No dog event is complete without visiting vendors of canine goodiess like coats, beds, bowls, collars, leads and great gifts. The National Pet Show was no exception and there was plenty to tempt me to part with my cash.
Having checked the balance of my Dachtsche Bank Doggit card, (which I pay each month in full) I knew I was OK to dax it out and thus my spending spree began. Being 12½ years old, and with considerable business acumen, I visited several stands to inspect their goods and soon relaised that reigning-in my spending was going to be a challenge
There were a number of photographers at the show, including Dee Macie Photography. As an accomplished photographer myself, I am pretty picky about who I allow to photograph me.
I know talent when I see it, so was sure I would be in good hands when I chose Dee for my sitting. As soon as she saw me, Dee primed her lens and asked me to sit on a chair for a shoot. Did this mean that I was about to become as famous as my deceased brother, Josef? My aspirations soared as I realised it was my turn to shine and maybe even hit the front cover of Dogue (canine version of Vogue). I immediately struck my best pose. Dee is a skilled pet photographer who understood I was a little shy and waited till I felt comfortable before taking my picture. Dee promised to let us have a copy of my best shot, and is now one of our Twitter followers.
As we wandered around, I squealed with delight when I saw something I wanted and really needed on the Arton & Co stand. They sell everything a dog could want from beds to birthday cakes and bandanas. Waving my doggit card at the salesman I pointed to the most fantastic winter woolly jumper I had ever seen. I was measured up, tried on a couple of sizes, made my choice, and breathed a sigh of relief that I would not have to wear hand-me-downs all winter. Bring it on Santa Claws, I am ready for Christmas.
Something I said I would never countenance is a doggy spy camera, but I soon changed my mind, when I saw a wonderful piece of equipment threatening to beat a lady's butt. Well, that is how it looked! "Oh that would be fun" I thought, and started working out who would be my first 'victim'. You have to admit, it looks very tempting! But I am a gentle dog with a naughty sense of humour.
This is the Pawbo Catch, which is a cat teaser (thank Dog) developed to stretch their minds! I certainly approve of this if it stops cats leaving parcels in my garden and practicing pole vaulting over my fence!
The other equipment we saw was the Pawbo , a rather neat, interactive device enabling owners to remain in contact with their pets when left home alone. Despite my serious misgivings I admit that a bit of reassurance from Mum would be helpful if I felt a little anxious at such times. What concerned me was Pawbo's ability to spy on me, taking remote pictures for immediate upload to social media, and leaving me with no secrets at all. What an infringement of my canine right to privacy! Pawbo have asked us to trial their equipment and I will at least give it a fair go.
My top priority was meeting up with my friend Huxley Hound who had his own stand at the National Pet Show. Huxley has had a rather sad and tough time recently, yet he stoically faces such challenges and continues to dedicate himself to his products and his family, who work for him. Of course, our mums had a long hug and did I detect a few tears? Meanwhile, Huxley and I barked business. The treats he produces are better than raw because the dehydration process he uses retains more nutrients to keep us in good shape. I have to say, I was impressed with Huxley's executive chair, from which he directs all operations.
Huxley gave me a goody bag containing several varieties, which I knew would be all mine, as Emma had previously refused them. Imagine my fury when that fickle lass clambered up for her share when Mum opened a pack. She now says she likes them!. What is more, I saw Mother covertly chewing the carrot variety when she thought I was not looking. Women!
Huxley was also generous to Dachshund Rescue sending me over with a big bag of his products to use as comptition prizes. He is such a magnanimous gentleman, and I love him.
Now I'm not overly fussy over food..... in fact 'canine dustbin' has been mentioned at home. I know how to hunt and dispose of treats from extraordinary heights for one of such short stature. However, I am not so sure about tea. We only use two varieties in our house, Earl Grey and Camomile and frankly, I don't fancy either. Surely other teas must be available. Well apparently they are, as I discovered when I came across Doggy's Cuppa.
This product is the brain child of a veterinary surgeon who has skilfully blended herbal teas for dogs. Breakfast, rejuvenating and calming teas are just some of the available varieties.. We received a sample pack and I intend demanding my early morning cuppa in bed from now on.
Dr. Veneta Kozhuharova, DVM, MRCVS, Cert. CFVHNut
After all this shopping, my scooter basket was getting rather full when we were approached by Rovernighter to see if I needed help with carrying our load.
Imagine how I felt later when they commented on The Daxington Post Twitter page, and included a photo of me too. I feel very proud that they recognised me as a dog with a job, which of course I am.
Now while they sell a wide range of products, their one stop travel solution for pets is ingenious. Humans moan about our luggage taking up more room in the car than their own, but the Rovernighter immediately solves this problem Here is a holdall with pockets for everything you need, that converts to a bed in less than 20 seconds. A memory foam mattress ensures comfort, especially for older dogs. For less mobile pooches, one side folds down while ensuring that our humans can access all the pockets even when it is converted to a bed. I really fancied one of these but my spoilsport Mum pointed to her empty rucksack and I had to walk away. As a true Dachshund I am determined that this is not the end of it!
Now you may be wondering where is my pre-show shopping priority - a new red lead. I really wanted one to match my sister Emma's, and early on Saturday, we found them. However, the day passed, as did Sunday, and I was unhappy that the lead had not yet been bought. You may know that Mum's thumb received a really nasty injury as a result of an unexpected encounter with Emma's thick lined webbing lead. My own leash was thinner but equally able to inflict inury, so a new one was essential for health & Safety reasons. I was disappointed to be denied this item and protested rather loudly. It worked!
When we left for home, we took a long route to the exit, which was annoying because I was very tired. However, it transpired that Mum was actually looking for the vendor. By the time we arrived the leads had all been packed away but the kind Canadian Gentleman at Kebukai sensed my disappointment, and immediately opened the box. After finding me the red lead I wanted, we made a deal. With a word of thanks, and a sense of relief this very happy Dolly swaggered out of the NEC and into our car. The wonderful thing is that Emma and I now have beautiful rolled leather leads that will not injure Mum in the future. Rather smart, don't you think?
Two days at The National Pet Show can be rather tiring, but I had achieved my goals although I am not sure how the Dachtsche Bank will feel about me overspending on my Doggit card. As an extremely good client, I am pretty certain they will increase my spending limit before the next show!
The Daxington Post HQ
12th November 2017