As most of you know I am very involved with this scheme, which encourages owners of SM cavaliers to volunteer their cavalier for research when they die.
You can read the details on http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/collection.htm
Last week a young MRI confirmed dog was put to sleep to save him from more suffering from syringomyelia, and he became the fourth cavalier to come into the scheme.
His loving owner was determined that his early death should have some meaning so she volunteered to take his body to the nearest veterinary centre with post-mortem facilities.
This was a very sad three hour round trip for her & I would like to thank her publicly for what she has done to help our breed.
This was the first little body that we were unable to deliver to Cambridge or Wimbledon, and the nearest centre was an agricultural college that dealt with farm animals.
My initial enquiries as to whether they would do a post-mortem, at short notice, on a pet dog were met with disbelief and amazement, I was told they usually dealt with cows & sheep and that they were very busy. I was left very doubtful whether we would manage to get the samples needed for the five research projects that we provide with cell tissue.
I emailed the various researchers who fortunately were all able to contact the centre quickly ( the post-mortem has to be done within 24 hours ) and to my relief and great delight not only did we get all the samples, but the centre manager also waived their fees as their contribution to the scheme.
The little dog was individually cremated and the ashes will be returned to his owner. The Collection Scheme will pay the cremation fees and also offer a grant to cover the owner's travelling costs.
This is a scheme that is very highly regarded by the specialists. It provides material for heart, syringomyelia and pancreatic research studies. So, thank you to the owners that have volunteered their pets, and to all the cavalier owners who help to raise the money to pay the collection expenses.
I have more items to go on eBay & a valuable book has been donated, so I will be fundraising again soon.
In the meantime, please keep the scheme in mind if you talk to anyone who has a frail or elderly SM cavalier. Not everyone can contemplate volunteering their pet, but for some owners it does help to feel that something positive has come out of a distressing loss.