About a month ago, due to some pretty big (unexpected) changes around our house, my husband and I decided it was time to add new companions to the family. We knew that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was a dog that would be a great fit for our family so I set on my way to research breeders and rescues in our region. We wound up choosing a kennel that has healthy dogs, is active in Cavalier rescue, participates in breed clubs as well as state-level legislation for the health and care of dogs. In the end, we want healthy dogs that have a fairly predictable personality and can be affectionate companions for our kids.
It’s been a year since we lost our last dog and I had said I needed to wait at least a year before considering another dog for our family. Our son really (R.E.A.L.L.Y.) wanted another dog. Every morning I’d wake him up for school and he would make up “dog songs” about puppies and Chihuahuas and Huskies. Every morning I’d have to tell him *IF* we ever got another dog it would most definitely NOT be either of those two breeds. Part of me wanted Pugs again but if felt a bit like replacing our old Pugs – so that breed was off the list for me.
The biggest decision we had to make was if we should include the kids and my mom in the process. While it would have been fun to get a “YouTube-worthy” reaction from the kids to come downstairs on a Saturday morning and find two new puppies, it wasn’t the smartest way to make sure that our decision was the RIGHT decision with the entire family.
My husband and I decided to tell the kids that we had agreed to add dogs to the family and to come with us to meet their new “siblings.” We felt it was important for everyone to interact with other Cavalier puppies and dogs since they had not been around the breed before. The most shocking part of our first puppy trip was that my mom was the hardest person to get to leave at the end of our visit! She’s retiring in a few months – coincidentally right around the time the new puppies will be coming home – and I think she is looking forward to the new dogs just as much as the kids are!
To help our son understand how long it will be until our new puppies are home I made him a countdown calendar he can use to check off each day until the dogs come home. It also saves me the sanity of having him ask twenty-five million times a day “how long until the puppies are big enough to come home.” Apparently the calendar is a big hit with the family and now lives on the side of our refrigerator.
We anticipate one additional trip to see the puppies before they are ready to go home. Right now since the pups need to stay with their mom full time in the nursery they can’t be held or touched by anyone (outside of their human caretakers.) When they get their first set of shots around 6-8 weeks (the breeder waits until they hit a certain weight as well as age) then we can come see and play with them a bit.
Something you may have noticed is that we don’t have names yet for these girls (EDIT: Maggie DOB 5/1/2016 is the black / brown and Molly DOB 4/30/2016 is white / brown Blenheim.) While I had a few suggestions the rest of the family did as well. Chances are we will widdle down the choices and then when the puppies are a bit older see what names “stick” with their personalities. Our teen already has designs on an Instagram account (edit: account is here) for the dogs once we finalize names. Be prepared for an onslaught of #CavsOfInstagram and #CKCS posts from her…
While we wait, there is plenty to do around the house and yard to puppy-proof! Since we’ve been dog-free for a year and had elderly dogs before that, the house isn’t exactly void of LEGOS and toys on the floor.