Crufts 2015 – 1 week to go: the final countdown

2651_Web_470x250With just a week until the big day (7th March), we’re on the final stage of preparations to ensure Cadbury, Foxy and Raisin are ready for their starring performances under judge Valerie Foss.

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.

Our dogs 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 three 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.  2009_1218Snow0005With all the Winter 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 weekend day, the traffic isn’t likely to be too bad on the M42, so that’s the only other factor to take into account on the day.

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 and we’ll aim to be there so we’re getting the three dogs settled on their benches by 09:30, ready for judging to start at 10:00.

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.  We’re also looking forward to seeing Lars, Foxy’s breeder who is coming over from Norway.

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.

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