Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A quick run down on Crufts

Well despite all my fears Crufts was fab with the boys and they made me very proud.

After a four hour journey( them sleeping the whole way), we arrived and met up with their breeder who had brother Rowley and sister Sally to show in their appropriate classes. Mum Lotti was to be on the stand with the boys with Paul being the other human( with me) in the stand and Lizzi showing her two.

After hauling our gear around the ample ( huge) carparks we found the benches for Rowley and Sally. You have rows of benches and many of the dogs are chained onto these benches whilst waiting for their class no dogs are allowed off site between 9am-4pm for security. Lizzi chose to use a tent for each fastened on the benches meaning they could relax untied in their beds without too much disturbance. Once they were dropped off with all they needed Paula and I headed for the booth. Despite it already being quite busy ( 8.15am) the boys were just being incredibly nosey and Lotti happy as long as she had company.

The booth was already decorated with photo descriptions of our breed Ibizan hound, Podenco Ibicenco as it is also known. A pen was set up for the dogs and we put another tent up in case one needed a break. The bed was down chair was set up and off Paul went for the necessary human pleasers, coffee and bacon butty! Once consumed we settled and waited for people to arrive..

Arrive they certainly did, we rarely saw a gap at the front of the booth and we fielded many many questions which we answered completely honestly. I was stalked by a lovely lady who even followed us to the toilet tent and as I bent over to pick poo she bent down in case I missed any snippets of interesting information she had for me...mmmmm I am a magnet it appears.

Flute and Tips are true ambassadors although not true to type which states ' Ibizans are aloof dogs who tend to be wary of stranger' urm no Flute spent all day on his hind legs body hugging people whilst slipping his long tongue down people throats whereas Tips did the same without the tongue ( well a little in peoples ears) the more I stopped them the more people asked them up.

One young girl received a real mark of honour, she quietly asked how she would know if the hounds liked her when Tips placed his paw gently on her head! Although her eyes were wide she beamed and shoved her face in his and was washed thoroughly.

Toiletting was provided inside and out with shaving pens with a well placed post for the lads but mine wouldn't toilet indoors so we headed out to a toilet marquee. Once boys were empty I took Lotti who scratted that much she managed to cover a bassett lady in woodchip and as she left I had to let her know her beautiful coffered hair now had woodchips in it!

I then took the boys over to one of the many many stalls by now the whole place was heaving and I was grateful my two weren't in the least bit bothered weaving in and out of the walkways with no a human breathe space. Flute stormed ahead with Tips by my side we managed to pick up two things and a very very quick look around. Out of all the people and dogs we only had one dog ( a border terrier) have a real go and one ignorant man who shoved Flute( brave or stupid mmmm)I gently held his hand and told him not to be rude to my dog and trust me after hearing his wife's ear battering him I almost felt sorry for him.

I had bought a load of hand made biscuits for the skinny lads so that they would eat enough and eat they certainly did . It was so lovely to meet so many people and of course meet up with friends. I of course met up with Caroline as I do every year and had a very quick catch up on all of her comings and goings!

My mam and I had a most heated discussion about Crufts, breeding and all things dog. I almost felt I had to justify myself about going to Crufts and I am happ to say why I go and what I get out of it. Without doubt there are many many things I dislike about showing, breeding, agility, flyball etc etc the extremes concern me and I often think that if people didn't breed or show dogs they would get their ego boost elsewhere but I also refuse to allow myself to believe ALl breeders are that way, or all showing people are that way. Power greed and all else can drive a person and let them forget the important things in life but that isn't about dogs...It is about humans....in all walks of life in all interests. All living things are badly affected by our presence and behaviour and we have to change pretty much everything we do in order to change that.

As for Crufts when I go I see everyones similarities and also he huge differences, the attitudes are so variable and there is no greater place to people watch haha.

Each hall( baring one) is made up of stalls, benching areas and rings, rings for showing for conformation and type and rings for activities. I have probably watched three classes ever in the years I have been going to Crufts my focus always been on talking to any dog I meet, checking out EVERY stall, checking out the activities and watching the madness. Of each hall I would say only a third is made up of showing rings and benches for the dogs. The rest is rings for activities or stalls.

I was disappointed by a few things....five cars with dogs left in ( on a cold frosty night)only in small cages when their owners slept in the same hotel the boys and I slept. Then there were the 'familiarity breeds contempt crowd' who forget a yark or a frustrated shove at their dog is being unfair. Would putting beds on the benches really be that hard to do? Come on owners remember every dog you handle is a person in his own right. Nice to have comfort and kindness. Yet for that I saw hundred of happy owners with their happy dogs.

I have decided to stop blaming organisations or groups for our woes it is down to us. We know how we should behave regarding dogs and buying yet we continue to buy because we want to, fall for the sad sorry pup or the unusual pup at the expense of all.

So for my weekend I had a great time watching my great dogs cope with a busy hectic place and love every minute of it from the lift in the hotel to the halls full of people and best of all all those not so elicit snogs, licks and hugs. I immersed myself in all things dog and came out the other side grinning!

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