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Five Fast Facts About the Cavalier King Charlies Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not cheap. On average you can expect to pay $2,000-$3,000 for one.

However, if you've socked away your "puppy fund" and are considering buying a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or "Cav" as enthusiasts call them, there are five things you might not know. Before you fall under the spell of the big eyes and floppy ears, a few tips from a Cav owner...

1) While Cavs slow down as they age, don't take this as an excuse not to walk the dog. They love walks, even though they may seem to sleep most of the time when at home. As your Cav turns seven or eight, regular walks become more important, and the exercise will keep you moving too.

2) Cavs get knots in their fur more easily than any breed I've ever known with the exception of the Maltese--I co-owned one with my grandmother and kept its coat short. Cav coats are naturally short on top, long around the paws, tail, throat, ears, and belly, which is where the tangles appear. They also get leaves and grass stuck in their fur, especially in the long tail. However, a good rinse in the sink will take care of the grass and leaves. As for the tangles, a Love Glove, available from pet stores, is gentler on the Cav's sensitive nerve endings than other dog brushes.

3) Cavs are easily distractible and will chase after rabbits and birds like bloodhounds. Be aware of this now. Invest in obedience training from the start. However, they're also terrific at alerting you to noises at night.

4) I call the Cav eyes "hypnotic eyes" because once they look at you, you reach in a trance for a morsel from your plate or for the Beggin' Strips. Instead, repeat this mantra after me: vet bills, vet bills, vet bills...

5) Cavs are the most sensitive dog on the planet. In bed with the flu? Just try and pry that dog away. Sad? Your Cav will lick your tears away. Feeling slightly blue or have the sniffles? The dog will be right by your side. Priceless.

Just refer to this pre-owner's manual and your Cav will be a loyal, delightful companion for years to come.

Movie reviewer/screenwriter Kristin Johnson is owned by two Cavaliers. She composes personalized poems, speeches, toasts, vows, and family memories. Visit http://www.poemsforyou.com to order your personalized memories. She is also co-author of the Midwest Book Review "enthusiastically recommended" pick Christmas Cookies Are For Giving: Stories, Recipes and Tips for Making Heartwarming Gifts (ISBN: 0-9723473-9-9). A downloadablemedia kit is available at our Web site, http://www.christmascookiesareforgiving.com, or e-mail the publisher (info@tyrpublishing.com) to receive a printed media kit and sample copy of the book. More articles available at http://www.bakingchristmascookies.com

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