Discover Dogs Earls Court November 2009
We had a fabulous time at Earls Court this year - the dogs were stars, the owners survived and the visitors had a lovely day out
– isn’t that what it’s all about?
And the photographs tell the story…
On Saturday Cherry Howard picked up Chris Smith before crack of dawn and they arrived by 9.30 am, in spite of torrential rain, first for a photo shoot in the main ring and then to the Norfolk booth where the Hatchwoods, Cherry’s Connie and Sparks, and Chris’s Hattie entertained the folks royally. What is it with the Hatchwoods that they love children so much? Especially Hobson
- but see his story further on.
Cherry and Chris are old hands at Discover Dogs but Martyn Craddock and John Collins, who did Saturday afternoon with their Fontanesi Norfolks, are new to it all. Carolyn Hoare was there too to show them the ropes and what a group of character dogs we had! Firstly Carolyn’s seven year old Lulu who it cannot be denied is well bodied up just adored the attention and was a star - so many people,especially those well bodied up themselves, chose her specially to cuddle, saying ‘you’re the one after my own heart’.
Precious, Lacey, and Lulu, all wonderful.
While Martyn and John took a short break I looked after 10 months old ‘show stopper’ Lacey and literally no one could walk past without pausing to give her a smile and an admiring pat.
Lacey was fascinated with all she saw but the very best of all, and she was desperate to meet him, was a beautiful black Labrador Hearing Dog for Deaf People with his owner.
The young and not so young were welcomed with kisses and joy by all three Norfolks on the Saturday afternoon and I think that Martyn and John will be volunteering for the same again at Crufts, such was the fun they and Precious and Lacey had.
Anne Blackman was worried that Hobson, the only dog on the booth for Sunday morning, would fall asleep, Bob Blackman was worried that he was not a pundit and he hoped he could stay in the background.
But when I arrived Anne was on an errand and Bob was alone with a crowd gazing into his eyes lapping up his every word. He soon remembered from another year when he’d valiantly filled a gap, that as long as you knew the answer to ‘Do they moult’ you were OK and he reckoned too that he’d lived with the breed for 30 years so he might know a bit!
So Hobson, being a Hatchwoods, was obsessed with children and, as well as throwing himself into their arms, he made a marvellous loud high-pitched tweeting noise whenever he saw a baby in a pram. This escalated to anyone in a wheelchair or buggy so he had a joyous time and there was no question of sleeping through it all.
Karen Hurrion came from Yorkshire with ‘Granny Pukka’, 9½, Pepper, 8 months, Mr Fudge, 3, and Crumble, 20 months. They too were all newcomers to Discover Dogs and were fabulous, and not just the dogs – Karen answered questions, explained stripping, helped by Granny Pukka who had just sufficient coat for hand stripping demos, and, assisted by her niece Mia, made everyone happy for 3 and a half hours non-stop.
So our thanks go to this fairly small band of Norfolk people who were all fantastic and flew the flag for the breed extremely successfully and the dogs who proved that the Norfolk temperament is 100% even if some do tweet at babies.
Sharon, Geoff and Tony Barge with their trophy.
The final ‘good thing’ was the winning of 3rd prize for Best Booth overall by the Norwich Terrier Club, Sharon Hardwicke and her parents Mr and Mrs Barge, our neighbours and helpmates over many years. The brilliant work they put into the stand is phenomenal.
Mr Barge and my husband Ron, (unsung heroes) who both admitting to being somewhat ancient, have spend many hours pondering quicker ways of getting our cars out of the Seagrave Road Car Park to Earls Court for loading – a procedure that takes hours while the booths are dismantled around us, scaring the dogs and deafening us all.
Sally Willbie / Sally Anne Thompson
Discover Dogs Crufts 2009
Well another Crufts is over and it turned out to be a memorable one for me this year. I had to take over Ellis Hulme's Norwich classes as he was ill. I was to have judged them in 2011 but was brought forward. I found out just one week before the show.
We travelled to the caravan site on the Wednesday and, after settling the dogs in, we went to the NEC to decorate the booth. We had asked for electricity in the booth this year so we could play a video we had done of our dogs playing in the garden, being groomed and doing agility, also watching my last litter growing up. It proved very popular all 4 days.
Thursday and Friday were busy but nice and steady, Saturday and Sunday were just MAD! Very very busy and crowded. People were asking the same questions this year as other years. Are they good with children? Other dogs? How much exercise do they need? How do you groom them and what is the price? I was expecting more questions on health matters but only one or two people asked about health. But of course we did have the Health Statement up on the wall and something in the hand outs.
I would like to thank all the volunteers who helped on the booth and a big hug to all their dogs who put up with all that stroking.
On the Sunday afternoon as I was sitting in the booth with Chick Chick I got a pleasant surprise - I was presented with a lovely rosette and a certificate after we were placed 6th Best Discover Dogs Booth from all the breeds. Unfortunately Gina missed the presentation and photograph as she had gone to support some of the juniors in their classes, so it's only me and Chick Chick in the photo.
Dorothy and Gina Dorkins.