All animal lovers know that dogs rule, and for enthusiasts of one particular breed there is not a more regal Rover than the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These cuddly canines are so popular that they are honored each year on the last Saturday in May — International Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Day! Celebrated with meetups in Melbourne, Australia, the event has spread globally including a special walk in Glasgow.
In celebration of the pet holiday, we’ve fetched a few fun facts about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:
Although King Charles I first brought a predecessor of the dogs to prominence, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s monarchical moniker was inspired by the 17th century sovereign King Charles II of England, who was besotted by the breed!
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s coat comes in many officially recognized colors. The most common is chestnut-hued and white fur known as Blenheim, a name derived from Blenheim Palace. Black and tan members of the breed often have beige- hued fur on their eyebrows which draw attention to their eyes; dogs who are head to toe chestnut are referred to as ruby Cavaliers, and Tricolor are black and white with tan highlights.
While a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has never won at the Westminster dog show, Alansmere Aquarius represented his breed in 1973 at the international dog show Crufts in the UK and took home the top title.
The “thumbprint” mark that crowns the head of the Blenheim Spaniel is said to have come from the hand of The Duchess of Marlborough from worriedly stroking the head of a pregnant Spaniel while her husband was fighting in the battle of Blenheim.
The beauty of the breed has been captured on canvas by many famous artists over the years, among them Pierre August Renoir, Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds.
Do you know how to differentiate between a King Charles Spaniel and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel? A flat face denotes a King Charles Spaniel, while a muzzle indicates a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Famous Fans of Cavalier King Chales Spaniels
From Kings and Queens to Hollywood royalty, many notables have at one time welcomed a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into their heart and home. Here are just a few:
Princess Margaret — While Queen Elizabeth II has become synonymous with Corgis in the eyes of Fido-loving Anglophiles, the sovereign’s sister was also a devotee of dogs. Over the years the princess was a pet parent to several dorgies (a cross between a corgi and a dachshund) and at least one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel she named Rowley.
Queen Victoria — A loyal friend to Queen Victoria during her adolescence and the early years of her reign, Dash was the first in a long line of the late monarch’s pals with paws. Dash was laid to rest at Great Windsor Park with an epitaph which reads:
The favorite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria
In his 10th year.
His attachment was without selfishness
His playfulness without malice
His fidelity without deceit.
If you would be beloved and die regretted
Profit by the example of
Ronald Reagan — Aptly named the Latin word for “king,” Rex ruled during his years at the White House, and even received his own White House-inspired dog house when his Presidential pet parent’s days at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue had come to an end.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rex_(dog)#/media/File:Reagans_with_dog_during_Christmas.jpg
Amanda Bynes — Midge
Courteney Cox — Harley and Hooper
Teri Hatcher — Pip and Puffs
Jennifer Love Hewitt — Charlie
Julianne Hough — Lexi and Harley
Bindi Irwin — Piggy
Olivia Munn — Chance, a puppy mill rescue who was adopted from Social Tees NYC!
Brad Paisley — Holler
Naya Rivera — Emmy and Lucy
Mickey Rooney — Sir Digby
Diane Sawyer — Brinklow La Bamba Lila
Jaclyn Smith — Emma Jane
Liv Tyler — Neal
Famous Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Elizabeth Taylor — Charlotte’s pup in Sex and The City was given the name of the silver screen legend with La Liz’s consent!
Bliss and Finn — The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in the Hallmark Channel movies Unleashing Mr. Darcy and Marrying Mr. Darcy are called Bliss and Finn, after the author Teri Wilson’s own dogs! (Bliss and Finn are also the names given to the show dogs in the novels upon which the TV movies were based.)
Puppy mill survivor Toast was the toast of the town for championing paws causes. Stepping away from the darkness of her past, the senior Cavalier King Charles Spaniel used her star wattage to shine a light on the plight of dogs who were still hidden in the shadows of the puppy mill trade.
Over the years the tail-wagging internet icon attended galas, struck poses for modeling campaigns (including a photo shoot for Karen Walker eyewear) and unleashed a book (Toast Hampton: How to Summer in Style) which raised people’s spirits as she raised funds for animals in need.
A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Tori portrayed Dash, the confidante of Queen Victoria during her adolescence and the early years of her reign in both the small screen series Victoria and The Young Victoria on the silver screen.
Adopting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Potential pet parents with their hearts set on welcoming a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into their family can choose the option of pet adoption by visiting a rescue organization.
Along with all breed rescues, there are many non-profits which are committed to the rehoming of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who have been relinquished by their guardians or breeders, saved from a puppy mill or even pulled from a shelter.
Visit cavalierrescueusa.org, a network of dedicated volunteers throughout the country, for more information.
Other sources for information regarding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels rescues in your area include: