Buying new puppy
It has been 11 weeks this past Sunday since our precious girl died during the seizure. The worse two months of my life. Absolutely horrid. I don't know why I started looking for puppy since the only dog that I want is her. I want her back so badly and I'm hurting so much.
I guess Because I feel the emptiness in the house? Because I feel that my daughters (11 and 13) should have a dog, new puppy to love? For our family to be complete again? I don't know what it is, maybe my subconscious is denying all the facts and looking for her? I know it won't heal it, I know I wont' feel better about her death. We went to see a litter and it felt so good!!! I was so happy for a moment! The little cuddly things crawling everywhere, snuggling and licking my face! Of course it triggered all the emotions later. For me and the kids.
I'm looking for breeder that scans the dogs. But is this really the case? Will that prevent me from another loss? From another suffering dog? Is there actually a higher chance for a healthy dog?
Nairin's breeder has a new litter. They are so cute!!! Ruby and black and tan again. Nairin was ruby, so it would be really hard I guess. But this breeder won't test for SM. Do I take the risk and buy one? I feel so strangely connected to this kennel and those puppies, like she's calling me.
Or shall I get puppy with awesome pedigree over several generations all clear? I did find some. But "ONLY" have to make that decision.
First I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how empty a house can feel with the click click of little paws following you around. I lost my beloved beagle Skyler in 2007 just months after I had a new baby. I still miss hearing him snore on his own bed next to mine because he was too old to get on and off the bed with me. For me having a new baby in the house getting another dog (puppy or otherwise) just was not right for me.
I know you would do anything to bring your sweet girl back but you really need to come to grips with the fact that is not possible. I have heard people refer to that one special dog in your life as your heart dog. I believe we can have more than one heart dog in our lives if we are lucky enough to try. I love Fletcher so much just as much as I did Skylar but different (like your own daughters) Only you can decided when is the "right" time to get another dog. Its never that you are trying to "replace" your dog just own another and honor that memory by giving your heart to another dog again.
As far as buying another puppy, you know you cannot allow your heart to run the puppy search!!!! It is a scientific FACT that a puppy produced from scanned SM free parents bred after their 2.5 years old (scanned SM free grandparents 5 or older would be a dream) will GREATLY reduce the puppy being effected by SM. Some goes for early on-set MVD! One of the worst thing we can do as a pet buyer is buy from a breeder who cuts corners and does not follow protocols. Honestly its like a slap in the face of the breed we claim to love so much.
I know this kennel has been nice to you and I'm sure it would be wonderful to visit a little of puppies but do not buy from this breeder.
Very much agree with Melissa above -- both sharing sympathy for your terrible loss, and to say that any breeder not testing for SM at this point is truly only interested in money. It is frankly, shocking that a breeder would not be scanning -- especially as she would be in easy driving distance of several low cost scanning centres. Please do not support someone who has such a poor breeding philosophy that puts every single puppy at higher risk of a terribly painful disease. :(
It would I think be good to step back and take time to grieve and then also take time to find a truly responsible breeder but to also do full homework on them. Some people claim to have 'several generations clear' but this is actually quite unlikely unless the only scans have been done on young dogs or no scans at all. Breeders worldwide generally find about half of all their breeding stock (eg dogs under 5) have SM when they are scanned. It takes time to find a responsible breeder.
You have seen how terrible it is for a little dog to suffer from a health condition -- buying from breeders who do not scan, properly heart test etc supports more deliberate pain. Please don't let that happen when you are in a position of understanding this heartbreak more than so many others.
I absolutely agree with you. I've never heard about CMSM till Nairin got diagnosed in June. She died in July and honestly I was basket case for a whole month. I don't feel any better now, but I can function somehow. And doing the whole research about this again, looking in Nairin's pedigree, trying to put the puzzle together, but only some of the dogs were scanned.
When she was diagnosed I knew that I want to get involved in this. Somehow, start a blog, talk about her, about CM/SM. I was so mad that nobody told me about this when I was looking for puppy for my kids. The vet at the neuro clinic here told me that they offered 50% discount on MRI for every cavalier breeder, for every dog! Only few came. Sadly.
She was my special dog, she was everything to me. I wouldn't even consider looking for new one if I didn't have kids. They were there when she was dying! It was to traumatic, so bad, so sudden and surreal and the girls are holding it in most of the time. I thought that new puppy would be it. But...we're all little bit scared.
I'm not sure why I even considered those puppies from "our" breeder. When I know that I was so mad with her, but mostly with the attitude around here and local breeders. Comfort zone?
The question is, since 95% cavaliers have CM. Then is it wise at all? I'm so so scared that she will be suffering. Another puppy in pain. In the same time, I cannot imagine better dog then cavalier.
We can pick up the puppy in 2-3 weeks (8 hours drive) She is tricolor with great pedigree. All dogs from her past were SM free (4 generations). But what it means when it comes to CM? Will she be spared?
but how to find a good breeder? They're all doing the heart, patella, curly eye tests, or EFS dna test. But it is so hard to find a breeder that do MRI. And if it's true what are you saying then any possible breeder can lie. How would you know? I was checking the MRI list and contacting breeders based on that. I don't have any other way around. How will you know. We were going to drive to Holland to get the puppy, girls got really excited.
So the truth is that even if they do scan, they still have 50% chance of puppies with SM?
Unfortunately there's no easy answer. :( The problem is in the first instance, the breeders in this breed. Many keep saying that lots scan but then all I hear is puppy buyers noting they have terrible difficulty especially in the US, finding anyone who scans. The second problem is puppy buyers who prioritise finding a puppy quickly or cheaply or both and will therefore let irresponsible breeders take their cash. Puppy buyers are very powerful -- if people stopped buying puppies from these uncaring breeders, then the people in the breed would have to start breeding for health or get out of the breed. They stay in the breed because they get away with such high prices for dogs that they hardly spend anything on for health testing. :(
The key for breeders is both to scan and follow protocols. The chance of SM is statistically much higher than 50% in dogs from unscanned parents and much lower than 50% in scanned parents where the protocol was followed.
Sadly these are the choices facing anyone interested in owning this breed. There are others that do not have such a high rate of SM or heart disease. MVD is an equal tragedy but people do not tend to realise this until thir cavalier is much older and gets a murmur. Taking two dogs through heart failure -- dogs otherwise with nothing wrong with them -- was far harder for me that having three at home right now with SM has been. Too many breeders don't bother to cardiologist test (vet testing is not adequate for hearts) or follow the MVD protocol. And both these conditions are so widespread that it is hard to own cavaliers and not end up with one or the other or both, to some degree.
As long as puppy buyers do not make clear to non-scanning breeders that they will not buy dogs from them, and walk away from those breeders, breeders will continue to breed without testing, make their money, and worsen the problem to where it may be impossible to ever address.
Perhaps someone here has suggestions of scanning breeders in your region and can pass that to you privately. Most tend to have waiting lists (as do responsible breeders in any breed -- always be very cautious of a breeder who has litters immediately available). Otherwise I suggest going for a rescue cavalier through a good rescue as there are many dogs in need of a good home.
The current estimate is that 70% of all cavaliers will eventually have SM. Not all of these will be symptomatic or have major problems but the rate of affectedness is very high. Anyone wishing to own the breed needs to be ready to accept that there are no guarantees with this breed in particular. We've had many previous discussions here on whether we'd opt for a cavalier again, especially those of us who have dogs with MVD and SM.
thank you for your answer. One of the reason why I want to buy a puppy now is my daughters. We're from VA, but staying in Prague for now. We're living in an expat community and kids go to international school here. It was really hard to move them from US and now they're experiencing losing friends all the time. This summer was really hard on them. My younger daughter's best friend moved back to VA and my older daughter lost three of her best friends. They were group of 5 girls and three of them moved back. So it was so emotional for all of us. And in the same time our puppy died while we were in the middle of saying goodbyes. Honestly horrible summer. The won't talk about it at all. I know them and I know that this is really hard on them, they're just holding it in. I'm not sure how to help.
We're still traveling between the two countries (husband works in DC and we have our house there where we spend every summer and sometimes more). Saying that, there is no protocol according to czech club to MRI dogs as I said. I spoke with "our" breeder about it and she doesn't get it. The thing is no one here does. That's why I wanted to start a blog and talk about it, spread the word, make sure that people are aware of this. Breeders, new owners etc.
I was also thinking about becoming a breeder slowly to show that it's possible to do it right. I know that the breeders I know here do scan on MDV, eyes, patellas, EFS, curly coat. I know that "my breeder have as I know healthy dogs. One of them is 9 and her heart is just great. The breeder is quite responsible. But unless the club will require the MRI, no one will. Unless....people will start demanding such a test. But new owners have no idea that this is such a serious issue. I have found maybe one or two articles in czech about this issue!!!!!
So I looked in other countries. I know that Holland is following the protocol for sure. And we found this breeder over there. She is a breeder for long time and all her dogs are scanned (MRI). I guess that why she was able to tell, that 4 generations from this puppies are SM free. I'm willing to drive anywhere. I know that Swiss club does follow the MRI protocol either. Germany? I know some breeders do, some don't.
What scares me that 97% of cavs have CM! That was our Nairin's case. I'm going to look on her MRI test and let you know where she was. But apparently definitely a candidate for a surgery. She had seizures (they think because of that). So, even if you have a dog SM free, the dog will have most likely problem due the CM. That is so scary.
I too was thinking about another breed, but always come back to cavaliers. I'm involved in cavalier rescue here and I was thinking about adopting and still do. There is a beautiful black and tan male. 8 years old. Found on the street few weeks ago (most likely cam from some puppy mill), He needs to get insulin twice a day. And nobody wants to take that responsibility. I keep thinking about him, but not sure if I can handle it either.
It is really difficult decision I know. I don't want to jump into it and buy first cute puppy. I really want to eliminate as much problems I can. But can I?
It sounds like you are doing a very thorough job in seeking out a good breeder. You are asking all the appropriate questions and know so much more than you did prior. I think in the end, its a leap of faith since nothing in life is 100% guaranteed. Listen to your head and your heart, and you will get where you need to be. If you are hesistant, then wait until you truly feel the time is right.
Wishing you all the best.