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HARRY THE CAVALIER


Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-11

This year, after a lot of thought, consideration, agonizing, Petfinder stalking, training book reading and general obsessing, I got a dog. Both of my cats passed away very suddenly last fall, and with Guillaume back in France for most of last winter, I got very, very lonely.

I cannot tell you how many times I google image searched “Cavalier King Charles Spaniel” during those dark days. I’ve been in love with these creatures every since I saw one at the farmer’s market and completely freaked out the owner by squealing loud enough to make passerby’s heads turn as I lunged at her dog in order to stroke his soft, shiny coat. They make me react on some kind of primeval level, to the point where I wonder if maybe I was a member of  the King Charles court in a past life, where they were bred to lie across royal laps in a wriggling, warm, flea attracting dog blanket. I had the same sort of startling, squealing reaction when I interviewed Gretchen Jones last fall, and witnessed the simple joy of a besotted dog on your lap for hours at a time.

I am a cuddler, and these dogs are born for cuddling. I like to joke that if it was up to Harry, he’d just hang out in a baby sling all day long so he could nuzzle in my neck for as long as he pleased. Of course, I looked into rescue dogs. I called every Cavalier organization in North America trying to find one, but no one ever got back to me. Later after talking to breeders I discovered that these dogs are so beloved that the moment one comes up they’re basically snatched up by a member of the Cavalier devoted. After five months with Harry, I get it. He is, quite simply, the best. So sweet, polite, easy to train. So well behaved with children. Completely uninterested in my shoes (Oh thank you God of Dogs!) and happy to sleep in the small of my back as long as I like, on the rare mornings when I actually sleep in.

The very sweet lady I got him from has eight, and claims that Cavs are like potato chips; you can’t just have one. Getting him neutered was a minor tragedy because I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn’t have Harry make a dozen more Harry juniors, my own personal Cav army. So far he knows lots of commands, can walk off leash, and will happily give me a high five. He’s easily the best thing to happen to me since meeting the other man in my life, and I’m terribly grateful every day for all the tiny, significant ways he’s made my life better, like forcing me to go for walks every day so I actually see the seasons change, encouraging me to meet and talk to most of the people in my neighborhood (most of whom die of cuteness when they see him trotting along), and take frequent cuddle breaks when I’m feeling particularly stressed.

Guillaume has been documenting our love affair since the  very beginning, and finally developed a few rolls of film that capture our first year together. I thought I’d share them with you, but fair warning: you might fall in Cav love too.

Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-2 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-8 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-7 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-6 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-4Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-5  Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-9 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-10 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-12 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-13 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-3 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-15Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-14 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-25Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-24   Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-16 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-17 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-18 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-19 Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-22Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-21Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-20Harry the King Charles Cavalier Spaniel-23

I’ve become one of those people so obsessed with my dog that he has his own hashtag on Instagram. See more of my boy here.

 

  • Jackie W.

    Harry is absolutely adorable!

  • R Trittel

    Oh, yes, I love me some Cavs – enjoy your baby!!

  • Cadi

    I seriously just want to stick his head in my mouth and eat him, he’s so cute. When I wear my husband down and he relents to my having a dog, a Cav is my dream pup. Enjoy him, he’s just adorable.

  • Ping Mathre

    He is SO CUTE. I totally want to nibble on his ears. And you may have started an obsession over here too because when you first got him I spent hours and hours googling cav puppies. THAT LITTLE FACE THOUGH.

    • They are like the quintessentially perfect dog but in this omg cute package that is almost anime in its perfection. People still freak when they see him even now that he’s full grown. Walking cartoon!

  • Hélène

    What a nice album showing all the kindess and love between you and your little pal. Some pics are really funny, like the one where you play fetch with Harry in the ruelle, a glass of wine in your hand, probably half drunk. ;))

  • Kirsten Gobel

    Ultra cuteness!! Thanks for introducing Harry! I have 4 dogs( Duck tolling Retriever, Lab, Rhodesian Ridgeback, & Dalmatian) funny how watching our dogs enjoy life makes our lives so much more enjoyable. I thank God for them. I live in a rural area so my dogs are my running partners as well as my sewing friends/moral support team. As an added bonus, their hairs increase the thread count of everything I sew;)

    • Hahahaha that is an amazing way to think about it.

  • I love cavs so much! I had two sisters who I adored, and though they had very different personalities, they both had that affectionate quality you describe in your own little gentleman. I moved to America and they were getting too old to make the journey, so i left them with my grandmother, who has loved having them. I miss them so much, they’re such lovely dogs.

    • You must have such crazy separation anxiety! That must be hard but knowing they’re with your gran must make it easier…. I guess you’ll just have to get some American cavaliers!

      • It is nice knowing where they are – they’ve really brightened up her days. I’ll definitely have another cavalier in my own life. They are too lovely not to 🙂

  • Francesca Amodeo

    Ohmygod too too tooooo adorable! Gorgeous photos – I’ve always yearned for a cav, they are special – and those booties – love xxxx

    • I feel like you’d have teh only Cav in Malta! Cav-elebrity!

  • K_Line

    SO adorable!

  • missceliespants

    AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! Well then. I know what my next dog will be.

    • 100% yes. “Does it fit in a bike basket” is very important criteria.

  • Ann T.

    Please forgive me as I repeat myself. I had a Cavalier named Mr. Darcy for 12.5 glorious years. The first shot was taken right after his bath – he had great fur, and the second is a portrait I had painted of him by Nicole Georges, who is known for her custom dog portraits. He had the sweetest, most gentle disposition, and excelled at cuddling, just as your Harry does. Please keep sharing your adorable photos of him, as they warm my heart.

    • What a beaut! And I 100% need a custom dog portrait now 😉

      • Ann T.

        Actually, I believe you do need a dog portrait. At the time I got mine, I didn’t think it was a good enough likeness, but, now that Mr. Darcy is gone, it is truly one of my most prized possessions.

  • I am in love with Harry! He is so adorable and cute. It’s too bad that my dog is not very good with other dogs, but I know what my next dog will be! Congratulations 🙂

    • HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

      • …and I lied… I started trying to convince my boyfriend to get a cavalier as a second dog, but somehow we ended up getting a german shepherd mix this weekend… I don’t know what happened and how and what happened to my cavalier. Sigh. I’ll still get my cavalier eventually!

  • So sweet! Thankyou so much for sharing. I have a good friend who had a Cavalier as a kid so I’ve heard alllllll about them. She still can’t talk about her dog without a tear in her eye. They are obviously very special dogs 🙂

    • Its the gigantic sad eyes 24/7. Very soulful little dudes!

  • He is ADORABLE!

    • Thank you! I’ll pass that along to him 😉

  • Genevieve

    Cavaliers are the truest of best friends. I have never had one of my own, but those I’ve met are exactly as you describe…of course your Harry is the cutest of cuteness 😍. What a lovely pictorial story, thank you for freshening up my day!

  • sallieforrer

    Oh Harry!!! Has it already been a year?!? What a sweet, sweet boy. Harry in a crate on the back of your bike might just be the most darling thing I’ve ever seen. I really hope I get to meet him someday as he is truly the cutest thing on the planet. I have one of the work cats on my lap as I’m typing this (checking on blogs at work… yep…) and there is really nothing better than the warmth of a sleeping animal in your lap. I adore all the cats in my life, but a snuggly dog really DOES take the cake, in my opinion. Give Harry some kisses from me!

    • You’ll TOTALLY meet him one day! If I ever come up to Texas I have to bring him though he slows down by about 50% when its hits 80 degrees so I’m not sure how he’d handle the heat 😉 xo

  • SCHMEEEEEEEEEEP!!! So sweet.

  • Oh Harry!! He’s so adorable! Welcome to the one of the best loves (IMO): puppy love. <3 <3

    • I feel like I’ve entered a cult. You would not believe what I spent at the yuppy god store in Toronto on like, artisanal liver treats.

  • DIY Wardrobe

    He’s beautiful – it’s great to see you both so happy in these pictures. My dog has really helped me appreciate the world around me too. Not sure I could be dog-less ever again.