Sunday, May 30, 2010

8 Weeks Old!

Yesterday I once again got to visit and see how the beautiful "Jersey Boys" are growing up. They are now not quite 8 weeks old and are growing into very handsome little men. There is nothing cuter than a cavalier puppy!

Today was about figuring out who had the potential to be kept as a show dog and hopefully a future breeding prospect. This litter has so many health clear relatives behind them that they could be very beneficial to cavaliers in Ontario for the future. Breeders almost always hold a potential breeding prospect back from each litter they breed from. Reputable breeders only breed when they "want" something to further their line or show in the ring. They keep what they think would benefit others and the breed the most in the future. The decisions weren't easy and in the end it was decided that Joan should keep two! *wink*

Stacking is Hard Work
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Checking out my Top Line. A good top line ensures beautiful movement.
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What do you think of me?
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Everything is better with cheese!
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I did good
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Doesn't this make you want another puppy?
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Enjoying the Sunshine
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It is hard to get us all together!
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It has been so much fun watching this litter grow up. I've learned a lot again about cavalier development and structure and hopefully will have my own soon to evaluate.

Zo I'm not sure now if she is pregnant or not. She has not put on much weight and I'm suspicious that she has duped me with a "false" pregnancy or maybe was pregnant earlier on and has lost them. If anything she has lost weight the last few days where she should really be putting it on. I have an appointment to get her xray'd on June 2nd. She still may be hiding one or two but I'm not as hopeful or convinced as what I was before. It is wait and see for sure around here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cooling Coat in Action

Just thought I'd share some pics of Zozo in her cooling coat. Definitely going to have to add a belly strap for her. It stayed on but I think she'd do better with a strap. Too much squirrel chasing. We didn't get very far today. It was hot and Zo threw up only a bit into our walk. I turned around and took her home. She loves her evening walks but I think she'll have to do without for a bit. The coat did work very well to keep her cool.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Cooling Coats

Last year my good cavalier friends and I (Debbie and Sara) visited Woofstock in Toronto. It was quite the event with sooo may dogs there and a ton of shopping! The temperature was incredible and there were a lot of dogs very close to heat exhaustion. I was very glad I hadn't brought my two as it was so hot, and crowded on the streets of downtown Toronto. While down there one of the vendor's was selling cooling coats for dogs out of this really neat fabric that absorbs water, doesn't get very heavy and stays COOL for hours at a time. Her coats were really neat, but being someone who is getting better at sewing the more I do it I had a very hard with the price she was charging.. 65.00$ for a cavalier sized cooing coat, unreal!

Debbie and I made it our mission to figure out what material she was using and try to make our own. My first two I made didn't turn out so well. They were OK but they tended to move around a lot and not stay on as well as I wanted to.

I'm happy to say I have finally figured out a coat that I am pleased with. My girls have tested them out a few times and they stay on, stay put, and keep them cool, yay! I'm planning on donating a few to our upcoming CFSO specialty. I'm hoping others will like them as well as I do. I may add a belly strap as well. I think I can get away without one but we need some better testing.

Here are some pictures of my little red model. She has a bit of a upper respiratory infection so had just got out of a steamy shower with me. Poor girl has been in the shower with me everyday for the past few. The steam helps a lot but makes her wet around the edges!

Laid Out Flat
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Front
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Back
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Done Up
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Standing
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Modeling is Tough Work
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I Love You!
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I also have almost a complete line of my most favourite dog shampoo on the planet, Vellus sitting on my table. I get sad looking at it because I didn't buy it for me! My budget is completely blown up for this month trying to get ready for Zo's babies. If you are looking for a beautiful shampoo that is worth the price, this is it. It IS very expensive, but when used properly diluted it lasts a very long time and the job it does on their coats is just awesome.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

One Week Later

A few people commented that in my last set of pictures Zo really didn't look to be as fat looking as I thought. Let's see what they think this week from a different perspective. Zo is trying out some of her new bedding for her whelping box. She seems to like it but I wish it was a bit thicker. Our quest for bedding continues. Either way it was well worth the price to have some backup stuff to use.

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This fuzzy stuff is pretty comfortable, we approve!
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As a side I am working on an update of the CKCSCC MRI initiatives and putting together an article regarding our ongoing heart (mvd) study and what happens when you take your Cavalier to be tested for MVD and for an MRI. Those articles will contain a bunch of pictures about the who, how, what, where, and why, and i'm looking forward to getting them organized and on our Club site.

As part of this project I took some pictures Friday while we were visiting the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph and although Mylee was not getting her heart tested on the day (she will be in August) she did go and visit and of course was a wonderful Cavalier ambassador attracting much attention during our good friends heart appointments and in the halls of OVC. Here are some pics of her loving on the wonderful Vet Tech Cindy, and Cardiologist Dr. Drour (hope this is spelled right)

Much love for Cindy, full Cavalier hugs!
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Helping out Dr. Drour run the Doppler
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Estimated Due Date: June 8th-9th, 2010

Do these pictures make me look fat?

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Oh no they definitely DO make me look fat!
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What is a girl to do?
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Foetal Tissue Research and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This was posted on one of the cavalier lists I belong to regarding how the Foetal Tissue research project came about and what exactly they are trying to do. I'm in huge support of this project and the more people are aware of it the better so I have decided to post it on my blog. It is written by Sheena Stevens.


FOETAL TISSUE RESEARCH


It was very cold and dark in Devon at three o’clock on a Saturday morning in November 2006 when I got up to go to the International Seminar on Syringomyelia at the Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire. I listened to Drs Rusbridge, Marino, Jeffery, Deutschland and Flint and by mid afternoon had given up taking notes …

There was one person on the speakers’ table who didn’t say very much but I did catch a chance remark about tissue which triggered my interest – so as everyone was packing up to leave I dropped in to the chair next to her. We had a very brief conversation which went roughly along the lines of, “You want tissue, don’t you?” “Yes, but I can’t get it. I’ve been trying for over a year.” “Who have you tried?” “Vets.” “You’ve been asking the wrong people.” So we exchanged email addresses.

And thus it began … Dr Imelda McGonnell is an embryologist with a research focus on head development and associated birth defects, and an expert in skull and brain development. Projects in her lab involve investigating growth factor influence upon cranial skeletal development. The FTR project fits exactly with other research ongoing in the lab as it investigates a common developmental disorder which occurs in animals and humans and is likely to manifest due to disrupted growth factor signalling. She is pure and impartial science. She told me what she wanted and I worked out how to get it to her. Basically, Cavalier breeders contact me when they have whelp deaths – in fact any death up to about four months of age – I post off a kit, and the tissue is sent to the RVC. We are also asking now for Griffon Bruxellois tissue.

This is the first piece of research that has been done on foetal tissue, and the hope is that it will prove beneficial to both the dogs and to human sufferers from the condition. The research is ongoing, painstaking, and very thorough. One of the team members at the RVC has a research focus on epilepsy, and there have been requests from a cardiologist for mitral valve tissue … so we may manage a three in one!

It is, of course, expensive. The Cavalier Club donated funds for the research, and so did the Kennel Club. Because we had managed to get the research up and running, Dr McGonnell was able to apply to other bodies for some funding – and so it goes on. There was a gap of a year while Dr McGonnell took time out to have twins … but from having started with the proverbial piece of used chewing gum and a length of string, we now have funding by the RVC for a dedicated Ph.D student – a huge expense but the student, a qualified vet with research experience in both London and Liverpool, is now in place. The West of England, the Cavalier Club and the ACKCS Charitable Trust have all made large donations this year, together with smaller ones from individuals. There are a variety of fund raising activities going on – the quilt raffle, the World Wide Walk, a Fun Day in Coventry and others … FTR even has a support group on Facebook!

So … from a cold and lonely start to a long November day I can now thank a variety of people for the stage we have arrived at already – those who’ve helped with publicity, those who’ve been enthusiastic and supportive and remain so – but most of all I have to thank those breeders who have gone the extra mile and donated the tissue.


Sheena Stevens