Day 2 - It’s a dog’s life
My hobby since I was 21 years old has been showing dogs. My first dogs at that time were Afghan Hounds - exceptionally beautiful dogs.
I went on from there to show for other people as well as my own dogs, Tibetan Terriers then Papillons. I had to have smaller dogs due to my ill health; carrying larger dogs became difficult for me but I still chose to own long-haired dogs.
For every show you enter the dog must be washed dried and groomed to perfection. Most shows start judging at 9.00 am, which means an early morning to get to the venue in good time. Brushes, combs, coat dressings, show leads and possibly a trolley to take the dogs in, are all considerations. It can certainly be quite an expensive hobby but there again no hobby is cheap.
I have shown at many venues throughout England and Scotland. Luckily having sat-navs has saved a lot of map reading. The main aim of those involved in dog shows is to qualify their dog for Crufts, which is usually held in March each year at the NEC Birmingham. For Crufts you must leave home bright and early so you can get into the car park nearest to the halls. Exhibitors are unable to leave Crufts until 4 pm on the day they are there to enable the general public to look at the show dogs.
Most dogs like to show off, so it’s usually not too hard to train them. There is a standard for each breed.
This year I am hoping to show my new Russian Toy (formerly known as a Russian Terrier) at her first show in September. I am looking forward to the show because I have never owned or shown a Russian Toy before so it will be quite interesting to see what happens.
Oh, by the way I am on parenteral nutrition, it’s been 21 years now and to be honest it just fits into my life. The process of staying safe and keeping things clean can be a bit of a faff but if I didn’t have PN basically I wouldn’t be here so I’m thankful for it. Without it I couldn’t enjoy my hobbies, not being able to absorb what I need was a problem to start with, but PN corrected that issue. I’m someone who just gets on with it and loves spending time with my dogs.