Canine Quality of Life Assessment

One of the tough realities of opening our hearts to a Cavalier (or any other dog) is that their life span does not match our own. While their life span may range 12-14 years (or longer), we all know that 25 years would not be enough! As our pups age, or deal with serious illnesses, managing their quality of life becomes key.

Since our work in the Cavalier Alliance is focused on senior and special-needs Cavaliers, we created a spreadsheet to track our dogs’ health while in the program and shared that data with our veterinary care providers and 24 hour animal hospital affiliates. We also shared the prototype with several families to see if they found the tracking helpful.  We incorporated changes and now want to share it with you as a resource.

Of course, an assessment like this does not make recommendations as to quality of life decisions – it simply provides a tracking and a discussion point as to your dog’s health and activity levels.  We recommend completing this assessment on an annual basis while they are healthy and more frequently (weekly or monthly) if in the midst of a more serious illness.  You can download the pdf below:

Cavalier Alliance Quality of Life Assessment Chart

We hope you find it a useful tool in the on-going care of your Cavalier. If you find this chart and the other resources on our site useful, please consider making a donation to benefit the Cavaliers in our program.


Duncan’s Recovery Continues

Duncan’s Recovery Continues

Duncan, our long-term foster boy who has been struggling with Cushing’s disease, is finally on the mend. His recovery is progressing well and our vets tell us that most pups with this disease take 3 – 6 months to stabilize. Since joining our program, this sweet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has had four ACTH tests to ascertain his cortisol levels and had his medicines adjusted to stabilize him.

Due to the generosity of our donors, he has also had a much-needed dental, with extractions, to allow his gum disease to heal.  His tail was also amputated – only part-way – a complication of his untreated Cushing’s disease.

Now his skin is healing, his fur is growing back and he loves to wander the garden. Take a look at his latest home movie!


Duncan is ready for adoption and a more detailed overview is posted on our Rescue page. At this time, he is taking a daily dose of Trilosane to manage his Cushing’s disease and will be on it for the rest of his life.

If you would like to contribute to Duncan’s on-going care, please consider sending a donation to our paypal account ( or consider sending a check to our address at: 64 Cedarwood Road, Boxborough, MA  01719.



Sponsor Highlight: Pink Petunia Paws

Sponsor Highlight:  Pink Petunia Paws

As part of our early fundraising activities, we have been fortunate to receive support from small businesses who donated items to our auction! In the weeks ahead, we are going to feature their stories and links to their shops so you all can get to know them better!
Today’s story is from Catherine Carmichael, owner of Pink Petunia Paws and Pink Petunia Cottage Dolls (

When we asked Catherine about her experience with Cavaliers, she explained,
“We got Oliver almost 10 years ago, one year after my mom got her first Cavalier -Toby. She then decided to adopt one from Cavalier Rescue USA and I met Paula Bailey when she came for a home visit at my parents. They adopted Nevis a beautiful Ruby. I have a little shop where I sell handmade Waldorf Dolls and Quilts and would ask Paula if they needed any donations and of course they did. LOL So I would auction off a doll or quilt and have the high bidder send the money to Cavalier Rescue. I tried to do that as much as I could.

Paula and I kept in touch and my mom adopted another dog from them, Charlie. Then I decided to foster and had our wonderful Phoebe come into our lives. I knew I would be a foster failure that first night.

I don’t foster now, because we have 2 Cavaliers with serious health issues, Oliver has diabetes and is blind and Sadie has SM, Hydrocephalus, IVDD and had patella surgery last year. My way of contributing is donating my quilts, quilted pillows and now my collars and leashes. I love the Cavalier Rescue groups and especially love Cavalier Alliance because of the multiple health issues of this wonderful breed.”

Catherine’s beautiful handiwork can be found on her FaceBook pages and in her Etsy store at:

Pink Petunia Cottage (

Thanks Catherine for your support of the Cavalier Alliance!



Catherine’s Beautiful Cavaliers

IMG_6837 IMG_6900

National Bite Prevention Week & Resources

National Bite Prevention Week & Resources

It’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week this week. Not a topic usually discussed in the same sentence as Cavaliers, but the reality is any dog, if provoked, can bite. There are an estimated 70 million dogs in the US and approximately 4.5 million reported dog bites annually. Over 350,000 children were bit by dogs in 2010-2012 and over a third of those were children between the ages 5 and 9. Most injuries to children are to the head and neck area.

These sobering stats are a good reminder to teach young children how to properly interact with all pups (including Cavaliers), how to avoid being bitten and to properly socialize, train and leash your Cavalier.

If you would like more information on what to do if you are bit, or if your dog bites someone, please download the AMVA handout on dog bites.


Custom Pet Portraits

Custom Pet Portraits

Beautiful portraits of your pet painted by the talented Lauren Hamelin with all proceeds to benefit the Cavalier Alliance! All portraits are painted on 10oz gesso coated cotton duck canvas. Hand-splined on the back with minimal staples, 7/8” profile canvas is perfect for displaying unframed. All portraits are unframed. Hanging hardware not included. Sizes are noted below.

The pricing below is for a portrait with just one pet. If you seek a portrait with multiple pets in it, please contact us for specific pricing. If you don’t see a size you like, please inquire for the price & timing. Deeper canvas (1 ½”) is also available by special order & additional fee.

Created on a first-come, first served basis, please send 3-4 clear photos of your pet (1-2 close ups are great!) Since oils take longer to dry, please allow 4-6 weeks minimum for your painting to arrive. Larger portraits will take longer.

Sizing and Price:

5×7” or 6×6” mini $50.00 plus shipping

8×10” or 8×8” $75.00 plus shipping

9×12” or 10×10” $110.00 plus shipping

11×14” or 12×12” $150.00 plus shipping

Larger sizes, please inquire.

Portraits will be started when payment & photos have been received. Please email photos to:

Payments can be sent via PayPal to:

You may also send a check payable to: Cavalier Alliance
64 Cedarwood Road
Boxborough MA, 01719

Please make sure your name & address, your pet’s name & canvas size is included in all correspondence so we can make sure you get the correct portrait.

Congrat’s to Bailey

Congrat’s to Bailey

Congratulations to Bailey on his new family. We are happy to report that his diabetes is now well managed and he’s enjoying early morning belly rubs. We wish him many happy years in with his new family! IMG_7406Bailey Canal Walk

Amanda K. Ruisi Joins Cavalier Alliance Board

The Cavalier Alliance is pleased to announce that Amanda K. Ruisi has joined our Board of Advisors.  Ms. Ruisi is the Founder & President of AKR Public Relations, an award-winning PR agency that specializes in celebrity brands, entertainment and lifestyle.  Her appointment to the board of advisors was effective in February 2015.

Amanda Ruisi“Amanda brings a wealth of experience to our non-profit and we are so pleased she will be working with us in the months and years ahead!” said Tonya Andersen, Co-founder, Cavalier Alliance for Rescue, Research, and Education, Inc.

Ms. Ruisi represents many A-list celebrities, TV shows, and Fortune 500 companies. She is a tireless animal activist who has helped raise millions of dollars for charities. Making big progress, she is genuinely moved by each rescue dog’s story. As the proud mother of Ruby, a 6 year old Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Ms. Ruisi strongly identifies with the mission of the Cavalier Alliance.

Ms. Ruisi is a graduate of Fairfield University and spent 10 years at NBC Universal prior to launching her own agency at age 27.  Sharing her experiences she has spoken most recently at Yale University, The #Fashion140 Conference at Lincoln Center and frequently addresses additional colleges and PRSSA chapters across the country.

Additionally, Ruisi has been a member of the Academy Of Television Arts & Sciences for over eight years, she is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), The Wall Street Journal’s “Women of Note,” an exclusive network of powerful female leaders and the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs.


Cavalier Alliance Spring Update

Cavalier Alliance Spring Update

We are so pleased to announce that the first copy of our newsletter has been sent out!  Many thanks to Megan Breen who assisted with our design.

If you aren’t a subscriber yet, please sign up by clicking the link below:

Cavalier Alliance Newsletter Signup

The form to sign up for our newsletter is on the right hand side of that page.

If you missed our first copy, and would like to receive one, just drop us an email and we will send one over!

Cushing’s Disease in Cavaliers

Cushing’s disease, otherwise known as Hyperadrenocorticism, is a condition that results when the body produces too much cortisol.

Our foster boy, Dudley-Duncan has Cushing’s disease and just started treatment. Fortunately, he’s responding well to treatment! You can read more about the disease, in the link below:

Cushing’s Disease in Canines



Canine Diabetes Overview

For those of you who have asked about Bailey and how diabetes in dogs is managed, here’s a quick overview.

Bailey Canal Walk