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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is it the right time for a puppy- learn from my aunt and uncle

My last post was about my aunt and uncle and how they fell in love with Ella but due to her medical situations made them reconsider if they would ever get a Cavalier.  I need to clarify this just a bit because there are also some things to learn from them too. 

  • Is a puppy a good present for someone?
Several years ago after they lost their dog Snoodle to old age, my cousins thought it was a great idea to get them a puppy for Christmas.  I still hear about this one because although they became to love the puppy (Buck) more than anything, they were shocked and did not want this then. They were not ready to train a puppy and were not even looking for one at the time. So here they were with a little puppy to take care of, go through all the training and they were still mourning Snoodle.  They had a trip planned, so what to do with the puppy?  The moral of the story is a puppy is a responsibility and not just something that is cute with a bow.

  • Puppies are so cute and you may fall in love with a dog (Ella) but it is not something to buy on impulse without asking yourself is it the right time for a puppy.
My uncle would not let me bring Ella around because his wife would keep talking about getting a Cavalier puppy.  Is that mean? No, simply because he was being rational and knew that the time was not right.  So his children and I saw also how this Thanksgiving a dog was missing and could see that they kept talking about Buck and my uncle was talking about how great Ella was. That is when he said the comment.  People have said comments and I saw a perfect rescue on Cavalier Rescue USA named Robyn in Kingston NC. They would be perfect because they are not wanting the puppy stage, they are retired, they do not have another dog, and believe me they pay special attention to their dogs. 

I called and talked to my Uncle about Robyn because I think that Rescues are awesome and need great homes like theirs would be.  One thing about Cavalier Rescue USA and other great breeders are they would want to meet the potential owners and make sure it was a fit. They would never let me get a rescue or a puppy for someone else because they would want to know the dog would be taken care of and in a great family. 

My uncle said that if the dog was anything like Ella then I bet she is special but now is not the right time for a dog.  They are building a house in Florida and driving down there a lot to do things and would want to get into the home and make sure it would suit a dog and with traveling it would be okay.  This is one question people should ask themselves. Think about these things because a dog is a huge responsibility and to be a responsible pet owner and buyer, you need to take several things under consideration.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club USA have several things about finding a breeder and some helpful tips including questions to ask yourself. When I read some of these points it made perfect sense why he would want to wait. Here are the questions they have on their website. I put in bold some things that stood out that were especially why my aunt and uncle want to wait until they are settled.


You should be able to answer all of the questions below affirmatively before you begin your search for a Cavalier.

Are you prepared to ………

Take full responsibility for this dog and all its needs for the next 10 – 15 years? This is not a task that can be left to children!

Invest the considerable time, money and patience it takes to train the dog to be a good companion? This does not happen by itself.

Always keep the dog safe -- no running loose, riding in the back of an open pickup truck or being chained or penned outside.

Make sure the dog gets enough attention and exercise?

Live with shedding for the next 10 – 15 years?

Spend the money it takes to provide proper veterinary care including, but certainly not limited to, puppy vaccinations, heartworm testing and preventative, spaying or neutering, dentistry, and annual checkups?

Become educated about the proper care of the breed; correct training methods, and how to groom?

Take your questions to the breeder or other appropriate professional before they become problems out of hand?

Have the patience to accept (and enjoy) the trials of Cavalier puppyhood and each stage afterwards?

Continue to accept responsibility for the dog despite your inevitable life changes such as new babies, children going off to school, moving, or returning to work?

Accept responsibility for the dog’s inevitable changes due to old age and/or ill health?

Resist impulse buying and instead have the patience to make a responsible choice?

Install fencing, even if you live outside of an urban area? Cavaliers are notorious for being hit by cars. If you allow a Cavalier to run in any area where a moving vehicle may pass by, there is a huge chance that your Cavalier will be killed. Many are killed by their owners in their own driveway. Cavaliers are perpetual adolescents and require constant vigilance in unsecured and unfamiliar areas.

If you answered YES to ALL of the above, you are ready to start contacting breeders. Remember, the right puppy IS worth waiting for! "

Now with Christmas coming think about how my aunt and uncle reacted to that Christmas morning. It is a huge responsibility and something that only the person taking care of the dog could answer. They are going to be the ones walking the dog in the middle of the night, puppy training, etc.

 Although my aunt and uncle are well settled and it ended up okay, I know that many children want a cute puppy for Christmas. I did. When I was in 4th grade my mom and dad got me a Cocker Spaniel. I liked to dress Flip up, hug and kiss him, but it was my parents that lived with the vet bills, walks, training etc.  They unfortunately did not take the time to find a great breeder. Even though we went to the persons house and saw the puppies, they did not ask any questions to the breeder.  My Christmas present ended up getting countless surgeries becoming blind and deaf and lived with many health problems. That one Christmas present could have paid for my college tuition, a new car, because I can not even count up the money they spent on his health problems.

So I guess you can learn from both of us. Don't feel like you need to have a puppy under the Christmas tree. Take time to find a good breeder, know if the time is right, and it will pay off in the long run!

1 comment:

Love My Cavaliers said...

Good comments. You're right. The timing and commitment need to be right. We only got Cavalier after the kids went to school and as I work from home I could be here 24/7for them. Sadly as you said they have no road sense and we did tragically lose one on the road outside our home, despite the best of care he still got out and ran straight on the road. We now have a fence around the front porch as an extra barrier to protect the two we have now. Dogs are not for Xmas, they are for life.