🏡 Someone home much of the day/ low alone hours
💜 Older gentle children, okay
🌱 Safe and secured fenced yard, preferred
8 year old Ladybird came to us earlier this year when her owner was moving into an assisted living facility and could no longer continue her care. Sadly, she arrived to us obese weighing a heavy 27 pounds for her tiny frame. Everything was a struggle for her, even just breathing and getting comfortable. It was heartbreaking and we couldn’t wait to greatly improve her quality of life. We started her on a weight loss plan and we are happy to report that she is now at a healthy 19 pounds, and just a few pounds away from her ideal weight (which we believe is 16-17 pounds). It is very important that her furever family be willing and able to closely follow her plan which includes strictly portioned weight management food, limited healthy treats, and daily gently activity.
Ladybird is up to date on vaccinations, spayed, microchipped, and on monthly preventatives. We treated her for a bad urinary tract infection upon arrival, likely secondary to her obesity. She responded well to treatment and her urine was clear upon recheck. Her bloodwork, fecal test, heartworm, and tick borne illness test was all normal and negative. She also has clear eyes, hips, and knees, but like most adult Cavaliers, she has mitral valve disease (MVD) from an insufficient mitral valve. Additionally, she also has pulmonary hypertension which often goes hand in hand with the heart disease. She is not symptomatic, meaning the heart disease is only detectable through the audible heart murmur. She has seen our cardiologist for a full cardiac evaluation and echocardiogram and is on 4 daily heart medications to help treat the hypertension and slow down the progress of the MVD. The cost of her medication is about $55/month. Lady takes her medication like a champ with her meals! She does need to remain in the care of a veterinary cardiologist who can best monitor and manage her heart disease.
Ladybird is reliable with her potty training as long as she has frequent opportunities outside. She should be taken out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every couple hours in between. While she will sometimes let you know when she needs to go out, her family should be sure to take the initiative to take her out to give her plenty of opportunities to be successful. Miss Lady is very food motivated, and so (little bit of) a special high value treat will really help with reinforcement. Please know that accidents are to be expected, especially while transitioning to a new environment and routine.
A large part of Lady's weight loss is her strictly portioned meals of weight management food. She is fed with a 'slow feed bowl' which will be provided to her family and which helps the meals stretch a bit farther. She is an enthusiastic eater and gets very excited for meal times - barking and dancing until her bowl is put down! While she can otherwise be described as fairly lazy, she certainly lights up when food is involved (we can't blame her!) In addition to her meals and treats, Lady also loves car rides! She will eagerly run to the garage and wait on "her" side of the car for a boost up. She travels in a boosted car seat which we will ask her family to get for her since she enjoys her car rides so much!
Lady's foster mom describes her as sweet natured, calm, and low maintenance. She is less "needy" and less "velcro" than many other Cavaliers. She certainly enjoys companionship, gentle petting, and being close, but doesn't necessarily crave and demand the endless attention and affection that others do. She could be more secure or sadly she could have been used to not being able to participate in things due to her weight. She hasn't quite figured out the pet steps up to the furniture so she will bark to ask to be put up on the sofa if everyone else is up there. Like most older adult Cavaliers, she spends much of the day napping and relaxing. She is let out frequently in the safe and secured fenced in yard for pottying and for some fresh air, and also goes for a short daily leashed walk around the neighborhood, weather permitting.
Her foster mom works from home and so Lady is with her much of the day, catching up on her naps while her foster mom works. During limited times when there are no humans are home, Lady stays in a gated off puppy proofed area of the home where she has ample space and a comfy bed. At night, she sleeps on a comfy dog bed right next to the big bed, per her choice. Lady does well with some alone time but would not be happy being 'put up' for long hours all day. A family with an adult who can be home and with her for at least part of the day is preferred. She is a quiet, laid back, low key girl and would be happiest in a similar environment. She would enjoy a quiet adult only home, or a home with older, gentle children who can respect her boundaries.
Lady shares her foster home with 2 other Cavaliers who she gets along with well. She doesn't necessarily 'engage' with them but seems to enjoy their company and companionship. She would do well in a home with other mild, laid back, adult Cavaliers (or other dogs of similar size and temperament), or we feel she could be happy as an only dog IF she could be with her people much of the day and had little alone hours. She would not be happy in a home with young, active, playful, and/or boisterous dogs. And while we haven't seen her around cats, she is very mild and we would expect she would do fine with a dog-friendly feline.
Lady is comfortable being on leash and goes for a short daily leashed walk, weather permitting. Because of her heart disease, we are careful to not 'exercise/walk' her in the heat or allow her to spend too much time outside when it is hot, so early morning walks have been best for her. Because she is leash trained, we are not requiring a safe and secured fenced in yard in her forever home but please understand that per our adoption agreement, our dogs must ALWAYS be on a leash when outside of a fenced yard. If her forever home does have a safe and secured fenced yard, please know that Lady is a scavenger and will try to eat things off the ground (mulch, dirt, etc.), and so she must always be closely supervised outside, for her safety.
Lady is a rather friendly, well-adjusted, well-socialized dog who responds well to people when greeted slowly and appropriately. She isn't easily startled or scared of things, although like most dogs, she doesn't love the vacuum. We are seeking a family who will be committed to continuing and maintaining her weight loss and who can continue managing her heart disease needs. She is a gorgeous little girl with the best marshmallow cheeks who will patiently wait her turn in line for petting and who will then run like the wind for a treat (this girl loves her food!) Quiet, laid back, and easy going she is looking for a home with a similar vibe. If you feel you are a match with precious Ladybird, please complete an adoption application found on our website, and then email us at CavalierRescueAL@gmail.com to express your interest. Lady is being fostered in Birmingham, Alabama (travel there is required), and her requested adoption donation is $250.