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A tribute to Oliver, 13/6/2001 - 10/2/2015

Kate H

Well-known member
I collected Oliver (Moonvale Apache by Shenlyn) from his breeder in Yorkshire in August 2002; he was a year old. The breed standard lists the characteristics of a Cavalier as ‘sporting, affectionate, absolutely fearless’ and temperament as ‘gay, friendly, non-aggressive and with no tendency towards nervousness’, and that is a pretty good description of Oliver. He was the colour of a chestnut, a bit chunky but well muscled, and he met life head-on. In his young days I showed him with moderate success – his highest achievement was Reserve Best of Breed at an Open show, judge Margaret Carter! He loved learning, so we did competition obedience together, again with moderate success. He retired from competition on a high, winning Class B in the obedience section of the UK Toydog Championship Show at the age of 10. He led a busy life: one year he helped out on the health table at the Cavalier Club Ch. Show; we did Discover Dogs for 2 years at Crufts; he was a PAT dog for 5 years, visiting a home for people with dementia; he travelled with me on buses and trains, the London underground, ferries and boat trips to the Farne Islands.

Visiting friends, renting a cottage or, latterly, camping in a tent, we holidayed together from Cornwall to Kelso, the Somerset coast to Dumfries, Kent to Chester, North and East Yorkshire to Shropshire. For many years we visited the Northumberland coast and when Oliver’s legs began to go, we switched to the gentler Norfolk coast. Nothing fazed him and he behaved immaculately wherever he was – except that he seemed to think he had an official position as a cleaner, making sure that no food was left on the floor in buses and trains!

Oliver was not a cuddly dog, he was independent and adventurous, a companion rather than a furbaby. From when I first had him, I now recognise that he had signs of CM/SM – squinting in the fluorescent lighting at shows, friendly to other dogs but quietly walking away if they got boisterous, a restless sleeper, frequently changing position. He was diagnosed with CM/SM at the age of 6, with a small syrinx but severely dilated ventricles which gave him chronic headaches. With medication he was able to lead his normal life, and he took part in four trials at the RVC to give data for research or trial pain relief. In his later years he was almost completely deaf and his hind legs began to become paralysed, until the day arrived when everyone felt he needed release.

RIP Oliver, my good companion.
Oh Kate, I'm so very, very sorry to see this. Are you allright? Please feel free to 'phone me if you want to talk.

What a marvelous dog Oliver was. I'm only too sorry that I never got to know him well. I think you only brought him to the Midland Club's events a couple of times and we said a brief hello.

R.I.P. sweet boy and have fun with Aled at Rainbow Bridge.
Oh no! Losing Aled was probably just too much for him. I'm so sorry that you have had this heartbreak twice in so short a period of time. Your tributes to your dogs have both been beautiful and so heartfelt. I would have loved to have been one of your dogs! There's not much to say except cherish your memories of your boys. RIP Oliver, no more pain.
Oh Kate, I am so sorry to read this. You loved and took such wonderful care of Oliver. I just can't imagine how you are feeling missing both Oliver and Aled. I hope you find strength in all the happy memories you hold dear.

RIP sweet Oliver *ng*l
I am so very sorry to read this Kate, what a wonderful dog Oliver was and what a great life he had with you, and what a wonderful character. Rest in peace little one with your little friend Aled. Sending you hugs.:hug:
To lose two dogs so close together--my heart hurts thinking about it. I know this condolence comes late but I had to offer it. I’m so sorry for your loss, Kate.