15th July 2011, 01:52 PM
Having a rescue and adding a puppy
Some of you may know I have been looking into getting a puppy. I know it will take some time and I'm willing to wait. I am still not sure if I may show in the future or not which will be something a breeder would want to know. There are breeders that health test and show and you know I will be wanting one that has been tested. Anyway, there is a 4 year old ACKCSC rescue a friend has. I think Debra (Gracie) knows who I'm talking about. My friend has 2 Cavaliers but I asked her how Elton would be with a puppy. Keep in mind it probably will be a year before I add a puppy. I know with rescues you do not have health background. Since Elton is 4, I think if he had severe CM/SM that was symptomatic, most likely I could tell. I know it can appear later but early onset is what I've heard is worse.
The breed club rescues are great at working with vets and checking hearts etc. If there were patella, hip or eye problems, I would imagine they would already know? It would not do any harm to visit but my main concern is that I really want a puppy at some point.
Anne Proud mother of
and Angel Ella
15th July 2011, 02:16 PM
15th July 2011, 02:38 PM
Well one thought about this is....
Could you see how he does with puppies by bringing a young dog with you to visit him?? What does the foster mom think about this? Is there any way she could "borrow" a couple of puppies to be around him? From what I understood, he has a very good temperament. Is there anyone in Charlotte area who would "loan" you a pup or two to take with you for a visit? I know that is not a complete test but at least would have an idea of his response. She did say he gets along well with other dogs in the home.
15th July 2011, 04:28 PM
I'm going to visit but I don't want to make a quick decision. I want to make sure I can handle everything financially and emotionally
Anne Proud mother of
and Angel Ella
15th July 2011, 05:15 PM
Very wise gal Annie...
Could one of your friends in Charlotte loan a young dog to take with you for visit? Or could the foster mom get one there?
19th July 2011, 03:24 AM
He is adorable! When you say financially, can you not get insurance for Elton? That would help with any future issues.I've heard bits and pieces about him losing his family, what happened?
Cindy and Claire
Claire was born on Feb7, 2010
19th July 2011, 04:01 AM
I can get insurance but I want to make sure nothing is going on with elton. I don't think I would want to take on another unhealthy cavalier right now especially right after ella passed away. He's a sweet, happy guy, but I want to make sure I know exactly what I would be dealing with, financially, behaviorally, etc. Some just are perfect for different people. He needs the best home possible. Whether its with a single family, one with other dogs, etc.
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Anne Proud mother of
and Angel Ella
19th July 2011, 11:49 AM
Hasn't the rescue done a thorough vet check? That would be standard, and if their vet cleared him then I would get insurance based on their vet's clearance (and make sure you can do that even before considering him). But consider that unless you MRI him and doppler him and do DNA testing for episodic falling etc there are many things that will not be picked up on a routine vet visit and may leave you with a dog that has illnesses that will crop up down the line. If you have any concern about whether you should take on a dog that may have illnesses, I certainly would not be considering a rescue. It just is not fair to the dog or yourself. Insurance may not cover an older dog like this -- the company could debate something that comes up was an underlying condition. And see the caveats about basing ANY decision on insurance, at the very end of this post -- I just do not think getting insurance should be the basis of a decision to get any dog because it is too uncertain.
That aside, there are a number of considerations that I haven't seen discussed in relation to a new dog and that concerns me a bit (maybe this has been discussed in detail offline or I missed the threads but things seem to be moving surprisingly fast to an outside observer like me who nonetheless knows what you have been through with Ella and you've posted about your own feelings even very recently, where you are still having a very hard time with her loss ).
To start with, I really would not right now focus on a puppy. That is a decision well off in the future and needs to be based on your situation at that point and it just seems very abrupt and hasty to be concerned about adding a puppy when you don;t yet even have a first dog, nor seen how that dog will fit into your life for a year or more . I'd decide first if you feel you can make a lifetime financial commitment to Elton and forget totally about thinking about a puppy -- is this the dog you really want to make a lifetime commitment to?. A rescue with unknown background can have anything in its future -- more likely than with a puppy from a known breeder who health tests etc. Can you manage taking another dog through SM? Maybe, taking two? That is Ella all over again -- something you have found so hard over the past year. Those are really the issues you need to consider.
I also feel it is really important for each dog to be considered on its own, especially a rescue which may always need more time and effort than a dog from a known background. If I were homing a rescue, I would be concerned if a main focus was on adding a puppy sooner or later, rather than simply on caring for and loving and providing for the rescue dog needing a home. If at some more distant point -- and it should be at least a year to let a rescue settle, go through some obedience classes, get a chance to be socilaised and become part of one's life -- a puppy seems like a great idea and can be managed emotionally, financially etc, then have that come on to the table a year or more on. But really: I don't think it is fair to have that be any of the focus of taking on a rescue.
I'd either make the thorough commitment to this dog, starting from an assumption that he is for now, and may always be, the only dog. Or, I'd wait for the right puppy and make that purchase down the line, and let the rescue go to a home where he will be the sole focus. Not thinking of two already.
But the more important issue is that to me, it seems pretty fast after losing Ella to be making such major decisions both emotionally and financially -- as tempting as it may be. Just to take on one is a huge, huge commitment; be considering managing two dogs seems a really rushed decision.
I know we are all different in when we feel ready to bring in a new dog after the death of a loved companion, but this is a huge, HUGE issue and decision. It is really critical to take the time to grieve and feel absolutely ready to put the memory of the lost companion into a special place where she can be remembered with love but is not causing continued and heart-rending grief, because a new dog will need all your time and most of your emotional commitment. If your feelings are still raw for Ella (as from your posts, they understandably seem to be), if the memories are still painful and draw tears, I would think it way too early to bring another dog in. I personally would not home a rescue or a puppy into such a situation -- I'd want the person to be more settled and ready (but that is me). If I were in the position to be considering another dog after losing Lucy, I do not think I could be ready to start that process for months yet. In the case of Jaspar -- who is my 'heart dog', the onec-in-a-lifetime special dog for me -- I would want a year or more, and then to carefully work with a trusted breeder to get just the right dog in outgoing personality and intelligence (along with the health clearances of a good breeding programme). The really special ones need a lot of grief time and my heart could not be open to a new dog very quickly after Jaspar. He's the one I cannot bear the thought of losing and who I know, will take a long, long time to grieve for.
It might be worth working this through with a pet bereavement counsellor on where you are in this whole process, and where emotionally you might be at this point, as it would be very hard to find the decision to bring in a new dog -- or two -- was the wrong decision.
If you really feel now is already the right time to add a new cavalier: then make a total commitment either to a rescue, or to finding the right puppy, and make sure you can manage the emotional and financial commitment.
But remember that insurance is NOT a guarantee -- companies can change policies at any time and I do think it may well be nearing the point now when SM and/or MVD will be removed as illnesses that will be covered as they are so widespread and potentially costly. Or a company may change the policy so that only initial treatment will be covered, leaving the owner to have to pay for the dog's future treatment. I don't think getting insurance can be the basis on whether a dog is considered 'affordable', as it is a very uncertain, changeable basis. An owner needs to be able to manage a dog and potential costs regardless of whether there would be insurance cover.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
20th July 2011, 05:20 PM
Karlin, I hear what you are saying and agree with much of it, but I don't think there is a hard and fast "rule" for this.
Originally Posted by Karlin
Capers (Kilspindie Capercailzie) was my "heart dog" - he came to me at 14 months and was the major focus of my life for 15 1/2 years. He was with me through many tough experiences including the death of my mother. I was pretty much with him 24/7 for the last year and a half of his life. Losing him was a terrible ordeal in many ways.
Tucker came into my life about three weeks after Capers died. Three weeks. About a year after Tucker arrived, I lost my other "heart dog," Nominee. I don't know what I would have done without Tucker. Five years have now passed. It was absolutely, positively the right decision for me AND for Tucker. I realize that it's a little different for me because I am a multi-dog home and also because I am sadly well experienced in losing a beloved pet. Nevertheless, it can be "right" to bring in a new pet soon after a loss for some situations. For me, the important issue was finding the RIGHT dog for me (and my other pets) rather than the timing.
20th July 2011, 06:19 PM
Thanks everyone. I feel like I have the guidence I need. I agree with Pat about adding a new dog after a loss varies but is personal. I trust myself and know what will be best for a new addition and for me. I would never take any of this lightly so I thank those that have steered me in the right direction. If anyone wants any updates, I still have my blog www.fightforella.blogspot.com
Anne Proud mother of
and Angel Ella