Crufts 2019                                           Oscar's Exciting First Day

When I was told I would be ‘doing Crufts’, I was a very green reporter, with no idea  about what was involved.   Since then, I have been promoted to the role of Editor, as the girls wanted to retire.  

 

Before our first visit to theNEC we called at our hotel, the Ibis Styles NEC to unload our luggage and were amazed to find there was a red carpet welcome for me.  I kid you not… there was the red carpet, and my very own wall, with my photograph mounted on it, and I was escorted into the building by Ben, the manager himself and Frank,the Reservations Manager, who was so excited to see me.  Wow!  

Photograph:  Ben and Frank, the Manager and Reservations Manager, welcome me to The Ibis Styles.

I had previously been asked if I would accept the honour of being the hotel’s Dog of Honour.   Yes, little old me, and not some hulking great Labrador or bull mastiff.  No, they had chosen me, a long haired dachshund, to be their hotel representative in the the world of both humans and canines.  Of course, I graciously accepted.

 

What an honour this was!   Employing my most regal walk, I made my way through the assembled staff while they kept telling other guests, “This is Oscar, our Dog of  Honour!”  Well, after  studying  the Queen’s hand movements,  I waved my regal paw, and sat on my carpet.  Being guided to my place of honour the hotel managers wanted to be photographed with me, and to present me with some great toys, a manly collar and a wonderful monogrammed blanket.  I was so thrilled with my gifts that I cuddled up with them overnight.

Before long a pretty little girl came to have her photograph taken with me, and Skyla is now my New Best Friend.  Of course, we had a chat before she went off to catch her flight home.  I’ve heard that she has already booked her room at the hotel for 2020.  So have I Skyla!  So see you then!    

Just when I thought all the introductions were over, I was taken for a walk to the reception area by Managers Ben and Frank. They explained what happens behind the reception desk, and how the various pieces of equipment worked, because  I am now a member of staff, managerial of course (I think).  They didn’t mention my salary, but I am happy to be a professional volunteer!

 

After a quick cup of coffee, we waved my new colleagues goodbye and romped right down to the NEC, just 2 minutes away on my gofer’s scooter.   We intended to enter via a door near all the Police vehicles, but our plan was scuppered when we saw a tiny puppy (for his breed) taking a break from his schedule.  He was very young so I went to have a woof with him, which I hope he found reassuring in such a strange setting.  He told me his name but we can’t read Mum’s writing!  

What a little beauty he was!  Of course, I realised he was already in training with a very kind gentleman, a Midlands Police Force dog handler,  who told us all about his work and then asked if I would like meet his current Police dog.  Oh yes!   Well I looked into his cage in the van and Wow! His head alone was enormous, but he was so chilled it was hard to imagine him as a Police Dog.  But I told him he can come and be our security guard any time he likes!

After that lovely introduction we had to move inside the hall.  My gofer/cheuffeur  said it was unlike any other show on earth and she was not kidding!   Crufts was Huge! It covers 5 very large halls and the noise, oh the noise is overwhelming.  Ear muffs next year please!

 

Making our way to the Natural Instinct (dog food) stand was an adventure! The Aisles between stands were a tad too narrow to really accommodate the number of people wanting to use them.  It was best to go with the flow, rather than in the opposite direction to most!  When a scooter has to negotiate individuals expecting you to move  over for them, it is the stuff of nightmares.  Mum is pretty good at this stuff, and just stops till they work around us. 

 

When we finally found our Natural Instinct friends who should be there but Lucy Heath and Trip Hazard of Britain's Got Talent fame.  They are old friends of ours so there were lots of hugs between the humans, and nose bumps between Trip and me.  Of course, this meant yet another photoshoot.  What a little star Trip Hazard is, and I know we will be pals for life. 

Click on small pictures for full view

On the Natural Instinct stand, I was also thrilled to see Emma, who manages our food deliveries to ensure we never ever run out of my Special Diet.  That makes her a very bright star on my horizon!   But I would love her anyway as she is such a kind and caring young lady. And of course, she loved me too.

Photograph:  Natural Instinct

Another thing I love about Natural Instinct is that dogs had priority over humans at Crufts, although I am  not sure their tiny chairs were really meant to support big dogs.  It's a pretty cute picture tho, don't you think?

Photograph:  Natural Instinct

In the late morning, we met up with Siw Tikkanen, Douglas’s Mum. Douglas is our Swedish Editor, but could not attend because he was needed at home to care for his family.  Siw and I had a wonderful time talking mainly about dogs.  Finding a quiet corner at Crufts is almost impossible but find one we did before taking a ringside seat to watch the Samoyed judging.  Would you believe, Mum was beguiled by some compact Samoyed paws? 

We learned that in Britain, fluffy feet are desirable, but in some countries neat paws are required.  The owner told us that despite leaving the feet alone for two months, the fur had just not grown long enough.    The dogs were lovely and we were delighted to see the Portuguese winner, Charleen (Multi Ch Dorian Spring Charleen Lumiere de la Vie), win the Pastoral Group, and was therefore in the Best in Show line up.  No doubt you saw her on TV if you watched it.  

Aren't these dog magnificent?  We just love them.

During the morning we called in at the Press Office, to meet Mr. Karl Donvil, the head honcho at the World Dog Press Association of which I am a member.  He made a big fuss of me, renewed my press card for 2019 and gave me my very own padded press cover for my camera strap.  

 

Later we met up with my favourite nutritionist Bianca Major of Major Referrals who has given me lots of advice on losing weight!  She was thrilled to see me with my new svelte waistline, but observed there is a little more to lose.  Of course, I love Biance who is such a beautiful lady inside and out. Finally, we visited our friend Sue Williams of the Guild of Dog Trainers before returning to my hotel for an early dinner, lots more celebrity greetings and bed.  In my sleep I rehearsed the following exciting day, but would there be the crisis I dreamed about?  Watch out for my next report to see if there was!

 

Oscar Teckel

Editor,

11th March 2019

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