Cavaliers as Companions
August 2013
Edited by Tina & Dennis Homes



In almost every book written about Cavaliers, mention is made about the rich American businessman Roswell Eldridge who was disappointed that there were none of the longer nosed King Charles Spaniels of the older type around, and therefore placed a small advert in the 1926 Crufts schedule offering £25 for the best dog and best bitch nearest to this type to be exhibited at Crufts. This advert did in fact set the wheels in motion to revive the breed that we now know as the Cavalier. As very little has ever been written about Mr Eldridge in any of the Cavalier books we thought that this month we would tell you a little more about him. But firstly, here is a photocopy from the King Charles Spaniel section of the Cruft’s schedule for 1926 which contained the original advert placed by Roswell Eldridge. Just a very small advert at the bottom of a page that would start the ball rolling and bring about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel as we know it today.

Advert in Cruft Schedule

Twenty five pounds back in 1926 was quite a large sum of money. According to a retail price index calculator £25 in 1926 would be worth £1,030 in 2013. Twenty five pounds was awarded to both the best dog and the best bitch, plus two pounds for the second place of each sex and one pound for the third place. As this was to go on for five years the total amount of cash offered by today’s rate would be £11,530!

Roswell Eldridge was born in 1857 in Hempstead, Long Island, New York. His father was the town treasurer and Roswell’s first job was as an office boy working for the Udall Company, a large enterprise that was involved in property, transportation and steamship construction. He met his wife-to-be Louise Skidmore through his work as she was the daughter of the owner of the company. At first Louise’s family thought that Roswell was an unsuitable choice for her due to his more humble status and lack of both resources and social standing. However, his entrepreneurial drive soon proved himself to the Udall family and as he climbed the ladder of the company he took over the management of the property wings and also the steamship division and began running ferry boats to and from Manhattan. He then managed to take control of several other ferry companies and then sold them for a huge profit. He then moved to Wall Street as an investor for several banks and enterprises. With his own personal wealth vastly growing he married Louise in 1894. He started the Great Neck Bank in 1906 and between them Roswell and Louise Eldridge were accumulating a vast wealth. Around 1910 they built a huge sprawling columned mansion on Long Island which they named Udallia, and it was surrounded by a large estate of beautiful gardens leading down to a beach where he often moored his yacht Kehtoh staffed by a Japanese crew. Both Roswell and Louise were great philanthropists and donated vast sums of money to worthy causes.

The reckless world of rich businessmen in Manhattan and the sprawling mansions on Long Island in the 1920s were epitomised in Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’, but rather than leading the high living playboy lifestyle described in that book, Roswell Eldridge led a more genteel way of life. In many ways he liked to live the life of a regal English gentleman and every year he would go stag and fox hunting in England with the West Somerset Hunt. He was a great dog lover and was a member of the American Westminster Kennel Club. When visiting Crufts he was disappointed not to see any of the longer nosed toy spaniels as depicted in many old paintings. Throughout the late Victorian era shorter faced oriental breeds such as the Japanese Chin, Pekinese and the Pug had become quite popular and the bloodlines from some of these breeds may have been introduced into the King Charles Spaniel to produce the flatter face. Longer faced spaniels still did turn up in litters but were not exhibited at dog shows and were probably just sold as pets. It was his determination to revive the older type toy spaniel that persuaded him to place the advert in the Crufts schedule and offer the monetary challenge to encourage breeders to try to resurrect the longer nosed toy spaniel.

As there were only just a few months between the publishing of the schedule and the actual show there were only four dogs entered in these classes in the first year. The winner of the dog class was Ferdie of Monham owned and bred by Mrs Treleaven with second place going to Lord Sukey owned by Miss Sparrow and bred by Mrs French. The winner of the bitch class was Fey owned by Mrs Higgs and bred by Miss Ellis with second place awarded to Flora Owned by Mrs Mallock and bred by Miss Anderson. Ferdie of Monham was the only dog that appeared to have a kennel affix so it is quite likely that they were originally sold as pets and not considered worthy of showing due to their longer faces.

Over the following four years the entries grew in these classes as more breeders took up the challenge to breed this type of toy spaniel, but sadly Roswell Eldridge never saw any of them as he died just one month before the 1927 show at the age of seventy.

So were these dogs the type that Mr Eldridge envisaged? We shall never know. Although he mentioned ‘the long face, no stop and flat skull not inclined to be domed’, when looking at old paintings there appears to be two types of toy spaniel that fitted that description. There were the very small dogs that were often called carpet spaniels or sleeve spaniels and also the slightly larger ones that appeared more sporting in type. The Blenheim spaniels on the Marlborough Estate threw up both types with the larger, more robust type being used as retrieving spaniels for small game and the smaller ones being used as ladies’ pets. Pictured below are two examples of the smaller ‘sleeve’ or ‘carpet’ spaniel.

Sleeve or Carpet SpanielSleeve or Carpet Spaniel

Below are paintings that feature the slightly larger and more sporting type. As Roswell Eldridge was a keen huntsman it is more likely that these are nearer to the type of spaniel that he had in mind. He did in fact mention in his advert "as shown in the pictures of Charles II time" and the picture on the left shows Charles II as a child.

Early Spaniels of King CharlesEarly Spaniels of King Charles

Miss Mostyn Walker was a breeder of short faced King Charles Spaniels and in 1926 she bred a dog called Lord Pindi to a bitch called Ann. In that litter there were two puppies that appeared to be throwbacks to the earlier longer nosed varieties. These were Ann’s Son (a blenheim) and Wizbang Timothy (a black and white). Miss Mostyn Walker also bred Papillons and there have been suggestions that there could have been Papillon breeding in Ann’s Son. These puppies did have the required longer noses and so she thought that they would be ideal specimens to enter in these special classes at Crufts. Ann’s Son was to take the first prize and Best of Breed for three years running in 1928, 1929 and 1930. Some years later in 1936 Ann’s Son won the £15 special prize for Best of Breed and also a £50 trophy which was a bust of Mr Charles Cruft. When Ann’s Son reached the age of nine he made his last appearance at Crufts and then was eventually retired from showing. Throughout his show career he remained unbeaten.

Pictured below is the only photo ever found of Ann’s Son. If you compare him to the two dogs in the above left painting of the young Charles II and his sisters you can see a distinct similarity.

Ann’s Son

the second day of Crufts in 1928 a band of enthusiasts gathered to discuss the formation of a club for these "Old type King Charles Spaniels." A committee was formed and a standard for the breed was drawn up. Ann’s Son was considered an ideal specimen and so he was placed upon a table for his attributes to be discussed for the proposed standard. They also had copies of some old paintings with the most prominent being ‘The Cavalier’s Pets’ by Sir Edwin Landseer. This picture is displayed below and was in fact featured in the Crufts catalogues for 1927 through to 1930. As you can see the head shape of the two dogs in this painting is not quite the same as Ann’s Son, even though they would both fit the standard. With the development of the breed over the years it seems that the modern Cavalier has more resemblance in the head to the dogs in the Landseer painting than to Ann’s Son.

‘The Cavalier’s Pets’ by Sir Edwin Landseer

There were some differences of opinions on how the breed standard should be interpreted and what exactly were the types of longer nosed toy spaniels that Roswell Eldridge first envisaged. By the late 40s / early 50s with the Cavalier breed firmly established it became clear that the modern Cavalier did look more like those in ‘The Cavalier’s Pets’. Mostyn Walker, the breeder of Ann’s Son, was not happy with the way the Cavalier had evolved and believed that they should be more like the very small ‘sleeve’ spaniels. In a letter to Amice Pitt around 1950 she mentioned that she had a very small dog that she believed would make an ideal stud dog and is more the ‘Henrietta d’Orleans’ type than Ann’s Son. In her words she said, "I look at him and think if only all Cavaliers were like him he should be untold gold to the breed and do away with the long backs, long legs and big dogs."

It was clear that she was more in favour of the small ‘Henrietta d’Orleans’ type than the ‘Cavalier’s Pets’ type. Below is a painting of Henrietta d’Orleans with her toy spaniel, and as you can see this dog could possibly fit in with the description that Roswell Eldridge mentioned but so too could the dogs in ‘The Cavalier’s Pets’ even though they are indeed quite different.

Henrietta d’Orleans


After a somewhat long and very cold winter followed by a rather cold and dreary spring, the hot days of summer finally arrived in July with a vengeance. During a heat wave or prolonged period of very warm weather it is of vital importance to constantly check the welfare of your dog. The average temperature of a human is 98.6°F while the average temperature of a dog is 101°F. However, the normal temperature of a healthy dog may vary from 99°F to 102.5°F. Therefore you will find that a dog can become affected by high temperatures way before a human. Here are a few things to do during hot weather.
  1. Make sure that drinking water is always available and remember that overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration. Carry a bottle of water with you when out walking with your dog.

  2. Take your dog for walks early in the morning or late in the evening when things are much cooler.

  3. Never leave your dog in a parked car as the vehicle can become extremely hot in a very short space of time. In the car, as the air temperature rises, the dog is unable to cool itself due to the lack of moisture and the ambient air temperature becoming hotter than the dog’s tongue, and it is via panting and its tongue that the dog cools himself. If you are out on a long journey with your dog do ensure that the air conditioning is on and the dog is kept cool. If the dog is in a cage at the back of your car it may also be a good idea to cover it with a foil ‘space blanket’ which helps to reflect the sunlight away.

  4. Make sure that there are shady spots in the garden where your dog can go to keep cool. Also keep a fan nearby indoors if you do not have air conditioning.

  5. Watch for signs of dehydration. Dogs can't sweat. They cool off by panting, so an overheated dog will drool excessively. It will become lethargic, its eyes will be bloodshot, and it may appear a little pale. If you lift its skin, it will take longer than usual for the skin to fall back into place. If your dog does start to become overheated spray him with some cold (but not icy) water. But do remember that dogs cool from the bottom up. Make sure to spray the paws and stomach, not just the top of the dog, when spraying it with water. A wet towel does more good if your dog can lie on it rather than just draped over him.
There are some products available that are designed to keep your dog cool in the hot weather such as these cooling beds.

Easidri make both cooling coats and cooling towel wraps which are extremely effective for keeping your dog cool.

Easidry products
Above is the Easidri cooling towel which comes in a handy travelling container and below is the Easidri cooling coat.

Easidry Coat
Further information can be found at:

Another cooling coat is made by Prestige Pets and is also very effective in keeping a dog cool. They can be found at:

Mark Ellis is a Cavalier owner from Dorset and in this YouTube video he gives a clear description of the Prestige Pets cooling coat.

Mark has also set up a website primarily for dog owners in Dorset. Although he is a Cavalier owner the site is for all dog owners. He has a free to advertise calendar of charity fund raising events in Dorset and the surrounding areas for Companion Dog Shows and sponsored dog walks, and there is also lots of general information for dog lovers from all over and not just from the County of Dorset. His site is:

Mark Ellis web site

Why did the snowman call his dog "Frost"?
Because Frost-bites!

What do you call a dog that is left handed?
A south paw!

Have you ever thought about making your own dog biscuits? Here’s a simple recipe to try out.

2½ cups of rolled oats
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
½ cup unsalted, low-fat beef broth or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 325°F or gas mark 3.
Add 2 cups of the oats, salt, beef broth, and egg to a large mixing bowl. Combine well. Add the remaining ½ cup of rolled oat and combine.
Pour onto wax paper and knead dough for about 3 minutes. Let stand for about 3 minutes to become firmer. Press to ½ – inch thickness.
Cut with cutter to a desired shape and size and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Once cooled they can be stored in an airtight container and then frozen for later use.

What makes more noise than a dog barking outside your window?
Two dogs barking outside your window!

What do you get if you cross a dog and an airplane?
A jet setter!

Not Cavaliers, but two very loveable dogs greeting their owner, an American soldier who has just returnied home from a seven month tour of duty in Iraq.

Here’s another very cute video of a few rather sleepy animals.

And finally one more video well worth watching.


How Many Cavaliers?

At first glance this might look like a case of animal cruelty with all those dogs crammed into one cage. We opened up the cage to take it into our car so that we could transport two dogs to a show. Two of them immediately went straight into the cage instantly followed by another, then another, then another and within less than a minute they were all crammed in there. Is this a case of Cavaliers imitating sardines?

What kind of dog likes to smell flowers?
A bud hound!

Did you hear about the dog that gave birth to puppies at the side of the road?
She got a ticket for littering!


"Some of our greatest historical and artistic treasures we place with curators in museums; others we take for walks"
Roger Caras
For further online Cavalier news and stories don’t forget to read the regular Chatterbox page at and for some truly inspirational articles log 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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