Cavaliers as Companions
June / July 2018
Edited by Dennis & Tina Homes

"Two King Charles Spaniels with Flowers" by Thomas Hill (1829-1908)

"Two King Charles Spaniels with Flowers" by Thomas Hill (1829-1908)


LUCY’s LAW

In recent months much has been written about ‘Lucy’s Law’ and it looks very much as though legislation will finally be passed to ban all third party sales of puppies which will hopefully drastically cut down the horrors of puppy farms. Over the years there have been numerous campaigns to try to halt puppy farms. Several newspapers, Channel Four, The BBC and the Kennel Club are among the many organisations that have campaigned against these odious farms. However, the ‘Lucy’s Law’ campaign has surely gained the most publicity and hopefully will bring about a good result.

LucyIt took its name from Lucy, a tricolour Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was kept in cramped conditions in a puppy farm and forced to have at least ten litters. She was finally rescued by Lisa Gardner who at least managed to bring some light and love in the final years of Lucy’s life. Her heart-breaking story touched the hearts of many people including quite a number of MPs. A petition was launched to get the issue of third party puppy sales debated in parliament. So far the petition has raised almost 150,000 signatures and the Kennel Club, RSPCA, International Fund for Animal Welfare and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home are a few of the many organisations that are backing the campaign. All the main political parties appear to be sympathetic to the campaign so hopefully legislation will soon be passed.

SUMMER DAYS OUTS

With summer upon us people start travelling around on holidays or day trip excursions often with their dogs. Days out with your dog can be great fun but there are a few things to take into account when travelling by car. Firstly, if the weather is warm do ensure that there is enough ventilation. If your car has no air conditioning do make sure that windows are open to circulate air, but not too wide. Keeping your dog in a crate is probably the best option but a dog safety harness is also a good idea. With a crate in the back of the car please make sure that your dog is not in full sunlight if the day is hot. A lightweight cover over the crate will be very useful. A space blanket is a great idea to put over the crate.

Take frequent stops if on a long journey and ensure that your dog has water. It’s best to carry water in a thermos flask rather than a plastic bottle to keep it cool. Always keep your dog on a lead when out of the car and never leave him unattended.

Keep a close eye on the humidity. Humidity interferes with animals’ ability to rid themselves of excess body heat. When we overheat we sweat, and when the sweat dries it takes excess heat with it. Dogs only perspire around their paws, which is not enough to cool the body. To rid themselves of excess heat they pant. Air moves through the nasal passages, which picks up excess heat from the body. As it is expelled through the mouth, the extra heat leaves along with it. Although this is a very efficient way to control body heat, it is severely limited in areas of high humidity or when the animal is in close quarters.

DOG TOYS

Toys are important to dogs. They prevent them from becoming bored when left alone and can stop behavioural problems, such as destructive chewing or digging. Most dogs will play with just about anything they can get their paws on, regardless of injury to themselves, so you must be very careful in deciding what items to allow for play, particularly if the play is to be unsupervised.

Firstly, any toy should be appropriate for your dog’s size and strength. There are big dogs who are very gentle and small terriers that will "kill" and tear any toy apart, so it is best to watch how your own dog uses his toys to get an idea of how he interacts with them. For example, some dogs will treasure a soft toy for the rest of its life, carrying it around like a baby, whilst others will pull the stuffing out in ten seconds flat. This often has nothing to do with the breed but rather with the individual personality of the dog.

Generally speaking, any toy with small, detachable parts (such as glass eyes) is unsafe. You can make them safer by removing ribbons, strings, eyes, or other parts that could be chewed or ingested, but if you are unsure it is best to avoid. Even soft toys without small parts can be dangerous if your dog likes to rip and tear as he could ingest the stuffing which might be toxic or cause intestinal blockages.

Another potentially dangerous toy is rawhide chews. These are pieces of cow skin which have been chemically treated, stretched and then dried into a variety of shapes (i.e. knots, sticks, rings). Not only can the rawhide break off into small chunks which can scratch or puncture your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, it can also be a severe choking hazard once it is thoroughly wet, as it becomes a thick, sticky mass that could get stuck in your dog’s throat.

Pig’s ears and trotters can also be dangerous: the pressure from chewing often breaks the fourth premolar tooth. Bacteria then work their way up the fractured tooth into the root, resulting in abscess.

Most household items do not make good toys. These include things like socks, shoes, treated wood, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, etc. Not only does this teach dogs bad habits and the wrong things to chew, some of these materials contain toxic chemicals; others can be easily shredded and swallowed, causing intestinal blockages. Wood and plastic can become lodged in gum tissue, causing painful injuries and infections.

Sticks and twigs can very dangerous – they can easily snap and sharp ends or splinters embed themselves into your dog’s mouth. They can also bounce back when thrown and impale a dog that is running to catch it. Do not play fetch with sticks – use a properly designed rubber dog toy instead.

Safe Toys
Providing that they are the right size and material, balls make great toys for dogs and most canines love a game of fetch. Nowadays, pet stores stock a variety of rubber balls, tennis balls and even footballs specially designed for your canine friend.

Kongs are a good dog toy – these are hard rubber chew toys in a variety of shapes, all with a hollow centre which can be stuffed with treats. They keep a dog entertained for hours and have been made to withstand even the toughest chewers. They now come in a range of types. Nylabones are also but keep a check that they do not become too worn and they are best given to a dog while under supervision.

Puzzle toys such as treat balls, are another wonderful source of entertainment for your dog. You fill the hollow centre with dry treats (e.g. dog biscuits) and then your dog has to roll the toy around, with treats falling out at random from strategically placed holes. They can keep a dog occupied for long periods of time alone.

Cotton rope toys, usually twisted and knotted at both ends to make a bone shape, are also popular and generally safe although a poorly made rope toy may not withstand constant tugging and pulling and your dog may swallow a string or two. So it is best that they are used under supervision. As with all toys, always regularly check for wear and tear and replace when necessary.

BOOK REVIEWS

The Spirit of the Dog: An Illustrated HistoryThe Spirit of the Dog: An Illustrated History
By Tasmin Pickeral
Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series
ISBN: 0764165496


Dogs formed an allegiance with humans in early prehistory and this was the beginning of a unique bond between dog and human that has endured some 14,000 years. Since then, there have been numerous momentous events through history at which the dog has been present: following or leading troops into battle, lurking in the shadows of official business, seated on the laps of emperors, and curled sleeping during spiritual and religious occasions.

The Spirit of the Dog explores the long and varied history of the dog in human cultures across the world and celebrates the very special place that this enigmatic creature holds in people’s hearts. Established author and animal specialist Tamsin Pickeral examines the development of the major dog breeds within their historic context – from the slender, powerful sight hounds to the hard-working Siberian Husky, the spirited Terrier breeds, and the personable mongrels. Grouped according to their key characteristics – including Elegance and Speed, Power and Strength, Devotion and Loyalty, Agility and Wisdom – the breeds are each studied in comprehensive detail.

As a mammal species the dog is the most varied in shape, size, and colour, and also the most versatile, whether working as a hunter, protector, or simply providing companionship as a domestic pet. The Spirit of the Dog celebrates this diversity, aided by the stunning photography of contemporary animal photographer Astrid Harrisson, whose striking, beautiful, and unusual images of our major dog breeds skilfully reflect the virtues of ‘man’s best friend.’ With evocative text and exceptional photography, this is an essential volume for everyone who loves dogs.

No Better FriendNo Better Friend:
One Man, One Dog and Their Incredible Story of Courage and Survival in World War II

By Robert Weintraub
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
ISBN: 0316337064


An extraordinary tale of the remarkable bond between one man and his dog during the Second World War.

The two friends huddled close together, each of them the other’s saving grace in a world gone to hell . . . There was nothing terribly unusual about POWs suffering horribly at the hands of their Japanese captors. All across the Pacific theatre, Allied captives were experiencing similar punishment. But there was one thing unusual about this particular duo of prisoners.
One of them was a dog.

Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair’s relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own.

Using a wealth of new material including interviews with those who knew Frank and Judy, letters and firsthand accounts, Robert Weintraub expertly weaves a narrative of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances. Judy’s devotion to the men she was interned with, including a host of characters from all around the world, from Australia to the UK, was so powerful that reports indicate she might have been the only dog spared in these camps – and their care for her helped keep them alive. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank. She became the war’s only official canine POW, and after she died at the age of fourteen, Frank couldn’t bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story of friendship and survival is one of the great sagas of World War II.

PHOTO OF THE MONTH

Photo Of The Month
"I’m forever blowing bubbles"


THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH

"Without my dog my wallet would be full, my house would be clean but my heart would be empty."


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 pawzandpray.com


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

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.

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