Meet the Dogs who Inspired the Cavalier Alliance


Our primary inspiration for the Cavalier Alliance was Tonya’s boy Murray.  Murray was a special-needs Cavalier who came into rescue in 2008.

Murray had been in a car accident, with his elderly owner, and had neurological issues as a result. After the accident he spent 12-16 weeks in a shelter while his owner tried to recover. When it was clear the owner was moving to assisted living and couldn’t take him, the family asked the shelter to place him.  Murray then made a brief stop with another rescue volunteer who adopted him from a shelter in Vermont and transitioned him to rescue when his barking and howling was too much at work.  Murray was fostered by Tonya and her family.  They eventually adopted him, five months later, when there wasn’t a good match available for his special needs.  Over the years they have dealt with seizures, behavioral challenges due to his neuro limitations, and the challenges of an aging cavalier.  Murray went over the Rainbow Bridge just before his 16th birthday.

The photo here of Murray was taken at age 14.  He was always a complete character and much loved. <3


Sienna came into rescue with a history of abuse and very under socialized.  Ann explains: “Two year old Sienna came to us, scared, timid, shaking, love-starved, and afraid of people, other dogs and loud noises. She cowered if we tried to pet her, did not trust anyone or anything, did not play with toys and did not bark or show any interest in anything. We did not at first realize how fragile she was.  She was “frozen” in place.For the first two weeks, I held her in my arms constantly stroking her lightly and softly talking to her. She craved the attention and liked being held.  We setup a schedule of daily long walks to expose her to people, dogs, and loud noises.

Slowly, ever so slowly over months, she relaxed around people and other dogs – eventually even approaching children, adults and other dogs.We started basic training and agility lessons, graduating to good canine citizen classes. She even passed the pet therapy dog evaluation.  Today we have a happy, playful, loving and very sweet Sienna – one who is giving love and attention as a pet therapy dog.”Sienna and her hat in the BMW Z4 (2)