postheadericon HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!










This past year has been one of many changes in our lives. If we have not been in touch, please forgive us. We are sorry we did not send Christmas cards last year, but now you will hopefully understand why. We had been thinking about downsizing and selling our farm for quite some time, but change is very hard when one is used to a certain way of life. We had our horses and our famous Rattlebridge Cavalier breeding and showing program to consider as well as Al’s “farmer mentality.” However, with our advancing years, we thought that we needed to decide the time to move rather than let the time decide for us. We accidentally happened upon our wonderful new home in Galena, Ohio, just a few days before Christmas last year and had it signed, sealed, and closed on December 28 because we felt instantly that this was “home.” Then the fun of moving horses, dogs, all of our equipment, totally crammed house and barns began. We moved into our new home on February 21, with no dog facilities completed and no idea when we would be able to move dogs so we could put the farm up for sale. However, it all took time, but with the help of friends and contractors all is fairly complete, the dogs we kept are here, our horse is being boarded but will soon be moving back to the farm as M’s niece and her husband are doing a lease/purchase and will use the property to board horses and mainly dogs as the kennel set up is great. Al and M are delighted as they are very close to Annie and Eric and their first child, baby “Fritz.” Meredith has lost much of her wanderlust which had her traveling around the world judging and showing and now just wants to be home with Al to pursue other interests besides just breeding and showing; we have really downsized our breeding program; we keep far fewer dog and have no wish to show at the present time. What the future brings with our Cavalier endeavors is unknown, but after 42 years of “doing dogs,” M is ready to be home where Al needs her now. His health is stable, but orthopedic problems plague him. At almost 80 he just refuses to admit that he cannot do all the outside work he loves to do.

Our new home has lovely gardens, but no swimming pool (thank God the farm is in family hands so Al can swim all summer!). In her totally compulsive/obsessive manner, M has driven Al crazy extending all the already lovely flower beds of our new home,, civilizing a couple of the raggedy wooded areas (he won’t let her touch the main woods), and planting trees as though the place didn’t have enough trees already! They have even gotten in the holiday spirit and actually decorated for the first time in years! M has become very active in St. Mary’s Catholic Church where she went briefly as a child and again when Al and she built their first home in Delaware, Ohio. She has also been busy writing articles for major dog magazines and fighting anti dog breeding legislation; she is pleased that the latest bill died on the Ohio Senate floor at the eleventh hour before recess. Al continues to be M’s greatest support and is very encouraging of her recent return to Columbus, Ohio, Public Schools as a substitute principal and would like her to ask for her own school full time next year just to get some peace around the house.

Al’s daughter Carolyn and her family are fine. Al delights in his grandchildren, Audrey and Darrin. Both are really good students and very active in school. Audrey is beginning to plan for college as she is in her junior year. Audrey’s dating adventures keep Carolyn intrigued for lack of a better word and Al very amused as he remembers Carolyn’s teen aged years all too well. Stuart is continues to make his life in Texas.

We wish you a blessed holiday season and a blessed New Year!

Al and Meredith,


postheadericon Danger to Pets




The below dimple ball has a vacuum effect that can trap the tongue of a dog, cutting off the blood supply, so that the tongue horribly swells and cannot be easily removed.  The Labrador pictured below had to have his tongue amputated and had to learn to eat and drink without a tongue. Please tell your local pet stores and perhaps write the corporate office of pet store chains asking them to remove the dimple ball from the shelves.  Please protect your beloved pets!!!!






























A fellow Cavalier breeder lost two of her beloved Cavaliers quite tragically.  They ate Potpourri which is evidently poisonous to dogs.  Despite major efforts to save these beloved pets, the Cavaliers died.  Potpourri is toxic to pets.  The breeder involved is having tests run on the Potpourri to determine the poison but it is thought to be the die in the potpourri.  Please safeguard your pets as they can die a horrible death after ingesting Potpourri.  I cannot warn you strongly enough!!!!!!!

postheadericon A reminder during the Christmas Stress!


From a Dog to His Crabby Owner:

When you first brought me home with you,
You used to like to play.
You promised me that in your heart
Forever I would stay.

Something’s happened lately
And I don’t know what to do.
It’s time that I remind you
Of why God sent me to you.

Your voice is loud and angry
When you’re talking on the phone.
You growl a lot and say
That I should just leave you alone.

You know that I can’t do that,
It’s the crime of canine crimes,
I will be right there by your side
In both good and bad times.

I know there’s human things
That I will never understand,
But I think that I am helping
When I lick your tired hand.

I hope I make you happy
When I fetch my favorite toy,
It used to be a lot of fun
It used to bring you joy.

You used to like to talk to me
And look into my eyes,
You knew there was a great spirit
Behind a canine disguise.

I love you even though you’re mad
Your voice I will obey,
I hope that you still love me, too,
Although you will not say.

I’ll remind you now
Of why I came here from above,
To give to you and teach you
All about pure selfless love.

So remember this about those things
That make you seem so sad,
You’d realize, if you’d play with me,
That nothing’s quite that bad.

Love always,
Your dog.

postheadericon a great gift idea

I have just received the most beautiful calendar featuring many paintings of Cavaliers.  I thought if you had last minute shopping for your Cavalier loving friends, that one of these calendars might make an ideal gift.  Barbara Garnett- Wilson and her husband Roy have designed the calendar which has been nominated by the Dog Writers Association of American to receive an award in February.  Take a look:–o3ZFRUXEcsGNMRFl8MhqzG3vssiyOE_g%3D%3D

postheadericon IT IS THE SEASON

It is now the Advent season leading to Christmas, the birth of our Savior.  Trying to keep the religious significance of this increasingly commercial season is hard with all thy hype going on.  I just hope that we all remember the food pantries so in need in this economy and give any donations of clothing and food we can.  I for one will not be passing up the Salvation Army Santas this year as the Salvation Army in our county served Thanksgiving dinner to many more people in need than ever this year. 

The state of Ohio is so broke that many social services that help the poor may be cut back. However, the legislation to create a Kennel Authority in HB223/SB173 is in committee. Does not make sense.  There is also a tax being proposed by our EPA in Washington that would tax every farm animal for the amount of emissions it creates.  The “fart tax” it is being labeled and I am not kidding.  More on this and other legislation next time.