Monday, September 5, 2011

Laying Low

Toby just wanted to mention that he's still here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Toby – Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Oil Painting Portrait


Well, Toby sure hasn’t posted a new blog entry in awhile! As you can see, he has been busy posing for this custom painting!

If only his tail stayed that majestic in real life.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend: Montrose Dog Beach!

Toby finally got his City of Chicago Dog Friendly Area permit, so this weekend we headed straight for Chicago's number one dog park - Montrose dog beach! 035

Toby knew something fun was in store when his usual Puppia harness was replaced by his dog tag collar, and he headed straight for the car. Because he has recently taken an interest in puddles after it rains, and especially likes to bite the bubbles in the water, I thought he might like to experience Chicago’s largest puddle – Lake Michigan!


Toby met some new friends…But about that lake…


Hmmm…not so sure about this…


Even though the waves were intimidating, Toby displayed the typical Cavalier bravery!



Can a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel swim? We still don’t know, because Toby never went out far enough for his paws to leave the ground. His face sure has a look of determination, though!


And he was extremely proud of himself when he got back!


Hey guys, why don’t we come here more often?


Showing off his wind-swept fur.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Summer Haircuts for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Other Dogs and Cats – Do It Yourself with These Helpful Tools

Summer is almost here. That means Toby is soon going to need a trimming to avoid his fur getting clogged with weeds, burs, and tangles. And the cat, Sedgwick, has just gotten her summer shave since she is such a furball and sheds like CRAZY once the temperature rises above 60 degrees! Here are some of the tools and resources I like to use when trimming the pets:



First, you need to get an electric shaver designed for pets. It may seem cheaper to use an electric razor designed for humans, but trust me, for some reason this doesn’t work. Many years ago I tried to shave a pekingese with a regular shaver and it died before the dog was half-done! I also recommend getting a set like this one, that has multiple different attachments. Especially if you have never groomed your dog yourself, you can’t really be sure what kind of attachment will be best for the texture of the dog’s fur and the length you ultimately want it to be. Buying a set like this really doesn’t cost any more than just buying the shaver, and it lets you experiment a little or have the fur on some areas of the body longer than on other areas. Oh, and it may seem easier to just shave the dog without an attachment, but don’t try it – this will result in a nearly BALD DOG!!

This set is also nice because it includes scissors and a comb. It’s nice to have a dedicated set just for the dog. And it’s amazing what a difference a nice set of trimming shears makes!


On the topic of shears, one thing that I am considering investing in is a set of blending scissors. I got this idea at MY latest haircut, and I think it would be perfect for feathering a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s ears and the fur on the backs of the legs. These special scissors result in fur (or hair) that is a variety of lengths instead of one blunt line. Both from experience and seeing other Cavs out and about, the one most obvious tell-tale sign of home haircuts on a Cavalier is the blunt cut line on areas of the fur that are naturally feathered. A set of blending shears would make the cut MUCH more professional.

That said, when I searched for blending shears for dogs, this is what I came up with. Now, it is nice and all, especially the pretty pink color, but that price seems outrageous! Maybe if you are a professional dog groomer it would be a worthwhile investment, but unlike in the case of the electric razor, I think here it is best to borrow a tool intended to be used on human hair:


Twenty bucks – that’s more like it! And it is a trusted brand, Tweezerman. You can get even cheaper shears, but like I said before, really nice scissors make a big difference when cutting hair (or fur).

Finally, I think a dog grooming book may be helpful, especially if you are really trying to get a trim that looks the way a Cavalier is supposed to look according to breed standards. Also if you have multiple breeds and want to know different techniques for trimming each breed. Now, a Cavalier is only supposed to have minimal trimming, so I think the advice in a professional book like this would be useful to avoid going overboard. And other breeds require much more complicated cuts, making a guide like this essential.

Hopefully this information helps you get all your pets ready for summer! Pictures of Toby and Sedgwick with their new haircuts are, of course, forthcoming!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Springtime at Toby Time

Hello everyone! Toby hasn’t made a new blog post in awhile! He’s still here, though, doing fine. The weather is finally starting to warm up in Chicago, and this weekend Toby will go to Schaumburg for Easter. Hopefully it will be a beautiful day and he will be able to play in the yard!

Today he just got back from Pooch Hotel where he had daycare and an aromatherapy bath! As you can see, he is quite exhausted after the ordeal.



Monday, January 18, 2010

Toby’s First Haircut

Because a Cavalier’s fur is supposed to be left untrimmed, I had been trying to avoid giving Toby a haircut. A trim here and there to remove matted fur is all he has had so far. Unfortunately his ears keep getting really gross because he dips them in his water fountain, in his food, in the mud, etc. Instead of resigning myself to giving him multiple baths per week, I finally trimmed his ears. He looks pretty ridiculous now, it’s true, and I’m not sure if I’ll do it again when they grow out, but for now at least he requires a bit less maintenance. I imagine getting baths in the winter must be pretty unpleasant for a dog anyhow.


Really, I don’t appreciate that you did this to me.


So embarrassing!


Toby just has a really goofy expression in this picture!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Toby fetches a dog bed


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels love to fetch. At least, Toby does. He is able to fetch something approximately his size; in this example, his dog bed.