From left Morgan, Peanut, and Chewey (Morgan's brother)
If you’re going to have an addiction then one of the healthiest you can have is for the love of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The road to Cav addiction begins when you lay eyes on your first Cavalier. Their charm. Their joyful spirit. Their love. Their eyes. Their human-like qualities. In a nutshell, their wind blown Royal presence has you at hello. Cavaliers are pure, full of love and exude innocence. Anyone who has lived with a Cavalier knows how pure their sweet souls are. I personally feel the need to protect them, while providing the best life ever! I consider it not only one of my purposes in life but a responsibility to provide for my Cavaliers as I would any child. Their love, devotion and pure heart are that of a child’s. When I say they have human-like qualities it is very true. They are true companion dogs and have been for centuries starting with King Charles himself who adored the breed. And yes they are indeed a royal breed named after him.
My first Cavalier Morgan was the absolute CavLove of my life. We’re talking doggie soul mate here. Yep, that is just my brand of Cavalier crazy! Born on February 19, 2000, the moment we met was the beginning of a magical life together. To say it was love at first sight would be an understatement. She nearly leapt to her death out of her carriers arms to get to me. That was just a small peek at her personality and what was to come. Morgan notoriously jumped off a garage roof a few years later and walked away unscathed as if nothing happened. To say she was fearless is an understatement.
When Morgan was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Disease (late onset MVD) at 10 years old our lives changed forever. By 11 she experienced her first bout with congestive heart failure. Our world turned upside down. I already had her on a heavy liver and kidney detoxing program and migrated her to a raw food diet to help with her heart murmur. Cleansing her liver and kidneys to support her vital organ functions eventually turned into such a blessing. The cleansing approach counterbalanced the side effects of the meds she was on to keep her heart going and lungs clear of fluid. Lasix is notorious for compromising the kidneys, so cleansing the kidneys was massively helpful. All the cleansing and detox we did proved so beneficial, extending her life by years. Morgan lived until 15.5 when the cardio gave her 4-6 months to live following her first episode of heart failure. She lived 4 years longer than what her cardiologist estimated. Morgan's cardio is a wonderful man who also owned Cavaliers, so he really understands the breed. Everything I was doing was impressive to her doctors. I was told to continue doing what I was doing.
It was as if Morgan knew the paces I was putting her through were needed to support her healing. She took droppers full of herbal tinctures, which included cayenne pepper I might add. Hawaiian ginger for digestion and powdered greens to support detoxification. Everything was now organic and wild harvested. She even was given alkaline water on occasion and spring water instead of tap. Only the best for her. She transitioned to all of it with so much grace and ease. I was beyond aggressive and relentless in the protocols. I pushed her to limits and she was with me every step of the way. I learned so much from her. Her fearlessness shined brighter than I’d ever seen before. She amazed me and amazes me to this day as I reflect on her little spirit. We just got up, brushed ourselves off after her almost dying and said, well this is the new normal. And we did it together no arguing or fighting about it. That’s how much we loved and trusted one another.
This went on for another 3 years when she then slipped into a secondary heart condition called hyperpulmonary tension. She was 14 by now. It took us a bit to realize it was heart-related because she had an episode of seizures. At this point, I had assembled a team of specialists around Morgan. The vet who added yet another year to her life, Dr. Rachel Jones offered several alternative modalities that I gratefully embraced. She helped support Morgan further with a gentler, nutrition-based detox approach. After finally figuring out Morgan needed a 4th medication for her heart, Dr. Jones provided a new kind of insight and guidance during her last months. She was instrumental in supporting Morgan’s physical body and quality of life to 15.5 when she finally passed away in August of 2015, gracefully not wanting to leave my side. Morgan’s courage, strength, and fighting spirit were a part of her until her very last breath. She is an absolute inspiration and teacher in how to transition from the physical to the spirit world. Ironically it wasn’t even her heart that failed her. It was her kidneys. That’s how medication affects the body if taken for extended periods of time. I’m so glad we integrated detoxing as a part of Morgan’s care. It really set up her little body to be on such heavy doses of medication to support the bum ticker. That’s what I affectionately called it.
Through the process of caring for Morgan, I realized the magnitude of my responsibility to these little creatures. I owe it to them to look after them. Learning what I have with Morgan is certainly a model for success. I would love to inspire all Cavalier owners to create similar paths of care-taking with their own little loves for both preventative measure and support with any current diagnosis. Morgan’s cardio Dr. Lesser said 90% of the breed will experience some form of heart disease. All the more reason to be armed and prepared and give our little babies proper nutrition and building blocks as they are growing and throughout the years. I believe if we agree to own a Cavalier we are bound to them through this kind of love and devotion. It’s the least I can do for all the unconditional love and joy they have given me so selflessly. Yes, I am indeed a Cav loving addict. I feel a deep and emotional bond with them that knows no limits. I really can’t think of a healthier addiction.
CavLove has been created to honor the memory of my sweet girl Morgan, or affectionately known as Morgsy. Her courageous journey through MVD and the love we shared has given me so much that I want to honor her memory and give back. CavLove will be making regular donations to various Cavalier rescues and Cavalier families in need of support while bringing awareness to current and aspiring Cavalier owners on how best to manage your sweet companions heart disease. Please, don’t give up on them if they are diagnosed. MVD is a terrible disease but it doesn't have to be a death sentence. They are worth of every ounce of time, energy and dollars spent to ensure their quality of life.
Kim is a certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I believe in applying many of the holistic health principles I learned in the program to my Cavaliers for health optimization and ensuring the highest quality of life for my dogs. Our household is one based on holistic health principles and wellness that apply to everyone!
With so much love and Cavalier kisses,
Kim, Morgsy, and Tali (Morgan’s sister!!)