Home        The Cavalier Club 

(a.k.a. 'Little Furry')

9/2/98 - 10/11/05


To Dusky, the little dog with the big heart:


We knew that we'd be losing you,

we knew it had to come.

However much we wanted you

to stay and have more fun.


We felt so utterly helpless

but there was nothing we could do.

We couldn't fix your failing heart

that would be the death of you.


So now we’ll no more see you run

along the shoreline by the sea

and bark for us to throw you stones

for a great big splash or three.


Or see you tear across the shingle bank

to see the sea again,

then see you peering back for us

to join you for a game.


Or see you run down Butser hill full pelt,

leaping right up in the air,

ears flapping wild in the wind,

just for the enjoyment there.



Nor will we see you watch and chase

small creatures round the garden,

Or hear you bark against the fence

at all that travel the drive.


The sunny spots that once you loved

now always seem so bare,

And so too does the kitchen floor,

and your favourite comfy chair.


Now our hearts are empty,

like our laps where once you slept,

the house has lost it's vibrant soul,

and for your great loss we've wept.


But we know you did these things with joy,

and we'll remember them with cheer.

Your far too short but happy life (with us)

is something we'll always hold so dear.


We watched and laughed with happiness

as you enriched our lives no end,

so I hope that we enriched yours too

...our most endearing little furry friend.



We're so sad for you that you had to go so young,


we wouldn't have not had you for the world.




Dusky was a beautiful Black & Tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was a joy to own and live with. Such an endearing little dog; a 'one in a thousand' who could talk to you without words, and who in turn would give you her complete and undivided attention when you spoke to her.
As a puppy she was happy, playful, energetic, quite bold and keen to discover the world around her; a disposition that she would keep for the rest of her life.

The first thing she ever barked at was a soft handbrush left on the lawn after cleaning cobwebs off the garden furniture ready for summer. After this she always seemed to have a thing about large brushes and would love to attack them.

Her love of the game of chase also started as a puppy when she would take things to chew on or eat that she shouldn't have and we'd try and get them back off her. She quickly discovered that she could be chased around the tree for hours of fun without being caught. On one occasion though she found and chewed up a piece of roofing lead, much to our concern that she'd poisoned herself, which lead to one of her earliest visits to the vet. On this visit she saw one of the senior veterinary partners who was quite impressed with her as an excellent puppy, it seems she would possibly have been of show standard had we been that way inclined. 

As she grew up it became clear that she had a character much larger than her physical size; she was an alert, spirited and intelligent little dog. She was also very aware of all that went on around her and was frequently quite enthusiastic about investigating it too - in the day time she would regularly perch herself by the lounge window, or in the front doorway if it was open, and keep lookout across the garden - ready to chase the squirrels, birds, cats and other invaders at a moments notice - and at night no hedgehog or fox would go unchallenged.
She also had a strong penchant for food, lying in wait under the kitchen table when meals were being prepared, regularly scanning the floor for fallen scraps - no food dropped would go un-tasted if she had her way. She would also stand upright on her hind legs with her front paws on the tables edge to peer across the table top and see what goodies might be there.
Keen for a game of chasing (and often eating) the windfall apples and plums around the garden, or chasing stones rolled along the beach for her. She loved the beach and the sea, to paddle along the shoreline and watch the splash from big stones that we would throw in for her. She would regularly race across to the shoreline and over the shingle bank just to have another look at the sea, and then realizing we hadn't followed would reappear back on top of the shingle bank looking back for us to check that we were still there.
She was very much a people oriented dog, often following us around the house to see what we were up to, sleeping under the desk at our feet to be near us while we worked, and at her most contented enjoying the comfort of a warm lap to sleep on in the evenings in front of the TV. She was such an endearing, friendly and playful character that all who met her could not resist her charms (even the postman liked her despite being regularly barked at!).

This is the very last photo we ever got of Dusky, taken on her last day, Wed. 9/11/05, as the sun shone down upon her for the final time; Sadly she would be gone by sunrise the next morning.

In 2005 she was unfairly robbed of her life while still far too young; she was, in spirit, still so full of life and still looking forward to doing and seeing so much more. But sadly it wasn't to be and she developed heart failure and an enlarged heart which was diagnosed in April when she was only 7 years old (caused by the progressive failure of her 'Mitral' heart valve). Thanks to the best efforts of our vet and the help of a heart specialist, although there were a few dodgy weeks early on in her treatment when we thought we would lose her then, she managed to live on through that one last summer. But as November came and winter approached things started to go rapidly downhill and as the autumnal leaves collected on the ground she started to lose the battle for her life.

Around six hours after the photo of her on the left was taken, as evening drew in, her breathing had started to become troubled and by midnight we were at the veterinary hospital with her. Unfortunately the relief the vet could give from her problems was only short lived and by 5am we realized that this would be her final night. With heavy hearts we made that last call for her and on the second visit to the veterinary hospital that night she was put to sleep at around 6:15 in the morning on Thursday 10th November '05 with her two closest human friends there to hold and comfort her right up to the end as she slipped out of this world. We'd had no other choice but to take that awful heart wrenching decision, to make that final call to save her from what would otherwise have been a drawn out and agonising death probably later that same day. The decision was made especially hard for us by the fact that for the last six months we had worked so hard to do all that we could, and would have done almost anything, to save her while also maintaining a reasonable quality of life for her, and this decision was the complete reversal of all that we had strived and hoped for - but when the time came, we knew that it was time.

As we left the veterinary hospital in the pre-dawn light, the sun was about to rise, signs of everyday life were just stirring in the streets and soon afterwards the birds began to sing. But our hearts were so utterly empty, plunged into the most unimaginable depths of the coldest and darkest of all winters and remained that way for so very long afterwards; as if some part of us died with Dusky that night and would never recover. She is deeply missed, but above all we are so sad for her that she never got the chance to grow old; we will certainly remember her, and we wouldn't have not shared our lives with her for the world.


Enjoying a nice spot of shade in the garden one hot sunny afternoon in '04


Dusky the Sofa Queen!!


Having a snooze on her favourite beanbag.


Checking up on what I'm doing through the lounge doorway


Her completely undivided attention


Observing the newly arrived Guinea Pigs

(these kept Dusky amused for weeks after their arrival in early '05,

she would sit outside looking in at them

every day for hours on end).


On her last day - Wed. 9/11/05


For further information about this enchanting breed

please visit "The Cavalier Club" web site.