This morning just after 6 am saw my husband and me set off to Bristol with Treacle and Toby to have their MRI scans on the BVA/KC scheme (Information about this scheme can be found on yesterdays blog). Millie also came with us, as we planned to go to Blaise Castle Estate (which is in Bristol and is a lovely place to walk dogs) to pass the time whilst waiting to pick Treacle and Toby up.
The weather was a bit dire, but for dogs, wet means more scent, so Millie was not perturbed by the damp and mud. She even got to chase a squirrel up a tree.
In the above slide show you will see Millie back at the car from her walk looking very wet and muddy. Then miraculously a few hours later after a rub off with a towel and a sleep in the back of the car whilst we got a bite to eat, she is clean again.
The video is Millie and me showing David, my husband that we had gone the right way and eventually getting back on the right path. We had decided to walk up over the top of Blaise Castle Estate which found us on the border of a golf course and when my husband took the video he had for the last five minutes been saying, "I'm not sure we are going in the right direction ?"
Hopefully in the video you can see how wet it was. I was wearing a waterproof coat with a quilted jacket underneath it. By the time we got back to the car the arms of the quilted jacket were saturated right through. Luckily we had come prepared for the weather with towels, spare coats and tops loaded in the car before leaving home.
We picked up Toby and Treacle from the vets around midday and got home just before 2 pm. Toby and Treacle after their anesthetic are a little tired. They have had a little supper and now are happy to be sleepy heads together. Now it's just a waiting game for the grading by the BVA of their MRI scan images.
Another 1st Birthday greeting from one of the pups from Smudge's litter born a year ago today. This time it's from Mollie.
Hi there Jane
Just wanted to send a little Happy Birthday wish to Mollie's brothers and sisters, we can't believe how quickly the time has passed, it seems like only yesterday that we picked up this little bundle of fun, and she is still the same, she is really funny and very wicked and she runs rings around Bobbie who lets her get away with it!!!! As you know Bobbie is our Cavvie and he is almost 11 years old and so is slowing down a lot, and so she knows she can beat him to the treats every time. But she loves him to bits and licks his face constantly.
A message from Mollie now.
Happy Birthday to all of my brothers and sisters, we're 1 year old today. I have had such a busy day playing with my toys that I will have to have a sleep in a minute, but not before I say Happy Birthday everyone and I hope you are having a nice day today. As you can see I have brought most of my toys in to play with. I will get my Mammy to send you a photo of me and my Bobbie.
Lots of love
Thanks Rhian for the Birthday greeting from Mollie. Hope you all had a lovely day on Mollie's 1st Birthday. Rhian and her husband Russ are coming to North Devon on holiday at the end of March and hope to pop in to see us with Mollie and Bobbie. Look forward to seeing you all then, Rhian.
Keeping in touch after having a pup from Poundlane, is optional. I understand that life is hectic and if the time not sending me an update means more cuddle time with your pup/dog, then I can hardly complain, as no news is often a sign of good news.
Keeping in touch does though not have to be photos or even a five page essay, often the short and sweet update can be the most profound. A few days ago I recieved this email :
I bought a Cavapoo from you nearly three years ago now and I just wanted to tell you what a total joy he has been Milo is a warm, affectionate and delightful dog. He has transformed my life and the lives of many other people.
Best wishes with your next litters,
Thanks Kathy for such a lovely update on Milo. Milo is from Cleo's litter born back in April 2012 and you can find out about Milo and his siblings being born on the blog "Surprise !" 4/04/2012.
Cleo is my Mum's dog and she lives with her in her annexe just across our patio. Cleo is now six years old and thankfully very well in herself.
Kathy is a teacher in an all girls school and she lives on campus with girls that board at the school, so Milo I suspect does not lack attention. Having talked with Kathy about the pupils she lives with and teaches, her message although short it is very sweet. Thank you Kathy, lovely to hear that Milo is proving to be such a positive addition to your life and the lives of others.
Got home from milking this morning and after doing the dogs which included letting Henry and Smudge have some loving up time together, I found this email and photos in my inbox.
I hope you're all well. I notice that Smudge is going to be a mum again!
I can't believe it was a year ago that I was watching your website waiting for news of the pups' birth!
Kayla and I would like to wish all her litter mates a very Happy 1st Birthday.
Thanks Lynne for reminding me, for some reason I had the 28th in my head, but looking at the diary, it's the 24th. So it's a big Happy 1st Birthday greeting to Kayla and her litter siblings Mollie, Flora, Chester, Harvey and Jake. Wishing you all a lovely Ist Birthday and hope all is well with you all and all your families.
Today Smudge has been mated for the first time with Henry (Take a look at the "Future Litters" page for more info on this union). Followers of this blog will know Henry well and know this is his first time being used as a stud dog. Henry is nearly two years old and when bringing on a male dog as a stud dog health is of course important but also on an equal par must be temperament and often as not a good tempered male dog will make a gentlemanly stud dog.
I'm not going to go into the finer points about Henry's exploits today with Smudge because that's between them, me and the four walls around us, but I will just tell, that his calm approach to the job, especially waiting to become untied from Smudge was impressive for a young dog being used for the first time. Always a relief to know that a young dog is up to the job. He will be mated with her every other day now until she goes of her mateable period during her heat and this can vary from bitch to bitch, some just are on for a couple days and some can be mateable for a week or so. Now it's fingers crossed he's fertile.
Funnily now, he's watching my every move and following me around like a shadow, along with Reggie as he always does when bitches are on heat, because he now like Reggie knows that I'm the gate keeper. Lol
Primrose thankfully seems to be holding off coming on heat. She is due around the end of March, but with three of our bitches coming on heat a couple months earlier than expected, I was worried, she might follow suit. She is as tight as a button and she's just gone out of coat, which would bode with coming back into coat in a few weeks time and then coming on heat the end of March. So fingers crossed. If she comes on heat now before Toby is MRI scanned and we have his grading, we would wait to her next heat. This would then mean puppies around the end of the year going into Winter, which is a bit of a pain, but hopefully she will hold off coming on heat before we get Toby's MRI scan grades.
Now for a funny story about working in the animal sex industry. Believe me if you are at a do and someone asks you what you do and you reply, "I work in the sex industry," they always say, "Pardon," so you follow, "To be correct, the animal sex industry." They then will say, "Pardon" again. Lol
Some will know that I have worked a lot with horses and that includes working in one of the biggest horse studs in the South West. I have also owned my own stallions and one of my sisters has a small horse stud, breeding competition horses mostly eventing, showjumping types.
When I was working for the horse stud. One day we were bringing in mares to tease up, which is when you bring a mare near a stallion with a barrier between them and the stallion will be able to sniff the rear end of the mare safely, to see if the mare is ready to be served.
I was trying up a mare and she was dead on ready to be served. The person who owned the stud, Graham, told me, "Put her in a stable, Jane. I have got to ring the owner, as they want to see her served." I then replied, "That's a bit weird, what they going to film it ? and laughed. Graham replied, "He got given the mare by his brother to breed a foal and wants to see the process from start to finish." I put the mare in the stable and got on with my work whilst Graham went indoors to ring up the mare's owner.
Graham returned and said, "They will be here in about an hours time." The hour passed and the man who owned the mare turned up in a brand new Range Rover with a woman who spent most of her time giggling and leaning into him lifting one leg, which amused Graham and me. Graham directed them to where we covered mares and he walked back round the barn towards me smiling like a Cheshire cat and said, "You were right, Jane, they want to film it."
Graham thought this funny and told me to lead the mare up into the barn and as usual he would follow on with the stallion.
Now I go into the barn and notice the owner of the mare with his lady friend leaning into him giggling with his camera yet to have the camera lens cover removed. I positioned the mare, and then myself facing away from them, pulling my collar up and basically trying to obscure my face. I could hear the roar of the stallion and the clatter of his feet, as he approached, less than a minute later the job was done and the mares owner had not even managed to get the lens cover off his camera. He said, "I did not think it would be that quick." I don't know what he was expecting ?
Graham thought it a funny old job and after they left without any video footage of the event, Graham asked me why I seemed to be hiding my face during the process and I told him, "You don't know where that sort of footage could end up." We both laughed. I will tell you though that the stallion that day was an experienced old boy in his early teens with the name Rapid Pass and you could say, "He was not just Rapid by name but also Rapid by nature." Lol
It's half term for our children at the moment and yesterday whilst eating breakfast I remembered the three youngest were booked in with Ann for a haircut at 11 am. Ann who cuts our hair has a salon at her home and her husband Rob retired from farming a few years ago now. Rob is my husband David's Dad's cousin and I milked for Rob up until he retired. They had a high merited genetic herd and one of the first farms in this country to bring over and use Canadian Holsteins in their herd.
Rob and Ann now live in a bungalow that is within easy walking distance of the river Taw and a walk that I often take the children and dogs on by the river. Yesterday it was glorious here in the morning, so I decided to load up all six of the children and two of the dogs Millie and Henry. I dropped the three oldest Bert, Alfie and Florrie at Umberleigh next to Murchs Antique Emporium and Murch Bros. Murchs Antique Emporium and Murch Bros are two businesses at Umberleigh bridge that sit at the entrance to the walk alongside the river and the Antique Emporium happens to be owned and run by my husband's Uncle Pat and Murch Bros is my husband's second cousin Antony's business and he is an agricultural engineer. I told them to go for a walk and if I was not back before they came back, to go in and see Uncle Pat and take a look around the emporium.
I went off with Henry and the other three to get their hair cut, being not even a minute drive from where I dropped them. I arrived at Ann's and my appointment was for 11 am and due to a lovely older chatty lady who was also a relative of some sort to my husband, Ann
did not start on my three until 11.15 am. I had kept Henry with me due to knowing that Rob would be interested in seeing him. Rob regularily shoots and up until a few years ago always had his own gundog. The last one was Belle a lovely Springer Spaniel.
Ann told me Rob was at the village hall painting scenery for the pantomime they have each year in February for charity, but he might be back soon, as lunch time was approaching. Ann was cutting the second child's hair and Rob then walked by the door, seeing us he then came into the salon for a chat and I mentioned Henry and then he said, "Go get him, I want to see him." He walked out with me to the car to get him and Henry was quietly waiting sat in the back. I opened the boot and put his lead on and then I saw it. Rob was totally taken by him and hands straight on him. Dogs know friends and Henry happily let him stroke his head and put his hands across his back. He commented on what a lovely head he has and what a lovely looking dog. Henry is looking very fit and tight at the moment.
Rob then told me to take him in the salon to see Ann. Henry meet Ann and she also admired him. I then let the two youngest go off outside leading him around their garden and chatted further with Rob and Ann, whilst she cut the hair of Thomas the last one to have their hair cut. Rob told me how he had watched a display many years ago of a Brittany working with a Falcon and how impressed he had been with them as a working dog. Just looking at Henry he said, "I bet he can motor and cover the ground." I said, "Yes, you have to be brave with him and trust your recall and luckily he is very good." Rob was taken with Henry and I could see in that moment he missed having a dog about. I did mention he hopefully will be a father soon. Lol
By the time I left Ann's it was midday and I found the other children looking around Pat's Emporium and our oldest Bert was talking to Uncle Pat, who had given him an old book about antiques. We then got Henry out and all went for a walk along the river Taw. The video is part of the walk. I must admit time ran on and we did not get lunch until gone 2 pm, but you got to get out with all the children when the weather is good, as today it's been a really dull old day, raining for the best part of it.
I'm going to share with you now something I find very funny although this might be quintessentially British humour, but I find it bloody hilarious. Last year I discovered a comedy character "Count Arthur Strong", he has been on Radio 4 for sometime, but now has been brought to the television screen. For some unknown reason the BBC show the series at an unearthly hour. It has no bad language that I have noticed and is not sexual. Our oldest two children love watching it on BBC iplayer. So if you are not already familiar with Count Arthur Srong you can discover him here at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04xwh7r
and I seriously advise watching this episode http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0517t4d/count-arthur-strong-series-2-4-stuck-in-the-middle
Series 2, episode 4 'Stuck in the middle' is still available to watch on iplayer at this moment and this episode made we laugh so much, I coughed nearly all the way through it, because it was shown when I was struggling with the recent virus that has gone through us all and the slightest hint of laughing would find me coughing for the next five minutes. You might recognize the take off of the film 'Misery.' But be warned you may have to be British to get the full flavour of Count Arthur Strong or you may need to wear a pair of incontinence pants whilst watching him.Lol.
Just took a look at the facebook page "Cavaliers Are Special" to see these very interesting statistics for litters being registered with the Kennel Club (KC) from parents under 30 months old when mated. Remember the world recommendations and the KC recommendations for breeding from Cavaliers to help with improving Mitrial Valve Degeneration (MVD) in the breed is not to breed from a Cavalier until 2.5 years old, which is 30 months old.
These statistics speak for themselves. They show that show breeders in general are taking very little more care in breeding Cavaliers, as those who don't breed for the show ring and categorically shows that the KC should be making it mandatory that Cavaliers should not breed until 2.5 years old and that they must be Cardiologist Vet examined before being bred from to register litters with them.
Ten years ago the Cavalier Club brought in breeding recommendations for MVD in Cavaliers and the figures above show that as I have said before (Not to put too fine a point on it) "That breeding recommendations are as much use as pissing into the wind."
Keep signing the petition please :
Just worked out an interesting statistic from the statistics for litter registering of Cavaliers. Over the last four years the average litter size for Cavaliers for all litters registered is 3.8 per litter and for Cavalier Club members the average litter size is an even more dismal 3.6 pups. It was 4 (Which is not brilliant) and looks like it will at this rate soon be an average of 3 or even below. Fertility is a big pointer to breed health and a big red warning light that you are doing something wrong. How wrecked does a breed have to be before the KC and breed club wake up ? From where I'm standing the answer looks like, "Totally !"
Got a wiggle on today publishing a blog this morning after coming home from milking and receiving an email about the Swedish Kennel Club and Cavalier Matters/Rupert's fund research into Cavalier head shape and syringomyelia. All my Cavaliers eligible or just on the cusp of five years old, their heads have been photographed as asked for and emailed off to see if they can help in this research. Here's the link again to the research email@example.com
This has killed two birds with one stone, as these photos I can use when I get around to finishing the blog I'm doing about head shape and to include the heads and measurements of our dogs heads.
I had a quick look around the internet to see if the UK Kennel Club have put any thing on their website about this research and nothing on there, which is understandable, because with the about of money they have been raking in off this breed over the years, they should be doing more than they are. Mind the Scandinavian countries when it comes to dogs and evolution in breeding from them, they are already up off all fours, the UK Kennel Club are still swinging from the trees and I'm afraid the good old USA are still trying to figure out how to get on to dry land. There are some very enlightened people in the USA and lets hope they can flourish and be heard over the thrashing of others (Primarily AKC), as they try to drag them back from dry land and stop them trying to evolve.
Then I took a look at the Cavalier King Charles Club UK at http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/start.html and they had a bit on it, but ruin it slightly for me when they say, " If you wish to remain anonymous and your email address identifies your kennel you can either ask a friend to submit for you or you can email to the firstname.lastname@example.org who will forward without your email address." So much for being open. I wonder why some would want to be anonymous ? When it clearly states, "The identity of participating dogs will not be published."
Let me take a stab at this one. Say you have a stud dog , many championships under his belt and at six years old he is still doing the business and you put him up for this letting them know who you are and it comes back that he has pretty bad CM/SM, it's going to be harder to keep using him, than if no one knows who the dog is or who he is owned by and there's always a risk of them old whistler blowers fronting you out, if names and to many details are recorded and that just is simple not cricket, old chaps. Probably best just not to submit any dogs and carry on as before.
Until the Cavalier Club can be more open and force members to be so, the breed will struggle to move forward. We all make mistakes and people are pretty forgiving if they think you have learnt from them and are then trying to put them right. Cavalier Club, it's time to take them on board and do what's best for the dogs, not members reputations. Would be interesting to know how many members of the Cavalier Club submit dogs to this research. Seeing as Sheena Maclaine the Chairman of the Cavalier Club recently said in a Daily Mail article about Cavaliers that "she does not believe that head shape is the issue." I pretty much suspect that not many dogs from the Cavalier Club membership will be submitting dogs to this research, as in breed clubs they tend to pretty much all read from the same hymn sheet.
This is the link to the article that Sheena Maclaine denies the head shape is the issue : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2908952/Born-life-pain-look-adorable-spaniels-loved-owners-including-Strictly-s-Craig-Revel-Horwood-cynically-bred-horrifying-defects.html#ixzz3RqowXWiw
I thought it interesting to let you see the photos now and hopefully encourage others to get on with sending photos of their Cavaliers to help in the research.
The first photo is Dolly she will be eight years old in August. She was last MRI scanned at 5 years and 7 months old. Her grade is Chiari-Like Malformation (CM) 2, Syringomyelia 1a. She was heart examined over five as free from a heart murmur. At seven she still has no sound of a heart murmur.
Millie has never been MRI scanned, as started to scan our dogs when she had stopped breeding. She is seven years old and just before she was five a murmur was heard on her heart by a cardiologist vet. Two years later the heart murmur has yet to progress and she shows no symptoms of heart failure yet.
Smudge is Millie's daughter. She is five in May and December 2014 was examined by a cardiologist vet and no murmur could be heard. She has been MRI scanned at 3 years and 5 months. Her grades are CM 2, SM 1b.
Ysobel is eight this May. She at just over five years old was diagnosed with a heart murmur by a cardiologist vet. At seven years old now, her murmur has not progressed and she shows no symptoms of heart failure yet. Ysobel was last MRI scanned at the age of 5 years and 10 months old. Her grades are CM 2, SM 0a.
Primrose is Ysobel's daughter. She will be five in August. She was examined by a cardiologist vet in December 2014 and no heart murmur could be heard. She was last MRI scanned at the age 3 years and 2 months old. Her grades are CM 2, SM 0b.
To understand more about CM/SM and the grading for CM/SM on the British Veterinary Association (BVA)/Kennel Club (KC) CM/SM Scheme go to the BVA website page http://www.bva.co.uk/Canine-Health-Schemes/CM-SM-scheme/ and click on the links.
Now not to make anyone feel guilty, but I did all those photos, sent them off and still got time to peel and dice carrots for dinner, so what you waiting for ?
Lets have a laugh at my expense before finishing on another ask. This photo turned up today from nowhere seemingly. I thought this photo did not exist any more (or I hoped it did not), but seems my mum has been hiding it away and my children found it very amusing.
Yep, that's me at fourteen in a dress and not only a dress but a bridesmaid dress (Remember this was the early eighties) looking really happy about being a bridesmaid for my oldest sister at her first wedding. Some how she managed to wrangle two Church weddings, you think she might of learnt from the first one, that time, energy and finance could be spent doing a lot better things in life, but such is the desire for humans to display, each to their own I suppose. Lol
Being a bridesmaid put me totally off the idea of ever having a wedding (also the three other weddings my sisters had between them after this one, watching the stress it can cause, only confirmed my feelings even stronger), which I suppose could be seen as a plus, to the torture I endured that day, but I cut a good deal though with my mother to be dressed up like a dog's dinner and that deal was to have all my hair cut off.
Up until then my hair was cut by my mum and was a third way down my back. It was the time of the New Romantics, short hair with big fringes. Although after just one day with the big fringe I was sat back in the hairdresser's chair to have that cut off as well. Don't like needless, needy (in the sense of attention beyond the norm) or fussy. Could of been worse though, the dress could of been pretty pink. "Now where's those matches." "You daft moo, you have just published it on the internet." "Duh !"
Please keep signing the petition https://www.change.org/p/the-kennel-club-stop-registerin-g-cavalier-king-charles-spaniel-puppies-unless-their-parents-are-mri-scanned-and-heart-tested
I think we are going to learn something from this about the UK Kennel Club. We are going to learn exactly how many horror stories in a breed it takes for the KC to do nothing. Thanks to all that have taken the time out to read and sign the petition and to share their own personal experiences of living with a Cavalier with CM/SM or MVD and in many cases both. Please share the link and keep up the pressure.
Treacle came on heat as most will know a couple weeks ago, then Belle and last night after noticing the male dogs sniffing around Ysobel a bit more than usual the last couple days, Ysobel is on heat. Ysobel will be spayed in the Spring when the weather is more clement. Ysobel is eight years old in a couple months time and getting the older bitches spayed means they are not at risk of getting pregnant in their latter years and due to not coming on heat, never need to be kenneled outside.
Finally today after thinking Smudge was looking a bit swollen and the male dogs have been sniffing around her as well for a couple days, a bit more than usual, she has started to bleed. Heat is taken from the first day blood is seen, although rarely bitches can have silent heats when they show no outward signs of cycling, but can still become pregnant. Bitches are normally happy to be mated around the 11 to 14 days of their heat, although this can vary with bitches a few days either way.
So we are through the starting gates for 2015. Really looking forward to her union with Henry. I have high hopes for this litter.
"Oops there goes another rubber tree plant." Check out Frank Sinatra singing the motivational song "High Hopes" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOI_SnESqhk sure to put a smile on your face and if not, I would check your pulse, as you might be dead. Lol
Just tried to get a nice photo of Reggie for this blog with me. Started off not to bad and then Reggie goes for the lick and Henry decides to photobomb and join in. I'm not sure what you would call that photo, but I have got a very clean face now. Lol
Reggie became a Granddad around four months ago.
A couple years ago someone locally asked to use Reggie on a Cocker bitch and Darci below is from that litter. Wendy contacted me after getting Darci, wanting to know about Reggie, especially as she planned to breed from Darci. Around four months ago Darci produced a litter of F2's, as she used a Cockapoo stud dog and Ziva is who she kept back and is Reggie's Granddaighter.
Ziva weights nearly 5 kg. Is very good. Takes after her dad, stubbon, so I had to rethink the crate, she now sleeps under my bed next to Darci!!!!
She is as good as gold, no wees at night. I tried leaving her in the kitchen when I was out but she managed to 'climb' over the 3.5 ft gate!!!!! but as she doesnt chew or wee or poo. I have decided to let her have the run, she has a treat toy that she shares with mum that keeps them occupied for a while, then I think they just sleep.
They go to the moors for a good run most days, her recall is great she ignores the sheep which is always good, goes after a ball as long as its not thrown too far and is totally cute as a button.
I have trained her to recall to a whistle, saves me screaming against the wind on the moor, her reward for retuning is cooked garlic liver ( cheap liver, cut up small, covered i garlic powder, baked till hard in oven, keeps for weeks,) they do anything for it. Also a clicker, I use that at the same time as I give her the liver.
Hope alls well with you all. The other pics are January, she has grown quite alot since these were taken.
'lov n hugs'
Thanks Wendy for the update on Reggie's daughter and granddaughter. Lovely to hear how well they are getting on.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!