Crufts 2019 -                                   Guest Appearances and                 New Friends at Crufts

It was Saturday, Day 2, when  I woke up in my hotel for another day at Crufts. A short walk followed by an unusually early breakfast of sausage, scrambled egg and yogurt was an excellent start to the day.  Back in my room, I tucked into my usual morning meal, but noticed it was significantly smaller than usual. Such injustice!  With so much to pack into the day this early start was imperative.

I am ashamed to reveal that Mother uses a bristle vegetable brush to finish grooming my silken locks.  She could not find anything more suitable locally but was certain there would be some at Crufts.   Sadly we saw only nylon bristle brushes, although in the process I came across some superb finishing spray as used by my Groomer,Mr. Lloyd. Can you imagine my embarrassment as my coat was then sprayed and combed in public?    OK, I admit it looked superb afterwards. 

 

Because of the crowds it was difficult to get to the Natural Instinct stand, where Mum left her coat every day.  The staff love us and we them, especially as they give me dried chicken liver.  Yum!  They really do have the best treats.

 

We had two appointments for the morning,  starting with Agria Pet Insurance. Simon Wheeler (the boss) and Janet Hughes, who is also very important, made me feel so welcome and were stunned at how handsome I was in the fur (they said). They had booked me for a guest appearance, and for two hours, I offered free hugs and kisses to passers-by, while encouraging them to insure their pets.   I am very proud to be an Agria dog, and think I make a great ambassador for them.

Sadly, my hugging offer did not extend to a very special visitor, Prince Michael of Kent. I was mortified to be  rejected by royalty!  I would have kissed him if he had asked, but did not want to appear precocious by suggesting it!  However, I made eyes at one of his  Royal Protection officers who gave me a pat, and wished  his daughter had been there to meet me.   I enjoyed our conversation with him but could see he was working to ensure the Prince’s safety at all times, just as it should be.  We were sad when it was time to say goodbye but I hope we will meet his daughter one day.

 

Persons of importance rightly need protection as a potential terrorist threat can never be discounted. It would be wrong to  assume that  a huge event like Crufts could not be targeted, but I felt very safe with people such as ‘our’ protection officer, the West Midlands Police, Armed Forces personnel and service dogs mingling with the crowds.  In my opinion we had the best of the best ensuring our safety during the full four days of the show.  They do a fantastic job in all sorts of situations and deserve our respect and admiration.

 

When my stint with Agria was over, I set off for the Dachshund judging and benching areas, to meet friends old and new.  En route, I stopped at the Animal Health Trust, who do excellent work and undertake valuable research to address the health and welfare needs of dogs and other animals.  I gathered lots of information on which I will report at a later date.  In the meantime, I recommend you check out their website and sign up for their newsletter.  https://www.aht.org.uk. It is a good and useful read. 

 

Eventually, we made it to the Dachshund rings and benching areas, where I met my best ever long-distance friend, Tricia Rhodes, along with my pal Irene Cook, who was already my dedicated fan.  Pats and hugs were plentiful, which was lovely.  Mum’s greatest joy was to see Mackenzie again and she gave him a huge hug ....  in front of me, if you please!  I felt very humble in Mac’s presence as he is a big winner in the ring, with a fantastic rich mahogany coloured coat that makes mine look quite pale! 

Life was not all cuddles in the Dachshund area as Mum failed to learn from the previous day’s experience, when she had a diabetic hypo. Without Dolly there to alert Mum to low bloodsugars she again forgot to eat, felt ill and left  me with Tricia, while she went to get herself a very expensive toasted sandwich, plus cakes for everyone.  She said she almost had to apply  for a mortgage!   

After eating her cake, Tricia decided she would like to take me for walkies, but of course, I needed Mum to come too.  Everyone knows Tricia, so she must be very important I and loved that walk. What a wonderfully gentle dog handler she is! Our destination was Natural Instinct, where there was much chatter about raw food and doggy digestion but all I wanted was treats, and a selfie with my New Best Friend.  Don’t we make a fantastic duo?

I didn’t think we would ever get round to meet all of our dachshund friends, but towards the end of the afternoon we were able to spend a little time with just a few of them.  What a delight that was, especially when we met some of our Face Book friends for the very first time. 

 

I am sure you will enjoy seeing the beautiful dogs in our photo gallery.  Thanks to Kara Tooley, Sharon Boyes- Schilla, Lloyd Cross , Jacquie Pitfield and Em Hicks for the use of their photographs.  

At 4 pm most of the dogs and their handlers prepare to leave Crufts, but not the Best of Breed winners who have to wait for the Group judging. 

 

At around the same time, visitor numbers dramatically decrease, which makes it much easier to move around the halls.  That was helpful because Mum was very keen for me to meet Margaret, head honcho at Dapperdog https://dapperdog.co.uk who import the wonderful German ‘Wolter’  brand dog wear.  Their coats are so stylish and protect our bellies to keep our under-fur dryer than it would be otherwise.  I loved a perfectly fitting raincoat in a delicate mint green colour, so spent my bank overdraft on this fabulous new attire. According to a friend, green and ginger are a perfect match.  Hey, I am not ginger!  I am chestnut!  When we left for the hotel it was pouring with rain, and I congratulated myself for making that raincoat investment.

Saturday at Crufts was really tiring, but after taking a few rest breaks it had been a great day.  After dinner at our hotel I hunkered down for a good night’s sleep in preparation for my final day at the greatest dog show in the world.

Oscar Teckel

Editor

13th March 2019

 

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© Diana Bailey