This story from Barbara Hilditch shows that some rescue stories have a happy ending.

Late in 1992 a fellow NICKCS club member that a small time puppy farmer was operating in a nearby town told me. Using information available I discovered where he lived and armed with some cash went to his house saying I wanted to buy a dog (I was not asked any questions). I was taken to the back of the house to a filthy shed and will never forget the scene. The shed contained what looked like old cupboards, each containing a number of cavaliers. One was a young puppy with a ghastly eye infection. I discovered that one of the bitches was a full sister from a previous litter to one of our own cavaliers. She was 2 years and 10 months old and had just reared her 4th litter! Her name, I was told, was Tara.

I could not buy all the dogs, but after a bit of bargaining I managed to purchase Tara. She was in such a filthy state (the fleas were jumping - no searching required!) I felt I couldn't take her home and so went to my vet. With the help of one of his assistants we bathed her, deflead her and she was vaccinated. Even at this time Tara displayed her wonderful temperament. Her early life is unclear, but it seems her breeder sold her to a pet home, and for whatever reason she was sold on at 9 months old. Unfortunately, she was bought by a puppy farmer, and was mated every season thereafter.

After a short time, my mind turned back to the other cavaliers left behind. I contacted the USPCA and after several false starts, finally found a dedicated Inspector who visited the premises an agreed the conditions were horrendous. With the help of the Environmental Health Department an end was put to this person's dog breeding activities. The dogs were taken to the local USPCA shelter, and with the help of several NI CKCS members, all were successfully rehomed.

Meanwhile Tara was making herself at home, even though I had intended to rehome her and although she had little or no coat, I thought she was very pretty so I decided to keep her. I was encouraged to show her and she went on to win 3 major green stars and 3 reserves, and even placed at Crufts under Pamela Cross-Stern in 1994, not bad for a rescue dog!

In 1995 we decided to mate Tara to Lymery Royal Reflection of Ricksbury and she had 3 puppies. We kept her only daughter Emma. Tara's son Krag, owned by Mr & Mrs Lamont became an Irish Champion. Sadly though he died at the age of 4, after developing an inoperable tumour in his mouth.

My proudest moment for Tara was at the 1997 CKCS Club of Ireland Championship show when Krag went Best of Breed, Emma won her class and their mum Tara won the best Veteran in Show under Pam Rooney.

Rescue co ordinator Linda Blair 02828 273184

Some of the other Cavaliers that have been rescued by the Club

Lady Mrs Diane Lyle with 8 of the Cavaliers
that she has rescued

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