www.dachshundrescue.org.uk Registered Charity No. 1159602
When I first decided to attend The National Pet Show, I planned to research the various charities represented there. As it turned out, my plans unexpectedly changed, so a later article will address this subject.
A few days before we left for the NEC, I learned that Dachshund Rescue was to have a stand at the show, and was recruited to help staff it on the Sunday. I immediately agreed because it was through them that I found my forever home, even though I was quite old.
Being near to other breed enclosures was pretty handy, because it helped people to find us. We were at the end of a row, with plenty of room to talk to our visitors about what a fantastic breed we are. How wonderful it was that most of the time our stand was crowded with people who wanted to talk to us, sometimes two or three deep.
One of the most frequently asked questions from visitors was "Where is your centre?" My reply is usually, "All over the country" before going on to explain that we have co-ordinators nationwide, matching prospective adopters with exactly the right dachshund for them and their families.
Sometimes it is obvious that a dachshund is not appropriate for a particular lifestyle, and we were able to help enquirers to understand why. Dachshund Rescue seeks to find permanent homes for their charges, because nothing is more distressing for us than having to be moved again if things don't work out. Some enquiries come from people who work all day and just want a dog to welcome them home in the evening! Dachshunds are sociable dog and need lots of company so being left alone for long periods is not good for us, or in fact any other breed. We really need our humans to be with us most of the time, and they must bebe willing to walk and play with us, to challenge and develop our intelligence. A dull Dachshund is an unhappy dachshund who may also be destructive!
As well as our coordinators we have fosterers nationwide, who do a wonderful job in transitioning us from our old home to the new one. I know a bit about this because when my lovely Mum died, I was very sad until I was fostered by Emma and Diana. From Day 1 it was a perfect fit, so I dug my paws in and stayed!
On both days, our stand was staffed by experienced Dachshund people, some of whom were area coordinators, while others had many years experience of our breed. What a wealth of authoritative information and advice they brought to share with our visitors. After a day spent talking to visitors, at least two of our staff went home with little or no voice following their extensive voice box workouts!
Listening was also important, as we were able to correct a number of the misconceptions people have about Dachshunds. Some people wanted to know about our breed traits, behaviour and health issues to inform their decision when choosing the most appropriate dog as a family pet, while others asked specific questions about the breed's suitability to their particular circumstances. It was also a safe place for visitors ask advice about particular Dachshunds who might need our services. All of these justified our being there and made us feel that our work was really worthwhile.
As well as human staff, our fine Dachshund team were on duty ready to charm the crowds. Standard long haired, miniature longs, miniature wire haired, and some miniature shorthaireds were all there, including me. Now beautiful and famous tho I be, the dogs who undoubtedly made the biggest impact were two wonderful standard long boys, who are the pride and joy of Dachshund Rescue's Chairman. You have to admit they are quite magnificent.
It is generally recognised that the standard long-haired variety are the most laid-back of all the Dachshund breeds. I am not sure that most of us would be so prepared to stretch out and totally chill in public in order to teach visitors about our care and grooming needs. For Harry, it wasn't a problem and I wondered, 'how does he do that?' I would have been sniffing that visitor's pockets for treats!
For me it was a bonus that the Natural Instinct stand was opposite ours. They are good friends, and we are privileged to be brand ambassadors for them. All the staff know me, and during the day popped over with special treats. There was no shortage! White bait, beef jerky and fish skins are among my favourites, and Tamara dashed around to ensure I had enough to keep me going. This early morning picture of their stand, belies the fact that for most of the day it was surrounded by people wanting learn more about their brand and purchase their goods.
During the day Natural Instinct hosted a visit from Lucy Heath and her brilliant dog, Trip Hazard of Britain's Got Talent fame. What a talented boy he is! We were honoured that they also came to our stand for a photo shoot before going on to their training session in the big ring. We were able to go and watch them and were truly impressed.
Sunday turned out to be an even better day than I had anticipated. Nothing could be more wonderful than working with Dachshunds and their people! I hope we can do so more often in the future.
Sub-Editor, The Daxington Post HQ
working with Dachshund Rescue,
Registered Charity No. 1159602
14th November 2017
My final report regarding animal charities at The National Pet Show will be published in the next few days.