Last Friday, my family and I arose at some ridiculous hour in order to make the 2 hour journey to the Birmingham NEC to attend Crufts 2011.
I am from a family of dog lovers, my grandfather used to breed Lakeland Terriers (Lanfel) and showed at Crufts several times and as a child we always had Border Terriers and used to show our puppy who was awarded Best Puppy In Show on numerous occasions. As I have always been surrounded by dogs, I am a huge fan and this was a very exciting experience! One thing I remember even from such a young age was how serious owners and breeders are about showing their dogs – though the memory of a gentleman (who could only be described as a look-a-like for Greengrass from Heartbeat!) feeding his Afghan Hound a chip from his own mouth will forever be etched in my mind! Now, we love our Honey (Cavalier King Charles) and she is spoilt rotten but never would I dream of feeding her from my own mouth!
Anyway, I digress!
I have never attended Crufts nor the NEC before and was greeted by quite easily a half mile + walk from the carpark to the actual ticket desk, I was amazed at the sheer size of the exhibition centre! Crufts truly is an international affair with many Americans, Dutch and even a South African lady I spoke with in attendance at the show. Am sure there were more nationaliies but these are the ones we encountered.
We attended on the Gundog judging day and came across many Newfoundlands, Dobermans Boxers, Old English Sheepdogs etc and enjoyed watching the contests in the different halls. Liv made many new friends and got lots of kisses as you can tell from the pictures…
My best friend had asked me to go and see the “shaggy rug dog”, I was completely confused until I actually saw a huge, white dog with a long, corded coat. The dog in question was “Tangle” and the breed is the “Komondor”. I had a really good chat with some members of the Komondor Club (www.komondorclub.co.uk) and they were more than happy to answer all of my questions which included whether “Tangle’s” coat was ever cut, which it isn’t only his feet are trimmed. Absolutely amazing! His coat felt like dreadlocks and he was ever so obedient, even standing up when called for a photo opportunity!
Liv absolutely loves dogs and walked happily up to a Doberman and stroked him much to the amazement of the owners, who mentioned no-one had braved coming near their dog all day! My best friend owns a very spoilt Dobe (think doggie birthday cakes and cashmere blankets!) who Liv loves, so she has no fear. Obviously this is something I am aware of however I have always felt that dogs are fantastic until they are provoked and then they will react, but isn’t that the case of humans also? I am happy that she loves animals and has built up a strong friendship with our own animals.
All in all it was a fantastic day, very tiring though! A lot of walking, a lot of standing and watching and hundreds of stands to walk around selling dog related paraphernalia. It was great to see a huge Samsung stand (who were one of the main sponsors of the event) and I had a wonderful chat with one of the guys regarding their phones.
Would I recommend the show? Absolutely! There was plenty of information regarding puppies and which breeder to contact with the Kennel Club stand and plenty of breeders there to chat with. I would certainly go again and for me it was very moving to experience what my grandfather would have experienced 50 years ago, albeit without as many stands and certainly without Samsung!
**We attended Crufts courtesy of a competition run by @Rozzibee and @KCLovesDogs and organised by @verybusymama – thank you so much for allowing us to experience this fantastic event!!**