Just got back from the garage, as my husband forgot to take a container to work this morning to bring home milk and after milking 6'000 litre's of milk out of cows today, ironically I have had to go to the garage and pay £3. 30 for 3 litre's of milk. Perk of the job for us is milk from the tank, my children love milk and drink a lot of it and on occassion have had semi skimmed milk and will ask why the milk is so watery or why have I poured white water over their cereal and why does it not taste of any thing. Lol
We have a lovely update on Archie tonight from our last litter of pups born back in September 2012 with Mum being Primrose and Dad being Reggie. Thanks Jane for letting us all know he is settling in so well and thanks for yet some more cute photo's of him.
Just a quick email to let you know how Archie's doing!He is one very happy doggie! Such a sweetie to everyone and every dog he meets! He is happiest amongst lots of people, especially children and babies. Jasmine took him into school for the "Love your Dog" charity event and he was the star of the show! He is a super-sonic licker/kisser and ear-nibbler! Always gentle and ever so excited to be with us all!He's pretty much house trained and only has a little wee accident if we forget to take him out for a while. Goes through the night now no probs.He sleeps in his bed by our bed at night and occasionally has a little wander around - we just whisper "bed Archie" and he dutifully goes back down and off to sleep again until about 7 in the morning.He loves going out for walkies - he bounces up on us immediately we say, "walkies Archie". He can run like the wind and plays chase with all his friends every day in the park out the back of where we live. He sits, fetches, drops, lies and returns - especially for treats! He's got quite a bark - but it would seem it's a "I really need to go and say hello to that dog over there!" bark - as soon as he bounces up to them and has a good sniff, then no barking at all! He's fine off the lead and comes back when called - except when a border terrier called Bella lead him astray yesterday and he disappeared round the corner in the park for a short while before hurtling back in full chase!Everybody adores him and wants to know what breed he is! And lots of comments such as "that's not a dog, it's a rug"!! We've let his coat grow - it's very lush and long - I've snipped it a bit round his face so he can actually see where he's going!! When he bumped into the wall a few times we thought we'd better do something about it! He's fantastic in the shower - he actually loves it and tries to drink it as we wash him. He's fascinated by the hair dryer and opens his mouth wide if we point it at him and tries to drink the air!!His favourite toy is still the furry fox and he'll go and find it and beg for us to play "pully" with him. He's lost a few teeth - Jasmine has found them on the carpet - she took them into school for "show and tell"!He eats well - we've kept in on the same food that you recommended Jane and it seems to suit him - if he tries other stuff - (helps himself to another dogs food at a friend's house!) he'll have a "runny tummy". He was sick once, after eating copious amounts of grass!! We don't leave him on his own much at all but he's ok in the car for an hour - Paul is at home most of the day so someone is with him almost constantly - he really likes it when we're all together and doesn't seem to have a favourite person - he just loves us all equally and we him!So, one very happy doggie and one very happy family!Will keep you posted.Very best wishes to you all, Jane , Paul, Jasmine an Archie xxx
P.S. below are some photos - the last two are the latest - you can see why some folks think he is a rug!! :)
Finally made myself sit down at the computer and email everyone on my waiting list and hope to know more in the next few days and will then email people to let them know where they are on the list. Although cold at the moment, its dry and beautiful weather to be outside doing stuff especially with the dogs and they stay clean which is a god send after so much wet this winter and last autumn and last summer, it almost feels like we have had 12 months of winter. So with the dry weather we have been having, sitting infront of a computer has little lure.
I will be taking Ysobel and Dolly to Bristol on the 12th March for their MRI scans, having to be there at 8.15am and then picking them up some time from midday, so will be in the Bristol area for 4 hours or more twiddling my thumbs. Not being into window shopping or shopping in general unless it has purpose, I thought what shall I do with myself and it came to me, I will take another couple dogs with me and I'm sure I can find somewhere for a good walk .
When the scans are done on the 12th they are then sent to the British Veterinary Association (BVA) panel to be graded which the turnaround for is four weeks.
Dolly will be due on heat any time from the middle of March and we will still go ahead with her mating before results are back. Due to the fact she shows no clinical signs of syringomyelia at the age of five and a half years old. I would not suspect her to have full blown Syringomyelia and if she has any sign of it, I would hope it will be no higher than a Grade 1a with 0a being no sign of Syringomyelia and at Grade 1a and Grade 2a you are advised that they can still be bred from but a Grade 1a can be breed with any Grade and a Grade 2a either a 0a or 1a dog, seeing as I'm using a Miniature Poodle and this breed does not have this problem, then the pups have a very very low chance of having this health issue.
Hope what I put makes sense but if you want to know more about screening and grading for Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia click on this link www.bva.co.uk and follow the link to Canine Health Schemes. The fee you see on the site is just for the panel to look at and grade the scan and does not include the cost of scanning and at Bristol it is £260 to scan the first dog and each dog after that on the same day scanned is £200 on this scheme. Further information about syringomyelia and its management visit www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk
Last year I put this on the back burner due to other pressure's but this year we will hope to get all the Cavaliers and our crossbreed Belle scanned.
Sorry for not blogging for a while but with half term and six active children about the place, dogs to walk and my Mum not yet home from hospital, blogging has not been on top of the agenda.
Yesterday was a big day for Ysobel and Dolly, also I took Millie. Dolly had no sign of the onset of Mitral Valve degenration (MVD) but Ysobel has the very early onset of MVD. Millie also has the first signs of MVD. These bitches are all 5 years old and over. I had made the choice not to breed from Millie again but will still be keeping an eye on her heart with regular heart checks but Ysobel we were hoping for one more litter and the Cardiologist Vet Mr Patterson said "if Ysobel is clear of Syringomyelia, would not rule out breeding her again." I queried him on this, as a couple years ago some will remember Charlie my Cavalier stud dog being diagnosed over 5 with the early onset of MVD and being told by Mr Patterson "that I should remove him from breeding again." Which I did and nuetered him and rehomed him and I am going to have a visit from him soon, as Vincent and his Mum have kept me informed of Charlie's on going health. Mr Patterson's reply was that he would advise that a dog be removed as they can prolificate their genes much more than through a breed but a bitch does not so much and if every Cavalier bitch at 5 like Ysobel was removed from the gene pool with just the early onset of MVD, it could mean concentrating the pool so much more that other genetic problems occur. Now we had an interesting conversation, as it was the first time that I was brave enough to mention to Mr Patterson that I crossbreed, as so often you can mention this and the reaction can go one way or the other but I must admit all vets I have discussed the merits of crossbreeding believe if done with care is the way forward especially with the health problems in Cavaliers, which I am coming very much to the conclusion can not be cured from within the breeds population. Syringomyelia and MVD are so prevalent in the breed, you get a Cavalier with a good heart and you will find its got Syringomyelia and vice versa. There are not many Cavalier's that make it over 5 without either or both conditions. This is sad but unfortunately very much the picture with this breed.
So after that you might think I'm in the back garden with a noose hanging from our Willow tree, just about to kick the chair away but surprisingly I have been revigorated, especailly from my chat at the vets yesterday with the vet and staff there. My next step is booking Dolly and Ysobel in for a MRI scan. I'm waiting on my vet to contact me to discuss breeding from Ysobel again, as she has only a very subtle murmur and want to ascertain with the strain of birth again if this will aggravate her heart condition and maybe progress it quicker. I believe talking to another vet that it will not but will wait on talking to my vet as well before deciding if breeding from Ysobel and also that she scans clear of Syringomyelia. Ysobel was scanned at 1 year and 4 months old and was clear then but under British Veterinary Association (BVA) recommendation they should be done at around 1-3 years old, then again at 3-5 years old and over 6 years old.
Now as I have said before I am breeding for better health and believe me in Cavaliers to only have a very subtle murmur being only 4 months away from 6 year old is not bad for a Cavalier and with crossing to a breed were MVD is seen in its proper place old age then the statistics should mean offspring making over 5 without MVD and a majority making double figures before MVD onset and a few not getting MVD. Any one telling you crossing is a total cure, does not know much about MVD, the same can be said if they make this claim for Syringomyelia and they know little about breeding or just want to get you to buy the puppy. The chance of these two conditions is lessened with crossbreeding (as long as the breed you cross with is not a breed also beset by either of these two conditions ) not totally eradicted as some would have you believe. The most interesting thing this year will be seeing Ysobel scanned and then her crossbreed daughter Belle. The interest will be to see how much change occurs in the skull shape with this first cross. Most, if not all Cavaliers have evidence of Chairi-like malformation and in Belle I will hope to see this improved and if from what I can just feel from the shape of her skull, not present at.
This leaves us still in limbo land knowing if I am breeding from Dolly and Ysobel. I have decided that after talking to Mr Patterson and him saying that Syringomyelia is now a bigger problem than MVD in Cavaliers that MRI scanning has got to be done especially as my crossbreeding hopes to eventually bring me back to a dog that the 1st Duke of Marlborough would recognise as the Blenheim Cavaliers he enjoyed hunting with and were known also as the Marlborough Spaniel (Blenhiems where seen to be bigger than other King Charles Spaniels at the time of the 1st Duke of Marlborough, up until Victorian times and it was showing of the Blenheims that saw their size reduced and nose length also reduced to look like the modern King Charles Spaniel breed we have today).
I will be getting intouch with all on my waiting list over the coming week and will understand those that wish not to wait on the MRI scanning and any one on my waiting list reading this, if you wish to drop me a line before I contact you about whether you are still interested or not, I would be much obliged.
I have some ideas for the future in the pipeline and will proffer them forward soon, when I have more time. I have come to understand that my breeding has to be moulded to an ideal I have in breeding a type of dog for the future and not at times the pressure of my waiting list, so one thing which will be for the future, is no waiting list until annual health tests have been done. I hate disappointing people and waiting list way ahead of health tests let alone conception of a litter can set me up for disappointing a lot of people and I feel a lot of pressure which is probably self inflicted. Yesterday holding each dog as they where examined trying to read the vets face, as he examined them is hard going and then coming back making sense of it all and the direction to go, especially with Ysobel and now I face chasing everyone up on my waiting list, so I think waiting lists after health tests have been done might be better for all concerned in the future.
Making supper beckons me !
Nearly a week ago I last blogged and tomorrow is St Valentine's day, so half way through February. Has been a very busy week with family human and canine. My Mum is back in hospital with a flare up of a stomach infection, she had just before Christmas. With an emotional weekend, Mum admitted to hospital on Saturday and attending on Sunday the funeral of someone my husband and me have been associated with working for for over 25 years. He was only 65 years old and had prostate cancer, which he had bravely dealt with for 7 years. His family are very well known and liked in our local community, very gentle and kind natured. To see grown men shedding tears at a funeral ( including my husband,) says a lot about the man without using any words. I milked their cows for 13 years until the evening before I gave birth to our first child, and me meeting my husband and father to my children is because he came to work for this family (my husband still does a day here and there for them when needed), so they have became more than just people we work for and they have helped and supported us, as we have them over the years, beyond the duty of employer or employee. I consider my self lucky to know them and to of worked for them.
After destroying my camera, my replacment camera has arrived (very early Birthday present). This is now my fourth camera in two years. I think may be camera's should start using the Jane mark, which is if it can survive me, then they must be very tough. So tonight is a selection of photo's taken with the new camera, which is a better quality camera. Some nice photo's of the dogs with two of our son's and especially the group of our son Bert with Smudge, then joined by Millie and then Jessica.
All the dogs are well with Belle just coming to the end of her heat cycle and hopefully Dolly will be on heat soon followed closely by Ysobel. I'm not going to mention the weather, as would not want to depress you but to say that we are starting to develop webbed feet, might give you an idea how wet it is here in the countryside and still doing two loads a day of washing, just from dog towels and bedding.
A little bit of legal news. It looks like most definately that dogs being microchipped, will be a legal requirement in the UK soon and me for one will be very interested in the legislation for this. I believe it is one of the right ways forward with dog ownership and if legislation is done right, it could have a knock on positive effect for the breeding from dogs. Trouble is very often legislation is done by those who have little or no understanding of the subject they legislate over. It could be very simple or I should say, "It should be very simple", but watch this space !
Must get to bed now, as this old parvo virus thing I've had has not yet passed totally and feel very tired come the end of the day.
Have a loving St valentine's Day but don't forget to be loving for the other 364 days of the year too !
Is now the eve for Dolly and Ysobel having their heart examination over five years old. It will feel like a long drive down to Teignmouth tomorrow to have them checked but it will be what it is, no more or no less. Best not to dwell on what might or might not be the result's, until we have the results.
On the positive side I get a couple hours out with my husband and lunch out hopefully with him (if not a good result with the heart exams, I probably won't feel like eating), as he is coming with me and we don't get out much on our own, so fingers crossed and I will put up results first on here and then will start contacting every one waiting on news of these two girls.
Photo is of Dolly and Ysobel taken today. Dolly had been rolling in mud and Ysobel had been digging in the mud.
Some quirky photo's tonight as I tried to catch a photo of the dogs all lined up in the window looking at one of our son's and me looking at them from outside but as you will see, we had glorious sunshine today and frankly have not seen the sun for so long, I forgot of its qualities of making glass reflective , so ended up with photo's of me photographing the dogs with them looking like ghost dogs.
It has been a lovely day today and after the cold snap and seemingly endless damp it is a welcome reprieve when the sun decides to make an appearance. Nice to go out with the dogs and they don't come back wet and plastered in mud. Might see, if it stays dry, to get out to the beach with the children and some of the dogs tomorrow, love the beach in the winter. Its bound to rain, now I said that !
Just had to quickly put on this photo of Smudge, which one of our sons has just taken and a quick mention of England winning today at rugby against Scotland (winning the Calcutta Cup), in their first game in the tournament for the Six Nations Cup. If Cavaliers played rugby Smudge would probably be best in the pack !
“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!