Crufts is almost here again, and this year, I will be there to represent The Daxington Post as well as my other freelance work. Now, I've always relied on Josef to be the main attraction at big events, but now it is my turn to step up, take centre stage, and bring you all the news.
From my trusty stroller, aka The Bentley, I will look at market place stalls, and the various show rings too. Being smaller than Josef, my seat will need elevating, so that I miss nothing. Note pad in paw, camera over shoulder, I will be prepared to bring you all the news.
I confess to being a little nervous, because this is a huge show, much bigger than anything I've been to before. From what I've seen of the NEC car parks, they are enormous, and sometimes a courtesy bus is neeede to get you to the exhibition building where Crufts is held. Thank goodness we are staying at the hotel next door, so it's just a toddle through to the show halls.
Crufts is so big that five halls are needed to accommodate everything. In addition to the exhibition areas, there are various breed rings, and a huge arena where you might get to see heelwork-to-music, flyball, agility, top dog displays, and more. It is here where the Best in Group and Best in Show titles are awarded.
How do I know all this if I have never been before? Well, we watch it on TV and from what I've seen and what Josef told me, I can't wait to experience it personally. As a journlist, I will have access to the Press Office for a break or maybe a mid-day nap. I might also manage a chat with a celebrity or two, which would be rather nice. But this is a dog show, and that's why I will be there... to bring you doggy news.
That's an overview, as far as I know it, but what in particular do I want to look out for?
Well, first of all, being an ex-puppy farm breeding bitch prior to being chucked out because I needed a C Section, I want to look at the work of rescue organisations. I was lucky, because I was only 2 years old and could have been a professional puppy maker for many more years. It was to a rescue organisation that Mum made a 600 mile round trip to take me home with her. That was 7½ years ago and now we are fostering little Dolly for Dachshund Rescue. Understandably, some people like to buy their pets, but like Eamonn Holmes (British TV personality) we really, really believe that adoption is the greatest service humans can give to pets.
I am not sure that Dolly and I much fancy exacting exercise routines, but we know that some of our friends go to the gym regularly. For those who like to do press ups in the park on wet and windy days, I will look out for outdoor gear for their energetic workouts, like this set Josef spied last year. Our friend, Phoebe Foo will be pleased to know that she can now wear waterproof leg warmers and snoods .
Knowing that many of our readers are very fashion conscious when on walkies and attending classy events, I will seek out latest trends to inform your choices. From a photo Josef took last year, it is obviously out there, and you can depend upon me to find it. Of course, I will also look at essential wear for varying climatic condtitions.
While I am not a food junkie, I know that many friends are, and pose
questions about which dog food is the best. I will investigate some of the best around, and give you the low-down on what I see. Of course, I am a brand ambassador for Natural Instinct who are major sponsors of this year's Crufts, so will often be on their stand, showing humans how fabulous their dogs can look on our food! I am currently honing my persuasion skills, .e.g. begging for whitebait treats! My performance must be perfect on the day.
I am also keen to investigate health matters, especially as they relate to dachshunds, and will report my findings. Indirectly associated with health is the subject of pet insurance, and I will look into what they offer, at what prices, and also look at their individual client ratings.
If I happen across some celebrities, I might get a picture with them, but the biggest 'personalities' are bound to be the dogs! Last year, Josef met Bruno, the Instagram Dog, who gave him an interview. It would be nice if I could see him for myself but I know there will be lots of other dogs, who will be worthy of a pic with me!
If I had to cboose just one person to meet it would be Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, aka The Supervet, who tasked Josef with saving the world, it's people, dogs and environment, something he did until the day he died. I am sure the Prof. would like to know this, and that I am carrying on with his very special work
I'm going to be very busy at Crufts, but plan to pack in as much as this nearly 10 year old Dachshund can manage. I will check in at Discover Dogs, as well as the Scruffs pooches, who compete for the best crossbreed title. I would also like to see the Young Kennel Club competitors and to get an interview with some of the Eukanuba Friends for Life dogs. These are incredible canines who have made huge differences to the lives of their humans. Their stories are always incredible, and often moving too.
I can see that there is so much to do and see and with a month to go, priorities may change a little as more information comes to light. I will do my best to cover as much as possible, and if a TV camera should pass my way, I'll give you a paw wave. Make sure you watch out for me!