All About Dogs, Newark                    by Bella

When I first met Emma and Dolly at a sausage stroll in Lincoln, little did I know that I would be going home with them, or that the following weekend we would be going to All About Dogs, Newark.

 
Being woken at silly O’clock did not amuse me but after emerging from the covers, I made sure I snatched breakfast before being inelegantly loaded into the car.
 
Arriving at All About Dogs was rather scary, especially when I discovered I must walk down the crowded main causeway to get to the rest of the show.  Wow!  For a girl who has led a very sheltered life, this was a big shock. Hundreds of people and dogs kind of closed in on me as I walked along with them between two rows of trade gazebos.  I was terrified.  I had never been so close to hundreds of humans and as many dogs of all shapes and sizes.  The big ones particularly frightened me, but Mum made encouraging noises and kept stopping to give me some spare rib treats.
 
Before long, we found a resting place with Emma and Dolly’s bestest photographer friend, Andrew Bramah. He and his wife made a huge fuss of me.  Andrew took some gorgeous pictures of my new sisters last year and Mum needed to pick up a print she had ordered from him.  
 
The AndyBram gazebo was set up as a studio, making it very quiet and private.  No crowds in there!  It was a cosy place for me to be as the humans had a catch-up chat and gave me extra strokes.  Andrew then asked if I would like my photo taken, and I jumped at the chance to be his latest model.  Unlike Emma and Dolly last year, I sat still, posed as he asked, and behaved impeccably. As you can see from the first picture we have received, the result of my shoot is spectacular, as many have already agreed on Emma and Dolly’s Facebook page.  I think they are quite thrilled to be my sisters!
 
Soon it was time to leave, so shaking Andrew’s paw, I thanked him and was so proud to call him my friend too.
Photo:  Andrew Bramah
 
This lovely little break had helped me de-stress a lot, but as soon as we got out in the crowds, I felt spooked and wanted to feel safe again.   Of course, my being anxious is not the fault of All About Dogs. Nor is it Mum's for taking me as she had no idea what effect my previous sheltedred life would have on me in this environment.   It’s just that I have never been to such a huge gathering before, so it was like alien territory for me.  Had we not found an answer to my worries, we would have left very quickly .
 
 
However, recognising that I wasn’t going to cope, Mum decided to try a fix.  She found a quiet spot, where a security man was standing.  Emma and Dolly very kindly vacated their stroller, and the kind security chap lifted me in.  At last I felt safe.  Shame the two little’uns had to walk now, especially as I was totally relaxed and ready to take in the rest of the show.  After being a long haired low rider for 10 years, I was amazed at how different the world looks from the height of an Afghan Hound.  However it did not make me feel brave enough to go to the Mountain Dog stand opposite.  Everest, you will have to wait!

Once in a less crowded area, there was a lot to see;  food outlets, bouncy castle for the kids, have-a-go enclosures and more trade stands. However, I was not tempted to investigate the fun dog show.  I mean, what did they mean by fun?   It was interesting to watch, but I am still puzzled by the fact that ‘fun’ means dogs having to be good and stand around a lot.  Some things are too mysterious for me to try to understand.    Anyway after my early morning start, I was happy to remain in my comfy mobile bedroom! 

Wherever you looked there were dogs, by the thousand, and I did not hear one growl from any of them. Even in less crowded areas you could not escape them walking around or resting with their families.  Some were eager to talk to us, and not surprisingly all of them wanted to enjoy everything the event had to offer.  I suppose I should not have been surprised because after all, the name of the show was 'All About Dogs’.  Even for scared pooches like me, it was certainly an interesting and worthwhile day out.  

Although there were loads of things I wanted to see, especially food stalls, Emma and Dolly had a particular interest in the work of rescue charities.  Actually, I agree, because I had myself been in the care of Dachshund Rescue www.dachshundrescue.org.uk who also rehomed Dolly with Mum.  Emma came from a rescue kennels many years ago, and agreed that such charities really deserved our attention.   The first one we came across was The Edward Foundation whose mission is to save bulldogs.   It was founded  in March 2011 by a group of people on a Bulldog Owners Forum after being concerned for a bulldog who was being advertised at stud.  Later  they saw he was for sale on the internet.
 
The group considered that the dog was in a terrible condition and raised the money to get him out of  the situation he was in.  Sadly, the relevant authorities had not been concerned for the dog.  
 
Good job those lovely friends were there to rescue and care for the little lad.  Somehow it seemed right that they should change his name.  Edward was chosen, and the Foundation was named after him.  
 
As to the dog, well with a huge amount of love and care, Edward was re-homed with a lovely family who think the world of him.  In fact, he now has loads of admirers all around the country.  
 
The Edward Foundation helps bulldogs at risk of abuse or "being use as a commodity”.  To date, over 500 bulldogs have been forever re-homed, funded by public donations.  The Foundation relies upon a great group of volunteers, some of whom will foster dogs or help with fundraising etc.  You can find more information about this organisation at 
 
As we negotiated the show further, we once again passed the major food outlet area.  I have to admit that I am fond of the odd bit of pork, so didn’t mind that there was a hog roast stand.  However, given my size in relation to my two new sisters, I quickly headed for the hills when I saw the sign advertising “Giant Sausages”.   Goodness, was this really a healthy place for me to be?

Feeling that I was in great danger, I made for a stand selling luxury goods for modern dogs.  Nonchalantly brushing my hair back with my paw, I tried to get Mum to buy me a new collar.  The one I loved was tan with dusky pink tones, a refined choice, I felt,  and worthy of a princess like me. Did I get it?  No I did not! Mum’s excuse is that I was so spooked by the crowds and noise that she felt she should not hang around for too long.  Kerapets www.kerapets.co.uk I can only say sorry for not calling back for a collar.  Blame Mum!

 

 

One thing I have learned very quickly about Emma (my new sister) is that she gets hot, a bit like me really.  Well. I saw a gadget that I thought deserved investigation.  It’s a kind of box that blows out cold air powered by nothing more than a cigarette lighter socket.  If you fancy an aromatic whiff exuding from it, you simply add some essences, but frankly citronella didn’t do anything for me.  The thing about this gadget, we were told, is that it keeps the car really cool even on a hot day.  Mmmmm!  I must think about that.  Why would anyone want to leave me in a car anyway?  At £299 it was a considered purchase, so I decided my collar was more important than a air blower… shame I got neither!  
 
As regular readers will know, The Daxington Post likes to highlight the work of dog rescue organisations, and I hunted out another such stand…. this time the Notts and Yorkshire Boxer Rescue.   While millions of dog have reason to be grateful for the services of rescue shelters, great and small, the specialist breed schemes are also important as they are run by people who know all about the  traits and needs of their prtiular breed. As Dolly and I can testify, breed rescues are best able to place needy pooches in appropriate loving, informed forever homes and that is just what Notts & Yorkshire Boxer Rescue do. 
 
Another self-funding organisation, they are always looking for fosterers to help with the number of dogs coming into rescue.  To qualify, they need to know the breed, have no children in the home, lots of love and patience to give, and no other dogs, or any combination of the above!   After assessing the dogs, and seeking exactly the right homes, many pooches are happily settled in new, forever homes by the Notts & Yorkshire Boxer Rescue people. For more information click
 
 
During the day, we saw quite a few dachshunds, and some had even heard of Emma and Dolly!  Hey, they are famous!  They even knew all about The Daxington Post. I was a bit upset that my photographic assistant was too busy talking to other humans to take photos of their dogs. However, when we met a rather splendid miniature long haired dachshund who looked a lot like me, she did remember to photograph him.  As a mini he was smaller than me, but what a handsome chap he is.
These shows can be rather tiring, especially for older dogs like me.  After 3½ hours I thought it was time to leave despite having ridden in the stroller for a long time. However, I could not go without investigating a sign that said “Dog Adventure Centre” which is just outside Lincoln.   To get us right inside their gazebo, a young man helped Mum lift the stroller up an annoying kerb, before telling me that it was all about dogs having the opportunity to learn and to play.  
 
Now as an elegant, royal Dachshund, I do not need training although I must admit that controlled socialising would be preferable to coping with sudden big crowds like today.  I rather fancied some adventure activities …. maybe a walk in the woods, sniffing out wild life, trailing, but perhaps not doing agility and doggy dancing like Emma and Josef used to do.  I also quite liked the idea that I might finally getting a new collar!   Don’t ask!!  
 
As we Dachshunds know, a trained dog is a happy dog, and being given jobs, like trailing and going on other adventures also increases our intelligence.  All sorts of activities enhance our cognitive abilities so that we are smart, and a joy for our humans to live with.  I have seen a few out of control dogs in my time, which makes me think that this Adventure place, right opposite Whisby Park, near Lincoln is a good place to visit.  For more information click:  https://www.dogadventures.co.uk
Did I enjoy my first big show?  Well, it was a challenge, and I was glad to hitch a lift with Dolly, because it was a little scary for such a shy lady as me.  Did I learn anything?  Oh yes!  
 
I learned there are some lovely people out there who have a lot of love for dogs, and especially those of us who unexpectedly need some extra love and a new home.  I learned that there are food outlets every self respecting Dachshund should avoid, e.g. giant sausage vendors.  I learned I must remind mother, if she looks at accessories that might suit me, that she must turn the thought into a deed!  I learned too, that in the company of lots of dogs, I don’t need to be afraid, because most of them are nice.  Above all, I found the most amazing photographer who produced some incredible pictures of me, and discovered that he can make me into a star!  
 
Would I go to another show? Maybe when I am a bit more used to crowds.   We will have to see!  
 
Bella
Office Junior with stolen notebook and pen.  
The Daxington Post
27th April 2017
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