This is Pippa, more formally known as Sevenwoods Epiphany RN RA RE CD, queen of my Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


Her royal highness can also be quite the clown: Pippa gives has given me memorable good and bad experiences in the Obedience and Rally rings.

At the moment, I also have, youngest to oldest:

Anara Daireann (Dara) — five months old, Eff’s daughter from her first and only litter, born in Sept 2009, my first grandpuppy.

Anara Brilliant (Bree) — a year-old daughter of the retired Kerah. Bree should be a few days pregnant! Here’s hoping! This was my second try with this stud dog, who lives 800 miles away, one way, and will be even farther out of reach after he goes home to Scotland this summer.

Anara Adornment (Adora) — Bree’s half sister, a ruby like her mother, just as sweet and very promising. She, if all goes well, should be bred to an even more impressive stud dog (a mere 10.5 hour drive away!) in a week or so. It’ll be a busy summer if both girls become moms at once!

and Volterra — my ‘old man’ Papillon, pushing 15 years old.

Plus two cats, Chrestomanci and Quin.

“Retired” dogs include Xan, my first Cavalier, who had an early heart murmur, was spayed, and now lives in Chicago as my brother’s dog. Another “retiree” is Kerah, shown below, who gave me the three daughters listed above but was spayed after her second c-section; she now lives in the busy household of a local friend. And Effie, Adora’s full sister, just moved out to a wonderful new home (four kids to pet her and a young male Cavalier to boss around) last December. She is doing great and has especially bonded with the two-year-old.

Yes, it’s hard to let them go. But, though all my dogs live in the house with me, there’s just one of me and they all have to share my attention. I don’t think it’s fair to ask them to do that, not when they’re retired while still young.

Lots more about my personal dogs, about Cavaliers in general, and about canine genetics and health at my other website,

When I first told people I had written a book, nearly everybody who knows me said, “Is it about dog genetics? Do I have to read it?”

Yes, they did, but (luckily for them) no, it wasn’t!

Oh! One last puppy picture, okay? Adora at eight weeks:


Oh, c’mon! She’s adorable, right? Right?

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