Cavaliers as Companions
December 2011
Edited by Tina & Dennis Homes

Christmas Greetings
Christams Postcard

Christmas Postcard

Above are two Christmas cards are from our collection of Cavalier memorabilia and both were posted in December 1922.

As we mentioned in our article on royalty in Cavalier as Companions last April, there have been several monarchs and members of the royal family that have owned small toy spaniels but it was Charles II whose name was given to the breed. He was born in May 1630 and died in February 1685 and lived through an era of great change in Britain. His father Charles I had many dogs including toy spaniels and therefore the young Charles was brought up with dogs around him

A young King Charles II
Above is a painting of Charles II as an infant with a Blenheim spaniel on his lap. The two paintings below show him as a young lad with his sisters and their dogs.

Young King Charles II and sistersYoung King Charles II and sisters

His father was executed at Whitehall in January 1649 at the climax of the English civil war and one week later the Scottish Parliament proclaimed the young son Charles II as King of Great Britain and Ireland. England entered the period known as the English Commonwealth and the country became a republic led by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell defeated Charles at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, and Charles fled to mainland Europe. Cromwell became virtual dictator of England, Scotland and Ireland. Charles spent the next nine years in exile. A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, and Charles was invited to return to Britain. On 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday, he was received in London to public acclaim.

In 1662 Charles married Catherine of Braganza, the daughter of the King of Portugal. This marriage had much more to do with political convenience than love. They had no children or legal heirs to the throne so after his death Charles’ brother James II succeeded him. Charles was known as the Merry Monarch and was indeed a lothario. He acknowledged twelve illegitimate children by seven mistresses, including five by the Lady Castlemaine for whom the Dukedom of Cleveland was created. Among his many other mistresses was the actress Nell Gwyn. Throughout his reign he was constantly surrounded by his dogs and quite often he would be accompanied by one or two while on State business.

It has often been stated that King Charles Spaniels and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the only breed of dog allowed entry to all public buildings due to an act of parliament passed by Charles II. This is completely untrue and has somehow become a bit of an urban myth. Some years when the blind politician David Blunkett first became a Member of Parliament one newspaper even stated that a special concession was granted to allow him to bring his guide dog into parliament as normally it would only be King Charles Spaniels allowed into the chamber. No law was ever passed to allow the breed privileged access. More than likely Charles II simply took his dogs anywhere he wished and nobody would dare challenge him.

King Charles being presented with a pineapple
This painting depicts Charles II being presented with the very first pineapple to be grown in Britain. As usual he is accompanied by two of his dogs.


The Laughing Cavalier is a very famous painting by the Dutch artist Frans Hals. It was painted in 1624 and was called "Portrait of a Young Man". In the top right is an inscription that says "Æ’TA SVĘ 26/A°1624" which means "aetatis suae 26, anno 1624" which is Latin and means that the portrait was painted when the sitter was 26 and in the year 1624. It was in Victorian times that the name "The Laughing Cavalier" was given to the painting. The portrait is famous because of the artist’s skill at painting the lace of the costume and that the eyes appear to follow the viewer from every angle.

The Laughing Cavalier

The Laughing Cavalier is used by McEwans beer as its logo. It has been modified showing the Laughing Cavalier enjoying the beer.

McEwans Logo

Together with The Mona Lisa it is probably the most parodied painting. There are countless versions of this work with other peoples faces replaced in the painting such as this.

Sir Bruce Forsyth as The Laughing Cavalier

But being titled "The Laughing Cavalier" we believe that this version by James Richardson is the most appropriate.

The Laughing Cavalier

The weather over this past year has been one of extremes. We had a very dry spring, a very wet summer in many parts of the UK, record breaking warm spells in April and October and yet last winter was the coldest for thirty years. It’s difficult to say how cold this winter will be as different ‘experts’ have given varying predictions. However it is best to be prepared when walking your dog if the weather does become somewhat severe like last year. If the weather does turn bitterly cold you should keep the walks fairly short and you should walk fairly quickly as you don’t want to keep them out for too long. Leave collars and identifying tags on your dog at all times. Your dog could get loose and run off long enough to suffer frostbite or hypothermia. You don’t want your dog lost on a cold winter night or in a winter blizzard. They can get frostbite on their ears just as humans can. You could put a coat on your dog; they come in varying shapes, sizes and styles. Below is a photo of one of our own dogs wearing her chic sheepskin!

Cavalier in a Dog Coat

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. Sub zero temperatures with a wind-chill factor can be just as harmful to dogs as they are for humans. Small dogs especially are prone to frostbite and frigid air can be damaging to a dogs lungs.

There are now quite a few different companies that make doggy boots, which are pads that you put on your dog’s feet when out walking in harsh wintery conditions. We have never used them on our own dogs but we have read some good reports about them. If any of you have used them on your dogs we’d love to know what you think of them.

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


Christmas Card

If you want to see a dog looking extremely guilty after having a mishap with a Christmas tree then take a look at this video clip!!!!

Although both the above cartoon and especially the You Tube video are very amusing there is indeed a need for caution if you do intend having a Christmas tree. The sudden arrival of a large object such as a tree into a room with lots of interesting bright objects adorning it can really arouse the curiosity of any dog. It is therefore important that the tree is placed in a safe area and it is preferable that your dog should not be left alone in the room with it. The obvious danger is the electric cable running from the lights to the electrical socket. All electrical items should be made secure and positioned where a dog cannot chew them. It’s also advisable to keep wrapped presents away from dogs, especially things like chocolate which really attract dogs but can be dangerous if too much is consumed as it contains a substance called theobromine. Seasonal plants such as poinsettias and mistletoe can also be quite toxic to dogs. It’s also best to avoid giving your dog too many titbits and leftovers from Christmas dinner. I remember being told by our vet that the days after Christmas are usually their busiest for treating dogs suffering from sickness and diarrhoea. By simply taking a few wise precautions Christmas can be a great time to spend with your family and dogs. So just enjoy yourselves.



Dogs owned by Sandra Ireland and Dave Moger

This month we have two photos of the month. Above are the dogs owned by Sandra Ireland and Dave Moger all looking very relaxed and comfortable benerath a very apt sign that says "In the company of dogs". They used to have an old leather sofa in the kitchen for the dogs to sleep on but they used it as a large dog chew!! Sandra and David then found something far less destructible, – an old church pew! The dogs really love it and if they can’t all fit on the seat there are beds underneath.

The dogs on the seat are George and Velvet (King Charles Spaniels), Zac the Cavalier and Daisy the Japanese Chin. Then under the seat from left to right are Leo and Layla, (Cavaliers), three more Charlies, Gordon, Beryl and Marlene, and sitting in front and looking pretty fed up that she doesn’t have a place on the beds is Ch Gayhalo Candy Pops the Chin. Although she is a champion it doesn’t mean a thing to the other dogs even if she thinks she is more important!!

Our second photo of the month is also one that is in the relaxing mood

Phillipa Biddle's Leo

This is Leo who was bred by Phillipa Biddle of Hearthfriend Cavaliers. He was about eight weeks old when this picture was taken and was from a litter of eight. He had been playing with his litter siblings and just got worn out and wanted somewhere to go away from the fray. He crawled up into a kitchen trolley that was being used as a shoe rack and thought "What a nice relaxing place!" and simply just fell fast asleep!


"Dogs are miracles with paws"
Susan Kennedy
For more interesting articles for Cavalier pet owners check out the Wags and Wiggles pages at
Another year is winding down. Some of us have had a wonderful 2011, while others have had mixed fortunes. Christmas brings us all a time to reflect on the past, which we must make peace with, and when we do that, it helps us not to mess up the present. Our future depends on it.

We take time to write Christmas cards with good wishes to our friends and acquaintances and hope that good things will come our way.

We truly hope that our readers enjoy a peaceful Christmas and that the coming New Year brings us all that we would wish for ourselves.

Happy Christmas from Dennis & Tina


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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