Photograph: Sarah Troy
Having attended DogFest 2016, we were excited to be going again this year. Arriving at Knebworth Park on Saturday 24th June, we met up with Freddie & Mabel McLubbins and Phoebe Foo and were all stunned to see how much bigger the show was this year. It was huge! For the smart dog, it's the must-go-to show of the year.
Photograph: Chloe Grimshaw
The printed programme was full of information. and included welfare guidelines for dogs, which we thought was great. Armed with all the necessary information, we were ready to explore.
At the top of a little hill stood the Superstage from where the Supervet addressed the crowd, with various singers entertaining us in between.
Attractions for each day included, Have-a-go at all sorts of doggy activities like Hay Racing, Temptation Alley, Flyball and Agility. The More Than> School for Dogs were there, and if you were a bit on the chubby side you could visit the Royal Canin Weight Management Zone. Since we are perfectly formed, we kept away from that one! Dogs with Jobs, including security pooches, medical detection dogs etc. gave some impressive appearances to demonstrate their skills.
Photograph: Natural Insstinct
For keen swimmers the K9 Doggy Diving Pool was used by bigger dogs, but we didn't have a go, as it's not the most advisable activity for Dachshunds. Elsewhere we found chill out areas for dogs, and loads of paddling pools which I got dunked in more times than I care to mention.
On Sunday, just Dolly and I attended, and what a day we had!
Dogs Today magazine had a Top Dog Competition to find the top pooch from several fun dog show classes. We felt we should not enter as we had become the centre of attention when Beverley of Dogs Today asked for an interview with me and Dolly. Would you believe we went out live?
We met no end of people and organisations at the show. Professor Noel Fitzpatrick's nurses stayed at our hotel, and helped Mum by putting our stroller in the car. We were delighted when we later came across the same ladies.
We visited the Humanimal Trust stand. Founded by Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, the Trust seeks "regular collaboration of veterinary and medical professions to support the sharing of ideas, technology, expertise and research, enabled through appropriate policy and legislation to successfully relieve the suffering of animals and preserve the good health of humans in tandem." (Humanimal Trust)
Two gentleman gave us a lovely welcome at the stand. They told me they had adopted two Dachsies through Dachshund Rescue, which The Daxington Post actively supports. We had a good old chin wag with them and hope they keep in touch.
Photograph: Humanimal Trust
Moving on, we were surprised to come across the 'le shuttle' Euro Tunnel. According to their publicity, they love dogs, which is wonderful! To prove it they had a competition for a free return trip through the tunnel for humans and their dogs, plus a year's dog food. Of course, we entered, and are busily studying the book 'French for Dogs' in case we win, in which case we would donate the food to a rescue charity.
At DogFest we spent some of our time in the stroller, and were surprised at the number of people who allowed their dogs to come and sniff us, in what is essentially our own private space. When Josef was alive, he would verbally warn such dogs who ignored our 'Give me Space' sign. Consequently, we called at the Yellow Dog UK stand to chat with their representatives. They were sad that people do not always respect the yellow signs, and have promised to write an article on the subject for The Daxington Post. Watch this space!
We also had an interesting chat with the nursing staff at the Royal Veterinary College. After hearing about their training and work, we asked if they might also write an article for us, which they have promised to do. What lovely people they are, and what a fantastic job they do.
We were delighted to see our friends from Huxley Hound at the show. Huxley, his brother Rolo and I went walkies together over Christmas, and are now good friends, keeping in regular touch. As Huxley is recovering from IVDD surgery he could not be at DogFest so we spent some time sitting in for him...... in his personal deck chair. Get well soon, Huxley, because your chair doesn't look right without you.
I, Emma, have been looking for a new collar for some time, as mine had grown a little tight and my search came to an end when I visited the Hector Hartley stand. What an array of collars and colours! I must say, I look magnificent in my new orange collar and matching lead, just like the ones my boyfriend Freddie McLubbins wears. We are now perfectly matched!
At events like DogFest, we invariably find comedians, who threaten the emotional welfare of we Dachshunds. One such was the human food stand 'Simon's Sausages'. We determinedly avoided it, especially when we saw the variety of sausage delights on offer and the way Simon was eyeing us up, while heating his griddle and waving his tongs in our direction!
Next door, we found some enormous dogs, offering themselves as competition prizes. Unwilling to be intimidated by them, I challenged them to a photoshoot with a REAL dog! One accepted, but being singularly unimpressed, we gave him one sniff and moved on!
A much safer place for us was the Natural Instinct stand. We love the staff who always give us treats (white bait) and lots of hugs. Our visits this time were a little traumatic as Mum weighed us and as it was very hot put me in one of their cooling dunking buckets. How undignified I felt being subjected to this water torture, although I admit I felt much cooler later.
Photograph: Sarah Troy
Their wonderful photographer Nick Boy, took some great shots of us, and we were of course happy to pose. although I am not sure that Dolly really had her mind on the shoot. Natural Instinct were sponsoring the agility ring, so from her secluded spot in their gazebo, Dolly covertly supervised the operation!
Among the many people we met at DogFest, one really stands out for us. While walking along we spied a tiny Dachshund nose pointing in our direction from the arms of a human who was carrying the little mite. Mum asked the owner if we might see the whole pup. To our surprise, this was Freddie, the first runner up in our recent competition. Wow! how wonderful to meet them, and to make a fuss of young Freddie, who is going to be a magnificent boy when he gets older. We loved meeting him, and asked them to keep in touch with us.
DogFest this year could well have been renamed DachsiFest, because over the two days we saw hundreds of Dachshunds. We alone made up five of the number, with Phoebe, Freddie, Mabel, Dolly and I in attendance. Dachshunds were everywhere, and as our pictures shows, our humans wanted to meet them all.
DogFest 2017 was a wonderful experienceand we have many more pictures on our Face Book page, so please pop along there and take a look.
As to 2018, please make plans to attend either the north or south of England DogFest. Details will be announced in due course, so watch out for the dates, and make sure to meet us there in a year's time!
27th June 2017