Being woken at 6.30 a.m. on a Saturday, with breakfast at 7 a.m. is inhuman, or should that be incanine, to say the least. But on Saturday 2nd June that is exactly what happened! The reason was that we had to travel to the Stradsett Country & Craft Show, incorporating the Festival of Dogs, to run a fun dog show. The Festival of Dogs generously told us that all the money we raised at the fun dog show would be donated to Dachshund Rescue, which made us feel much better about our early call. As many readers will know, Bella and I are both Dachshund Rescue dogs and are thankful for every every opportunity to raise funds for their work. By 8.30 a.m. after driving through torrential rain and some flooding, we arrived at the show ground to prepare for our stint as dog show managers.
The car was packed to the gunnels, and a very kind gentleman came from his stand opposite, to unload for Mum, and set up our relaxing dog pen for later in the day. However, during the morning, Emma, Bella and I occupied directors chairs, barking our orders about what went where, and who did what. Not that the latter was much of a problem, because only we and Sarah Daly had managed to get through to Stradsett without becoming victims of the adverse weather conditions, as our remaining volunteers did. Nothing daunted them as they rushed around, putting up banners, organising the admin area, and displaying rosettes and prizes for eager participants in the dog show.
Our playpen above and the early morning prize display below.
We can only imagine that many other people also had problems getting through the dreadful weather conditions, as footfall was low at first, and the initial classes were tiny, which meant that everyone went away with a rosette. That was great, especially for the youngsters who entered. However, as the day went on, the 20 classes got bigger and bigger, and Sarah, who was judge for the day had a real problem choosing her final line up and winners. “Oh dear,” she told us, “It is so hard to choose between all these wonderful dogs” and from where we were sitting we could tell it was.
From tiny Chihuahuas and Papillons to huge Bernese Mountain Dogs and Great Danes, all arrived beautifully groomed and behaving impeccably to impress Sarah as she cast her eye over them. Tensions rose when she was ready to name her winners, and with rosettes being awarded up to 6th place, each dog strove for the honour of being chosen. Before long, many dog leashes adorned with rosettes were visible around the whole show ground.
Once we were sure everything was running smoothly, our friends from the Lincolnshire Dachshund Group, with whom we regularly stroll, arrived to see how things were going. It was great to see Dylan, Dolly’s best friend, who later looked after us in the play pen we had cleverly swathed in a banner bearing the name of The Daxington Post’s event sponsors Natural Instinct. We loved that banner as it also provided shade when the sun came out to play in the afternoon. Clever thinking!
During a break for lunch, the team ate burgers and muffins before recommencing the judging and Sarah once more chose a wide range of dogs for her line-ups. You can see the enormous diversity from the picture gallery at the bottom of this article. If you would like to know more about any particular picture please refer to the gallery on our Face Book page.
From where we were, we were able to see many things that tall humans or dogs may not. Of course, as Dachshunds we have the rare gift for seeing almost everything especially with our noses poking uder the play pen's banner, which gave us both privacy and shade. Right opposite were four wonderful cocker spaniels who were meeting and greeting visitors and educating them about their breed. Next to them were the Bernese Mountain Dogs who are an annual attraction at this show. They regularly parade in the main arena, pulling the most delightful little carts neatly decorated with flowers, mini-milk urns and much more. They were so gentle and got lots of attention, as they always do.
Further up were dog paraphernalia stands, while others enticed visitors to try and maybe buy food and other essentials.
Across the way from the ring were a number of breeds forming a smal Discover Dogs type section, and as usual at this show, the morning chorus that greeted us on our arrival at 8.30 a.m. was howled by Inuits, wolf dogs, and other nordic breeds. Once the programme got into full swing, they quietened down to enjoy the day, just as we did.
The show ring became silent round 2.30 pm, as there were no more classes to judge until 4 pm when the Best in Show competition was scheduled to take place. Unfortunately, one or two people could not hang on for this, but when the time came the ring was soon filled with the remaining winners from the various classes.
The judge, who’s own breed is French Bulldogs came to make her choice for this great accolade. With due diligence she looked at each dog, asked them to move around the ring, cast her eye over them once more, and then made her choice.
Best in Show went to Kiba, a Northern Inuit, who had impressed Sarah earlier with some extremely talented tricks.
Reserve Best in show went to the dogs who won the ‘Best Brace’ class, Harvey the Dalmatian and Toby the Labrador.
It was with great pride that both winners came forward to receive their prizes. Each was delighted with their huge bag of Dr. John kibble donated by manufacturers, Gilberton & Page, https://www.gilpa.co.uk/ and a beautiful basket of goodies and toys, plus a £25 voucher from the Daxington Post’s own regular event sponsors, Natural Instinct www.naturalinstinct.com
Before he set off on his long journey home we thanked our pal, Dylan, for looking after us all afternoon then Sarah helped Mum pack the car so that we could all make tracks when vehicle movement was permitted. I don’t remember our 45 minute journey at all, because like Emma and Bella, this tired 13 year old pup slept all the way home, trusting that Mum would not also snooze en route!
Now, for the gallery we promised you.
What did we think about our day? Well, both the Country and Craft and the Festival of Dogs elements of the show were excellent as always. There was plenty to see and do, and the pace was gentle and easy. Had there not been torrential downpours in the surrounding areas throughout the day, it would undoubtedly have been considerably busier. However, we enjoyed the event and raised £138 for Dachshund Rescue, meaning that we three oldies plus Mum returned home with a real sense of a job well done. Thanks, Festival of Dogs for inviting us again this year, to Gilbertson & Page for the generous prizes you provided, and to Natural Instinct for once more supporting The Daxington Post’s fundraising efforts. I reckon that Kiba, our very happy Best in Show, reflected everyones' feelings as they left for home.
Sub Editor, The Daxington Post HQ,
3rd June 2018