DAYS OUT WITH YOUR DOG
Although the weather may still be quite cold, spring is definitely in the air and the hazy days of summer will soon be here. For those who are not taking a foreign vacation, a holiday in the UK with your dog(s) can be quite a rewarding experience despite the unpredictable British weather. But it is vitally important that you prepare yourself properly before you set off. If you are intending to take your dog on a lengthy trip and he is not used to long car journeys it is wise to get the dog used to the experience by going on short trips to gradually allow him to adapt to car journeys and find it a fun experience. This will ensure that he is relaxed when you finally do set off on your longer trip.
A dog cage or crate is the best way to transport a dog, but if you only have a small car then a dog safety harness can be used. Never allow your dog to remain unrestrained in a car as he could be thrown around if you were forced to brake suddenly and also escape in panic should you be involved in an accident. Always keep his lead handy in case you need to get him out of the car quickly. Frequent breaks are a good idea for both the dog and yourself when on a lengthy journey. Always ensure the dog is on lead when you take him out of the car, and do make sure that he is identifiable either by a microchip or ID collar tag.
Ensure that you bring plenty of water with you but avoid giving him too much. On a long journey only give a very small amount of food to avoid travel sickness. If you do not have air conditioning in your car do ensure that the car does not get too hot. Open the windows slightly for adequate ventilation but never allow your dog to put its head out of the window. In hot weather dog cage fans can be very useful. There are several types on the market, all of which are quite cheap and battery operated.
Keep a roll of kitchen towel in the car just in case your dog is sick or goes to the toilet whilst you are travelling. It is also a good idea to always keep a towel in the car. Many years ago we took a couple of our dogs out for a car journey to a large park. While out walking we stopped by a lake and decided to feed the ducks. When our dogs saw us toss lumps of bread into the lake they decided that they were not going to be left out and promptly jumped into the lake to try to retrieve the bread. Unfortunately we had no towel and two drenched dogs to transport home in the car. Since then we always ensure that the dogs are on lead whenever we go near water. On another occasion we were on a forest walk and had our dogs off lead. We stopped to pick some blackberries but when we turned around we noticed the dogs rolling in cow pats! Our car journey home was with two extremely smelly dogs, so please do remember to ensure that you have water and a towel or a peg to put on your nose!
Finally, always make sure that you always carry a supply of poop scooper bags when out with your dog and clear up after him should he mess in the street.
CAVALIERS ON STAMPS
Dogs have regularly been depicted on postage stamps countless times and Cavaliers are no exception. Here are just a few from many countries.
KATIE ELDRED’S 100th BIRTHDAY
Last week on 22nd
February it was Katie Eldred’s 100th birthday. She got her first Cavalier in late 1937 as an early 21st birthday present from her sister Daphne Murray who had been a kennel maid for Amice Pitt. Katie later became the secretary of the Cavalier Club and in 1946 won the Bitch CC and Best of Breed at the very first Cavalier championship show with Belinda of Saxham. For many years she has been living in Canada and eight years ago when we were writing our book on the origin of the breed she was a tremendous help regularly emailing us information of those early years of the breed even though she was in her nineties.
She was Secretary of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club in 1944/45. Although the club was formed in 1928 the Kennel Club never regarded Cavaliers as a separate breed from King Charles Spaniels; they were simply referred to as ‘King Charles Spaniels – Cavalier type’. In the late thirties the club had asked for separate registration and examples of both breeds were taken to the Kennel Club. The Kennel Club Secretary looked at them and declared that there was hardly any difference between them and refused the application. However, in 1945 another application for separated registration for the breed was made to the Kennel Club and this time it was accepted. Katie Eldred, Amice Pitt (Ttiweh Cavaliers) and Mme. Harper Trois-Fontaine (de Fontenay Cavaliers) spent a whole day at the Kennel Club offices picking out of the King Charles Spaniel registration books the names of all the dogs that were Cavaliers or Cavalier-types, or those that were deemed to be throwing longer nosed progeny. It was a huge job and they selected over two hundred dogs. All these names were transferred to form the new Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Register; and from that register all the Cavaliers in the world today are descended.
We asked Katie how she started in the breed with her Turnworth Kennel.
"My sister Daphne was hired by Amice Pitt as her kennel maid in 1933. Amice was well-known for her Ttiweh Chows and of course she had the Cavaliers, which at that time were all shapes and sizes and not consistent in type. Amice’s friend, Miss Voy, kept a few of her Cavaliers at Bourne Lodge as well, so there were 25 or more in residence. Daphne also had the care of some 10 Chows plus any puppies that were being raised. She certainly worked very hard. All the dogs were fed raw beef which was delivered in large lumps and these had to be ground up by hand in an old-fashioned mincing machine. For the puppies, the meat had to be scraped with a spoon.
At that time I was working in London and would occasionally be invited to spend the weekend at Bourne Lodge. I met all the Cavaliers and I didn’t think much of them; I much preferred the Chows. But in late 1937 Daphne gave me a Tricolour Cavalier puppy from Amice’s kennel, as an advance gift for my 21st birthday. We called her Josette but alas, she died a few weeks later of hardpad, (which was a form of distemper and of course there were no vaccinations in those days). I can still recite (and weep over) the poem my father wrote:
It seems but yesterday we met,
You came, a little ball of white and jet
And caught our hearts within your silken net
Your little sun has set
A tiny little kennel is To Let
In early 1938 my boyfriend drove down to Bourne Lodge and came back with a surprise replacement puppy from the Ttiweh kennels. Linooga, otherwise known as Lulu, was a blenheim by Aristide of Ttiweh out of Miss Voy’s Selena of Aucott, and she became my devoted companion for 12 years.
Lulu was bred to Miss Mostyn Walker’s Duke’s Son (a son of the famous Ann’s Son) and from that litter, three dogs and one bitch, whelped on 17th July, 1939, came Belinda of Saxham, winner of the very first Cavalier Championship Show in 1946, when she was 7 years old. Miss Mostyn Walker kept Lulu at her place after the breeding and she whelped the litter for me and kept one of the puppies. World War II had broken out that September, just before I was due to pick up Lulu and the other 3 pups – an awful cross-country journey by train, as I remember – I kept the bitch, Belinda, and was then in a bit of a panic to find homes for the other 2 boys. I gave one of them to a young very pregnant woman who had been evacuated to my parents’ home in Northampton. She had returned to London when her baby was born and I was on top of a London bus delivering the pup to his new home when I met a rather nice elderly gentleman who fell in love with the puppy and later came and bought the last male (for 3 guineas) for his son, who turned out to be Terence Rattigan, the famous playwright. I often wondered if that other little Cavalier and the woman and baby survived the terrible East End air raids.
Terence Rattigan advised me he had given his Cavalier to his housekeeper when he joined the Royal Air Force. A few years after the War ended Amice told me that, when travelling down the Strand on a bus, she had seen a really lovely Cavalier dog, so I went in search of the ex-housekeeper and traced her to a basement, where she was now caretaker to a block of flats. I had Lulu and Belinda (mother and sister of Terence’s dog) with me but when I spoke to the young woman, presumably the daughter, who answered the door, she denied ever having seen a dog like these two. Then I asked if Mr. Rattigan had given them his dog and she said yes he had. So I explained the relationship and asked if I could see their dog, but she said, "No, the window cleaner was there." (I didn’t ask if it would be inconvenient because he was cleaning windows or if he was there in some other capacity, which might have been even less convenient!) So I asked as politely as possible if it might be possible to use the dog at stud sometime, to which the girl replied in a horrified voice: "Oh no, Mother would never allow that! It’s too rude!" Never have I forgotten those words."
Happy Birthday Katie, you are a lovely lady have been a great influence on the breed.
Katie is pictured left in the photo with Belinda of Saxham at the first championship show just over 70 years ago. Next to her is Jane Bowdler with Daywell Roger who won the dog CC and would eventually become the very first Cavalier champion.