Archive for January, 2010

Part of the “Small Percentage”

January 31, 2010

When vaccinating your pet, the vet tells you only a “small percentage” has reactions to the shots. Last night, I was petting our Parker and noticed a lump, about the size of a golf ball on his right hind leg. I had that “mom moment of terror.” He was feeling great – following me around, jumping on the couch, eating/drinking, etc. So, my mind was filled with “what if” thoughts. Lesson learned: never Google “allergic reactions to pet vaccinations.” It is filled with scary, fatalistic conclusions. We were at the vet’s office at 7:30 a.m. the next day. She thought he had a bad reaction to last Friday’s round of vaccinations – specifically the leptospirosis vaccine. Since he is not exhibiting any signs of pain and discomfort, she feels we should not worry. But, to be sure, Parker will have to take antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pills. She notes the swelling should be dramatically reduced and/or gone in three to four days. Here’s hoping this is just a short-lived allergic reaction and that Parker will be on the mend very soon. He needs a week free of neck-encasing plastic cones, invasive shots and foul-tasting pills. Long live our happy, healthy Parker.       

Bob Barker adds Parker to his List

January 26, 2010

You know what they say, “Don’t kick a guy when he’s down.” That’s what I was thinking when I didn’t post to this blog last week. Our little guy was neutered on Friday. In Cavalier style, he handled everything like a trooper. He was amazingly resilient – even after the procedure.  For the first two days – due to vet-provided pain meds – he was a little less lively and just wanted to chew on his toy or rest, sitting in our laps. Funny enough, he doesn’t mind wearing the cone. I told him “He wears it well – dignified in fact.” We have our countdown. We’re four days into the cone and six days away from tossing it in the trash. Parker’s sutures are healing nicely and his disposition, as always, is bright. And, yes, Bob Barker, you can add another name to your list of spayed and neutered pets.

Parker and His Cougar

January 17, 2010

His Faithful Cougar Girlfriend

January 17, 2010

Parker Wakes Up

January 17, 2010

Meeting Parker

January 16, 2010

On December 18, 2009, we packed up Parker’s pet carrier and toys and headed for Oklahoma. My husband and I were like two kids anticipating meeting him. He was in Reita’s arms as we pulled up the gravel driveway. We found he was exactly as Reita had described. He had a soft, smooth Ruby coat, warm brown eyes and a spunky, playful attitude. He liked attention from everyone. However, when he calmed down, he went immediately to Reita, who held him in her arms. He continued to look up at her lovingly as she talked to us. We knew that she had taken very good care of our puppy.  And, we would continue to do the same.

Preparing for Parker

January 16, 2010

Having never owned a puppy, we took our preparation very seriously. We read a ton of blogs, online websites and books, all of which recommended products. 

Below are a few puppy products that Parker likes:

  1. Nature’s Best natural puppy dog food (we found he is allergic to corn and corn syrup)(
  2. Prime Bites natural freeze dried dog treats (
  3. WallyBed pet beds (
  4. SturdiBag Bordeaux Pet Carrier (for air travel)(
  5. Petmate Kennel (up to 16” tall and 22” long)(for car travel)(
  6. Iris Pet Pen Commercial Grade (63”W x 63”D x 34 ¼”H)(
  7. E-Z dog vanilla-flavored pet toothpaste (
  8. Waterless Bath No Rinse Shampoo (
  9. Earthbath Hot Spot & Itch Relief (
  10. Top Paw dog brush (
  11. DermaLyte hypo-allergenic shampoo (
  12. And, toys, toys, toys

And, here are a few blogs/resources that helped us.

Finding Our Cavalier

January 15, 2010

The first thing you learn about Cavaliers is that the breed suffers from heart problems. According to, heart mitral valve disease (MVD) is a terminal illness that afflicts over half of all King Charles Cavalier Spaniels.  

It is important to find the right breeder, who will disclose all information about the puppy’s as well as the parents’ health.  I found this post as a great go-by, when searching for Parker.  We talked to a lot of different breeders, but either couldn’t find a male Ruby or didn’t feel comfortable with their business practices.

We adopted our puppy, Parker, from Crystalridge Cavaliers  Prior to talking to the breeder, I had to complete an online questionnaire answering, “Where would the puppy stay during the day?” “Who is our intended vet?” “Why did we want to adopt a puppy?” etc.  When we made it past this process, Reita – with Crystalridge – called us.  She answered each one of the questions (noted above) and more.  I could tell that she truly loved those puppies.  Next, she sent photos of four-month old Parker.  I looked at the photos and knew he was our puppy.

Elizabeth Taylor

January 15, 2010

Okay, have to admit – I was first introduced to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel when watching “Sex in the City.”  Elizabeth Taylor’s sweet nature, confident trot and expressive brown eyes made a big impression.  I read books and went online to learn all that I could about this special breed.

My husband and I work a lot, so while we knew we wanted a dog, we didn’t feel it was right to leave him/her at home for hours alone.  With the advent (and acceptance) of affordable doggy day care, the door opened and we were able to adopt. 

To be honest, we had never been around Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  So, we called a breeder – who specialized specifically in Rubies – and traveled one hour outside of the city to meet 10 adult and six female Cavalier puppies.  I wish I would have taken video of our meeting.  My husband sat down to pet the dogs, when all 10 converged in his lap, tails wagging and tongues panting.  It was at this point, we knew we had to adopt a Ruby boy.  According to the breeder, a girl Cavalier “loves you.” But, a boy Cavalier “falls in love with you.”