It has been ten days since I returned home from DogFest and I cannot stop thinking bout what a great time I had. My previous article concentrated largely on what I did personally, but there is so much more about this show than can be covered in just one article.
I imagine that every dog hopes they can shake paws with Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, but of course he cannot meet everyone. This show was Noel's brain child, and has proved to be a huge success since it started several years ago. Whoever heads up the planning department does a fantastic job, because everything happens just as it should. Congratulations Team DogFest South!
Despite his fame, Noel Fitzpatrick is very grounded and completely committed to enhancing the lives of all animals, although I suspect he has a special place in his heart for dogs. Our now deceased Dachshund, Josef, was fortunate to get an interview with him, and was clearly impressed with how kind, gentle and genuine this man is. That dogs love him and are happy to be in his presence speaks for itself
Professor Noel has also founded and heads up the Humanimal Trust.
https://www.humanimaltrust.org.uk which believes that both humans and animals should be able to derive benefit from sharing the medical and surgical knowledge and practices relating to each. It makes sense doesn’t it? The Trust literature states “The Humanimal Trust drives collaboration between vets, doctors and researchers so that all humans and animals benefit from sustainable, medical progress but not at the expense of an animal’s life. This is One Medicine.'"
I spoke at length with a member of staff on the Humanimal Trust stand and was very happy for my human to sign a pledge to endorse their practices and principles, something she did more than willingly, I must say.
One of DogFest's regular features is the long walk with Noel leading the way. We didn’t do this, but our photograph shows just how popular it is.
Outdoor events for dogs would not be complete without the Splash Pool. This is great fun for adventurous pooches willing to plunge from a a springboard into a huge tank of water. There is never a shortage of dogs and humans watching and cheering when participants dive into the pool. I am always afraid someone will volunteer me for this activity, so I generally keep clear, even if it is great fun.
I wonder if the onlookers got splashed!
If you are like me and get excited when you come across a have-a-go activity that you really want to try you will know that it’s a huge disappointment when your nearest and dearest human forbids it. I really wanted to try hay bale racing, especially as I had been practicing over the pathetic barricade Mum had erected to keep me off one patch of garden at home. Actually, it was nearly as exciting to see the other dogs having fun, while I looked on with envy.
When it comes to obedience, I reckon I am pretty good, and always come when called. Indeed when my older sisters are being selectively deaf, I rush over to give them a nudge to respond immediately. I am sure I would have done wonderfully in the obedience competitions, but probably not as good as these wonderful German Shepherds who are most probably professional security dogs. I really admire their dedication to duty.
I always get excited when I see agility events. Up, over, round, through; all these commands are things I have been learning lately. Of course, as a dachshund the jumps must be very low. I am gradually getting the hang of agility, but am not yet as good as this little chap, weaving his heart out at DogFest.
We heard rather than saw all the other events, and thank DogFest for the wonderful photographs, as in crowds, it is difficult for Mum to take pictures from her scooter.
Like my big sister in previous years, I loved being at the Big Stage, listening to either Professor Noel, musicians, and this year Clare Balding. Crowds gather round this area and we were lucky enough to see Clare telling them all about a horse!
Photograph: Diana Bailey
With all the activities available at DogFest, and the joy of meeting and greeting hundreds of other dogs, it really is a special event, and one that no self-respecting pooch should miss. As I looked around,I did not see one unhappy human or animal. Instead, it was a joyous occasion and one at which I was proud to be waving The Daxington Post flag, so that I could return and report on all I had seen.
Don't forget you can visit the remaining Dogfest 2019 events for which tickets are still available. I promise, you will never regret it. I am just sad that I cannot be there too.
Tatton Park, Knutsford, Cheshire
Sat 15th + Sun 16th June 2019
Ashton Court, Bristol
Sat 22nd + Sun 23rd June 2019
Click for more details
21st May 2019