Oscar's National Pet Show Plans

This time last year, having been adopted only fourteen weeks previously, a rather timorous Oscar (me) was preparing to visit the National Pet Show.


Mum was a bit concerned about how I would cope because I am  a reserved young man and was still adjusting to my new life. This year, things have changed, and I am raring to go! I look forward to settling into my lovely hotel, where I have been adopted as their Dog of Honour.  In the meantime I am  busy  planning my National Pet Show visit  in great detail.  As you can see, I am a dapper chap, and like to wear traditional journalist’s gear.    Get that hat!!   


This year, I will have to take it a bit steady, being only three  weeks out of IVDD rehab, so my PA (Mum) plans to follow the same protocol as last year. 


You will not believe this!  6 - 6.30 wake up call. ….yes, you read it right.  It is inhuman!  Next it's out for early morning exercise around the hotel grounds, then back for breakfast including bacon, sausage and yogurt plus whatever else is on offer, followed by my normal food, in smaller quantity of course.


At 8.10 a.m. we leave for our three minute run to the NEC which at that time of the morning is pretty empty.  Hardly anyone is about, even the traders, so it’s the best time to do a tour of the show and find our bearings.

After a while the traders start arriving, which means another tour for me, to get used to the increased activity. Next, I set up the Dachshund Breed Stand, ready for our doggy friends and handlers to settle in before the visitors start arriving at 9.30 a.m, when the volume gets louder by the minute.  I was glad that last year Mum did what she did, so that I hardly noticed the increasing noise.  She’s a wise old bird!


Sadly, we believe that the Dachshund stand may have no one there to represent our lovely breed on Saturday.    As I am handsome and irresistible I plan to reserve a couple of hours ’on duty’ there to meet and greet visitors and to answer questions about what dachshunds are like to live with. Hopefully it might help visitors to assess if we are the best pets for their family.  Mum’s got years of experience with our breed and can address most queries.  On Sunday, when more dachshunds and their humans arrive, we can leave them to it.


At a multi-species show, it is important to remember one’s manners and observe required boundaries.   Now I am an extremely non-reactive dog,  but understand that other  furry creatures, or even reptiles and fish might be frightened of my shaggy dachshundness, so I will stay away from them, which is what Professor Noel Fitzpatrick wants me to do anyway.  Maybe first thing in the morning, if the animals are not yet in the building, I might be able to have a quick squint at their stands, but nothing more.  Last year, when it was very quiet, I had a short encounter with one exhibit, 10 year old Todd, who was an African Spurred Tortoise.   To be honest, I think he was asleep so didn't notice me a all.  Sssshh!  Don't tell the Prof!  

At the National Pet Sow there  are so many things to see and to do.  For a start, there’s the Kid’s zone, where visitors can experience loads of activities.  Here they can meet various animals, and learn how to handle their pets. Some budding journalists will even get to interview Professor Noel Fitzpatrick (Saturday only).  


The PDSA (People's Dispensary for Stick Animals) will be there, offering youngsters the opportunity to learn about being a vet.  I wonder if they would notice if I slipped in to perform some major surgery?  I’ve got my scrubs packed!  And then there’s the Family Fortunes game show, where your pet knowledge can be tested.  That should be fun! 


Please don’t miss this fantastic Kid’s Zone, whatever your age…. I loved it last year and took quite a shine to a sutffed giraffe.  Well, one likes to aim high!

Of course, shopping is a big part of the show for some visitors, and they will not be disappointed.  Whatever you want…. it will be there.  I’m going to get something for my girls;  maybe a DogRobe for Emma… the only one who doesn't have one yet.  However, I will have to curb my spending a bit because we have just bought Mum a new scooter. Just remember Pups, be fair to your pawrents when asking them to shell out big time on your behalf!

One of the most exciting places at the National Pet Show is the  Activity Arena, where you can see loads of performances by amazing animals, like Super Dogs Live, with TV presenter Michaela Strachan at the helm.  My pals, Lucy Heath and Trip Hazard will be there to stun you with their tricks, as well as Rachael Grylls and her Jack Russell team.  


I will be anxious to see  former Detective Inspector Colin Butcher with his rescue dog Molly – the world’s first scent-detecting, crime solving, cat-tracking dog in action.   This partnership is good at solving missing dog cases nationwide, and I would like to learn more.   


All of this only  touches the sides of what happens in the Activity Arena, so prepare to be amazed by the Conquest K9 Dog Display Team, the Brilliant Rescue Dogs Show, which includes Staffie Police Dog Cooper and his handler, PC Moss. 


Canine Hoopers dogs can also be seen in the arena. If you are wondering what Hoopers is, I’m told it’s a low impact sport that all breeds, including oldies and those with health issues can take part in with their humans.   


Still no wiser?  Why not take a look at the link below?  Looks like this will be wonderful display.  I will be more than happy towatch from the sides.  


Now a note for you puppies.  Make sure you send your humans to the Puppy Fitness spot in the School 4 Dogs Ring, where they can learn about exercising you without damaging your young growing  bodies.   The experts will show some of the fun things you can do at home, as well as demonstrating reward-based training techniques.  I learned last year that this is how Border Force dogs like this little chap are also trained.  

Those who have read my account of the 2018 National Pet Show may remember me cooing over the Wolfdogs I met.  They are so special and I love them.  In the School 4 Dogs Ring, you can learn more about them, including their history, behaviour and rescue.  Who knows, you might even see some of the tricks they use in TV work. 

With all this activity I will need my wits about me.  My camera, notepad and pen are packed, so after some good nights' sleep I will be equipped to cope with the rigours of each day.   The plan is to see as much as possible, to bring you news, views, and maybe a special interview or two.  If you see me walking beside my distinctive new mobility scooter, or even riding on the footplate, please come over for  a woof’n’chat.  By the way, I love a tickle behind the ear, but I would rather you didn’t stroke my back to remind me I have an IVDD scar.  I am anxious to meet as many readers as possible, so don’t be shy!

To help you recognise us, that's me, sitting alogside the scooter.  


Oscar Teckel


26th October 2019

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© Diana Bailey