Thursday, November 24, 2011

Winter Woofstock 2011 - take 2

Last year I wrote an absolutely scathing review of Winter Woofstock at Toronto's Direct Energy Centre. I am the last person that thought I would find myself in attendance for this years event.

The poopy purple carpets, severe over crowding of people and dogs, and the complete utter chaos was not a scene that I was ready to repeat again so soon.

The Wednesday night before this years event I got a phone call from a good friend. "Are you interested in going to Woofstock?" Ugh, how should I answer? I absolutely love dog events, and dog events that are purely shopping for your dogs? Amazing. That being said I was very reluctant and the best answer I could give was maybe.....

2 nights later, on the Friday before Woofstock weekend, I receive another phone call from a another very good friend. "I want to go to Woofstock and you are coming with me."

So my decision was made. I attended Winter Woofstock last weekend with two very good friends of mine.

Winter Woofstock 2011, take 2
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I am happy to say we had a complete blast and spent over 6 hours at the indoor event.

We did a lot of shopping. We did a lot of talking. We paid hugely inflated prices for drinks and something small to eat. We did more shopping. We enjoyed ourselves.

Kudos to Winter Woofstock for addressing the severe challenges of last years event. Also kudos for responding to my concerns on Twitter. You definitely earned my praises this year. Much better facility choice (same facility different rooms), wider aisles, no carpet, and a potty park for those who brought their dogs. Very welcomed and huge improvements.

Winter Woofstock potty park
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We were smarter this year. All of our cavaliers were left home. Yes even my little red dog stayed at home.

There were a few cavaliers in attendance but not very many. We did get to meet sweet Daisy and her beautiful sweaters from Dogs and Daisies

She was having a snooze when we got there but was excited to come out and greet us in typical cavalier fashion. Your sweaters are gorgeous Daisy!

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My good friend Rebecca from Pet Empire was also there. For any type of grooming equipment her products are the best of the best. (Spectrum 10 shampoo & conditioner, buttercomb's and wooden pin brushes, need I say more?)

She had her sweet Havanese girl with her. Don't tell my girls but Havanese are on my short list of breeds that I'd love to own.

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Shopping, shopping, shopping...was the word of the day.

Cookies for people or dogs? Dogs!
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In case you didn't know what the small bags were for...
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We almost came home with this and the matching jackets
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I really didn't end up spending too much money. I got a few bags of cookies, 2 larrrrge bully sticks, and a joint supplement that I am excited about. Wellytails - Their products look wonderful, I'm looking forward to trying them out.

My friends didn't fare as well with their wallets. :)

Now to start saving for the summer...







Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Clarification

Its been pointed out to me that a comment in my last post regarding MVD has offended some readers.

I would like to clarify this comment:

Fortunately for our Cavaliers veterinary medicine has come a long way in regards to diagnosis and treatment. Many cavaliers with MVD can live comfortably for several years with careful treatment, management and monitoring.

The comment above should be taken simply as it is stated. Cavaliers when first diagnosed with MVD can and do live longer with the intervention of veterinary medicine and conscientious
owners.

I in no way discredit the severity of MVD in our breed or the great impact it has on owners and breeders who deal with it. It is a horrible disease, and it is not ok that progress hasn't been made to improve quality of life and longevity in our breed.

However, I would not take the time to write this blog if I did not care about education and supporting breeders who are doing everything they can to improve and save this breed. There isn't many, but there are a few.. and they deserve every ounce of support I can muster because they certainly do not get much when being lumped into the general category of "breeder".

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beating the odds - Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral Valve Disase or MVD is the leading cause of death in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Almost all of our beloved dogs will eventually be afflicted with MVD. Over half will have MVD before they are five years old.

It is our duty as their guardians to become as educated as we can regarding MVD. Read and research all you can, have conversations with other cavalier owners and most importantly have a conversation with your breeder about the heart history and testing behind your cavalier.

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LinkResponsible breeders have been working diligently trying to delay the onset and severity of Mitral Valve Disease. The health conscious will know their lines inside and out. They will be able to show you heart clearances on their dogs. Cavaliers should not be bred from before they are 2.5 years of age or if their parents were diagnosed with MVD before five years of age.

Fortunately for our Cavaliers veterinary medicine has come a long way in regards to diagnosis and treatment. Many cavaliers with MVD can live comfortably for several years with careful treatment, management and monitoring.

Early detection and intervention are extremely important.

Sadie's grandfather having his heart listened to
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Make sure that you have your vet listen to your dogs heart at every appointment. When they reach their fourth or fifth birthday it is my personal recommendation to start taking them annually for an auscultation by a board certified cardiologist.

One of the best ways to do this is to attend a sponsored clinic through your local breed or regional clubs. Your breeder should be able to direct you to where you can go to get a proper auscultation.

Mylee helping perform an echocardiogram
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This past weekend the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontario hosted their annual heart and eye clinic. Three of my four had auscultations completed. Molly for breeding purposes, Zo(5) and Mylee(4) for peace of mind. Sadie missed out this time as she is still a puppy. Thankfully all were clear.

The one I really want to celebrate though is Zoey.

I am thrilled to share that at five years of age Zoey is in the 50% of Cavaliers that are still heart clear. Her mother has been heart clear up until this past year and her father has stayed clear as well, so I am hoping she takes after her parents.

My beautiful heart clear girl
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All that frisbee helps keep Zo muscular and fit
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Zo ALWAYS has to have her tongue out for the camera
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There have been some other major over 5 milestones to celebrate in my cavaliers history.

Sadie's father (8), grandfather (6) great grandfather (9), and great grandmother (9) are all still heart clear. Molly's mother (6), father (6), and grandfather(9) are all are still heart clear as well. *That* is what heart health should look like.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to Someone Special

Happy Birthday!
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Party?
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Stupid hat
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With love,
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(and Sadie)