worst year but one where I realized who was there for me and Ella. We DO hurt too and I wish I could feel what Ella feels. Maybe since Ella is my first Cavalier, I would have a different opinion if I have seen several Cavaliers I loved from 30 years like Margaret die. However, why should I feel the way I do sometimes like I am being cruel to keep Ella alive? I know SM is painful and even CM can be more painful than an asymptomatic SM cavalier. So knowing that, it kills me inside. I only know if she is in pain by her eyes. Many others can not see what I see. So yes every time she licks her paw or scratches, I KNOW it might be something with SM. She has bad days and I freak out at every little thing. She is being managed on medication but I do wonder how much she is in pain and reading some comments or hearing things makes me feel that I am being selfish and how can I let her suffer?
I agree with Sins that there is a time to let go but not now. She was running and jumping, playing at the meet-up yesterday and had so much life that it is not the time now so why should I feel that this is being cruel? The only thing people notice about her is her eye which just seems a little red or different. Her eye like BloFloSin I spent several nights wondering what I should do. Should I just take it out and be done or since it does not seem to be bothering her I waited. A decision that turned out to be good since her eye greatly improved.
I am the only one to notice things right now since she doesn’t scream in pain. Yes she will yelp occasionally if I pick her up in a way it hurts her but that yelp hurts me to the bones. So why should I feel cruel since I own a Cavalier with SM and agree with Lynn that I don’t want to be blamed for the condition of the cavaliers health? No one should place blame since there are several factors including pet owners that choose to buy a puppy without researching the breed, Clubs, breeders, government etc. Yes, I too should have known more and I simply relied on the Club referrals. CHIC certificates, heart certificates, eye etc. and knew nothing about SM. I thought that the National Clubs would have the most information and I did not go to Rod’s website. I still wish they would put more on specifics on the club sites, however, I know now.

“I know that you love your cavaliers, and they are special, and you would want another cavalier, but do you think it is right that a breed of dog continues to be bred and suffer, in the way that so many of the SM dogs suffer, so that pet owners can have the dog of their choice?

I am talking about what is in the dog's interest here, not what the owner is prepared to do for a special needs dog, because it is not the owners that suffer the pain.
Is there a point at which caring people should say no more? “

I still keep thinking about this because no I don’t want the breed or a dog to suffer and the way it makes it sound is that since I do want the opportunity in the future to own a cavalier, I am contributing to this. If I said no more, then I still would be hurting inside. It is hard not to say anything but the answer is not simple. Margaret, I have no idea what you have gone through and I feel so bad to know you have felt heartache for so long.
I feel everyone has the right to an opinion and there is no right answer. You have to do what you think is best not just breeding but with decisions regarding their health. It is hard not to feel bad or blamed for things or think that Ella should not be around because she has SM and I see her having difficulty climbing stairs. I am always asked how old she is because she seems older. So after feeling like I am cruel and she is in pain, I went to the meet up and I could see her how she is always greeting people, getting excited at the word squirrel, yesterday jumping up on her back legs to play with another, and it hit me. She does have a very serious condition but she is HAPPY and I will not let her not have a life because I am scared of what is around the corner. I have to enjoy every day with her. I know more now about her symptoms, the look in her face, the things others can’t see, but when the day comes like Sins said, I will count on others to help support me.


PEOPLES ' IGNORANT OPINIONS


To Annie and Others

Just you Folk do what you think best for your 4 Legged Friends.

You will know when it's time to bite the Bullet and let them go.

We never had any of our Cavaliers through- out our nearly 40 years of having them ,suffering from SM, at least not that we know of, Heart Trouble yes,we have had Many Tears and Heart Ache because some died so young from MVD,
when Pippa died , she was Blind , but coped not too bad, the worst memory I have of Pip ,is when her Pal, Katy died suddenly with a Stroke and she was Put to Sleep, Pippa ,at Bed time realized Katy was not there and Howled all through the Night, so after Pippa's Death ,we decided enough was enough ,no more Cavaliers.

We could not be Dog Less, went to the Rescue Centre in Glasgow , and came home with Suzy, she is a bit of Whippet and I don't know what else.

I know I have rambled on , but don't heed what any-body says, just enjoy your Cavaliers,

Bet

anniemac
14th February 2011, 08:15 PM
Bet,

That is so sad :( I have heard of chilling stories of loss and how upset the other can be. Ella is my first dog (besides family dogs) and this past year has been extremely emotional and hard. So I can see how you or Margaret that have dealt with loss over years could be emoti

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anniemac
14th February 2011, 08:18 PM
Sorry, I sent it early. If I had been involved for several years I know I would feel different

Sometimes I wish I did not care but everyone on this forum does. So lynn we all just have to try and remain strong for our loved ones

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Karlin
14th February 2011, 10:33 PM
But there's a limit to how much pain I can inflict on my family and a limit to how much I can allow the dog to suffer in order to extend it's life.I don't ever want any of my dogs to become martyrs.
I think it might take a healthy dose of reality from a friend or family member to push me to make a decision.

Yes wise words -- it is finding the balance. I value my vets' opinions and advice on this, but also many times family or friends can see what we don't see and their gentle nudging (or indeed, loud arguing...) may be what is needed to give some real perspective.

I think if a dog or cat or any companion animal is tired most of the time, struggles to have any daily quality of life, and is experiencing regular, debilitating pain: that is when I have the responsibility and need the courage to realise the animal's choice would likely be not to have to endure and endure and endure. At that point would have to accept I would be making the loved pet suffer to postpone my own pain of taking a decision to give them their wings, or out of my own selfishness at not wanting to let them go, or to fool myself into thinking things might get better.

As a wise vet advised me once with one of my cats: there's a point when it is kinder to let them go to *avoid* further and prolonged relapses rather than to try to have them rally only to suffer more debilitating and painful declines. Wagtails posted well on this recently -- you try to help as long as there's quality of life then you let them go and free them from suffering ideally at a point before they are *really* in pain and miserable. I let that cat go when she was stabilised and on a drip, but ill. She had feline HIV and would soon face further serious assaults on her immune system. It can be hard to see clearly and outside advice can help.

Blondiemonster
14th February 2011, 10:57 PM
Never really expected my little blurb to lead to one of the more serious and difficult philosophical and ethical discussion I have read on here... :o
But I'm glad we can all talk about this! It is obviously something a lot of people need to get of their chest.
When I started the thread I wasn't referring to anesthesia or anything, just sharing my frustration with the non dog owner people that haven't even ever met my dog, to share their 5 cents on dog care.

Margaret C
14th February 2011, 11:45 PM
Never really expected my little blurb to lead to one of the more serious and difficult philosophical and ethical discussion I have read on here... :o
But I'm glad we can all talk about this! It is obviously something a lot of people need to get of their chest.
When I started the thread I wasn't referring to anesthesia or anything, just sharing my frustration with the non dog owner people that haven't even ever met my dog, to share their 5 cents on dog care.

The people on this forum are exceptional in that these questions can be asked and they will be answered honestly.

Blondiemonster
15th February 2011, 02:54 AM
The people on this forum are exceptional in that these questions can be asked and they will be answered honestly.

yes, margaret. this forum is amazing. Now I wonder if the shnauzerforum people are the same... ;)

anniemac
15th February 2011, 03:15 AM
yes, margaret. this forum is amazing. Now I wonder if the shnauzerforum people are the same... ;)

BOL! You make me crack up! I think of you everytime I drive home past the NASCAR hall of fame.

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Blondiemonster
15th February 2011, 03:19 AM
:cool: Annie, I'll def be in Charlotte this season when the race is there! We'll finally get to have a drink! (And who knows, maybe I can meet Ella too! Depending on how far I am from the Dog Bar :))

anniemac
15th February 2011, 03:23 AM
Btw I have never been to a Tracey but the hall of fame is uptown but the racetrack is actually outside of charlotte.

Its worth a trip :)

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Blondiemonster
15th February 2011, 03:26 AM
yea but as far as i know the hotel where the t.v people stay is in charlotte. I dont drive though so ill have to figure something out. maybe my bf can drop me of somewhere. ;) u've never been to a race? I can get u a pass! :)