I’m really fortunate to have good friends who accept me for who I am and indulge my vices passions with love and understanding!
Which is why, last weekend, I traveled to the home of the lovely Zoe of Mama Geek to stay for the weekend. Zoe’s mum in law breeds and shows Norwich terriers so goes to Crufts each year and Clan Corkhill descend to man the Discover Dogs stall and generally wallow in woofs. Zoe had kindly invited me to go last year but time and money meant that I wasn’t able to but being such a lovely, she invited me up for this year instead. I didn’t need asking twice. (To be fair, I barely needed inviting once, I think the whole of Twitter heard my squeals.)
Me and Zoe attempt to enter in our cunning disguises.
There’s been a lot of negativity surrounding Crufts over the past few years, the Jemima Harrison documentary, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, which aired back in 2008 blew the lid on the health problems that dog* pedigree breeds. I’m not going to cover that here as there are people out there who can go into it better than me and at the end of the day I went for an enjoyable day out with friends to surround myself with an animal I love.
*I’m going to hell for that pun.
I think it tends to baffle people who know me that I don’t have a dog yet considering that a) how many dog things I have (books, training manuals, canine psychology books, pictures, mugs…) b) how passionate I am about them and C) How many dog shows I’ve been to (Discover Dogs, The London Pet Show). Unfortunately, due to renting (don’t get me started) we’re not allowed a dog which I haven’t let limit me! My volunteer work at my local rescue kennels at weekends helps me get my canine fix, not only is it therapeutic to me, it helps the dogs that are waiting for homes get socialized, looked after, trained and most importantly loved! Even better, me and Mr Becca are looking to buy a house this year which means I’ll finally be able to give a rescue dog a home
But I digress.
James and Zoe are great hosts, Zoe had found out that the day we were attending was Hound day (I am absolutely passionate about Greyhounds) and had found the ring no that they were being shown in. When we arrived, I was steered towards there. (I almost needed blinkers, there was so much to see) and found a seat and drooled over Greyhounds. They were beautiful but I had never realized how much of a size disparity there is between show Greyhounds and racers. The show ones are MASSIVE.
Crufts is like heaven for a dog lover, not only is there showing to watch but there are various displays, Agility competitions and hundreds of stalls. There is literally everything and anything you could imagine (and probably stuff you couldn’t) to buy. I was pretty restrained, half of my haul was freebies I picked up or stuff I got cheaply (the best day to go to anything like this is always the last day as the stands want to get rid of stuff!).
I did treat myself to some Canine Psychology and training books, The Culture Clash, The Evolution of Canine Social Behavior and Canine Body Language. I’m fascinated by it, love learning and everything I learn helps with my work at the kennels.
I swung by both the Greyhound rescue stalls as well, Perry Barr and RGT. I got a very cute Greyhound t-shirt, a lovely print for Mr Neil as a present (Greyhound dressed as a pirate? SOLD!),every leaflet going in terms of re-homing a greyhound and some supporter goodies.
I had such a great weekend, and I wasn’t the only one who had their first Crufts, Georgie had never visited before either so we were novices together! And seriously, why can’t all children be this amazing? Not a peep out of her for the whole day despite how loud and busy it was. (I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to Georgie for any biscuit induced nightmares she might now have. You might think it’s funny to stick Party Rings over your eyes and dance around but small children find it terrifying and will cry).
I think it’s true that you discover a lot about people when you stay with them. James and Zoe are not only very patient (as I spent literally hours stroking Greyhounds and dragged them around at the end of the day to find a Crufts Magnet. “BUT I NEED IT FOR MY COLLECTION!!” ) but also very strong (It took them both to unwrap my arms from one of the Greyhounds that were looking for a home “BUT HE HAS NO ONE TO LOVE HIM!!!”)
Oh hey, almost forgot! That ticks off 22 on my list!
PS – If you’re wondering where my blog title comes from, for the love of all that is holy, follow this link – God loves a Terrie