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.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Learn From Ella

This Thanksgiving I was with my family and I have a lot to be thankful for especially having Ella with me this year. One thing that did upset me was how my aunt and uncle had fallen in love with Ella and decided that if they ever got another dog it would be a Cavalier. They told me that because of her health condition, they are now reconsidering this.

When someone sees a person they care about go through the heartache of having a dog with SM or another health condition, it can have an impression on them too. I don’t want Ella to suffer but if she is, then it should show people how important it is to find a breeder who will breed for health. I think Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the best breed and I will always want one and suggest the breed to others, however, it is important that if you get a puppy to make sure the breeder is doing health tests to help prevent this heartache.

I am especially thankful to have met someone on an SM forum that has shown me the side of a breeder, showing Cavaliers, health issues, training etc. and also has been a shoulder to cry on. She showed me that there are great breeders out there and that are especially concerned with this. I emailed her because I was upset and asked if she knew anyone that is following the SM breeding protocol. She said there are and gave me some names. I want my uncle and aunt to have the joy I have had of bringing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into my life.

I would like to point out a couple of things I think are important.

• Even great breeders will have a puppy that will develop a health condition and it is upsetting to them also. There are no guarantees but the good ones are doing everything possible to keep the number limited.

• Not all breeders are the same

• Ella did not come from a puppy mill or Back yard breeder (BYB). Her parents had several health tests done but at the time did not do any scanning for SM. This is why I feel that all tests are important.

• The CKCSC-USA and the ACKCSC are not just for shows. They have valuable information and they want to help the breed. The breeders that are members of these clubs and regional clubs are a good place to start. The clubs have ethical guidelines and recommendations but it is still important to make sure to still ask the questions to see if the breeder is following things.

• Get involved. It’s up to the pet buying public to push for breeders that do more health tests.

• The price of a Cavalier does not mean that it is better. If you want to save money and get a Cavalier from someone not doing tests, you probably will be spending more in the long run if your puppy has inherited health problems. If money is an issue, think of adopting. There are many Cavaliers that need a good home and sometimes good breeders will have older Cavaliers that they were going to show but did not end up being show quality.

• Buying a puppy is not something to do on impulse. Take the time to learn about the breed, research what questions to ask breeders and what to look for, it will be well worth it in the long run. You may have to wait if you find someone that does not have available puppies, but the wait is worth it especially if it means you may have a dog that is with you longer in the long run.

I am going to get a checklist together for my aunt and uncle because I do want them to get a Cavalier because I see how their eyes light up when they see Ella. (I gave my uncle a baby Rupert to love on). Don’t give up because now is the time to promote the people who are breeding for health. What we have gone through is painful, but it does not have to touch more and more people. Please learn from Ella and thank the breeders who are following SM breeding protocol and pushing for a healthier breed for the future.

I read somewhere that doctors would prescribe the Toy Spaniel (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) for people with an illness. Now its time to return the favor.

1 comment:

Love My Cavaliers said...

That's a beautiful post. You are so on the mark with what you've explained. I hope you're aunt will reconsider because we have two Cavaliers and they are so worth it. They give so much affection to any age.