Cavaliers as Companions
April 2009
Edited by Tina & Dennis Homes
*** Happy Easter ***

Guthrie with bunny rabbit
The Cavalier with its Easter Bunny
This is Guthrie a Blenheim Cavalier bred by Diane Zdrodowski from the USA
with his cute little bunny rabbit friend. (Photo courtesy of Dan Nitopi)


The latest blockbuster movie to hit the screens is “The Young Victoria” which went on general release in early March. As the title suggests, it tells the story of Queen Victoria in her younger days and of her great love for her husband Prince Albert. The film has three producers, the award winning Martin Scorsese, Graham King and the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson. Emily Blunt plays Victoria; Rupert Friend is Prince Albert; Miranda Richardson plays the Duchess of Kent and Jim Broadbent is King William. But there is also another great star in this film whose name may not appear on the main credits and that is Tori, a beautiful tricolour Cavalier who plays the role of Dash, the Queen Victoria’s beloved pet spaniel.

Scene fro The Young Victoria
Rupert Friend (Prince Albert), Emily Blunt (Queen Victoria) and Tori (Dash) in the new film The Young Victoria

There has always been a long tradition within the royal family of their great love for dogs, both for hunting and also as companion pets. Queen Victoria was no exception, during her long life she had a great many dogs but Dash was especially dear to her heart. He was given to her as a present in 1833 when she was a teenager and the dog and princess soon became inseparable. She sometimes dressed him in a scarlet jacket and blue trousers, and at Christmas she gave him three India-rubber balls and two bits of gingerbread decorated with holly and candles. Victoria had him painted at least a half a dozen times, sometimes with other dogs such as the greyhound Nero and the huge mastiff Hector. When Dash died in 1840, three years after she became Queen, she buried him herself at Adelaide Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, and had inscribed on his tombstone: "His attachment was without selfishness; His playfulness without malice; His fidelity without deceit; Reader if you would live beloved; and die regretted, profit by the example of Dash."
DashDash, Nero & Hector
Two paintings of dash by Sir Edwin Landseer.
On the right he is with the Queen’s greyhound Nero, the mastiff Hector and her pet parrot.

The Queen kept a personal diary throughout her life and Dash is often mentioned. When she met Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1836, Dash played a very special role in bringing the pair together. On their first meeting Victoria was taken with the tall, blue-eyed Albert. It was his behaviour toward Dash however that sealed her opinion of him. Victoria recorded in her diary how Albert 'played with and fussed over' Dash. Thus, with Dash's seal of canine approval, Albert's fate was set. Soon after the Queen proposed and rest is history!

In the film Dash is played by Tori, a bitch whose kennel name is Korolevski Alisia. She was bred by Hilary Bartlett who had high hopes of her becoming a successful show dog. She has a most adorable head and is of excellent construction but sadly has an undershot mouth. Although being undershot has no bearing on a dog’s health, (some breeds are supposed to be undershot and quite a few Cavaliers are), it is regarded as a fault for a Cavalier in the show ring. However, for Tori this ‘fault’ became her ticket into show business. Whilst out walking she was spotted by Gill Raddings of ‘Action Stunt Dogs & Animals’. Gill was on a film location at the time and immediately fell for Tori. After some very lengthy discussions and deliberation Hilary decided, somewhat tearfully, to sell Tori to Gill.
Tori, the latest star of the silver screen

Gill Raddings has been running Action Stunt Dogs & Animals for over twenty years and is one of the leading experts on training animals for film work. Her list of credits is enormous, having trained animals for films such as Sweeney Todd, Rob Roy, 101 and 102 Dalmatians. Her television work includes Heartbeat, Midsomer Murders, Cranford and most famously East Enders, where the celebrated Wellard is played by her Belgian Shepherd Kyte. Her dogs are also featured in no end of television advertisements. At Crufts this year Gill and her dedicated team put on some very entertaining displays at the Arden Grange stand and Tori was also there showing the world that Cavaliers can perform tricks as well as any other breed!
Tori & the Action Stunt Dogs & Animals
Tori with her team of fellow canine film stars in between displays at the Arden Grange stand at Crufts.
On her left is Kyte, who once played the famous Wellard in EastEnders.

We’ve read quite a bit of nonsense on the internet of late by various animal rites organizations saying that showing dogs or having them participate in events such as agility, heelwork to music or indeed any type of performing is cruel. Well if any of these people could see how well cared for Gill’s dogs are it would surely prove them wrong. They are all in peak condition, much loved and thoroughly enjoy their training. At the Crufts display as each dog went through its routine the others were eagerly waiting in the wings with tails wagging as if to say, “My turn next!”

In between her filming Gill said that Tori was enjoying herself running through the hedges and even swam across a lake in pursuit of some ducks! Gill has also trained her in agility, a sport that Tori has really taken to and absolutely adores. And what next for Tori’s celebrity career? Probably a scene in the next series of Midsomer Murders, so keep your eyes glued to the screen.


For those of you that live in the Coventry/West Midlands area there will be a Cavalier Fun Day held on Saturday 25th April. There will be a companion dog show with breed, novelty and obedience classes and also Bronze Good Citizen testing plus the chance to have a go on an agility course. As well as these events there will also be information on finding a puppy, training, health issues, breed rescue, PAT dogs and the Cinnamon Trust, which is a national charity for elderly people and their pets. A grand raffle will also be held and all proceeds will go to Dr Sarah Blott’s research into Cavalier health. For further details and location of the venue please contact Kate Hughes on 024 7659 3694 or by e-mail at


Why own a dog? There's a danger you know,
You can't own just one, for the craving will grow.
There's no doubt they're addictive, wherein lies the danger.
While living with lots, you'll grow poorer and stranger.
One dog is no trouble, and two are so funny.
The third one is easy; the fourth one's a honey.
The fifth one is delightful; the sixth one's a breeze,
You find you can live with a houseful with ease.
So how about another? Would you really dare?
They're really quite easy but oh, Lord the hair!
With dogs on the sofa and dogs on the bed,
And crates in the kitchen, it's no bother you said.
They're really no trouble their manners are great.
What's one more dog and just one more crate?
The sofa is hairy; the windows are crusty,
The floor is all footprints, the furniture all dusty.
The housekeeping suffers, but what do you care?
Who minds a few nose prints and a little more hair?
So let's keep a puppy, you can always find room,
And a little more time for the dust cloth and broom.
There's hardly a limit to the dogs you can add,
The thought of a cutback sure makes you sad.
Each one is so special, so useful, so funny,
The vet, the food bill grows larger, you owe money,
Your folks never visit; few friends come to stay,
Except other dog folks, who live all the same way.
Your lawn has now died, and your shrubs are dead too,
But your weekends are busy, your off with your crew.
      Author Anonymous


Last year a Chinese business man went away on a business trip and came across what he thought was an all white Pomeranian puppy for sale for £60. However, he found the puppy somewhat difficult to train and it would often bite him and had several rather unusual traits.

“It can’t bark but makes little ‘em em’ noises and its tail has been growing longer and longer,” he told the Wuhan Evening Post. “The most annoying thing is that it has started to become extremely smelly. Even when we give it a daily shampoo bath the smell is still very strong.”

He took his ‘dog’ to the local zoo for advice and it turned out that it was a rare Arctic Fox, a protected species. He has now donated the animal to the zoo.


Upon entering a small country store a stranger noticed a sign saying, “DANGER! BEWARE OF DOG!” posted on the glass door. Inside was an elderly Cavalier fast asleep on the floor beside the counter.

He asked the store manager, “Is that the dog folks are supposed to beware of?”

“Yeah, that’s him,” he replied.

The amused stranger inquires, “That certainly doesn’t look like a dangerous dog to me. Why in the world would you post that sign?”

The owner responded, “Because before I posted that sign people kept tripping over him”


He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours faithful and true ‘til the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
(Author unknown)


email Tina & Dennis
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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