Cavaliers as Companions
December 2020 / January 2021
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes

A Christmas Greeting


2020 has indeed been a very trying year for all of us. With lockdown, travel restrictions and countless events cancelled most of our hopes and plans for the year have been seriously curtailed. Christmas and New Year celebrations will be very different this year. Life to us is by measurements. We measure the things we have done, and plan what we hope to do in the future. We look back on past Christmases and begin to recall people we have known and loved and lost, and with each passing year we remember with fondness and some sadness of those times past. Life itself is a journey, a pilgrimage of learning. We analyze our actions, and by these we balance our futures on what we have learned from the past. Perhaps, it is just as well we can never be certain what the day after tomorrow will bring; we just hope that it will be good and kind to us. Whatever our creed we pray that the New Year will be better than the last. Our common goal is a peaceful and fulfilled happy life.

Our dogs know nothing of our thoughts on the seasons. They don’t count the years; they live each day with a childlike naivety as though it is their very first. Seeking new smells and new experiences, and each day they give us in return an assurance of their love and devotion, sharing our highs and lows. Just being there, asking nothing of us only our love and time and a cosy bed. Perhaps, that is how we should live our lives, living each day as our first and last and contenting ourselves with unconditional love amongst our fellows, both human and canine.

With these changed times and uncertainties on the world stage such as the pandemic, famine and drought caused by strange weather patterns, worldwide social unrest with jobs and money at a premium. We sometimes say how life isn’t fair, but life is still good and precious. It is with these thoughts that we wish you all good health and much happiness and all the things you desire to make the coming year of 2021 a truly memorable one and hopefully much better than this current one.


As winter approaches, we need to modify our daily walks with the dog if the weather turns cold and icy. In really cold weather it’s best to keep the walks fairly short. Should your dog wear a coat? It rather depends on how cold it is and whether the dog is happy to wear one. Being a reasonable long coated breed Cavaliers can probably cope better than similar sized short coated breeds, but there are quite an array of different coats to choose from.

Winter can be brutal on our dog’s paw pads. Exposed to the elements and toxic chemicals, the paw pads are at risk for drying, cracking, trauma, frostbite and chemical burns. Do look out for road salt and antifreeze while walking your dog in the winter. Check that salt isn’t stuck in their paws. And watch out for ice, you don’t want either of you falling down. Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is an enticement to dogs because it is sweet tasting, but it is highly poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, it can be lethal. Rock salt, used to melt ice on roads and pavements, may irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your dog’s feet after a walk. Wipe their paws and legs well removing all snow and salt. Towel or blow-dry your dog if it gets wet from rain or snow. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent cracking. There are also several protective balms available to help protect your dog’s paws, but before using a balm make sure the paw is ready.

Good grooming is essential for healthy winter feet. Trim the hair around the paws especially if they have a lot of feathering to make sure none of the hair comes into contact with the ground. This will help prevent ice balls from forming between and around the paw pads which can be painful. It also makes it easier to apply the balm to the pads. Keeping the nails trimmed is important year-round but even more so in the winter because long nails force the paw to splay out and make it more likely that snow and ice will accumulate between the paw pads. Apply a thin even layer of balm just before going out for a winter walk. After the walk wipe your dog’s paws with a warm washcloth to remove snow, ice and ice melt.


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 that children’s toys are not left lying around, especially if they have small parts that your dog could tear or chew off and choke on. Plastic bags, balloons, tinsel, string, Christmas tree decorations, or any sharp objects can be dangerous if your dog swallows them. And please keep houseplants out of the dog’s reach as many of them are toxic. They include the ones we tend to have around at Christmas time such as poinsettias and mistletoe.

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.

Santa Claus


A man sees a sign outside a house: "Talking Dog For Sale". He rings the bell, the owner appears and tells him the dog can be viewed in the back garden where he sees a very nice Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sitting there.

"Do you really talk?" he asks the dog. "Yes", the Cavalier replies. After recovering from the shock of hearing the dog talk, the man asks, "So, tell me your story."

The Cavalier looks up and says, "Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the Government, so I joined the SAS. In no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one imagined a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies for six years. But jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at Heathrow airport to do some undercover security work, wandering around suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded several medals. I got married, had a few puppies, and now I’ve just retired."

The man is amazed. He goes back into the house and asks the owner how much he wants for the dog.

"Ten pounds," the owner says.

"What! TEN POUNDS !!!!!! But this dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheaply?"

"Because," replies the owner, "He’s a lying b*##*.......He’s never been out the house or the garden!"


When God made the earth and sky,
The flowers and the tree.
He then made all the animals,
The fish, the birds, and bees.
And when at last He’d finished
Not one was quite the same.
He said, "I’ll walk this world of mine,
And give each one a name."
And so he travelled far and wide
And everywhere he went,
A little creature followed him
Until its strength was spent.
When all were named upon the earth
And in the sky and sea,
The little creature said, "Dear Lord,
There’s not one left for me."
Kindly the Father said to him,
"I’ve left you to the end.
I’ve turned my name back to front
And called you ‘DOG’, my friend.
Author Unknown


"I talk to him when I’m lonesome like,
and I’m sure he understands.
When he looks at me so attentively,
and gently licks my hands;
Then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes,
but I never say naught there at,
For the good Lord knows
I can buy more clothes,
but never a friend like that!"
W. Dayton Wedgefarth

Wash Your Paws


Canine ConfidentialCanine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do
by Marc Bekoff
Publisher: University of Chicago Press

For all the love and attention we give dogs, much of what they do remains mysterious. Just think about different behaviors you see at a dog park: We have a good understanding of what it means when dogs wag their tails –– but what about when they sniff and roll on a stinky spot? Why do they play tug-of-war with one dog, while showing their belly to another? Why are some dogs shy, while others are bold? What goes on in dogs’ heads –– and how much can we know and understand? Canine Confidential has the answers. Written by award-winning scientist –– and lifelong dog lover –– Marc Bekoff, it not only brilliantly opens up the world of dog behavior, but also helps us understand how we can make our dogs’ lives the best they can possibly be. Rooted in the most up-to-date science on cognition and emotion –– fields that have exploded in recent years –– Canine Confidential is a wonderfully accessible treasure trove of new information and myth-busting. Peeing, we learn, isn’t always marking; grass-eating isn’t always an attempt to trigger vomiting; it’s okay to hug a dog –– on their terms; and so much more. There’s still much we don’t know, but at the core of the book is the certainty that dogs do have deep emotional lives, and that as their companions we must try to make those lives as rich and fulfilling as possible. There’s nothing in the world as heartwarming as being greeted by your dog at the end of the workday. Read Canine Confidential, and you’ll be on the road to making your shared lives as happy, healthy, and rewarding as they can possibly be.

101 Dog Tricks101 Dog Tricks
By Kyra Sundance
Publisher: Quarry Books

101 Dog Tricks is the largest trick book on the market and the only one presenting full colour photos of each trick and its training steps. The step-by-step approach, difficulty rating, and prerequisites, allow readers to start training immediately. Tips and troubleshooting boxes cover common problems, while "build-on" ideas suggest more complicated tricks which build on each new skill. No special tools (such as clickers) or knowledge of specific training methods are required. Trick training is a great way to bond with your dog and help him integrate into your family. It keeps him mentally and physically challenged and helps to establish paths of communication between you. Many tricks build skills needed for common dog sports, dog dancing, and dog therapy work. It’s every dog lover’s privilege that Kyra took time from her performing schedule to share her secrets in 101 Dog Tricks.


Flying Cavalier
"If I flap my ears quite fast will I manage to fly"


"Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, and filling an emptiness we didn’t ever know we had."
Thom Jones


Christmas Greetings

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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