Crufts 2013 – 1 week to go – the final countdown
For most people who show regularly, Crufts is “just another” dog show, so getting ready really isn’t that different to what happens before shows throughout the rest of the year. Of course, what makes Crufts different is the scale of it and the fact that there are so many visitors.
Cadbury and Crunchie will, of course, have their own fan club following them during the day. We have lots of friends with Wires who plan to come along and support our two dogs.
Preparing the dogs in the last few days really only means final tidying up of their coats and continuing to exercise them so they are in tip-top condition. All our dogs (Mini Smooths and Standard Wires) get about 45 minutes to an hour of free-running exercise every day in the woods and fields near where we live. With all the recent snow and rain, the footpaths are incredibly wet and muddy, which inevitably means muddy paws and tummies have to be cleaned after every walk. Unless one of the dogs rolls in something despicable (not unusual), they won’t be having a bath just for Crufts.
The show bag will be packed the night before and Sue will be making a packed lunch (food prices at the NEC are always expensive!). We also take lots of drinks (non-alcoholic) – water and fruit juice – because somehow being at the NEC all day is quite dehyrdating. We also take bottles of water for the dogs.
Journey planning is easy for us: M40 and M42. Being a weekday, the traffic is likely to be bad on the M42, so that’s the only other factor to take into account on the day.
We have recently been advised that judging of the Wirehaired Dachshunds will now start at 10:00, so we won’t have to have quite such an early start to get to the show. Nevertheless, it’s always advisable to leave plenty of time to get parked and to walk, or take the NEC bus service, to the exhibition halls. We’re in Hall 4, Ring 16 and we’ll aim to be there so we’re getting the two dogs settled on their benches by 09:30.
From then on, it will no doubt be a madly busy day of talking to visiting members of the public and letting them make a fuss of the dogs or take their photographs, as well as Sue showing the dogs and watching the rest of the Wirehaired Dachshund judging.
I’ll also be keen to visit the Dachshund booths at Discover Dogs so that, as Chairman of the Breed Council, I can say thank you to the helpers who have brought their dogs for the public to see. The Midland Dachshund Club takes responsibility for organising this and they do a great job finding helpful, knowledgeable Dachshund owners and their friendly dogs to be in attendance over the four days of the show.
We’re also going to be interviewed and filmed for a feature on Dachshunds being produced by dogsclub.tv and that’s planned for the early afternoon, so all in all it’s going to be a busy day.
Next stop: Crufts!