Happy Birthday Kosmo!!

Posted on 4:39 PM by sara | 9 comments

Dear Kosmo,

I can't believe today you turn 5 years old! It seems like yesterday that I seen you for the fist time, so small and cute. You stole my heart and there was no way I could let you go:





You still remain one of the cutest puppies I've ever seen! We used to say you look like you got washed too many times because your spots were so faded in the beginning. You grew up so fast!



Thank you for teaching me so many things in the last five years. I never knew I could love a doggy as much as I do you. I'm glad it was you who introduced me to the love of cavaliers; you are the reason I could never live without one now. You've also taught me many things such as health issues, what to look for, who to see, and most recently the most important lesson: to put everything else aside that may be wrong and just to focus on making the most of the time I have here with you. I hope you are with me for many many more years to come. In fact, I would keep you by my side forever if I could. :)






"I love you too much Kosmo" - isnt that what I always say to you? :) It still stands. May you have as many balls to chase as you want and many many more walkies and outings in the years to come. Happy birthday buddy!! <3

The coolest dog!

Posted on 8:31 AM by sara | 8 comments

As some of you may not know, I just finished a four year bachelor's degree in nursing. Although it feels good to be done, this completion also comes with the reality that I must take, and pass, a licensing exam before I am able to practice. With this comes many many study dates and the end of "having a life" as I know it.

As a result, I've been over to many different people's homes over the last little while. Last night, myself and 5 other friends met up with one of the best people in the world; a professor who regularly works with students who have failed the exam. Although none of us have failed, we decided to ask if she'd be willing to study with us to prepare to which she obliged.

I met a new friend last night.

I would like you all to meet the cutest, most energetic motorcycle riding dog on the planet.. Joey!



Joey only knows commands in french, but his tricks include rolling over, dancing, and using those big eyes of his to get whatever his little heart desires. He definitely is in the category of being one of the most spoiled dogs I've ever met! In the few hours we were there, he got to lick icing off a plate, have peanuts, literally destroy a toy and made us all laugh with his "extra" dish of veggies. When he gets in trouble, he is called by his full name and it is the funniest thing to watch.. he knows exactly when he has been naughty and will slink across the floor with his beady little "I'm sorry!" eyes.. Thanks for the good time, Joey! :)

Happy New Year!

Posted on 7:54 PM by sara | 1 comments

We would like to wish everybody a happy New Year!! We hope everybody's new years are filled with lots of love, cuddles and fun! :)

One thing we're still trying to figure out... who will end up naughty, and who will end up nice? ;) We know who won in 2010!

Christmas

Posted on 10:54 AM by sara | 3 comments

We hope everybody had a very merry Christmas! This Christmas Avi and I decided not to exchange gifts with each other and we got a TV instead. It is massive and Kosmo LOVES barking at all of the animals on it! Instead of a human exchange, I decided to exchange doggy gifts with my good friend Anne and her cavaliers Rocky and Johnny. Kosmo and Faith had a TON of fun while I opened up presents!



One of our gifts was: The Stuff This is a conditioner/detangler that works great for big snarls and also doubles as a urine protector.



I also got a cavalier decal sticker for the back of my car!! As everybody who knows me knows I am a complete nerd, I appreciate this sticker a lot!


I don't have many pictures of us opening the rest of the gifts as Avi decided to make a video of it. I tried to upload it but it was taking forever and didn't seem to want to process it. I didn't take a picture of the ornament which is on my tree or the two Christmas snoods she sent us.

We also got two 6' Douglas Paquette leashes. The patterns are Coach Dog and Summer Ferns. I absolutely LOVE Douglas Paquette and the quality of their stuff. Kosmo and Faith have tons of it and both patterns look awesome on them!



This is a picture of me opening the dogs' FAVORITE package ever - Wet Noses organic treats! They absolutely LOVE wet-noses and as you can see, they smell good enough to eat, haha. ;) They come from a local company in Munroe, Washington and I was introduced to them a few years ago from my good friend Anne. They got the pumpkin flavor and not only does it serve an awesome treat, it also helps to add some fiber into their diet and keep them regular! :)

In fact, Faith liked them so much that she decided to guard the package:



When she figured out she wasn't going to get anymore, she gave up.. and decided to sleep with it..



Thank you for all of the wonderful gifts Anne!! We had a fun Christmas and the dogs enjoyed everything! :)

Hope

Posted on 3:55 PM by sara | 14 comments

Hope: A four letter word that is so small, yet can mean so much. According to the Websters dictionary, Hope is, quite simply “to believe, to desire or trust.” Hope is a word that means a lot to my family, not only for the meaning, but also for the beautiful cavalier, whom my mother decided to name “Hope.”

When my Faith was taken into rescue, she came with a whole bunch of papers, one of which was called “Faith.” It was the name of her mother. When it came time for me to name her, I decided to keep her name Faith in honor of her mother. I was always on the lookout for Faith’s mother who would eventually be turned into rescue 8 months after Faith came to live with me. It was apparent that this cavalier, whose mill name was Faith, had one mission in life: to produce as many puppies as possible. She had puppies in November (my Faith is one of them) and it was apparent when she came into rescue in August she had recently had puppies once more. She was turned into rescue with a hernia so large it dragged on the ground as she walked. She also had a grade 3 heart murmur. When I first seen her picture, it was evident to me that she was scared to death. I then found out she was Faith’s mother. I wanted to adopt her myself, but then I spoke to my mother who turned out to be the perfect match for her. She was 6 years old when her new life began.

She came to live in her furever home in August. After thinking long and hard, it was decided she would now go by the name Hope. She was so fearful when she came home that she would sit in a room by my parents and watch them through a small crack in a door opening for hours. She would only lie down if she was leaning on something, and she used to eat and drink sitting down. It also became known that she was very fearful of men. When she came up to Toronto (6 months after she came home) I needed to pick her up and she tried to run away from me. I of course followed her as she ran away. When I finally caught up with her and bent down to pick her up, my heart was broken as I realized she was so scared that she urinated all over herself.

Here is a picture of her shortly after she came to her furever home:




Fortunately, her story does not end there. As time passed, Hope slowly but surely came out of her shell. She first came to love my mother, and would do anything in her power to be in her presence at all times. My mom worked up at a lodge which sees many mountain climbers throughout the summer, and Hope quickly became a much spoken about fixture within the hotel. Many people were educated on cavaliers, the health conditions that come with cavaliers, and exactly what puppy mills are and why people should never buy from them. Hope’s story touched a lot of people’s lives.

Hope quickly became queen of the castle back home. She warmed up to my dad but decided life was better if she didn’t have to kiss him. Over the years, she began to show the very traits that define the cavalier king charles spaniel. When I went home in August to visit my family, she actually slept on my pillow one night! She came up to me voluntarily for pets, and she even greeted people when they came to the door. She also kissed my dad for the first time on the face this summer. It was evident: she had come to love her people just as they had come to fall in love with her.

Unfortunately, as with many cavaliers, one thing was constantly looming over her: mitral valve disease. Although she had a grade 3 murmur in 2007, it had progressed to a grade 5 this summer and began getting worse. She seen a wonderful cardiologist at the University of Washington called Dr. Stern, and he helped to treat her mitral valve disease. She eventually progressed into congestive heart failure. As her heart got worse, she was put on lasix that was able to be injected as well as a slew of other cardiac medications, and had fluid drained from her abdomen that had backed up due to her heart not functioning properly. All of this is absolutely heart-breaking to see in a much loved family member and should serve as a stark reminder for those of you who may be looking for a cavalier to thoroughly check your breeder’s health records. Ensure that they are following the mitral valve disease breeding protocols, and ask to see certificates that they have been heart tested from cardiologists. Although many cavaliers will eventually die of mitral valve disease, Hope could have easily lived for many more years had proper testing been performed and had she been bred for health.

As congestive heart failure is a progressive disease, eventually Hope’s heart could just not keep up anymore, and she lost her battle with heart disease. She was peacefully sent to the bridge today, December 13, 2010.

I have chosen to blog about Hope, because she has etched her pawprints in my heart and to me, she is a wonderful success story. To go from being such a fearful dog to a dog that loved my family with her entire heart is heartwarming. I often say cavaliers suffer from bad hearts because they love us too much and with their entire heart. Hope has also taught me a few lessons on her way. The most important being that I learned to never give up. Hope may have seemed like a lost cause when she first came home, but with tons of love, patience and persistence, she came to be one of the best cavaliers I know.

As days turn into weeks which will turn into years ultimately, my family will be forever touched by this blessing God chose to bestow upon us. Hope eventually lived up to her namesake; through love and perseverance, she learned to “believe, desire and trust."

R.I.P Hope - July 31, 2001 - December 13, 2010

Day 9

Posted on 6:08 AM by sara | 3 comments

Today marks day 9 of Faith's Atopica. It's also the third day that I've noticed some subtle changes in her.

Day before yesterday, she actually initiated play with me! I was so excited! I was petting her tummy and all of a sudden she started batting my hands and making that low play growl. I can never turn down a good play session, so we played the blanket game for a while. Faith and her blanket game are silly.. !! Her daddy taught it to her when she was little. Basically, if you put your hands in the blanket and bat at her, she can bite as hard as she wants.. She gets so into it! As soon as your hands come out, it's over and she knows it. I'm not quite sure I'm a HUGE fan of the blanket game, but it's one of the only ways Faith plays with us, so I'll take it!

Yesterday I took the dogs to the sales center of the homes that we live in to visit one of my friends. She was having a bad day. I decided that Kosmo and Faith make me happy when I am sad, so why not her? :) I took them in and Faith was SO outgoing with everybody. There were two people who came in while we were visiting and she actually jumped up on one of them and attempted a kiss!! Now those of you who know Faith would know this is completely out of her "comfort zone" and she would never do this with a stranger. . . Unless it was a kid, in which case she just sits there and soaks up pets. I've rarely seen her kiss even a kid though.

This morning I took the dogs down to the basement to go out and go to the bathroom. I was shuffling through the Christmas stuff and I came across a little squeaky plush reindeer. I threw it on the ground and *GASP* Faith actually played fetch with it!! The ONLY toys she has ever shown interest in are the flying squirrel chuck it toy and the kong wubba so this was a huge thing for her. She and Kosmo would argue over who got to it first and then they would tug all the way back to me. She hasn't done this for a few months, so it really excited me! One of the funniest things about her is the way she "shakes" her toys. I have mentioned before that she was born in a puppy mill, and unfortunately this mill takes babies from their mommy at 5 weeks of age. :( Faith was shipped around the country and then back and I picked her up at 10 weeks. Because of all of this, I wonder how much play time she got when she was younger and if this is the reason she hardly ever plays with toys and has never destroyed one. She makes me laugh because of the way she shakes her toys. You know when most dogs tug they shake it back and forth? Well, Faith shakes like she just got out of the bath and she's shaking water off of her back. She's ALWAYS shook that way and it cracks me up even until today!

This is just an update on her. :) Soon I'll try to post some pictures of her. Cross your fingers she continues to do well, please! :)

Posted on 8:34 AM by sara | 1 comments

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending Winter Woofstock in Toronto. I was super excited to go as I really enjoy meeting all of the different dog owners and best of all, shopping!! I met up with my friend Lianne in the morning, stopped by the VEC to pick up Faith’s atopica (which is crazy expensive, by the way!) and then went right into Woofstock.

Woofstock was.. well, in one word, disappointing. Not only was it $10 to get in, but parking was $13. Nevertheless, I knew what I was getting into before I decided to go and looked forward to all the shopping and bargains we might encounter.

As soon as I walked in, I noticed immediately that it seemed nothing like summer Woofstock. The space was much smaller, and there was not a lot of room to maneuver around. People looked at me like I was crazy because I decided to bring our AT3 stroller for the pups to cruise in, but I am so glad I did!!

Complete Madness:

I had a hard time visiting with Lianne (the person I came with) at all, because I felt like the space was too small to fit both of us. Nevertheless, there were some very cute things we did see there!

Here is a picture of these two dogs (real!) sleeping on couches. They do this at the summer event too. I don’t understand how this woman gets her dogs to stay like this (for extended periods of time, even with people petting them!) I still wonder if she drugs them or something?

I also seen a dog dressed as a Tiffany Box for the costume contest.. So cute!!!

We also met up with.. OTHER cavaliers!! Woohoo :) Here are a few pictures of them:


I also got to meet up with my good friends Debbie and Mary Beth and their cavaliers Becky and Mylee. Becky and Mylee are two of my all-time favorite cavaliers. ;) I did miss Kodee and Zoey though, they are my favorites, too!

The beautiful Mizz Becky:

The whole crew:


Faith walked quite a bit of the day, and Kosmo walked pretty well the whole day. They took turns with Lianne’s dogs in the stroller sometimes as the atmosphere was quite overwhelming for them. The dogs were pooped by the end of the day and didn’t even get up with me the next morning!

If anybody was looking for a bargain, there were none to really be found at Woofstock unfortunately. The best booths were the Smoochy Poochy (as always!) booth, Dogs in Canada booth, and the Modern Dog booth. Other than that, unless you were looking to try a new food or a few treats, there were not a lot of other options.

The worst part of the day has to go to the planning of the event. I understand that nobody wants to shop outside in the cold during winter, but provisions should have been made for dogs coming INSIDE the event. Unfortunately, between dodging people, dogs, dribble and smeared in poo on purple carpet, it left a very anxious Sara to try to find a spot to walk. I did not see anybody doing routine rounds trying to pick up after dogs either, and witnessed a dog lift its leg right in front of its owner and she just kept on walking. I left there fearful that one of my dogs may have stepped in someone’s poop and could have contracted some kind of parasite/worm, whatever. Next year, if I even bother going, it will definitely be without the dogs.

When we left, Lianne and I stopped for a bite to eat and I zipped up my dogs to keep them from begging. Somehow, Faith didn't quite get the message:

On the way out, we stopped quickly for Kos and Faith to pose next to the Christmas tree:

Although there were times when we had fun, with all the doggy accidents I think we'll stick to Summer Woofstock from now on :)