Cavaliers as Companions
December 2019 / January 2020
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes


It was exactly ten years ago in the December 2009 Cavaliers as Companions that we featured Nutmeg a rescue Ruby Cavalier. She was born in April 2009 but was handed over to the Humberside CKCS Club rescue at the age of just ten weeks. Apparently, she was not in the best of health at the time and her owner did not want her and actually considered having her put to sleep!!! Via the rescue service she was looked after by two caring foster mums and was soon nursed back to good health. In September of that year she was finally adopted by Stephanie and Keith Mason from Nottinghamshire who already own a Cavalier cross named Kizzy.

Although she had been very poorly, but thanks to the loving care of the Humberside branch of Cavalier rescue she was, by then, fit and healthy, apart from the ongoing problem of colitis. She was diagnosed as almost completely deaf before her second birthday but has never let it stop her doing anything. She gained all her Kennel Club Good Citizens Awards, entirely with hand signals, and successfully competed at agility. Now at the age of ten and a half she’s slowing down a bit and has some arthritis in her wrists but at her most recent health check was found still to have a clear heart. Stephanie told me that she is the most loving dog you could meet and a brilliant representative of the breed and she is so proud of her special little dog.

Each year the Kennel Club publish a calendar to raise funds for breed rescue organisations and she was chosen as one of the twelve dogs for the 2020 edition. The calendar features twelve amazing stories of rescue dogs that have overcome the odds and have settled into their new homes. It is hoped that the dogs included in the calendar will help raise awareness about the many issues rescue organisations face and the reasons why dogs can end up in rescue.

The money raised through the sale of these calendars will enable the Kennel Club Charitable trust to continue to make a difference for dogs by funding a wide variety of work ranging from research into canine diseases, supporting dog welfare organisations and training support dogs – all of which give dogs and their owners a healthier and happier life. The breed rescue organisation of each of the breeds featured in the calendar will receive a donation of £50. The calendar is available from the Kennel Club online shop at:

Nutmeg as a PuppyNutmeg aged 10
Nutmeg as a young puppy and now aged ten.

KC Rescue Calendar


In the last edition of Cavaliers as Companions we did a feature on small Cavalier type spaniels that had been kept by members of the Royal Family over the centuries. Obviously, it was Charles II that was most noted for having the breed as it was from him that the name Cavalier King Charles Spaniel came from. He returned to the throne when the British monarchy was restored in 1660. He always had lots of small spaniels around him with many of them wearing collars of silk or embroidered velvet. They shared his bedroom and he informed his courtiers that no building, not even Parliament should deny them access. This is probably where the story came about that there was an act of Parliament that King Charles Spaniels cannot be denied access to any public building. This is most definitely an urban myth as no such act was ever decreed. It was that during his reign no one disputed his order. The diarist Samuel Pepys wrote that the King paid far more attention to his dogs than to business at a Privy Council meeting.

Queen Victoria had a great many dogs of various breeds during her lifetime but her favourite and much-loved dog was Dash, her Tricolour spaniel. She was quite devastated when he died and she had him buried at Adelaide Cottage in Great Windsor Park. She had a marble effigy placed on his grave with the following inscription:

"Here lies Dash, the favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in his 10th year. His attachment was without selfishness, his playfulness without malice, his fidelity without deceit. Reader, if you would be beloved and die regretted profit by the example of Dash."


We have mentioned Lungworm (Angiostrongylus Vasorum) on this page before but we thought we’d better mention it once again as this year has seen quite a big increase in the number of dogs suffering from it. It’s only in recent years that this parasite has been noted in the UK, mainly in the South at first, but cases seem to have spread right across the country. In worse cases it can be fatal and cause cardiac and respiratory disease plus a host of problems in lungs, liver, intestines and spinal cord. The symptoms include extensive coughing, breathing difficulties, diarrhoea, weight loss, fatigue and even bleeding gums. Once ingested the parasite travels through the body and finally matures in the heart and pulmonary arteries.

The parasite is spread by slugs and snails so it is vitally important that you keep your dog away from them. It may be easier said than done but you should take a few wise precautions such as not leaving out dog drinking bowls in your garden. Also, you should not leave out toys as slugs and snails could crawl across them. As snails and slugs mostly come at night, we regularly check our terrace and patio area of an evening to ensure that there are none around. You should not use slug pellets to get rid of them as they can be very harmful to dogs if they ingest them and can also be fatal to hedgehogs and birds, who might eat the slugs and snails which may have been poisoned by the pellets.

If you suspect that your dog might be affected it is important that you go straight to your vet. Lungworm can be prevented with some spot-on treatments and also with some worming tablets. However, not all worming product work so please consult your vet first.


With all the wet weather that we have had this autumn there has been a massive increase of mushrooms and toadstools growing wild in fields, forests and quite often in back gardens. The vast majority of the four thousand or so species of UK mushrooms are harmless; they might not taste nice, but they aren’t actually dangerous. However, there are a number that do produce toxins that can be harmful to both people and dogs. There are a few that can cause vomiting and/or diarrhoea. These are usually the least harmful types of mushroom – as a general rule of thumb, the earlier the symptoms appear, the less dangerous the mushroom is. This is because it triggers vomiting and purging that remove any unabsorbed toxins from the dog’s system rapidly. If the dog is violently vomiting within six hours of eating the mushroom then they need to be taken to a vet.

Sadly, there are a few highly dangerous mushrooms that do not give easy tell-tail signs of poisoning until much later – possibly too late. These can damage the liver or kidneys, typically resulting in symptoms such as lethargy, depression, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination (in kidney failure) and jaundice (in liver failure). Treatment requires intensive supportive therapy and often hospitalization.

How do you know if a mushroom is safe or not? The bottom line is that it’s very hard to tell – many harmless varieties have a poisonous twin that is almost indistinguishable. As a result, it is best not to let your dog eat any wild mushroom.


A large number of pet dogs and cats in the UK are facing a ‘dietary time bomb’. The study of over a hundred vets states that a great many of the caseloads are man-made dietary related problems. It is now reckoned that one in eight of dog owners (12%) has an overweight pet. Another survey by Direct Line Pet Insurance suggests that over indulgence of animals has come to mirror the way millions of parents tolerate obesity in children. As well as obesity, other diseases that are exacerbated by poor diet include diabetes, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, kidney problems and heart disease. One researcher said that these similar to many of the health problems that are also found in children and mirrors the modern lifestyle of fast food, excessively large food portions and too little exercise. Amazingly the survey found that many people were totally unaware that their pet was overweight. Often people say that they are only feeding the recommended amounts of proprietary dog food when in fact they are also giving their dogs far too many titbits and table scraps.

If you have an overweight dog it is very important that this excess weight is reduced. Obesity can complicate other conditions such as arthritis and cardiopulmonary disease by adding stress to an already injured anatomy. The most important thing when embarking on a weight loss programme is to ensure that calories burned exceed calories eaten. Ideally you should reduce fat and calories and increase exercise.

You must be firm; no treats or table scraps or extra food because you succumb to your dog’s large pleading eyes! If your dog is excessively overweight you should first consult your vet who may recommend a low-calorie proprietary diet food. These types of food tend to contain few calories but more fibre to give bulk and make your dog feel fuller. Some dogs may need vitamin, mineral and fatty-acid supplement to maintain good coat condition while on a low-calorie diet. You could also try feeding three small meals through the day rather than just one large meal.

At Christmas time many people like to include their pets in the celebrations but there are a few things that you should be aware of. Some people like to give their dog a little bit of the Christmas lunch such as turkey, stuffing, a roast potato or even a piece of Christmas pudding. Unfortunately, these foods are some of the ones that can trigger a food intolerance reaction. It can cause itching and scratching or sickness and diarrhoea. Also remember that a dog can easily choke on cooked chicken and turkey bones. Never give your dog grapes or raisins as these can cause poisoning. Just a handful of grapes have been shown to cause kidney failure. The toxins may be due to a type of mould found on the skin of grapes and raisins. Be careful of all the chocolate lying around at Christmas time. Human chocolate should not be fed to dogs, as it contains a substance called theobromine. This can cause poisoning and even be lethal if consumed by your dog. Plain dark chocolate is even more dangerous, as it has more theobromine than milk chocolate. There have been cases of dogs dying after eating a box of dark chocolates.


In our Cavaliers as Companions last June we spoke of the rise in dog theft, but a recent report has shown quite an alarming increase. A Freedom of Information request by Direct Line Pet Insurance has shown that in the last year there were 1,959 reports of dog theft, and there may possibly be a lot more unreported cases. This is an increase of 30%. It was also found that out of thirty nine police divisions only twenty prosecutions for dog theft were made. It appears that because most of the dogs are valued under £500 investigations did not take place. Dog theft therefore has become an easy crime.

It is therefore important to be vigilant at all times and adopt a few wise precautions. Make sure that your dog is well trained and will always come when called if off lead. Only let your dog off lead in areas that you feel are absolutely safe. If there are people around who appear suspicious then keep the dog on lead or use a flexi-lead. Under no circumstance ever leave a dog tethered outside a shop, even if you are only popping in for just one minute. Do not leave your dog unattended in a car; dogs taken from cars in supermarket car parks have occurred on numerous occasions. If you stop at a garage to fill up with petrol and you have your dog in the car do make sure that the car is locked before you go off to pay. Ensure that your property is well secure with no gaps in fences and front gates kept shut. In rural areas it may be a good idea to have a bell on the gate. Never leave a dog free in your garden when you are not around.


A new partnership between, Hoseasons and the Kennel Club has been set up to provide a platform for people to find dog friendly holiday accommodation. These range from holiday cottages with large enclosed gardens to lodges and canal boats with facilities that are ideal people who want to share their holiday with their pet dog. Details can be found at:


Our Dogs, OurselvesOur Dogs, Ourselves
by Alexandra Horowitz
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd

In this book Alexandra Horowitz examines what’s called the ‘dog-human bond’: examining all aspects of the complexity of this unique interspecies pairing. From her position as a dog scientist, she uses the science of dogs and dog-human interaction to ground a consideration of the various ways that dogs, as a species, reflect us, and how they reflect (sometimes badly, sometimes well) on us. And she goes beyond the cognitive science to consider the culture, laws, and human dynamics that reveal and restrict this bond between two disparate species.

Horowitz shows that when each person makes the decision to breed, own, or adopt a dog, we enter into a relationship that will change us. It changes the course of our days: dogs need to be walked, fed, attended to. It can change the course of our lives: dogs weave their way into our lives with their constant silent presence by our sides. There are still many (often non-‘scientific’) questions that remain unanswered about dogs: about their minds, yes, but especially about living with dogs in our society, and how we can best treat them now and in the future. This book addresses those questions. It is intended for the curious dog owner and science-lover alike, who wants to read good, intelligent thinking on dogs, not overly sentimental but not without heart.

Dog Is LoveDog is Love
by Clive Wynne
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Every dog lover knows the feeling. The nuzzle of a dog’s nose, the warmth of them lying at our feet, even their whining when they want to get up on the bed. It really seems like our dogs love us, too. But for years, scientists have resisted that conclusion, warning against anthropomorphizing our pets. The author Clive Wynne is a pioneering canine behaviourist whose research is helping to usher in a new era: one in which love, not intelligence or submissiveness, is at the heart of the human-canine relationship. Drawing on cutting edge studies from his laboratory and others around the world, Wynne shows that affection is the very essence of dogs, from their faces and tails to their brains, hormones, even DNA. This scientific revolution is revealing more about dogs’ unique origins, behaviour, needs, and hidden depths than we ever imagined possible. A humane, illuminating book, Dog Is Love is essential reading for anyone who has ever loved a dog, and experienced the wonder of being loved back.

The Adventures of Danielle the Spaniel The Adventures of Danielle the Spaniel
By Lynn Fox

Written and illustrated by Cavalier owner Lynn Fox, this charming book is an absolute must as a Christmas gift for all children who love Cavaliers. To obtain a copy in good time for Christmas please contact Lynn at The price is £6 plus £1.20 p&p. (Also available from the Club Shop)

Christmas Greetings
Postcards from the Past

Old Xmas PostcardOld Xmas Postcard

Old Xmas Postcard

Old Xmas Postcard

Xmas Banner

The Night Before Christmas
Tis the night before Christmas,
And all through the house,
The puppies are squeaking an old rubber mouse.
The wreath which had merrily hung on the door,
Is scattered in pieces all over the floor.

The stockings that hung in a neat little row,
Now boast a hole in each of its toes.
The tree was subjected to bright-eye whims,
And now, although splendid, it’s missing some limbs.

I catch them and hold them, "Be good I insist!"
They lick me, then run off to see what they’ve missed.
And now as I watch them, the thought comes to me,
That theirs is the spirit that Christmas should be.

Should children and puppies yet show us the way,
And teach us the joy that should come with this day?
Could they bring the message that’s written above,
And tell us that most of all, Christmas is love!

Xmas Banner

Xmas BlenheimXmas Tricolour

Xmas Banner

Christmas Watch Dog
Tonight is my first night as watchdog,
And here it is Christmas Eve.
The children are sleeping all cozy upstairs,
While I guard the stockings and tree.

What’s that now, a noise on the rooftop?
Could it be a cat or a mouse?
Who’s this down the chimney,
A thief with a beard?
And a big sack for robbing the house?

I’m barking, I’m growling, I’m biting his butt,
He howls and jumps back in his sleigh.
I scare his strange horses, they leap over the gutter,
I’ve frightened the whole bunch away.

Now the house is all peaceful and quiet again,
The stockings are safe as can be
Won’t the kiddies be glad when they wake up at dawn
And see how I’ve guarded the tree!

Xmas Banner

A small ceramic Christmas tree from Danbury Mint
A small ceramic Christmas tree from Danbury Mint

Getting in the festive mood
Getting in the festive mood

Xmas Banner

This video shows a whole load of Cavaliers walking in the Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, USA with the marching band in their Christmas Scottish Parade 2008.

Xmas Banner


Maybe Wimbledon next year
Maybe Wimbledon next year


"Whoever said that you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies."
Gene Hill


Dennis, Tina and all our Leogem dogs, (pictured below)
would like to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas
and a Wonderful New Year

Leogem Dogs

Cavalier PeaceCavalier Stocking

For further online Cavalier news and stories don’t forget to read some truly inspirational articles by logging on to the Pawz and Pray page at


If you have any questions about owning a Cavalier then click on the envelope to email Dennis and Tina who will only be too pleased to try and help you.

However please remember that we are not Vets or Lawyers so questions on these topics should be addressed to the professionals for advice.

Questions and answers that are of interest to other owners may be published on this page.

The Cavalier Club is not responsible for external website content.
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