All the dogs are well here at Poundlane, but as the title suggests the human component are not faring so well. The virus cold thing I have been fighting off, has struck down three who have been home from school since Wednesday and two more of our children have got the tail end of it and Thomas seems at this moment to be immune to it. I don't often keep my children home from school, with our Florrie doing her first three years of school without missing a day, so they have to be pretty ill. The three that have been home from school though have been pretty rough and keeping their temperatures stable has taken some juggling with dosing them with paracetamol and ibuprofen. I think we are on the home straight now with them, as the noise they are making playing a game of scrabble at the dinning table behind me at the moment it sounds like they are pretty well over the worse.
Dogs are very therapeutic to have around when children or yourself are not feeling very well. If I'm busy there is always a cuddle buddy available for a child and the two photos below shows a moment between Treacle and Molly. Treacle had just jumped up to see how Molly was.
I have yet to get my sense of taste or smell back and I never realised how productive my sinuses could be. I must admit the lacking in sense of smell came in handy when driving the children, well enough to go to school, to school this morning and one of them decided to let rip (fart) and I sat smiling as the children begged me to open the electric windows and I asked , "Why ? I can't smell anything." I'm not that cruel and did open the windows.
Not being able to smell has also come in handy peeling and cutting up onions, as this evening preparing dinner, I looked to my side to see one of our sons Thomas almost crying from the onions that I had just chopped up, but they had no effect on me. The worst thing though, is the fact you can't taste as you are cooking to know if the flavours are right. I love food and the love I have for it is the sensory part, taste and smell, which are one of the same thing. So tonight was a bit of a mishmash, as I normally work on a Friday evening and the children have dinner with the in-laws, their Grandparents. David and me having both milked, on Fridays indulge in a fish and chip supper from a local Chippy, but because of their illness I felt it best that they were not dragged around the roads, as it is cold here at the moment and Molly who loves going to her Grandparents was still quite rough this morning, asked me to stay home. I don't take time off often and luckily where I milk they are very family orientated and understanding if a child is not well, so were okay and I will make up the milking this weekend.
So for the mishmash for dinner. I defrosted some beef mince and looking in the fridge found Brussel sprouts, mixed baby peppers, baby sweet corn, carrots and some new potatoes I had almost forgotten about. I turned this with the help of a few other ingredients into a sort of sweet curry mince with sauteed potatoes on top. When I tasted it, all I could taste was that it was sweet, so I employed all the children with taste buds still intact to taste for me and the way they eat up at the dinner table just now it must of tasted okay. My husband David has just finished his dinner (after arriving home from work after an awful milking, were everything that could go wrong, did) and just said, "What a lucky man I am to have a wonderful wife like you." He's yet to eat the home made rice pudding, I might be on a roll, look out later. Lol
The couple photos of Millie and me were taken by our son Bert last night as I just took five minutes out for a bit of dog therapy. Millie loves being smoothed and just talking to her you can see her eyes narrow and almost feel her releasing oxytocin, the bonding hormone. Many may of heard of the term, "Come to hand," where I come from when used as a term referring to an animal, it means that they not only except your hand upon them, but they push into the hand and show no tension to the hand, they "Come to hand." Working with animals, this is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have, when you are working with an animal that at the start is frightened of you, that moment they come to hand can almost take your breath away, I think some call it , "join up," whatever you call it, it is something to behold. Millie comes to hand, in fact she will press her head into your midriff and submit herself totally to your mercy.
Smoothing dogs is known to release oxytocin in both the human and the dog, which partly explains the strong attachment we feel to our canine companions and them to us. Touch is very important I feel to well being and I think that is were dogs now come into their own with humans. As we see humans become more insular by relying more and more on technology to communicate and to often porn to teach them about human intimacy, unfortunately we miss out on the therapeutic value of touch, without thinking touch is automatically sexual. Dogs I think are filling this gap for humans and we know that the world of touch that dogs share with us has health benefits.
Note in the photos you can see that I have done something a little stupid for the time of year and having a cold. A couple days ago I went and had all my hair cut off. I've been scalped ! Stupidly I said to Ann, "Do a Pixie, on me." Although happy with the cut, my annoyance of my hair had made me lose all sense and reasoning, on the fact that it's bloody cold without the stuff in January in the UK. Should of held fire for a couple of more months methinks. Lol
Toby this morning has been booked in for his MRI scan at the Downs Veterinary Practice in Bristol for the 11th February with Treacle. Treacle is a first cross Cavapoo with her mum being Dolly and her dad being Reggie, she will be two in June. This will be our second crossbreed. Belle who was our first crossbreed to be scanned on the British Veterinary Association (BVA)/Kennel Club (KC) Scheme will be scanned again, either this year or the beginning of next to see if the detection of Central Canal Dilation (CCD) in her scan was the prelude to Syringomyelia. Slight CCD is not necessary a worry on it's own, but if a history of Syringomyelia (SM) in the family or breed, then it often is the first sign before progressing towards prolapsing of the cerebellum, known as SM and it is advisable to re-scan again a year or more later, to see if any progression has taken place. Sometimes dogs that are scanned showing slight CCD, can be re-scanned at a later date to show no sign of CCD then.
The BVA/KC Chiari Malformation (CM)/Syringomyelia (CM) Scheme as now been going around three years and if you look at the amount of dogs scanned on it, you get a feeling that breeders are not really fully supporting the scheme. This is the breakdown of breeds submitted to the scheme, baring in mind that all dogs whether pure or cross can be scanned on this scheme. The figures are as follows :
Australian Terrier 2
Boston Terrier 1
Cavalier KCS 222
Griffon Bruxellois 36
Petite Brabancon 3
Looking at that list (Note only two crossbreeds have been done on the scheme, one of them is our Belle) and knowing over 5'000 Cavalier pups are registered every year with the KC, you might think that there are not many breeders out there really doing much to improve the health of this breed and you would be right. Admittedly a few breeders scan their dogs off this scheme at a lot higher expense and one would wonder why they do that, so I'm going to give why I think some breeders scan at a lot higher expense off the scheme ( On the scheme a dog can be MRI scanned from £360 per dog and off the scheme you won't get much change from £1200 per dog for the scan and often a fee on top of that for the vet to grade the scan) and why lots of breeders don't scan either on this scheme or off of it ?
Now to answer the question first of, "Why some breeders would prefer to pay a lot more to scan their Cavaliers off BVA/CM scheme, at a lot more expense ?"
To answer this we first have to look at Chiari Malformation and give it the full name that a neurological specialist will give it. The full name is Chiar-like malformation, now the "like" bit is important because this is the bit vets can disagree on. The malformation that is present in the back of most Cavaliers skulls by most vets is thought to be similar what we see in humans and thus the word like, but some vets disagree that it is Chiari Malformation as we see it presented in humans, they do though agree there is a malformation at the back of the skull involving the occipital bone, but whether it is Chiari malformation is not totally agreed on and some vets call the malformation, Occipital Hypoplasia (OH) or Caudal Occipital Mailformation Syndrome (COMS).
Some vets will when asked to grade for CM, grade it 0 even though there is malformation of the occipital bone, this does not mean the dog has no malformation at the back of the skull, it just means the vet does not think the malformation is CM. So if you are a breeder and so far all Cavaliers graded on the scheme with the BVA/KC have the grade 2, being the highest grade for CM, then I think it would be mighty tempting to go to a vet that is known to grade Cavaliers 0 for CM, than a scheme where so far as I type this, every Cavalier has been graded 2 for CM.
So we are seeing Cavaliers graded off the scheme apparently clear of CM, but I think this is a red herring. I'm pretty sure these Cavaliers have malformation of the occipital bone, the misleading bit is vets disagreeing on what is Chiari malformation or not, maybe we should drop the CM grade and just record abnormal formation of occipital bone and the degree by using a grading system until everyone can agree on what to call the abnormality, because what is happening at the moment is at best misleading to potential puppy buyers of Cavaliers and at worst leading to breeders thinking the condition is not a problem within the breed and we carry on as normal.
All Cavaliers that have been diagnosed with SM on the BVA/KC Scheme have an abnormality of the occipital bone and most vets now use the term CM for this abnormality. When we see SM without CM, it is if the head has recieved a trauma and the brain has been pushed to the back of the skull, or brain swelling has occurred from trauma or illness causing prolapse of the cerbellum.
So to conclude why some breeders at a lot more expense prefer to have their Cavaliers graded off the scheme ? The simple answer is, because on average the outcome is more favourable for grading for CM, than having Cavaliers graded on the BVA/KC scheme.
Now to the question, "Why lots of breeders don't scan either on the scheme or off of it ?
The first reason is simple, a lot just don't care and breed Cavaliers simply for business and to put cash in their pocket, why bother with more expense and time when they can just sell them a little cheaper and the public still roll up and buy them, no questions asked (I will go into the public's responsibility a bit later), but when we see the ones at the top of the Cavalier breeding tree, the show producers, not scanning their Cavaliers the reasoning becomes a little more interesting, they believe they own the breed and they are the breed, so they are beyond reproach and here we can often see a big similarity to religious ideology. Many pure breeders have strong religious convictions more often Christian and the ideology of pure has it's origins firmly from religion and the joker card of all religions is faith. If you can't explain it or it contradicts, use the joker card, "Faith"
Lets have a look at the traditional Christian view towards animals. God created animals for the use of human beings and human beings are therefore entitled to use them in any way they want. Animals are distinctively inferior to human beings and are worth little if any moral consideration, because humans have souls and animals don't and humans have reason and animals don't. Lastly Christian thought was and in some cases is still very heavily humano-centric and only considers animals in relation to human beings, and not on their own terms. If you think that these are not common ideologies still in Christianity, you might like to hear that recently at school my oldest son found himself defending animals against this very ideology in a Religious Education lesson, when another boy said that "Animals have no conscience and are here for human use only." The traditional Christian ideology gives an interesting look into the mindset of the show producer/breeder.
I have a joker card I play with my husband David when we dispute something and is my joker, uterus card, I will say "I can produce little humans from my uterus", end of dispute, as anything a man does can not come close to that, not even in the same room, sorry men I know the truth hurts. Asexual reproduction was around before sexual reproduction, asexual reproduction is always female, so it would not be hard to imagine that maybe you males are an after thought, in evolutionary terms. Lol. Interesting piece to read is from a book called "13 Things That Don't Make Sense", by Michael Brooks, Chapter 10, "SEX, There are better ways to reproduce", maybe not so enjoyable though. Lol. If opened minded enough to investigate the question of "Why sexual reproduction ?" you will find it an interesting question to contemplate and to try and answer.
Show producers of dogs, breed and produce dogs with the goal to produce show winners and they tend to of lost what exactly a Cavalier is first and foremost a dog, a common factor in religion, first and foremost we are humans, everyone of us, when we lose that commonality to each other and attach another label, history shows us that this is often the precursor to genocide. Labels objectify and often can detach humans from the reality of what they are really doing.
For the show producer the dog only has to be sound for around three to five years of it's life and when looking at problems in breeds, you may notice that a lot of the hereditary problems at high levels in breeds start to rear their head around the three to five year old age, so until programs like "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" started to show the volume of the hereditary problems in pure breeds, the show producers were not that worried about dogs getting problems once past the show ring shelf life, but this attitude to health conditions has come around to the chickens coming home to roost and health problems have started to develop at an earlier age and earlier age and thus impacting on the show life of the dogs produced for showing. Years ago I remember being told by someone who shows Cavaliers why they don't eye test their Cavaliers, "I don't bother with testing for hereditary cataracts, because often they don't start until a Cavalier is around ten years old and most Cavaliers don't live that long, " she then laughed.
So show breeders breed exactly for that purpose to show and for showing the dog only has to be sound for around three to five years of its life. So if you have a show champion which comes with the added bonus of prestige amongst your peers, why would you wish to shatter the illusion of perfection, by vets who have no comprehension of the time money and prestige you face losing if your dog is proven to be anything but as close to perfection for its breed it can be. So when a BVA/KC Scheme starts which disproves the perfection you thought you have achieved in your chosen breed Cavaliers, do you graciously except your wrongs and strive to right the wrong, no, you stop using the scheme and call it into disrepute. The simple answer I feel to why many show breeders do not use the BVA/KC CM/SM Scheme is because it does not record what they want to here.
I'm going to end this bit with responsibility of the public buying puppies. Yes, you do have a responsibility in the grand scheme of things. You need to do your research and the most important thing is patience which I have mentioned before and can not stress hard enough, so I'm going to put it in higher case, because it is a common misconception that you understand a word better if it is in higher case, so here goes nothing, "Be PATIENT when getting a puppy."
I blogged a couple days with this link :
Please take a look at the petition and sign it if you agree with it. Thanks to all those who have already signed it and left a comment.
Sunday morning I had just returned from milking around 9 am and was washing my hands in the kitchen sink, watching the dogs up on the lawn and our neighbour came up the lane riding on his horsem and leading one. Toby ran up the garden and jumped the fence into the paddock like it was not there, to then disappear over the hedge to follow our neighbour up the road with his horses. On seeing him jump the fence I ran outside and said to our neighbour, "Did you see him jump that then ? " He replied, "Yes", and was equally as impressed as I was by Toby's skill at jumping a fence, just pitching the top of it. Toby is used to horses, so his intention was not to bark or chase them, but to join them on their jaunt. I retrieved him and passed the time off day with our neighbour who was impressed by Toby's show of agility.
So later we tried to recreate the moment. First of all Toby just looks at me (as I thought he might jump it by me just calling him from the other side) trying to work out what exactly is going on and yes, I do try and use our chicken as a lure, saying something along the lines of, "Look Toby, yummy chicken." When we got chicken again a couple years ago after a six month break, he was a little obsessed by them at first, watching their every move and the obsession was not I want to hug a chicken, more like I want to taste a chicken obsession. As you will notice our son Alfie who was filming cannot hold a camera still very well.
I then jumped back over the fence and he then follows on behind me, jumping the three and half foot fence from a stand still, which I still think is impressive for a dog around a foot tall. When he jumped it earlier he jumped it at speed, taking off a stride away, just pitching the top. You can see why we have problems with him going off hunting and that fence is being replaced with a higher, picket fence.
Toby we have had since eight weeks old along with his sister Jessica and was three years old just before Christmas. I really hope his MRI scan is good, as I think Toby could be a dark horse amongst the Poundlane pack.
Lastly photos of the pack over the last week or so. I'm still struggling a bit with my cold having no sense of taste or smell and tonight cooking dinner, had to ask my oldest son to taste the leek and cheese sauce I had made, because I tasted it and nothing, tasted it again and nothing registered on the smell or taste buds. Asked our son Bert to taste it and this was his critique of my sauce, "Nice Mum, maybe it could do with a bit more leek, but then it might be to leeky." Lol
Just thought to put the petition link to, "Stop registering Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies unless their parents are MRI scanned and Heart tested" as just realised it was not actually in the Daily Mail article I blogged about a couple days ago in the blog titled, "Bullshit and Denial." Here is the link : 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
Please take a minute to go to the link above and read the petition and if you agree that the Kennel Club should only register pups from heart examined and MRI scanned parents, then sign the petition.
If you have owned a Cavalier with either Mitrial Valve Disease or Syringomyelia please fill in the box asking you, "I'm signing because". The Kennel Club needs to know the effect burying their head in the sand with Cavaliers health problems has on loving dog owners and their families.
Just finished the blog about eye tests, to be told by my husband, he had just caught Toby with his head in the bottom of the fridge eating or rather licking a cheese cake I made yesterday evening.
My husband had just left the fridge door ajar as he used the milk and returned it. A door half closed, is a door half open to a dog and Toby did not let opportunity pass without taking advantage of it. Naughty Toby or should it be naughty husband ?
Sorry I did not get a blog up yesterday about what happened with the eye tests, but I'm feeling a bit under the weather with a cold our children have kindly shared with me.
This morning I woke up before the alarm going off at 5 am, to feel like I was trying to swallow barb wire. I downed a couple paracetamol with a glass of water, eat my bowl of bran flakes with a handful of sultanas scat on the top with a splash of milk which would of been fresh from the on farm milk tank the night before and then downed a couple ibuprofen and about an hour or so in to milking this morning my throat stopped aching. Not milking this morning was not an option, as I knew they had tb testing and his wife works this morning, so all hands were needed on deck. Haven't really had a proper virus get hold of me for a while, probably since I got a dose of parvo back the beginning of 2013, so can't complain to much.
If you read the blog regularily you will know that yesterday morning I should of been setting off to Tavistock to have Smudge's, Toby's and Primrose's eyes examined. We did have a hard frost over night which had left a lot of ice about at day break and travelling the children to school listening to the local radio, a lot of accidents were occurring on the Devon roads. I got back from the school run and had to make the decision whether or not to risk travelling down to Tavistock, as the sun was out and the temperature was quickly rising I took the decision even though feeling rough to kick on and get down to Tavistock, so sorted out the rest of the dogs feeding them etc and got Smudge, Toby and Primrose in the car with their respective folders full of all their details and set off. Although I did not hurry and got behind a lot of slow traffic (travelling most of the trip behind a lorry loaded with traffic lights and cones sporting a sign on the back saying, "ROAD MAINTENANCE" Which I thought a little ironic as we rattled and bumped over several pot holes on the way to Tavistock and should of read if being truthful, "TRAFFIC LIGHTS AND CONE MAINTENANCE" as it seems they do more of that than actually do any road maintenance in the Devon area), I made it in an hour and twenty minutes, which is good time.
As always I had an interesting conversation with Chris Warren who does our dogs eye tests and all three of them show no signs of the two things he looks for in Cavaliers, which is multifocal retinal dysplasia and hereditary cataract, so an all clear for all three of them. So I jumped back in the car with the three of them at around 11.45 am to make the trip back home.
My trips to Tavistock sees me travelling over Dartmoor, which is a lovely place to give the dogs a run on the way back and past Sourton where you can pick up a yummy bacon and egg bap, but yesterday feeling not so well I did not take up either delight and although it was a bit raw (cold) the sun was up and it made the moor looks even more glorious, so I felt a bit of guilt not stopping to let the dogs enjoy the moor. I approached Sourton in two minds about getting a bacon and egg bap at just after midday, but saw that the car park was pretty full, did not feel like queuing, so decided to keep my foot on the peddle and get on home.
I got home about 1 pm and let all the dogs out and fed Smudge, Toby and Primrose. Quickly threw the hoover and cloth around the home, as did not get time to do this before setting off to Tavistock and with six children and eleven dogs, hoovering and dusting is done every day in our home. Finally at around 2 pm got to make myself a sandwich and just about to plant my backside on the pouffe by the fire to eat it and the bloody coal man arrived (We have a multifuel burner and use a bit of coal to keep the fire in over night), which I was not expecting and my husband had forgot to tell me about, okay, he did tell me, but I forgot and so had forgot to get enough cash out at the weekend to pay him, but he happily takes a cheque, but I had to find a cheque book. Finally found a cheque book and paid him and of course have a chat and put the world to rights (I remember an old farmer I used to work for who used to say, "If you ain't got time to pass the time of day with another and lean on a gate and have a yarn (tell a long and probably implausible story), then what is the point of it all."). The coal man left at 2.30 pm and finally I got to plant my backside on the pouffe by the fire and eat my sandwich, school pick up would be at 3.30 pm. I decided to flick the telly on and there is utter rubbish on telly at this time of day and found myself with a feeling of shame watching , 'The Millionaire matchmaker", The draw I think is watching people who are so shallow, but seem to think they have depth. I only could stand five minutes, any longer and you would lose all faith in humanity, but interestingly I learnt something and that is apparently a man in Los Angeles if he says he is 5ft 8 ins tall is actually what we call in a Devon, "5 foot and a teddy (potato)" and a teddy on average is around 4 inches, must be something to do with the time difference.Lol
This height difference and the fact that the man on the programme being only 5 foot and a teddy seemed to be attracted to not just woman of an average height, but very tall woman, reminded me of something my youngest brother (He is five years older than me) Peter said years ago when courting his wife (They have been married now for over twenty-five years). She is 6ft 2ins tall and used her height in her youth being in the under 21 years old England volleyball team. My oldest brother is around six foot tall but Peter is only just 5ft 10ins, so a good 4 inches shorter than his wife and if asked about the height difference he would say, "It comes in handy as we can use biscuit tin contraception." He would get a puzzled look and then would follow on by saying, " I get my biscuit tin out, step up on it, kiss her and if she's not in the mood, she kicks it away." Most would laugh, but on the odd occasion they actually thought my brother was being serious, which I thought more funny than the joke.
Anyway hearts done, eyes are done and now it's getting things sorted to get Toby up to Bristol for a MRI scan and then heads are done. I'm now done in, so I'm off to have some lunch and get a nap before milking this evening.
Husband just come in the door and I meant to say, "I have got a bit of ear ache", but it came out as, "Eerie ache", he asked me, "What is eerie ache ?" I said "Ear ache but frighteningly in both ears." I think I have a proper head cold.
Another New Year greeting and this one is from Kayla who is from Smudge's litter born 24th February last year with her dad being Reggie.
Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our first Christmas with Kayla - and how much she enjoyed it too! She wanted to help open everyone's presents and wasn't satisfied with all of hers. After her first one she knew exactly what she was doing!
She's such a lovely dog with a wonderful temperament and only ever barks if there's a genuine reason. Her training is coming along well although she is a little devil for pulling on the lead - I'm working on that! Everywhere we go, we get compliments on how lovely she is .
I've attached some photos and a short video of her running in the snow.
Thanks Lynne for the update on Kayla and sharing the video of her out in her first snow. Have a wonderful 2015 !
It's cold here in the UK at the moment, cold and damp. Tonight we are expecting a hard frost and most of the roads around here are wet still, so tomorrow I would suspect a lot of black ice around if the forecast is right on the money. Tomorrow all going well and the roads are not to hazardous, late morning I should be in Tavistock to have Smudge's, Primrose's and Toby's eye examinations. I have to travel across Dartmoor to reach Tavistock and if weather has made the roads unsafe with black ice etc, because getting their eye tests done is not worth wrapping the car around a tree, I may have to reschedule the eye test. Hope not as I'm really looking forward to my egg and bacon bap at Sourton.
Tonight we had pork belly for dinner and it was bloody lovely, so nice that I commented to the children and husband, "If I'm wrong and there is a God, eating that is worth going to hell for and if I were to find myself at heavens door and the only black mark in life is that I've eaten pork, then I think I've done bloody well for myself."Lol
Really like pigs and it is so unfortunate that they taste nice, as a child my parents always had a few pigs around for our freezer and to sell on. I had a very nice pig friend as a child and of course he was called Percy. Percy was bullied and pushed out by his peers, and although I new his destination would be for the table, I stupidly took on rearing him, not knowing the close bond we would develop. I would of been around nine years old, when Percy crept into my life and blew me away.
His breed was a Large White and he was a barrow, a castrated male pig. He was really naughty being a very good escapologist and all but became a pet and lived free about the place until one day he let some piglets out. At the time my home was living on the outskirts of Barnstaple in my parents farm, just above at the time, the newly built North Devon hospital. Percy took his merry band of piglets down the lane and went for a walk around North Devon hospital, stopping traffic and caused much amusement, but it meant he would have to be better contained, so lost his total freedom, unless out with me.
Percy had a game with me, which was to see how long I could stay on his back. I would mount Percy, and he would charge off bucking and twisting, dump me most unceremoniously and then he would actively encourage me to mount again, by coming over nuzzling me with his snout, to my feet and positioning himself to start the game again, such fond memories but alas as you would of guessed by the start of this story, the day came that Percy was big enough to leave and I begged my mum to keep Percy, but she said, " It is for the best, you can't keep a pig as a pet." The day Percy was leaving I was at school, I said my good byes that morning and left for school with a heavy heart, never to see Percy again.
My children in recent years have asked to get a couple pigs to rear, as we have the room here to do so, but after Percy I know the heartbreak it would cause them. If you can keep a lot of pigs, it lessens the attachment but two pigs, I suspect what would start as fattening a couple pigs for the table, we would end up with two very loved naughty pet geriatric pigs.
Last tonight is a photo of Reggie, just because I thought he looked very cute in mid stretch. Let's hope I can get down to Tavistock tomorrow and will be back next time with the results of the eye examinations.
Got this email yesterday from Sue who has Ruby Lucy, a Cavalier we rehomed a few years ago, about an article she read in the Daily Mail which should of had the title, "Bullshit and denial," or maybe that should be "Dogshit and dogma" Lol
trust this finds you and family well, and keeping warm.Just thought you might be interested in an article in the Daily Mail today regarding Cavaliers and how the writer of the article has the same principle ideas as you regarding breeding thought you might be interested and maybe give your views on this also, think there may have been and e mail address.We are fine here, no plans for a Down Under trip as yet!!we are looking forward to the Spring so we can get out for some lovely long walks over the Quantocks and Exmoor,the bulbs we planted when we moved in are now pushing up through the soil so Spring must be round the corner.
Hope it is not too late to wish you all a Happy New Year,Very best wishes.
Below is the link to the Daily Mail article :
I have replied Sue and before I shared my reply I felt it only right to ask Carol Fowler about mentioning her interest in what I'm doing, as when she visited me a couple years ago, I think she was a bit war weary and had taken so much flack for whistle blowing with the Cavalier breed, that she was careful of who she was connected with and asked me not to mention her interest and visit on my website and I understood her request at that time. Just got her reply about mentioning me knowing her.
The only comment I would make is that what you have said below no longer applies :
She has asked me not to make public her interest in what I am doing and I understand this, because she has people who are all to ready to pull her apart, so she has to be careful, she has suffered awful vitriol from the Cavalier club and its members, some dog breeders are really horrible people.
I'm not bothered at all by what Cavalier breeders think of me. I'm not bothered about offending them either, although I try not to enter into direct discussions with them. You can tell whomever you like about my interest in what you are doing. I applaud you and any other breeder who breeds for health and good temperament and who breeds dogs which will make good family pets/companions.
Glad to hear Carol being so positive and as my old Mum says, "When someones having a go at you, just think they are giving some other poor old bugger a rest and if that don't cheer you up, just imagine them sat on the toilet having a crap." Lol
And this is my reply to Sue's email :
lovely to hear from you Sue and my reply is as follows.
Thanks for telling me about the article. I actually know Carol Fowler, she contacted me a couple years ago and visited me, she keeps in touch from time to time. She is very interested in the Brittany/Cavalier cross I am doing.She has asked me not to make public her interest in what I am doing and I understand this, because she has people who are all to ready to pull her apart, so she has to be careful, she has suffered awful vitriol from the Cavalier club and its members, some dog breeders are really horrible people.
The article though is the normal denial from the Cavalier Club and you are picking on us. The usual spiel of Cavaliers are wussy dogs, when they show pain, it's not the same pain as other dogs it's Cavalier pain, it's normal for the breed, nothing to worry about. In fact many vets will tell you that Cavaliers are one of the best behaved dogs when doing medical procedures such as finding a vein, as you may know putting a needle in to a vein does hurt a bit. My Cavaliers are not wussy and when Jessica was sitting on our front doorstep and then jumped up the top step in through the door wagging her tail to reveal her back leg dangling with just a few strands of flesh keeping it attached to her body, she certainly was not being wussy and did not scream once on her trip to the vets to have it amputated and it was commented on by the vet how brave she is.
The KC give a typical answer and utter bullshit. If you want to have a KC Cavalier registered pup, they do have the power to make heart testing and MRI scanning mandatory of parents of a pup mandatory if registered with them. They have made it mandatory to test parents eyes on the Assured breeder scheme, so they really have no reasoning to not introduce mandatory tests for hearts and heads, as the heart problem in Cavaliers is more common than the eye conditions they test for and unlike eye conditions is a terminal condition, so it seems crazy that they don't make the hearts at least mandatory. It is more about loss of income than power. If the KC became all moral, they would not allow any puppy to be registered with them unless it was from a breeder inspected and breeding under the rules of their assured scheme and they would make health tests relevant to the on going health of each breed mandatory, but that would mean a vast drop in registration and most of the breed clubs would splinter away from the KC, but the puppy buying population if buying a KC registered pup would be more sure about the provenance of their pups health and ethics of the breeder. Unfortunately the KC still dances to the tune of the breed clubs and the cash coming into the tills and until they stop doing that progress will be at a snails pace and will be to slow for many breeds that we will see disappear.
When I had my Cavaliers hearts examined just before Christmas the heart vet told us, "He knows show champion Cavalier spaniels now that have not had one health test done that is recommended in Cavaliers." The reason why most Cavalier breeders don't do health tests (because the health problems in this breed do not stem from puppy farming, but producing a look for the show ring), is because they think they are above such things and if they say it is so, it is and the hilarious thing is that when the MRI scanning started many top breeders queued up to prove how wonderful their dogs are, but when the BVA scheme started giving results to the contrary, many have stopped scanning on the scheme and called the scheme in to disrepute saying that "they automatically grade Cavaliers for Chiari Malformation at 2 without looking at the MRI scan even." They don't like the scheme because it has not given them the results they want, believe me I doubt if they would be saying anything if every dog was graded 0, which certainly would be a worry if they did. The vet in this article takes the easy route of blaming the public, rather than throwing stones at the public he ought to look at how vets have stood so silent for so long knowing the health issues in lots of breeds, whilst reaping the benefits of a constant cash cow.
Sheena Maclaine (chairman of the Cavalier Breeders Club) says, " Even dogs whose MRI tests give them a 'clear' bill of health can still produce a problem puppy, she argues, and she does not believe that head shape is the issue." It is true that dogs that are clear can still produce affected offspring but they will be far more likely to produce more unaffected offspring than a dog affected being bred from and she then denies the head shape is the issue, which goes against all the scientists and vets involved in researching the head problems and she is the Chairman of the Cavalier Breeders Club, so what hope do these little dogs have when the apparent custodians of them make such comments.
I could say more, but sometimes it just feels like banging your head against a brick wall and although the above might suggest otherwise, I'm more of a doer than a talking about doing, so I will keep on doing my thing and hope that others will see the light before to much of this lovely little spaniel is lost.
Hope this makes sense.
Happy New Year Sue, Jim and Lucy xxx
Lets end on a quote "Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you are not mad."
- George Orwell, Nineteen, eighty-four
Forgot to put Dexter's update on the blog last night. Dexter is from Ysobel's last ever litter, born 31st July 2013 with Dad being Reggie. Dexter is our Belle's brother, although Belle is from Ysobel's previous litter with Reggie the end of 2011.
Dear Jane & Family
Happy New year to all at Poundlane!!!.
As I haven't written to you for a while I thought I should update you with photos of Dexter.
Things have been quite hectic over the last six months as we have recently moved to the Blackdown Hills, into the countryside. We haven't looked back since we moved as we have moved into a converted barn and the area is full of fantastic walks for Dexter, although I have had to restrict his time off the lead as he likes to chase the pheasants and there are lots to chase at the moment what with local shoots.
Here are a couple of recent photos, taken when we were out on a walk and in the garden.
Love Caroline, Steve & Dexter
Thanks Caroline for the lovely update for Dexter and all the best to you all in your new home and have a wonderful 2015.
I don't usually make New Year resolutions, as 2014 closed I decided that 2015 I would get my eyes tested. I have not had my eyes tested since a child and around six months ago I started to notice the lengthening of the arm to be able to read small print and reading books or using the computer for any length of time, my eyes would feel sore.
One of my joys in life is reading, so last week I got on with my New Year resolution and had my eyes tested in Specsavers. A little bit of apprehension, as most know the eyes can give clues to other ailments, but thankfully except for a bit of loss of short sight, my eyes are in good health, no signs of high cholesterol or high blood pressure. My blood pressure has always been spot on even throughout all my six pregnancies, as also my bloods were.
I choose two pairs of glasses. One pair costing £25 and one £69. With any glasses £69 and over they had an offer of buy one get one free which the lady explained again to me when paying for them, but I explained I understood that, but none of the other designs £69 and over appealed to me. I'm pretty quick on choosing things, one could compare my shopping technique with the Special Air Service (SAS), in out without anyone knowing you have been about.
Today was pick up day for my glasses arranged for 10.30 am and as I was setting off to town to pick them up, who should arrive but our jolly window cleaner, to obviously clean the windows and also though clean all the guttering and fascia boards. Told him, "I'm just nipping off to pick up my googles", which he looked slightly puzzled and I told him, "my glasses" and turns out his New Year resolution was also to get his eyes tested. Anyway I paid him, encase when I got back he had already gone.
Got into Specsavers, had the glasses checked that they fitted okay and I could read okay with them. Then back home and our window cleaner was just finishing up, so I went and made him a coffee and then out on the patio table we tried my glasses on, with him declaring that I'm blinder than him, but it seems his eyes are more unequal in sight than mine, as the reduction in sight of my eyes is almost equal in each of them.
Our window cleaner is a keen surfer and does a lot of fitness, doing fitness challenges for charity and is slim, but apparently his eyes show he has high cholesterol, although he already knew about this a few days before his eye test from a blood test at his doctors surgery. I new about the cholesterol deposits in eyes called corneal lipidosis, as this can be seen in dogs eyes and can be because of to higher a fatty diet, corneal dystrophy or corneal degeneration, but sometimes in females it can be seen when they are pregnant as well. With Millie and her three pregnancies, she developed a spot of cholesterol on one of her eyes and it then disappeared after birth. My window cleaner told me it is because he eats crap and he is adjusting his diet. Two years ago he kicked the smoking for his health and I believe he will kick the eating to much crap as well.
After the window cleaner trying on my glasses, I then got a couple selfies with them on just to see what I look like in a photo with them on, vanity in moderation I think is allowable, else we would never even change our underpants. Then home came the children to try them on and laugh at me wearing them, with the youngest two saying, "You look like a Granny." At forty six I'm old enough to be a Granny, so far play, but I got into the breeding game a bit later, so I'm not officially a Granny. Funny to imagine now, back in the day with my five older siblings married and having had bred, I really had no thoughts on breeding myself and on meeting my husband David, if you had told either of us that we would have six children together we probably would of ran as fast has we could in the opposite direction of each other. Lol
After the window cleaner trying them on, taking a couple selfies with them on and the children trying them on, the next thing to do with new glasses is let your dog/dogs try them on. Lol
Where to start tonight, but as you will see I have certainly given you an ending which may not be for the religious zealot amongst us.
First tonight is a slide show of Millie, just because she is so beautiful and the other morning just seemed to be posing as I took photos of her sitting on the sofa. Her beauty is beyond skin deep, you could not ask for a more loving better tempered dog (we won't mention her disappearing off hunting with Toby and worrying me half to death. Lol) and all going well Millie will be a Granny, when Smudge has our first litter of 2015 with Henry.
Yesterday I did the grocery shopping and every now and then pick up a couple Pecan and Maple syrup Danish pastries for my husband David and me as a treat. The video is of David eating his Danish with rather a lot of attention from the dogs, especially Smudge who really is working it and gets rewarded for her big dose of cupboard love. David is rather naughty with the dogs when eating, but do notice how gentle Smudge is when taking her reward and note Dolly give Jessica the evil glare of supremacy over the plate, near the end of the video, don't blink you might miss it. Lol
I have Smudge, Primrose and Toby booked in for their eye tests on Monday 19th January 2015. I have not forgot about doing a blog on measuring our dogs craniums and the draft has been sitting in my draft box now for a couple months minus head measurements, which I have yet to have had time and motivation at the same time to get the job done, but I will and I could get on and do some more about , "The Poundlane Spaniel" All things to come and they will eventually. "Why get done today, what won't hurt to be done tomorrow." That saying is a lot better with a Devonian spin on it.Lol
Warning: The rest of the blog is not about dogs and will not be enjoyed by those who are sensitive about religion
Sometimes somethings cannot be left unmentioned and this week events beyond my doorstep make me feel it a duty to be free.
When I was growing up in the UK we got sadly, use to regular occurrence of terrorists action. My Mum and Dad would explain the bombings to us as follows, " Most people in life regardless of creed or colour just want to get on with life and each other, but unfortunately there are ones who sow discord and will wish us to take sides and hate. Hopefully over time the ones who just want to have a good life and get on with life grow in number and the ones who don't want us to do this, numbers dwindle."
My children grow and they now look to me for answers, often theological ones. I try to steer clear of labels, as once a label is applied to often a line is also then drawn in the sand. I don't believe in god or gods, never have, even as a small child, so if that makes me an atheist then that will be the label society will brand me with. One thing an atheist can be sure of is equality, you will receive equal irreverence from each religion and the one that tickles me, is when you're told, "you're going to hell !" Not sure their really getting the atheism vibe.
"You don't need a god to be good
You don't need a god to have faith
You don't need a god to be moral,
and you don't need to die to be in heaven
Look around you and open your eyes
Heaven can be found, in every sundown and sunrise"
My children are not brought up to not believe in god, they make the choice themselves to believe or not, that is freedom. Whilst they go through the transitional stage of believing anything they are told, towards understanding that two add two does not make five (George Orwell's, Nineteen eighty-four), I discuss things asked and give them access to read religious books etc. Just adding this bit after publishing this blog a few days ago, that our oldest child I actively encouraged to take Religious Education as a subject to do for GCSE and next year when he takes his RE GCSE his predicted grade is A. His work in RE in his last term effort grade is 1 which equals "Exemplary"
One question I was asked by our oldest child a couple years ago, as he was grappling with the idea of a god was, "Why are each religion split into so many different houses within each religion ?" Now I gave him a simple answer, as it only requires that and the answer I gave to him I spoke about to a person who was doing some plastering for us and also is a lay preacher. The reply to my son's question was, " There are so many houses in each faith because men fallout." The lay preacher doing our plastering who also is a farmer and I know well (His wife is a midwife and saw me push two of our children into the world), was a little lost for words, which surprised me with him being a lay preacher, and replied, "I'm afraid Jane, I have to agree with you on that."
Recently with world events and watching people killing each other in the name of religion (well,that is what they want the ones doing the killing to think, “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.” ― Seneca), my son asked me about the two tribes killing each other, "Mum, what is the difference in these two tribes ?" I replied "There is no difference, that is why it is so sad."
Although I have no religion, I have faith. I formally married my husband and I gave myself to him in an act of faith, as he did to me, as faith is not owned by religion as morals are not owned by it either. I have faith in humanity, that the ones wanting to have a good life and get on with each other, will always grow in number and those that don't will dwindle.
Take it away Seneca, old friend, “All cruelty springs from weakness.” ― Seneca, Seneca's Morals: Of a Happy Life, Benefits and Clemency
Let us not be weak !
Vive la liberte. Vive la France.
BEWARE : This blog may offend those lacking a sense of humour
The New Year is now well and truly underway and our children all return to school tomorrow morning, so the pile of school shirts, trousers and jumpers that had been sitting in the airing cupboard for two weeks can wait no longer to be ironed. Really hate ironing and if I was wealthy enough to employ someone to do such tasks for me, I would pay them handsomely.
Unfortunately in life we only seem to think that value should only be given to those who are arseholes, sorry I meant aspirational (although many might argue that I was right with the word arseholes. Lol). It seems we lay to often more value on social prestige and material success forgetting the really important people who allow for the aspirational to be, instead of them having to do all the jobs that are paramount to human survival and are totally undervalued. Unfortunately with out the foundation workers, the aspirational would soon be the desperational.
An example of value in a humans work can easily be seen if we compare brain surgeons and dustbin collectors. Now brain surgeons do obviously wonderful work and this will afford them great social prestige and material success, unlike the dustbin collector who will have little social prestige and barely a living wage, but if all the brain surgeons in London were to down tools for a month and all the dustbin collectors were to down tools for a month and no rubbish was collected in London for a month, I'm pretty sure more people would die from the inaction of the dustbin men, than the inaction of the brain surgeons. Think about it thoroughly before jumping on a loosely girthed high horse, I'm not downing brain surgeons, just seeing the value in dustbin collectors and the reasoning why I would pay handsomely, if I could, for someone else to do my bloody ironing. Lol
"Blimey Jane, you're sounding like a red hot socialist." "Who little old me a red hot socialist, silly you, not to worry, I can't afford to be a socialist." Lol
Just had four months watching Christmas being flogged to death and now in the UK we have to put up with four months of electioneering. I think rope sales will be going through the roof the first part of 2015 here in the UK.
This is now the dog bit after the preaching, as I have said before, "I really like narrowing down my clientele base." Hopefully it lessens the amount of aspirationals contacting me. Lol. Hope you're getting that joke, you will of had to read the above and if I have to explain that, maybe you might be an arsehole. Lol. "Gosh, it's the New Year and t'is firing on all cylinders, you." Lol
Less of the nonsense and lets get down to some business, I use the term "business"very loosely. In 2015 we hope to breed two litters, which details of can be found on the "Future Litters" page.
All the Cavaliers we are breeding with in 2015 have passed their heart examinations on the 10th December 2014 and for Primrose, Smudge and Toby the next health examination is having their eyes checked at Tavistock by Chris Warren. I will get that booked in tomorrow, as I had been waiting on Primrose's eye to be healed enough to be examined. Details of Primrose's eye injury and progress can be found on the blogs 12/12/2014, 15/12/2014 and 18/12/2014.
As the photo of Primrose's eye shows tonight the corneal ulcer on her eye has healed very well and just a small area of misting can be seen on the cornea, where the original injury to the cornea occurred and the eye is healed enough to be examined.
After the eye tests and hopefully Toby passes that, he then has to visit Bristol for a MRI scan and be graded for Chiari Malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia (SM). So fingers crossed!
The slide show below are photo's that have been taken over the holidays, mostly by our children of the dogs.
First blog of the New Year and let's start with the first update for 2015 from Sarah, who has Chester from Smudge's litter born Spring 2014.
Hope you and your family have had a lovely Christmas and New Year.
Sorry it had been so long since I last emailed you, but you will be pleased to hear Chester is growing up to be a fantastic dog.
He has been with us now since May and I really cannot imagine life without him, he is an absolutely delightful companion. Everyone who meets him always want to take him home afterwards- even the judge at the village dog show !
We have had a couple of problems, an ear infection and he was a little nippy with Phoebe for a few weeks but it all has been sorted out.
He was neutered just before Christmas and he has sailed through it without a problem.
We meet up with Sarah who has Jake ( aka "little Brian") quite frequently, the boys just chase and play all the time.
I have enclosed a few pictures, one of Chester with Jake before and after clipping and then one in the recent snow- he loved chasing about in it.
All the best for 2015 and I hope Smudge and Primrose produce some more beautiful puppies for you this year
Thanks Sarah for your lovely update on Chester and glad to hear all is going well. Sarah's friend, also called Sarah had Jake from the same litter as Chester and it's great to hear that they get to see each other regularly and are good friends. Have a wonderful year Sarah and Sarah.
Last night my husband and me managed to have our Christmas present, a meal out. As I said on a previous blog, I was driving, so not partaking of alcohol until I got home. We had a lovely meal and without any alcohol I still managed to nearly impale a gentleman on a table below us with my cutlery.
The first time I accidentally catapulted my knife in his direction, it landed with such a thud, that it received the attention of most of the restaurant. Thankfully they laughed and kindly returned the knife and then I did it again whilst eating my main course, this time with my fork and again much laughter and one of the gentlemen on the table put forward a theory, that he thought I was some sort of assassin, paid for by the wife of the gentleman, it seemed I was aiming my cutlery at. I did manage to eat my dessert without a cutlery incident thankfully. It was lovely to get out and we thoroughly enjoyed the food and of course the company. We have eaten at 62 The Bank in Barnstaple over the past 17 years and have never had a bad meal there. If staying in the Barnstaple area and you enjoy good food and a lively dining experience, 62 The Bank is well worth looking up.
The photo below is me on returning home and finally getting my first glass of wine for 2015. The photo shows me with all our Cavalier girls, Ysobel and her daughter Primrose, Millie and her daughter Smudge, Dolly and Jessica who unfortunately in 2014 lost her left hind leg. Some of you may of noticed that I never seem to wear a dress or skirt, but not really practical if you're an assassin. Lol
Poundlane wishes you all a wonderful 2015 !
“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!