OK, I hope everyone will take my post in the spirit in which it is intended: the good of the breed. I don't mean to flame anyone.
Over the past couple years I've seen a lot of posts regarding SM and testing for SM. I don't think there's any question that SM has the potential for decimating this breed. We just plain have to find an answer for the SM problem. However, a FEW the posts refer to the breeder doing the testing and ultimately carrying the load to resolve the SM issue. Please note that I only said a few, not all. The truth of the matter is that there are a relatively small number of Cavalier breeders and we (or at least I) can't carry all that load. Heck, with the cost of showing, I already loose money every year; this is just a very expensive hobby for Kris and I and most breeders we know. So then the question becomes: what can people other than the breeders do to help the problem?
In my mind, research is the only answer. Claire Russbridge is on the cutting edge of this, but research is expensive. Very expensive. Now I'm sure you can see where this is leading to if you didn't see it coming in the title. Those of us who love and care about the breed need to start helping out with the cost of the research. I hope Karlin will correct me if I'm wrong, but as of 3 months ago Penny Knowler was accepting donations for Claire's research. The e-mail address I have is 'firstname.lastname@example.org' . As the old cliche goes, every little bit helps. Don't know if they are still doing it, but if you donate enough, you get a copy of Claire's PhD thesis on SM.
So please, help out our breed and us breeders. Donate to Claire so research can continue. I have this uneasy feeling that if research were to stop where it is right now, the outlook for the breed would be in question. Think about it. If we take out 1/2 to 2/3 (or whatever the current estimates are) of our breeding stock for SM and who knows how much for MVD, there's not a whole lot left. We may end up with the only people breeding being the BYB's and puppy mills who don't care about anything.
So this sounds like a lot of gloom and doom. But I honestly think there is a future for this breed or I would quit breeding right now. I just don't see Cavaliers as a breed dieing out. I am the eternal optimist and I believe that research will help find a way out of this SM problem if we can keep the money coming for research. Come on, give us breeders a hand.