Gizmo Alexander, 1/29/97 - 2/5/07...LONG
It all started relatively innocently. We always had cats since before my husband and I were officially married. The cats lived a long time (18 and 21 years). Turns out everyone in the family but me was allergic to cats so no more of them. My older son, Grant, was allergic to dogs but my younger son, Mark, was not. He asked for a dog. We said okay but we can’t get one until your brother goes to college.
To while away the year between this agreement and when Grant went to college, Mark volunteered at a doggie day care. His responsibility was going once a week on Saturday for a few hours to play with the little dogs. (The woman who ran this place, Marsha of Pooches Palace in Watertown, Ma was incredibly generous to let him do this.) His other job while doing this was to check out different types of dogs to see what he thought would be good for our family. He came home one Saturday and said he knew what kind of dog we should get. We should get dogs like Periwinkle and Chutney. Well this was a start. We asked him to find out the breed. The next Saturday he came home and said that they were Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. In unison, my husband and I said, “Sounds expensive.”
Fast forward through the day we visited Pooches Palace and were smothered by Periwinkle, Chutney and two other cavaliers, through the search on the old Hoflin cavalier list for a breeder who would have us to March of 1997 when my husband and Mark and I went to visit puppies at Kenjockety Spaniels, owned by Vanessa Webber. They were about four weeks old and greatly resembled guinea pigs. Four weeks later we visited again and picked out or were picked out by our first Cavalier, whom we named Gizmo. His official name was Kenjockey Retro. We brought him home fours weeks after that.
Thus began our love affair with Cavaliers.
Gizmo was the greatest thing our family ever did. Really!!! And with such a good experience with him we quickly went on to get Gadget (his full brother) and Toby, an eight-year old rescue from Hearts United for Animals, a Midwest all breed rescue group. In just 1 1/2 years we had acquired three cavaliers. Toby lived to be almost 16. When he died in August 2006 we got a new puppy, Sasha, also from Vanessa.
But Gizmo was our first. His big brown eyes were so beautiful. They could convince us to do almost anything for him. He was quite opinionated about certain things. On the couch he must be on my husband’s left side. But with me it was my right side. He had an incredible love affair with the postman. He trotted along side Mark as he rollerbladed to the video store.
He was quite the gentleman. Never did he raid the trashcans. Never did he carry away underwear to all corners of the house. And he changed our lives. We now know our neighbors better because of our twice-daily walks. We exchange pleasantries with people we’ve never met before about dogs in general and cavaliers in particular. We have a wide net of Internet contacts that share our love for these dogs.
He was a little more vocal than some would have likely particularly upon leave taking and arrival at the house. And he did bark ALL the way to the vets every single time. But his voice is stilled now. Sadly he died on February 5, 2007 from complications of Mitral Valve disease. He had had his 10th birthday just the week before. He went from asymptomatic to his death in a little less than a year.
His death has left a great hole in our lives. We will miss him greatly.
Margaret, Newton, MA - Gadget (blenheim), Sasha (ruby), Wyatt (blenheim)