“If you don’t own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.” Roger Caras
After a very short deliberation, I’ve decided to start a new section on It’s Beyond My Control entitled The Luxurious Dog, for matters concerning all things that are important for your pampered pooch and as the title suggests, these won’t be short on luxury but at the same time, I intend them to be practical items that should be considered essential to best present your pedigree. The reason for this new section, well quite simply a dream of mine has come true and I can take great pride in welcoming into the de Merteuil family, Isia-Lilith, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy who has been keeping me away from writing for so long.
I’ve been preparing for this moment for over five years and by preparing I don’t simply mean shopping, though I have to admit, excess has been on occasion my middle name and at times I’ve spent more money at Mungo & Maud than I perhaps should have, it’s beyond my control. For the most part however, this time was about studying, educating myself on the health and care issues of my beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed (chosen because they have the face of an angel and the kindest predisposition toward people). Unfortunately though, as all pedigree dogs, such beauty comes at a price; health problems, that simply can’t be ignored. In the case of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel it is hereditary illnesses such as Syringomyelia, MVD, Hip Dysplasia and Luxating Patella that the future owner needs to be aware of. The reason why I’m writing about it instead of jumping straight to what the post is really about, meaning the essentials for your new puppy, is that I’m in shock and disbelieve how many Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners out there are completely oblivious to their dogs needs and have never heard of SM. I’m of the believe that the majority of our four-legged-friends end up in dog shelters because of the ignorance and selfishness of their previous owners, who didn’t take the time to read about their chosen breed. If I can give one advice to anyone considering a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, it’s to either adopt a dog from a shelter or please do your research, find a breeder who tests their dogs and is proud to show you the results! DON’T EVER buy a puppy from a pet shop, someone selling dogs on the street or from an add you saw in a newspaper! Don’t support puppy mills!
That out of the way, I’d like to introduce my child, who has changed our life forever; Isia-Lilith, a beautiful Blenheim girl for whom Mr Merteuil and I moved countries. Yes, that’s right, I prepared for my puppy for five years and ultimately, had to move countries in order to have her. The reason being that if you’re familiar with the London property markets and have a dog then you’ll sympathise when I say that finding an apartment in London with a dog-friendly landlord is about as easy as winning the lottery. Being signed with over 20 real estate agents, or as I call them, perpetrators of pure evil, four years passed and it didn’t look as if we were getting anywhere with our search. One day however the phone rang, a perfect apartment in Richmond had been found but when we went to see it and immediately fell in love with the place, the Devil aka the real estate agent asked; how flexible we were about the dog because the landlord didn’t want tenants with pets! It was the first time that I lost the plot and started screaming at a stranger.
So we gave up on living in London and now make the commute for work there from a perfect apartment in beautiful Warsaw and with the perfect puppy, half German, half English, the offspring of champion parents, we couldn’t be happier.We will be forever grateful to her breeder Katarzyna Trojanowska, an incredible veterinary doctor at the Hau Miau clinic in Warsaw, who helped make our dream possible and who we are lucky to consider our friend.
And when you finally find your perfect puppy, that’s when the shopping spree begins!
Essentials for your new puppy;
1) Getting a crate should be the number one item on the shopping list for your new puppy. You might find it hideous and somewhat barbarian to be putting your luxurious puppy behind the bars, but trust me, it will not only be the best and quickest way of housetraining your baby but will also allow you to leave the new member of your family in a safe environment, teaching them that being left alone for an hour or two every now and then is not the end of the world. Let’s face it, we all need to shoe-shop sometimes and not all the shops are dog- friendly. Joking aside the one thing you don’t want to have to deal with is a puppy with separation anxiety.
You will have to cover the crate with a blanket and I suggest something pretty that will be matching your interiors, after all, you will be staring at it a lot. I bought a couple of blankets from Designers Guild and keep swapping between them every week.
2) You’ll also need a vet bed, which is very warm, cosy, cover the bottom of the cage and has drainage properties in case of an accident. I also purchased an incredibly soft blanket by Oscar Newman, which beautifully matches the coat of my Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and she has adopted it now more as a toy than something to sleep on. In fact, Mr de Merteuil and I did exactly what we were not meant to do and allowed Isia-Lilith to sleep in our bed rather than in her crate and she has chosen my Ralph Lauren bathrobe as her blanket. My child is already showing signs of having a rather expensive taste, like her mother.
3) Collar and leash. I bought mine five years prior to owning the puppy because I simply couldn’t resist. Mungo & Maud is my top destination when it comes to shopping for the luxurious dog and I’m usually out of control when I visit their shop at Elizabeth Street in London. It’s heaven for any dog owner with class and good taste. For a new puppy, I recommend a light collar and very long lead so that the, oh so important training of walking on a loose lead, can begin immediately.
4) Food and water bowls come in different shapes, sizes and colours but I strongly recommend a Spaniel bowl, which prevents Cavaliers’ ears to get wet due to its shape. Don’t forget, as I did, that you’ll also need a bowl for their crate.
5) Grooming products. Regardless of the fact that you might wish to show your dog in the future or not, I’m sure that you will want your dog’s coat to be long, silky and wave-free at all times. The sooner you start a daily grooming routine the easier and more pleasant it will be for both you and your puppy. All you need is; a small comb, slicker brush, demoting lotion and a bristle brush. I opted for the Mason Person one but if you rather not part with 75GBP you can choose a cheaper option from your local pet shop. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a breed prone to eye and ear infection so please make sure, that you pay attention to both and keep them clean! Thornit Powder is a real lifesaver when it comes to ear infection so make sure you always have a bottle in your grooming kit. Part of the grooming routine should be teeth brushing and checking nails which should always be kept trimmed. The whole process takes me 15 minutes a day so not a big deal and I have a tangle-free dog.
Always brush your Cavalier before bathing and make sure that if you use a hairdryer afterwards, the stream of hot air goes with the growth of your Cavalier’s coat.
6) Lots of different toys especially chew toys, lots of chew toys unless you want your puppy to start nibbling on your Jimmy Choo. Tug toys, plush toys, little balls (make sure the toy is not too big or too small for their mouths!)
7) Wardrobe is essential for any puppy especially around Winter-time but also on those rainy days. Cavalier coats are very long and get dirty so easily, that you will find yourself bathing or semi-bathing their muddy paws almost every day. I would like to point out that full-on baths shouldn’t be done more than once a month but due to my new oak floor throughout the entire apartment, as well as the fact, that Isia-Lilith sleeps with us in bed I wash her paws and undercarriage every single day.
8) For the dog owner.
Miele S8 Cat & Dog is the most brilliant Vacuum cleaner I’ve ever had! Absolute must-have for those who love their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coat on their dog but not so much on their antique rug.
Is there anything else you would like to add to the list?