Today Vincent celebrates his 12th birthday. Goldi was 5 on 29th May and when I sang “Happy Birthday” to her Vincent came up, tail wagging. So, this morning, I said "Yes, it IS for you today" and bent down to sing it to him directly. He licked my nose, a normal reaction: make her think you love her, but stop her singing.
He will have a treat for his dinner, but had a normal breakfast. I put Cedric’s in a crate in the utility room, as usual, and Cedric jumped straight in, and one dish on another crate. Sometimes Vincent goes in there, sometimes Easy. Vincent looked, then went into the kitchen and jumped on the bed there. Clearly he was telling me where he wanted to eat, so I put his dish down in the middle.
He is the only dog here not descended from my very first Cavalier, Madam Palindrome. Vincent's father was a lovely ruby, Punky des Marliviers, whose pedigree included Ch. Night Magic at Harana plus other dogs with Salador Charlock further back, while his mother was the sweet showgirl Catemmsal Bete Noire; (“She has real ring presence” said one judge) Night Magic there twice, plus even more links to Charlock.
Vincent is another dog I wasn’t supposed to keep, but his potential owner had a few problems and by the time they were sorted Vincent was going nowhere.
I first saw Punky at the Championnat at Paris one year. I was sitting with a couple of English breeders (women) who'd come over for the show "I like that ruby" I said, "I'm too busy looking at the handler!" said X – not without reason. When he got near I asked him if it was his dog "No, my partner owns him; he's showing in another ring". X said, sotto voce, "damn!"
I do wonder about hearts: it was over six years ago that Vincent reached stade 3 under the French scheme. I was very disappointed, but he doesn’t need medication yet, doesn’t cough, runs and gallops as usual. His son Barklie was only stade 1 when last tested, but his owner Axelle retired him at seven and he now lives with her aunt. He too has progeny but I’m not up to date with them.
Vincent reached the quality grade “Cotation 4” just before his third birthday: it takes show results and health tests into account, and his heart was then strictly normal. Three of the four judges who gave him the places and "excellent" grade necessary were English (the late Terry Thorn and Shelagh Waters, and Michael Levy) and the fourth was M Pedro Soares de Albergaria, who is Portugese. However, he and son Barklie won the paire class at the Championnat in 2007 (for some reason the photo says 2008 underneath) under a French judge, Daniel Schwartz (paire: two dogs of the same sex owned by the same person) the first time Cavaliers had done it. It was later that year that Barklie went to Axelle.
By coincidence, the only other paire of Cavaliers to have won the class at the Championnat were also black and tan; owned and bred by Katie Sloan, who is Scottish.
The photo in the barn is where he climbed the ladder to the loft but was scared to come back down, and would lay flat on the floor waiting for me to rescue him - several times......