View Full Version : The Cavalier Collection Scheme.....Another little dog has given a gift for life

Margaret C
13th July 2011, 01:38 PM
"As you hold me in your arms and I close my eyes for the very last time I would like to leave a legacy of hope for the future..."

So far this year we have had eight little dogs go into the Cavalier Collection Scheme. We owe all the owners a great debt of gratitude.

Yesterday the latest little dog was taken to Edinburgh by his brave owner, and there he was PTS and the enormously important tissue samples, that are so essential for research, were taken very soon after his death.
He will now be cremated and his ashes will return home to his owner.

This little dog had SM, but his death was due to advanced MVD. The arrangements for euthanasia and postmorten were made through Professor Brendan Corcoran, who leads the research into MVD in Cavaliers.

Samples were also taken for Clare Rusbridge's SM studies and the gene research in Canada, and for pancreatic and liver studies at Cambridge.

This owner is also a breeder, and she is by no means the only breeder that has volunteered her dogs. To her and all other owners, whether pet owners or breeders, my thanks for the exceptional lengths you are willing to go to all for love of this breed.

13th July 2011, 04:48 PM
That's wonderful to hear, Margaret. *ng*l

Having donated a dog for the scheme myself, I can say that though it may seem difficult to think about, knowing your dog helped the entire breed in this way is enormously special and consoling when that difficult time does come. :flwr:

I really encourage anyone to PM Margaret to find out more about the scheme -- and to keep it in mind if the unthinkable happens and you have a dog unexpectedly deceased, or if you have an ill or older dog where you know you might be looking at a shorter future for your loved companion.

This is something that needs to be thought about and prepared for to some degree *in advance* as the tissues need to be collected very soon after your dog passes away and the cavalier needs to go to one of a handful of centres that can do this work for the researchers. Usually transport needs to be arranged as well and this can be planned for in advance so people are on alert.

People in Ireland also can be part of this scheme as arrangements for Lucy were through the UCD vet school. It may also be possible to make arrangements for US or other dogs if enough advance notice is there for researchers to prepare the details.

Please do contact Margaret with any questions. :)

13th July 2011, 07:18 PM
My thanks also to all the wonderful people who donate their beloved companions at such a tragic time.

I know how important is it for the research and although difficult at the time, it truly is a HUGE comfort later. Two of my Cavaliers have gone through the scheme and it means to me that their passings were not in vain, they were able to help and I know that a little piece of them has gone on to do something very special. It became a very positive experience.

It was all handled so professionally but also with compassion, and I'm so grateful to Margaret for all her work in putting this scheme in to place. The laboratory that was involved here, were so impressed with the scheme that they refused to charge for their work! [it is unique in dog breeds for so many researchers to be working together in this way]

It is something for all of us to think about - we hope that those days are far away, but even if you just think you would like to help in the future, please get in touch with Margaret. Once your companion is very poorly you will not want to be thinking about these kind of decisions and we know that people have expressed later regret that they did not get involved.

So please think about it and pass on the message to other Cavalier guardians - the scheme is open to all Cavaliers now, they do not have to have been MRI'd.

13th July 2011, 07:50 PM
Is there an option for this in USA?

Margaret C
14th July 2011, 06:59 PM
Is there an option for this in USA?

I have been asked that before and have thought about it, but I think anything like this probably has to be a local initiative.

The Collection Scheme was started in a small way in 2007 when I said I would try and collect 10 deceased cavaliers for neurologist Nick Jeffery ( now in USA )
Since then it has developed into a close knit team of researchers and cavalier owners.

Tania & I are the front line members who listen, advise, and sympathise with owners whose dogs are failing, but we so rely on the extremely busy and hard working professional researchers to use their contacts in Veterinary hospitals to arrange for postmortems, and sometimes euthanasia, to take place at very short notice.

This year we have used vet schools at Cambridge, Bristol, Edinburgh and Dublin, while provisional arrangements have been made with two other centres. The scheme depends entirely on the goodwill and the professional standing of our researchers and I am always impressed how much the staff members in University Vet Schools and other centres are willing to put themselves out to help when they ask.

The cost to the Cavalier Collection for each volunteered little dog will vary depending on where the cavalier is PTS, as we also pay for the euthanasia for some dogs under certain circumstances, but we can fairly well calculate what our costs will be within the UK vet organisations, which is important when we completely depend on money we raise ourselves.

This very close cooperative working, care for the donated cavaliers' owners, and control of costs would be impossible for the Collection team to replicate in another country.

14th July 2011, 07:56 PM
This truly is an amazing thing that is being done. As they say, every little helps, and so it does! Tiz a great service you are doing for cavaliers and their owners Margaret!

Margaret C
16th July 2011, 02:33 PM
As you can imagine we do need to keep raising money as everything has to be paid for.

Cremation and post-mortems cost approximately 100 each. Euthanasia, if we pay, is the same. Petrol costs can mount up although owners and volunteers will sometimes donate those sums back to the Scheme.

Tania's charitable gift shop http://www.cavalier-gift-shop.org/ and her stall are important sources of income for the Collection Scheme as we get no financial help from any cavalier clubs or organisations.
So please keep visiting the shop and buying bits and pieces for yourself or your friends.

There are a lot of unusual items there, some that Tania has specially commissioned, and there is a 'Coming Soon' section on the home page.................Just check out the 'Flying Cavalier Chocolate Bar' which I can personally recommend.

16th July 2011, 05:31 PM
There are a lot of items now in the shop. I am constantly looking for new products to sell.

There will be a charm bracelet with a pretty necklace. The little Cavalier has been hand designed, I watched his ears being crafted and the feathering. He is a jolly hansome Cavalier Charm, I hope you will like him.

At some point tomorrow I will be adding some very pretty Cavalier Sculputures.

The chocolate is made in Belgian and is a large 100gm bar. Dark chocolate will be following soon. The packaging is very attractive the trick will be not to eat it :razz:

Credit Card facility will be following shortly! We are setup for paypal and if anyone would prefer to pay by cheque this will not be a problem.

Tomorrow I will have a little stall at a local dog show, so will road test some of the new products.

I have started a "Wellbeing" section for the Shop. Here, I would like to sell things that will help to make a Cavaliers life better. eg. Pillows, Ruperts Recipes, I was also thinking of some interactive Toys for the less active dog. We are looking at harnesses for sm dogs at the moment but if anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.

Frazzled Cat has drawn a selections of cartoons to introduce the different sections which will keep it interesting.

Just check out the 'Flying Cavalier Chocolate Bar' which I can personally recommend

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6024/5943479744_7cb7ec337e.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/32708555@N03/5943479744/)