Ella was diagnosed with Syringomyelia and taught me more in her short life about how to live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and learn from each other.

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The moment I first held Ella, my world changed. She has touched so many people giving love as a therapy dog but now it is time to give back. No matter how hard she tries to give, her eyes show sadness and pain.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cavalier Breeders- Ones that care about well being throughout life

The previous post said that an article in The Bark Magazine really hit home to me and that is because Ella has an inherited condition that is becoming common in Cavaliers. Why do I not blame her breeder since it was passed on by her parents I have been asked? The reason is because her breeder has been in contact with Ella and she did everything possible to ensure that her puppies were as healthy as possible. Sometimes God gives us things that are out of their hands.  The first time I got on a support site for Cavaliers with SM and asked how I could help, I got a cry from breeders saying that they need a voice because there are too many people blaming them for things when they are the ones trying to do the most to help this breed.

After being on a member of this group for sometime I see discussions about what can they do, they have done this that and the other to help control the problem.  They are scanning their dogs to find clear dogs and having trouble, they are the ones going above and beyond wanting to find the gene that causes this condition.  They are wanting to save this breed.  So who do we want to help this breed? Why should we blame these breeders who are paying so much money and spending so much time researching, crying for a beloved breed that they know more about than any other person. Most have been breeding for decades. 

They see what could happen if breeders are ignoring this problem. If we let people breed Cavaliers that do not know about these health condition and this will continue to pass on to more and more and carry on to create even more unhealthy dogs.  I am still shocked at how many people do not even know about SM. I am still shocked at seeing people post on twitter, online, or even Ebay Cavaliers for sale saying they are AKC registered. The ACKCSC is actually the parent club of the AKC.  There are strict ethical guidelines and that is because they need to be aware of all of the health concerns and are constantly being educated on Cavaliers.  You can visit their website and they give great history and a little background on their breeding praticed and ethical guidelines.  It is why I believe they are trying to do the right thing.  This is the website American King Charles Spaniel Club, Inc.

This blog is not to recommend or give negative comments about breeders so do not put any comments or name any specific breeders. 

When I bought Ella, I did a little research which is what I recommend. Even though I point out some of the health problems, there are so many positives and I will never get another breed.  A responsible breeder does several things. They make sure that they test there dogs to see if they are healthy so they don't pass on any health problems (as you know from Ella there are no guarantees), they also make sure that the puppy is placed in the right home, they educate the owner, they follow up with the puppy through their life, they make you sign an agreement to have you dog spayed/neutered, and they also will say if you ever are unable to take care of you dog then they will take them back. Sounds terrible, but they care about their dogs well being.

That is what sums it up. It is not just here is the dog and that's it. They have a vested interest in the dog and cares about them. They want to see them happy and healthy. They want them in a good home.  To think I was scared I would not "pass the test" because I lived in an apartment :) I think I passed. They never want their dog not taken care of. To think they would be sold to someone or have them produce offspring with another Cavalier by someone that is not educated in breeding is unsettling. Most of these breeders are vets or know about things that are way over my head.  To think that some people think it is as simple as taking a male and female is all that matters is ignorant.

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