When I was created, I could never have imagined that my life would include standing in for the elderly Emma and Dolly at a show on a really really hot day. Of course, being stuffed, and somewhat inanimate, the heat does not affect me, so on Friday 6th July, off I went to Just Dogs Live, at the Peterborough Showground and Arena http://www.justdogslive.co.uk
Leaving home at 7 a.m., is this normal for humans? the journey was relatively short and cool. With mist hanging over the show ground until late morning, the temperature was actually quite pleasant.
We had hardly got into the Arena area when my cheauffeur was seduced by some beautiful embroidered blankets for dogs by Mr. Mole.
www.mrmoleblankets.co.uk/pets I was a bit surprised that there I was, doing all the work, but the embroidery she chose for her blankie was, well, see for yourself!
When we got to the cattle shed, aka by Mum 'The Bunny Hutch', where our friends were preparing to show their dog it was rather cool.
After meeting and greeting, it was time for their first dog, Mac, to take his turn in the ring. He did a great job, and got 1st in the veteran class. I had no idea they had to work so hard, being arranged and rearranged so that the judge, a stranger, can feel them all over. Excuse my simple explanation of what happens but I am, after all, a sweet innocent in this showing lark! I think it is best to show you in pictures rather than explaining, so as not to offend all you professionals out there. Anyway, this is Mac going through the motions..... I have to say, he did brilliantly, showing and moving like a dream for his co-owner and handler, Trica. What a team!
Of course, all show dogs must practice their stand first,
and then be 'stacked' ready for the judge to come along look at the whole line of contestants before 'going over' them each in turn. It amazed me how fussy the handlers were to show their dog in their best light. The last stage is when the judge once more lines all the dogs up, and makes her choices for rosettes. It is all very interesting and exciting. Strange terms, but if you are a show dog, you will understand!
Of course, every dog in the ring deserves a cuddle when they come back to their crates or benches, and Mac and Mum had many of these, which was wonderful for her because she loves the standard long-haired Dachshund breed, and still misses her Bella cuddles.
Next up was the 'open bitch' class, in which the beautiful Ruby was entered. She is magnificent! So much like
Mac, who is her Dad. In fact, to give him his official name, he is Abydachs Rides the Storm to Bournder. As for Ruby, well she is a champion who's posh name is Bournder Ruby Empress. Oh wow! I felt as if I was in the presence of royalty!
Anyway, Ruby did a great job in the ring, again handled by co-owner Tricia. She was up against some strong opposition, and in this instance got a 4th, which was very pleasing. The first picture is of Ruby, then the winning dog, who clearly loves her Mum, Cindy, and finally another dog in the same class.
As Just Dogs Live incorporates a championship dog show, I felt we should mix and mingle with some of the other breeds, so went ride-about on my scooter. On our journey, we met a rather lovely little West Highland White Terrier, and then a sweet little Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshund, before going out into open air where some huge wolfhounds were chilling in their cooling coats, which do a fantastic job! While it was cool in the 'bunny hutches' once you got outside you could feel the heat, and I was pleased to see so many people being responsible and preventing their dogs from over-heating, like the Wolfhounds and Deerhounds sprawled out in the shade (picture below).
As I drove around, I was happy that not many non-competing dogs were there. It really was too hot for them. However, it was good to look around the stalls and see that the food vendors were there, even if people didn't feel much like eating in the heat. I managed to get a cup of coffee for my chauffeur. And yes, she had an ice cream too..... best in the country she reckons.
We had originally planned to leave after lunch, by which time it would be very hot, but as Mac had to wait to enter the Best Veteran Hound challenge at the end of the day, I decided we should stay, knowing that Emma and Dolly were in safe hands. Actually, in the judging areas, it was lovely and cool, and I didn't see anyone struggling with the heat.
First came the Terrier Group, Best Dog, Best Puppy and Best Veteran, and my photographer took pictures of some charming dogs.
Next it was the turn of the Hound group to compete for their 'Best' challenges. Wow! What choices the judges had! They were magnificent, and our Mum and Irene (co-owner of Mac and Ruby) sat by the ringside 'picking the winners!' I think it is best to show you in pictures.
I think you will agree, my introduction to reporting on such events was rather special, with a mixture of seeing hundreds of show dogs, and getting round the trade stands. I think I did a good job on both scores, and have to thank two companies in particular, who made me feel very welcome, and were interested in what The Daxington Post does, especially in relation to our fund raising for Dachshund Rescue.
First, the lovely people at CJS https://www.csjk9.com
specialists in canine feeding, gave me a couple of bags of food for older dogs, as I had told them that Emma and Dolly are ancient. It was very kind of them, and I think they will in turn be gifted to an older dog at one of our forthcoming events. I believe it is only fair to share. For their part, CJS formally support the Pet Blood Bank, which I think is absolutely wonderful.
Around the corner, we especially wanted to meet up with our lovely friends at Aquamat
We went to thank them for sharing our pre-event article on their Face Book page @aquamatdogdogtowel, particularly as it resulted in new readers, but they thanked us even more, with some lovely gifts to use at our Autumn events. The cooling mats in the big tubes are for large dogs and horses, while we smaller pooches need something a little less extensive! They are such lovely people, had a long chat with us, and we know we have friends for life. Their generosity will go a long way in helping us to raise funds for Dachshund Rescue.
If you asked me if I enjoyed my very first dog show as a reporter for The Daxington Post, I would say 'Yes I did, very much'. It was a real eye opener and something we stuffed dogs very rarely get to see. What did I like? The variety of championship dog show, and the attractions at Just Dogs Live. Obviously, because of the heat, we did not stand out in the sun watching some of the dog events, e.g. agility, as I am sure my chauffeur would have melted!
And if you asked me if there was one special moment that I will never forget? Yes! It was during the Hound Best in Group challenge, when I spied a huge great Borzois making friends with a relatively diminutive Beagle. What a special moment that was! It's amazing that there are so many varieties of you real life dogs out there, and yet you all get on well together, exercise your curiosity, make new friends, and most of all give so much joy and friendship to your human companions through unconditional love. Thank you.
Jenson Button (Vroom Vroom)
7th July 2018.