Gosh, sorry this has taken so long for me to publish, before we know it Crufts 2018 will be upon us!
This was a special year at Crufts for my kind – Jack Russells across the globe finally got their chance to show at Crufts after the breed was recognised by the KC last year. Sadly I couldn’t make it on terrier day to cheer them on but congratulations to ‘Mrs M Marinelli’s Ch Granlasco Simply A Beauty’ who travelled from Italy to win Best Bitch and Best of Breed.
This year saw the return of the early morning start for me; it has never been an enjoyable task but luckily I got to sleep the whole way by making my PA do the driving. As always I enjoyed the long walk from the car park to the NEC as my legs were ready for a stretch, although this was the first year I had to cross the skywalk – something I found a little daunting.
On arrival I headed straight to the Press Office to gather info for the day and was extremely lucky to bump into Pam St Clement who is lovely and was more than willing to give me a cuddle.
Pam told me she was at Crufts to promote the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf charity who are celebrating their 35th birthday. During the year the charity will once again be holding the Great British Dog Walk events at venues throughout the year. Later on Saturday I got to meet Rachel Riley and cuddle with her too. She was also at Crufts to support Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and I signed up to attend the Great British Dog Walk event at Ickworth Park on Rachel’s recommendation.
After cuddling Rachel I had a good chat to Inca (a lovely black lab) who was at Crufts supporting her deaf Mum, Lisa Baldock. Lisa bravely gave a talk on how Inca has changed her life – from a recluse suffering with anxiety and depression to a confident, outgoing person – great job, well done Inca!
My Saturday showing fix included cheering on local Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. The young and handsome Robin was a first timer at Crufts in Junior Dog and older sister Echo was in Post Graduate Bitch; sadly neither were placed in strongly contested classes.
On my travels I bumped into a very friendly staffie call Squirt. She was at Crufts to promote Battersea Dogs Home and show how sweet her breed can be.
Next stop was the Main Arena which was running late for the Small Team Agility Championship and so I caught some International dogs and handlers. Catching my eye was a super fit and speedy Malinois (C’Inka De Scofos) from Spain. I got to watch all of the Small Team Agility Champs and it was worth it as local poodle and ex show dog Jack, took 2nd place with his Stamford Randomly Picked team; with four clear rounds they were pipped on time by Dartford Hope So’s.
Hopefully you have seen some of my Crufts’ facebook posts and are familiar with the wonder pair of Demi (aged 10) and Pip (aged 5). Building on their fabulous results from Thursday (where they competed in the main arena to come 4th in the YKC Agility dog of the Year) they won the YKC Jumping Dog of the Year on Saturday! Demi showed off extreme talent and maturity in her handling and Pip showed how much confidence and speed he has gained since being rescued.
My amazing Saturday finished off with my PA buying me some new treats – which of course I was delighted about. I didn’t realise she had an ulterior motive; they were Feelwells Goodnight treats containing calming and relaxing ingredients such as Chamomile, Valerian and Scullcap – just the thing to help soothe me in a strange hotel – they are delicious.
On Sunday I was relieved to find we had parked in a different car park and walked in past the new resort hotel with casino, cinema and shopping centre – it looked fab.
Focussing back on Crufts my first task was to track down the gorgeous Norwegian Buhund (Loxy) I followed last year. Loxy was at Crufts with her little brother, 11 month old Jack. I have to say I find the Buhund personality to be delightful and was pleased to see both Loxy and Jack go away with wins in the show ring.
A newcomer to Crufts this year was the beautiful and lovely Megan. Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, Megan, was at Crufts doing displays in the Good Citizen ring and helping on the Pets As Therapy stand.
I attended one of the displays and watched all the lovely PAT dogs being petted by children. One of the dogs, Tigger, got a lot of attention for his ultra laid back posing – none of the others employed his tactic of lying on his back and waving his legs in the air! Doug the Pug was on stand and he was there promoting the Read2 Dogs scheme where he takes a starring role.
Sunday was rounded off with shopping (of course, I am a girl!). New Hem and Boo collars, squeaky toys, antlers, Orijen training treats, Fish 4 Dogs tiddlers were all purchased along with a comfy Snoozzeee Bed for me and a new big bed for Grandma’s whippet Izzy. Grandma also bought some lovely gifts from JR Whippet Rescue including a mug that changes colour with hot water!
We staggered back to the car tired but happy and looking forward to next year.