i just joined. love the internet, the way you can find people who love what you love.
the last dog i had, Frank, may she rest in peace, died in 1979. we were together for 13 years and she was the best friend in the world. after she died, i had no urge to get another dog, and my life was in turmoil at the time anyway.
fast forward to last october--my 22 year old daughter Lisa and boyfriend Joe who live in another city, got a cavalier--i never heard of them before. my previous dogs had been undetermined mixtures, the luck of the draw.
Lisa and Joe came for a visit and brought cavalier Belle who was about 4 months old at the time. As they crossed the threshold with Belle in their arms, i took her from them with my heart melting like i didn't know was possible. i was fascinated by Belle all weekend, hung out with her, coveted her and fantasized about Lisa and Joe having some catastrophe that would require me to take custody of Belle for them.
so that's how it started. i live in Santa Monica California in view of the ocean in an apartment with our aging 13 year usually rather dour cat Fluffy (female)(short hair) and had not considered getting a dog. The rental agreement says no pets, and i'm tired of the upkeep of Fluffy''s catbox.
until i met Belle. i became enchanted and captivated, and launched into the project of getting my own cavalier. I spent two months searching for one, and eventually found Zack. Belle is a Blenheim female, and all my ohter dogs have been females, so i was fixated on getting a Blenheim female. I wanted a somewhat older puppy just because i live alone, have a day job (i'm a childrens social worker in protective services), and i felt it was too harsh for a younger puppy to have to adapt to so much alone time. also an older puppy would have a bit more training as to going outside and staying in a crate. Less traumatic for both of us.
I was looking at Ava, a 5 month old female blenheim, for several weeks, as i was waiting for a time when i could take a week off from work to stay home with a new puppy. I visited her several times and i liked her, there were several pluses about her related to my wants and needs. I looked at some other blenheim dogs too.
Finally in mid January, i decided to have one last visit to see Ava, on a Thursday, and then the following Saturday i would plan to come and pay for her and take her home. For some reason i was hesitating about getting her, even though the woman i was buying her from said i could try it for 2 weeks an if it wasn't right i could bring her back for a full refund. It was hard to say why i was hesitating--something about the chemistry. She was a great dog but what captivated me about belle was missing somehow.
It was on that last Thursday visit that i met Zack for the first time. The woman had acquired him since my last visit. He played with Ava and with me. I left there with visions of him in my mind, i couldn't stop thinking about his joyful easygoing little personality and happy face. I could totally picture him in my life in all different scenarios. But i had been stuck on getting a blenheim female so i didn't jump into it immediately.
On that Saturday, i called the woman to say i could come that day to get Ava and try her out. The woman said Ava had been sold that morning. I felt relief, and i hopefully asked if she still had Zack. She did and i went to see him that day. I took another week before i bought him (the following Saturday, which was two weeks ago today).
Another reason i was hesitating was that i had been researching and i learned that it would be best to get a dog from a reputable breeder, and that 'reputable' means certain things, and the woman who had Zack and Ava was a broker who sold dogs she got from a breeder in another state. I contacted that breeder and did not find that they met the criteria of a reputable breeder (partly related to health testing and knowledge of the family tree--the dogs i looked at were AKC but the breeders didn't know the grandparent dogs because they were in another country). So this was a red flag. But Zack was Zack. He was just the right dog.
as for the woman i bought him from, her situation was nice--she lived in a house with a big yard and her three young kids and husband, several dogs of their own, all cavaliers except one poodle, and the dogs had the run of the house and yard, and lots of hugs and good socialization.
Zack has been all i wanted and more, he's a wonderful sweet smart curious playful adventurous affectionate respectful adaptable etc etc dog-person, lovable and adorable in all the ways that Belle is, and not all the cavaliers i looked at had that particular vibe.
so, if anyone is still reading, thanks for your patience. i'm all full of this experience of suddenly having Zack in my life and overflowing with things to express.