🏡 Someone home much of day / low alone hours
🌱 Safe and secured fenced yard, preferred
💜 Older, gentle children okay
We recently welcomed 4 year old Zeus (DOB 3/23/2015) into our care after he was released to us by his breeder as part of a "downsize". Zeus is a mega-sized Cavalier which has earned him the nickname of Zeus the Moose! He clocks in at 31 pounds which is his ideal weight for his body type. Simply put, there is just more to love of this handsome ruby boy, and some lucky family will be able to call him theirs!
Zeus received a good report at his intake vetting. He is a healthy boy with clear eyes, hips, knees, and just a very mild (grade 1) heart murmur, likely due to the onset of mitral valve disease. His fecal test was negative, his urinalysis was normal, his heartworm test was negative, and his bloodwork was normal. He did test positive for Lyme, a tick borne illness, so we ran a titer test which detects and measures the antibodies and gives us quantifiable information about his exposure and infection to help determine if any treatment would be needed. Thankfully, the titer test results showed that Zeus's levels were quite low (considered 'clinically insignificant') and so no treatment is needed at this time. It is recommended that Zeus have another Lyme titer test in 6 months (August 2020) to recheck and compare his values. That test is ~$80. Zeus then underwent a neuter surgery and dental cleaning (with no extractions) in our care. He had a routine surgery and recovery and has healed perfectly. Zeus is now up to date on vaccinations, neutered, had a recent dental, is microchipped, and on monthly preventatives. Zeus is not on any medications and does not require any additional vetting outside of regular wellness checks, at his time.
Zeus has been a breeding dog all of his life and this is likely the first time he has lived in a home environment. That said, he is doing very well with his potty training. Even though Zeus will get "antsy" when he needs to go to the bathroom, it is important for his people to take the initiative to take him out frequently to provide for him plenty of opportunities to be successful. Zeus should be taken out first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every few hours in between including right after meals. Even though he is reliable in his foster home it is important to understand that accidents are to be expected, especially initially while Zeus is transitioning and learning his new environment and routine.
Even though Zeus is a big guy, he isn't a big eater (yet). Many of our puppy mill dogs come from a life of 'box feeders" attached to their kennel to learning how to eat at specific meal times and out of bowls. Zeus is still not so sure about a bowl but has graduated to a shallow dish and doing well. When Zeus is eating it is important that there are no distractions and he often needs some encouragement along the way to keep eating and to finish. Once Zeus has fully transitioned and acclimated to his home and family, feels safe and loved, and continues to get familiar with bowls and meal expectations, we are certain he will be a cavalier-shark in no time! He has learned about treats and has decided that he likes them although he will take them slowly and cautiously from your hand. Because Zeus isn't food motivated, he responds best to gentle praise.
Zeus is a laid back guy who gets short spurts of energy where he will prance around the yard. But for the most part he is very content spending much of the day on the couch and on your heels accompanying you from room to room , in true Cavalier fashion. He loves to be right with you but is happy as long as he is within sight of you. Some of his favorite things are chest and belly rubs, couch time together watching / listing to TV, and quick runs through the yard. He has enjoyed both the sun and the snow, but no so much the rain.While he spends most of the day with his foster mom, during times when there are no humans home he stays in a puppy proofed area of the home. He, like so many puppy mill dogs, has a strong aversion to strict confinement. He is very unhappy and anxious being shut in a crate, pen or even room. Instead of being "shut in" somewhere, it is much better for Zeus for other areas to be shut off and for him to have more freedom. He does great in the living room area of his foster home where his foster mom comes home to find him lounging on the couch. At night he sleeps on a comfy chair in the bedroom, although we feel he would love to be invited into the big bed.
Zeus has been enjoying the fenced yard in his foster home but has also been getting familiar with and practicing being on leash. While he does well with the actual mechanics of walking on a leash, he struggles more with the sounds and activities around him while he is out on a leash. Zeus can be easily spooked and startled by loud, sudden or startling noises and movements which obviously poses a safety issue if he isn't within a safe and secure fenced yard. For this reason, we prefer that Zeus go to a home with a safe and secured fenced yard but willing to consider homes without a fenced yard on a case by case basis should the neighborhood be very low traffic and relatively quiet. That said, we do encourage his family to continue working with him on leash training, when safe, and with gentle exposure and lots of positive reinforcement.
Zeus shares his home 2 two other Cavaliers who he gets along with well. We feel he would be happiest with other mild, couch loving Cavaliers, or other dogs of similar size and temperament. We also feel he could be happy as an only dog but only if he would have very low alone time on a daily basis and be able to be with his human much of the day. Zeus also encountered a cat while at the vet and was rather indifferent. It could be that he would do well in a home with a dog-friendly feline friend. Zeus would not do well in a loud, active, or busy home and would prefer a more quiet, peaceful environment. He would do well in an adult only home or a home with older, gentle children who can understand and respect his puppy m ill past and learn how to engage with him appropriately.
Humans are still brand new to Zeus and so he is wary of new people he meets. People should get down to his level, avoid eye contact, and give Zeus some time to "explore" you and check you out. Once he feels non-threatened he will allow touch and attention and then will quickly warm up to you. The more positive experiences he has meeting new people and learning that they are safe and good and respectful of him, the less wary, timid, and cautious he will be. But please know that this takes time, continued positive reinforcement, and that expectations for him should be reasonable. It is important to remember that this is a brand new world for him that he is still adjusted to and becoming familiar with.
Zeus is handsome, healthy, sweet, and loving boy who is going to continue to thrive in an environment that can meet his needs. He would be happiest in a more quiet home, with gentle humans, low alone time, a safe and secured fenced yard, and another mild furry furiend. If you feel you may be the perfect match for this hunk of love, please complete an adoption application found on our website, and then email us at CavalierRescueAL@gmail.com to express your interest. Zeus is being fostered in Lebanon, Missouri (travel there is required), and his requested adoption donation is $550.