🏡 Someone home at least part of day
🐶 Canine companion of similar size & temperament
💜 Adult only home
🌱 Safe and secured fenced in yard
Danny came into our care back in February after he was released by his breeder who was "downsizing". At age 8 (DOB 7/21/2011) he has known nothing but a life of breeding and confinement and is just now getting to experience the word! He has bloomed so much in the 3 months we have had him, but like with all puppy mill dogs, he needs a family who will go very slow with him as everything is new and scary.
Danny underwent his neuter surgery and much needed dental while in our care and lost just one bad tooth. While he arrived into our care with poor skin and coat, thanks to a high quality diet and TLC, that has resolved and his fur is continuing to grow back in beautifully. He also arrived underweight and scrawny at 18 pounds, but is now a healthy 21 pounds which is his ideal weight. His physical exam revealed clear eyes, knees, and hips, but a significant heart murmur was detected so he underwent a full cardiac evaluation and echocardiogram with our veterinary cardiologist.
Like most Cavaliers his age, Danny has mitral valve disease (MVD), meaning that his mitral valve is insufficient. To help slow down any further progress of the disease, Danny is on 2 heart medications - one given daily, and the other given every other day. Danny will need to remain on these medication for life and he needs to remain in the care of a veterinary cardiologist who can best monitor and manage the MVD and medications. It is recommended that he have a recheck echocardiogram in the fall. Other than the MVD, Danny is now in overall great health. He is now up to date on vaccinations, neutered, had a recent dental, is microchipped, and on monthly preventatives.
Danny had never been in a home environment prior to arriving into rescue but he is doing well with his potty training following the lead of his Cavalier foster siblings. Providing frequent opportunities outside helps to ensure potty training success - Danny follows his pack of friends outside first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every couple hours in between. Do not expect him to 'alert' you that he needs to go, rather you need to take the initiative to take him out. A high value treat following good potty behavior will be great positive reinforcement for him. Please know that accidents are to be expected, including initial marking, especially while transitioning and acclimating to a new environment and routine.
Danny is a great eater and enjoys his meals and treats! He is fed separately, away from the other dogs in the foster home, as he showed some guarding of his food initially when the other dogs were near his bowl. This is normal behavior, especially with puppy mills dogs, and giving him a designated spot to eat away from the other dogs is an easy way to manage this and gives Danny the opportunity to enjoy his food without feeling like he needs to be 'on guard'. He takes treats very well, right alongside the other dogs.
It is always very rewarding to watch puppy mill dogs learn to enjoy "dog things!" Danny has recently discovered toys and loves them - particularly squeaky ones that will talk back to him ;) He likes to collect them and is also known to bring one outside with him. In addition to toys, he has always come to really enjoy his outdoor freedom! Danny will dash out the door, and run, and run, and run..... then run some more. He loves to engage his Cavalier foster siblings in his marathons and will happily recruit them. He loves the sun on his face and his tail is one of the fastest wagging tails you have ever seen. I think Danny would tell you that running is his favorite so we are seeking a home for him with a safe and secured fenced in yard where he can continue to enjoy his outdoor freedom - the more room the better! Danny has also slowly started leash training with the help of his Cavalier foster siblings. Because puppy mill dogs can be easily startled and spooked by sudden or loud noises and movements, it is best to continue his leash training in a quiet area, for his safety. We certainly do not recommend that he be taken out in public yet with a lot of people, activity, and noise.
Danny's whole life was changed in an instant, and his personality has taken some time to show through. Danny was slow to open up, choosing to just watch and observe all the activity of his foster home from a 'safe spot'. After so many years of very little human contact, Danny still feels most at ease when he is surrounded by a four legged pack. He doesn't really know how to be a dog, unless he has another well-adjusted, confident, social, resident dog to model after and follow. He has bonded with the other Cavaliers in his foster home and really enjoys their companionship. We will be seeking a home for him with other Cavaliers, or another dog of similar size and mild temperament. Particularly ones that will allow him to enjoy his squeaky toys with little competition and that will welcome his closeness and cuddling. He has also done well with dog-friendly cats.
Danny enjoys his down time as well, and in true Cavalier fashion likes to snooze away on lazy afternoons. When his foster family is away from the home, Danny stays in a spacious puppy proofed, gated off area of the home where he has access to water, toys, his bed and blanket. After so many years of being confined, we wouldn't recommend that Danny is crated. Instead, a gated off area of the home or spacious pen where he has more freedom and comforts is much more appropriate and preferred. At night, Danny sleeps in the big bed where he sleeps soundly through the night, with no accidents. We feel sleeping in the big bed is wonderful for his rehabilitation and looking for a family who will welcome him up.
Danny's foster mom has a set of steps that assist him in easily being able to get up and down from the couch and other furniture. It is important for Danny to be able to participate in household activities, but at his own pace. He has come to learn to enjoy gentle petting and affection but he is not yet comfortable being picked up and held. Too much attention on him, particularly with touching, is overwhelming for him. He is happy just being in the same space with you and needs a family who will not "push" him or expect him to reach a certain level of affection and closeness with them. Being a part of a dog pack allows Danny to learn how to safely integrate himself into the family activities.
Danny is timid with new people and needs time to watch and observe them and begin to figure out that they are safe and good. Approaching and reaching for him will scare him and so patience is needed to allow Danny to properly check you out and then approach you when he is ready. Again, it is all about taking things slow and letting Danny do things on his time while encouraging and supporting him in gentle ways. Please understand that he will likely never be an overly social dog who can easily meet new people, experience new things and do well, so expectations for him must be realistic - 8 years of trauma, abuse, and neglect in a puppy mill takes much time to reverse and erase. That said, once shown patience and gentle kindness, and once he knows he is safe and loved, Danny is able to open up, let his wall down, and show trust in his humans. He can be frequently found cuddled up close with his foster mom enjoying gentle loving!
Please understand that his socialization progress will be in baby steps and not in leap and bounds. His desired family will be one that will give him the unconditional love, patience, support, and encouragement he needs as he continues to work to move forward and put his puppy mill past behind him. He has already bloomed so much in foster care and we know that in the right environment and with the right support he will continue to thrive. We feel that is a calm, quiet, adult only home, with other welcoming, well adjusted furry siblings, a safe and secure fenced yard, and someone home much of the day who will have realistic expectations for his socialization and progress. His family must be able to continue his medical care including his medications and ongoing cardiac scans to monitor his mitral valve disease. If you feel you are the right match for Danny, please complete an online adoption application found on our website and then email us at CavalierRescueAL@gmail.com to express your interest. Danny is located in Perryville, Missouri (travel there is required), and his requested adoption donation is $300.