Maizey was the culmination of a dream.
"I'm two years old today!"
I don’t remember the first time I knew about Cavaliers. They are fairly rare here, even more so several years ago when I started needing one.
The first time I saw a saw a Cavalier in real life was in Poland in 2006. He was a black and tan beauty and I knew I was in love.
It wasn’t until our tenth wedding anniversary, in September 2009, after years of researching, reading and begging Mehusbandy that he finally said the words that made my heart sing, “Okay, if it means that much to you I think you should start looking.”
Good thing he didn’t know how many breeders I had been researching for three years!
First night home.
Maizey Comes Home
On March 14, 2009 I brought my dream girl home.
I won’t go into the issue of breeders here, but suffice it to say I knew I would have to go out of state to find a good one. But of course in my dreaming I kept an eye on local breeders.
So it was that we made the cardinal mistake of all puppy dreamers. We went to see a litter, “just to look.”
It was a somewhat justified idea (read excuse here) since it made sense to meet some of these little dreams in person. Remember, at that point I had only met one Cavalier in my life, and he was a brief encounter on the street for a quick snuggle. My love was based on mere research at that point. I wanted some real life experience.
I thought I would be okay. I thought I was determined. I thought I was strong enough to just “go look.” I thought wrong.
She is exactly what I wanted.
I knew exactly what I wanted: an 8-10 week, tri-color female. People oriented, brave, from good lines. I would settle for nothing less. There was much I didn’t know that I should have about choosing a puppy, but we all start somewhere.
In the litter there were two tri females. They were around 11 weeks old and couldn’t have been less insterested in us if we were dust on the floor. They were not the girls for me. But as we met the dogs we kept visiting with the breeder.
(In the interest of full disclosure I will say this breeder was not a pond scum bottom feeder on the scale of breeders, but I will never return to her. Still, I knew she didn’t fit all my criteria for breeders and it was my choice to compromise my standards. I can’t say I am sorry except in a principled way. In reality my Maymay is my Maymay and even when given the chance to give her back I didn’t.)
Since the two puppies we had come to see were not the fit for us, she finally she said she did have another puppy she had been holding that we could meet.
"Are you my Crazymomlady?"
She went in the back and came around the corner carrying a gorgeous, nine week old tri-female. She set her down and I experienced my first time of being ‘slammed’ by the typical Cavalier friendliness. This sweet little girl ran straight into my lap and hardly left.
She was playful, but still wanted cuddled. She instantly loved Mehusbandy and though she liked the other puppies she wasn’t scared of them at all. They seemed to think she was some kind of wicked step-sister or something and pretty much ignored her, but she just came right back to us for more snuggles.
By that afternoon she was home with us. Meeka and Little Man were welcoming her and our family had grown by one adorable snuggle bug.
"My big sisser Meeka couldn't resist me!
Meeka’s attitude was tolerant, not playful. She was very careful around the new baby. As Mehusbandy put it she seemed to be saying, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, but I only play with humans.” Still, in time they became good zooming buddies and sisters.
She immediately wanted to play with Meeka, which was a comical and hair raising event all at once. With maizey weighing in at barely four pounds our Big Girl outweighed her by at least 80 pounds!
It was clear from that day on she had my heart and now two years later she still does.
Two Exciting Years Later
As she turns two years old this month I am reflecting on how much we have already been through together.
As a friend recently put it, ”She has had a dramatic life.”
It is so true! From two knee surgeries for luxating patella’s to illnesses, both mine and hers, we have loved and nursed each other through a couple of exciting years. We have travelled together, learned together, watched era’s change together.
Maizey has grown into more than just a friend. She has appointed herself my therapy dog. My nom de plume isn’t Crazymomlady for nothing, I have my ups and downs and she knows them better than anyone else. She’s always there with a hug and a snuggle.
"Seriously, who wouldn't want to be smothered by this face?"
Of course her preferred way of comforting me (or anyone else in distress) is to smother my face in ‘face hugs’. She’s convinced that if she smashes her face against mine, Cavalier ears and all, that it will cure what ails me. And you know what? She isn’t all wrong since it never fails to make me laugh!
Sometimes I worry she takes her self appointed duties too seriously so we make sure there is lots of fun and training in every day.
Maizey is my first straight positive reinforcement/clicker trained dog. As such she has had the unfortunate experience of being the guinea pig to my learning process. In spite of it all she is a master shaper and a dedicated worker. She loves to train and is willing to work for just about anyone as long as they have treats!
But she is teaching me so much more than just training lessons.
My Maizey Lessons
Maizey is teaching me about overcoming fears and learning new ways to see the world.
She is a fearful girl when it come to other dogs, and we have worked hard to help her learn the world is not a big scary place. A lesson that will likely continue our whole lives.
She is teaching me about being observant and intuitive. She pays such close attention to everyone around her. Her sensitivity is one of her greatest assets and one of her greatest challenges.
One of her greatest lessons is eagerness. It’s a beautiful thing to have a dog that is so willing to learn and loves to please, who is friendly and out going and brings a smile to each face she meets.
She is a good example for me and I hope an ambassador for her breed in many ways.
The 4legged lesson? No matter where you came from or where you’re going, each moment with 4legged best friend teaches us something. For me, Maizey teaches me about loving life where you are in that moment. She teaches me how full your heart can be with happiness and love. She teaches me the essence of friendship.
What will she teach me next? I never know. But one thing is for sure, no matter how the journey starts, a life with a 4legged friend is always an adventure!
My Favorite Maizey Posts
Below is a list of some of my favorite Maizey photos, stories and videos.
Sick Puppies Don’t Work For Treats
Milestones Should Always Be Celebrated with a milestones video
On the Road with Four Busy Legs
So Pig in a Blanket is Easier To Say
Not All Cavaliers are Princesses
The The Cocklebur Debacle
Don’t Throw Me in the Deep End of the Lake
Post 100: A Trust Walk
Training Challenge Week 7: A Reactive Maizey Victory
Gratitude For Friendship
Tricky Maizey! Load Up the Suitcase
Moments of Fame
In her two years Maizey has had her moments of online fame and been allowed to share her story with others. A few places you can find her are:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel-a-Day
(This post will be have a permanent home on Maizey’s personal page.)