We get so excited when we see Mum packing our stroller bag because we know we will soon be off to somewhere interesting. April 23rd was no exception, as we found when woken at 7.30 a.m. by our very busy Mum. An hour later, breakfast eaten, we loaded into the car, and drove for 90 minutes to Newark for a new-to-us show, All About Dogs, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England.
Never was a show more apporpriately named, because the showground was packed with dogs .... hundreds of them! All shapes, all sizes, some hairy, some not, most walking, but others like ourselves enjoying the luzury of stroller travel with the odd walk thrown in. We knew this was going to be a very good day.
Once in the show ground, we were interested in everything, especially some of the charities who were there. Almost immediately, we spied a big red gazebo, outside which was a gorgeous labrador and her minder. We discovered that this was Jade, who was a medical detection dog, who enables Chris to lead a happy and safe life.
We learned that Chris has Type 1 Diabetes. Can you imagine never knowing when this disease would put a sufferer's life in danger, without warning? Chris told us that this disease had made him dangerously ill on many occasions, requiring repeated hospital admissions. However, things changed for the better a year ago, when he was twinned with the gorgeous Jade, who is trained to detect when his blood sugar levels are outside of his specific safe paramters. Jade's job is to warn Chris when this happens and has saved his life many times by alerting him when his blood sugar is at a dangerous level.
While we talked with Chris, suddenly Jade jumped up at him excitedly. I thought he was just showing his Dad lots of affection, but not so. Instead, Jade was warning him that he was in trouble, and needed to adjust his medication. Without Jade, Chris would not have known. It is especially heartening that this wonderful dog enables his human partner to live a normal, safe and happy life with his lovely young family, and Chris hasn't had an emergency hospital admission since man and dog got together.
We had a long chat with Louise Mullen, the Volunteer Coordinator of Medical Detection Dogs, which is a relatively young charity. They "work with the powerful scenting ability of dogs to help detect and manage human disease". Their work is funded completely by the donations of individuals and organisations, and from what we saw, each donation is an investment in the life of a precious human being. Specially trained Bio-Detection Dogs are skilled at detecting diseases such as cancer, while Medical-Alert Assistance Dogs like Jade detect even tiny changes in body odour, thus helping their partners manage day to day life threatening condiions
We can only give a lay view of this organisation's work, and cannot adequately represent them here, so we asked Louise if someone from Medical Detection Dogs might write an article for The Daxington Post and she kindly agreed.
Reluctantly moving away from this stand, and quickly passing the many 'dogalia' stands, we went on to meet some of the dogs at this show. I mean, this WAS All About Dogs!
No, we don't mean these dogs! Or do we? We have included this picture to say a word about fashion. Just today, we met some young ladies who looked at Dolly and exclaimed, "Aaaww look, what a lovely handbag charm she would make!" Mum's heard it before and it makes her angry, as we are dogs, not fashion accessories. To our human readers, if you want a pooch accessory, get something like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shoulder bag in our photo. The price is circa £15 and feeding costs are nil. It is much cheaper than a live dog, and less likely to be upset than we would be if you don't want it any more!
However, onward and upward, we looked around the show and found the queue
for Scruffts, the crossbreed dog competition. Most of the dogs looked relaxed as they waited their turn, but our photograph shows one, who was obviously preparing for his appearance at a very deep level.
Nearby, was a stage from where came the sound of a lady serenading the crowd with jazz songs. Now that's not our usual music choice, but we hung around for a while to listen, and to watch the crowd. Suddenly, we heard a ripple of laughter and turned to see a smashing dog dancing with her Mum. Well, if music be the food of fun, play on!
The day thus far had been educational, interesting and busy, so it was time to stop for a break. Now we dachshunds tend to be rather choosy about where we plant ourselves near food outlets. Having just been alarmed by a young family walking around extolling the virtues of their sausage rolls, while giving us a disturbing sideways glance, we needed to find a safe space. Not easy when the largest sitting out area was near a burger, sausage and chips outlet. For personal safety reasons (we are aka sausage dogs after all) we demanded to sit well back, and were happy that Mum had brought a packed lunch so we didn't have to go near them!
Finding a place where Mum could get close up photos with her zoom lens, we saw that All About Dogs had laid on some fun for visiting chilren. We enjoyed watching them sliding down a monster bouncy-castle-like structure, but wondered why there was a snowman on the right, which was not really seasonal on this very warm, summery day.
From our 'perch' on the green, we were also able to 'dog watch', which was a delight. So many lovely dogs, and not an angry word between them even if some were more excitable than others! Most were very calm, and a real credit to themselves and the humans they had brought with them. There were loads of labradoodles, each of them gorgeous, as well as Nordic dogs, even an Italian breed. We took lots of photos for our readers to share.
While we loved meeting all these big dogs, we Dachshunds like to meet and admire our lowrider friends. There were so many Dachshunds, and we just had to show you some of them. How we ever came home with just the two of us, we will never know. Mum wanted to bring them all!
With lunch over, we set off to see what else was on offer, and found the doggy steeplechase, which looked like a huge amount of fun. The height of the hay bales, and our advanced ages meant we could not take part, but we had lots of fun watching Ollie, the poodle mix dog, do his stuff. Wow, what a mover!
All About Dogs means lots of visitors, lots of trade stands, and lots of fun. But it also means highlighting the work of charities, and before long, we found The Dogs Trust stand. They always welcome us at shows, and we know that they do lots of good work. With centres all over the country, not only do they have an admirable rescue record, but also undertake neutering and microchipping, as well as taking on an educational role. Their latest project saw them setting up dog schools around the British Isles, to provide training for pooches and owners. See more about their work on their website: https://www.dogstrust.org.uk
Although it had been a long day, there was still lots to see, and en route to the doggy diving pool, we met more magnificent dogs. In the words of an old song, they were the long, the short and the tall!
Eventually, we arrived at the K9 Aqua Sports pool to watch a bit of doggy diving. It seemed like a lot of fun, but we kept our paws firmly on the ground, as it looked a bit scary, and anyway we aren't sure if we like swimming! We got Mum to feel the water, and thankfully she said it was a bit cold for us oldies. However, if others thought it fun, good for them. We didn't mind watching.
Our final port of call was the Phoenix French Bulldog Rescue stand. Like Dachshund Rescue, French Bulldog rescue organisations have recently seen an alarming rise in the number of its breed in need of rehoming. This dramatic increase means there is greater demand for fosterers and adopters, as well as home checkers and visitors and, if necessary, people willing to help transport dogs coming into their care.
This rescue is UK wide and offers homes to Frenchies (as they are affectionately known) and Frenchie crossbreeds. They also try to educate the public about the breed, promoting good ownership which they hope will keep these beautiful dogs with their families if at all possible. www.phoenixfrenchbulldogrescue.org
Thus ended our day at All About Dogs. It had been a great day, and we set off for home as very happy old pups!
Emma and Dolly Teckel
Editor, and Office Junior
24th April 2017