Dolly's First Visit to Crufts

On Friday 10th March, Emma and I made our way to Crufts to spend our first half day there.  With press passes in paw our entry was via the 'humans only' piazza, so we guess the doorman was a little surprised when we marched in.  "You can't go in there!" he warned.  "Oh yes we can!" we replied, flashing our press cards, as he crumbled before our eyes.  He hadn't realised we are VIDs (Very important dogs) and celebrities in our own right.   We took Mum straight to the registration desk at the Press Office  to fetch her official Crufts badge (tee hee, we got ours in the post!) and were then hot to trot.  But first, an official Photograph was required against  the Crufts media background.

Our friends at Natural Instinct had not yet met me in the fur, so we made their stand our very first port of call.  With my little black and frosty face, they greeted me as the newest member of their ambassadorial team and  I felt so important as I melted into the arms of 'the boss' aka Michelle.  We were given treats..... whitebait, yum yum and Mum was welcomed with hugs from everyone, as well as drinks and Danish pastries.   I have to say, we weren't  short of cuddles at any of our daily visits to the stand.  We so love all of the team.  

Next, we decided to make a short recce of the surrounding exhibitors, and called in at the Kennel Club's Agria Pet Insurance stand.  We were delighted to meet Simon Wheeler, Managing Director and  Janet Hughes, Head of Veterinary Business.  Wow, did I feel privileged that we were welcomed by such important people!  They even gave us a cosy cuddle and my little chest puffed out by what felt like a couple of miles!  Unfortunately, Janet and Simon are not fluent in canine conversation so we tasked Mum with enquiring  about their policy on insuring older dogs.  We were interested to learn that during an annual 'amnesty month' (November) they will look at insuring canine pensioners, like Emma and me.  While Mum did the talking I took notes and exchanged business cards with Janet and Simon.  Emma said I had done well.  

I suggest that if you are having problems getting insurance for your older dogs, it might be worth giving them a call in November.... oh and don't forget to tell them we sent you!

Moving on, we found the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People stand.  We especially wanted to report on canine charities, and were thrilled that their young staff made a huge fuss of us.   They told us lots about the charity, which aims to train hearing dogs who can transform deaf people’s lives.  They have found that independence, confidence and companionship are much more achievable with a trained dog for company, and to help with every day tasks.  Indeed, because they hear fire alarms, or  can alert their owners to the sounds of loved ones in distress, and might even save them from potential car thieves;  these dogs are life savers.  There is so much more to tell about this charity, and you will find details at

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Every year, the charity organises a  major fund raising event - The Great British Dog Walk.  Briefly, there are 20 dog walks in the UK, in Picturesque locations.  With lots of fun and educational activities for kids there will also be  stalls with gifts and refreshments. You might even get an opportunity to meet one of the working hearing dogs.  Not only will you be supporting a great cause, but think of the health benefits for both you and your human when you take a good walk with loads of pals!


Now Mum and we are a bit too old to do the walks, but promised to promote the event and found ourselves being framed for that purpose.

From my experience so far,  getting loads of attention and treats, I murmured under my breath 'Bring it on' and prepared to receive more homage from an adoring public.  As we walked along I could not believe how many people wanted to pat us, take pictures, make "ooh" and "Aaaaah" sounds and generally seek an audience with us.   I felt like a film star!


Very soon, we found ourselves at the Mercedes car stand.  Of course, we are used to riding in a Bentley aka the stroller, but were interested to see that Mercedes employ dogs to draw attention to the stand.  Did they choose a Dachshund to  represent their brand?  No!  We were puzzled to say the least.  Instead, they chose two Great Danes who looked  extremely exhausted after a long day on duty.  Do Mercedes not know that we would have been able to keep going for hours, and then some? From our photographic evidence, we suggest that the Danes' minder was already reading them a bedtime story.  

By now it was nearly closing time at the show, so we headed back to the hotel for our tea and later watched more Crufts action on TV.  I am still trying to understand why Mum giggled at me as I growled at the agility and flyball dogs!  I mean, if they had missed one of the elements and jumped out of the screen, they would have landed right on top of me, wouldn't they?  Finally, we snuggled down for a good night's sleep to build up our energy for the following day.  Night night!  

Dolly, Apprentice Reporter and

Office Junior

15th March 2017

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© Diana Bailey