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.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Meaning to Man's Best Friend- Canine Genome Research not Just for the Dogs

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not the only ones who suffer from Syringomyelia and Chiari Malformation.  Humans also suffer from this painful condition but it is not nearly as common as it is with a Cavalier.  Bobby Jones, a famous golfer, was diagnosed with Syringomyelia which eventually restricted him to a wheelchair. 

Can Cavalier King Charles Spaniels provide the clues of this condition?

Yes, in fact recently with the Human Genome Project gave valuable information on understanding genetics. I am not a scientist but this YouTube Video explains that with we are not that much different.  Dr. Clare Rusbridge along with others started to build a DNA database and has already had some major discoveries.  They believe to have already found the genetic region for SM. This is all thanks to Rupert's Fund along with other organizations that have contributed. Here is a document that describes more in scientific terms.

The American Syringomyelia and Chiari Alliance Project

They wrote about how dogs might just be the answer to some of their pain. The genetic understanding and research would be extremely valuable information. Thanks to the worldwide campaign they were hoping to be able to pinpoint this gene. How great would that be for human kind!  It looks like Dr. Rusbridge is on the right track.

They could get a better understanding of how things develop. How it passes on through certain generations. Since there are more Cavaliers and other dogs Friends of Lola with Syringomyelia and that the generations can be traced gives scientist knowledge and humans hope. 

What a pet owner of an SM dog can learn from a human

I always wonder what Ella goes through because she can not tell me. Sometimes it is hard to hear people talking about the terrible pain but it makes me understand more.  We need to learn from each other.

Don't Give up on a Breed

Purebreds do have hereditary conditions. It is easier to pinpoint these health issues because they have several generations and history. Understanding and being able to trace this valuable DNA, may do wonders for mankind.

Please see futher information

And As Always Please Visit Rupert's Fund-

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Little Cavalier that Could

This weekend a terrible thing happened to Ella, yet she remained strong, brave and a true inspiration. People said when they learned she was attacked by another dog that she has already gone through so much. It's not fair, I felt her pain but something came over me. I just knew I needed to take care of her and that she would be ok. I have always thought she was special and I knew if that nothing could change her spirit.

“God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight” Reggie White

I saw everyone react to her getting attacked with shock, tears, panic, and hysteria. I am not saying it was not traumatic for me, but I knew that this was not life threatening. She would make it and she is a strong little girl. I have been going through the acceptance process with Ella and her SM. To me, that is much more hurtful to her. I was picking up Kennedy (another Cavalier) at his owners friends house. It happened and who, what, when, where, why is not important. The important thing is how we take something we can not change, and move forward.  Also the importance of people being there to support you.

My friends rushed to meet us at the hospital, tears in their eyes, and their hearts filled with love.

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Having them want to be there and concerned meant so much to me. Everyone I have met online has been there to not only support me with this, but with her Syringomyelia. It is hard even for another Cavalier owner, to know what Ella has been going through. You can see her eye and her face with blood, but you can not see the inside of her brain and the syrinx. She can not tell someone the pain she feels inside but it is easy to see pain when there is blood.

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.” unknown

They keep saying they don’t understand how I could have remained so strong. That is very simple. Ella is dealing with so much more than an eye. Although it may seem tragic to someone with a healthy dog to lose an eye. I have posted how I felt staring into her eyes, I still know that is would be hard for me but that it would not matter to her. She will get over the initial pain but with SM there is no end. I stare into her one eye, (the other one may or may not be saved but it is shut) and I still see this beautiful soul. It did not change that and that is all that matters.

I saw people blame, say how it’s not fair, and get angry and not understand how I didn’t. I know that blaming someone else does not change anything. I am responsible for her and I need to make sure she is healthy. I knew the other owner was probably just as hurt as I was.

I have learned a lot and it is all because of Ella. She was able to forgive and keep a smile on her face no matter what happened. She looks at me with love because she knows she is loved. I have also learned to have faith. I know that she has made me a better person. I also know I have to stay strong for her.

"A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug." Patricia Neal