Discover Dogs 2012
Earls Court - November 10th and 11th
I’ve never known the Norfolk booth at Discover Dogs to be as hot and crowded as it was on the Saturday this year. A stranger would have wondered whatever was happening in there but, as we know, it’s the power of the Norfolk Terrier to attract attention!
The Keep Calm team, as they came to be known from previous years, Linda, Fiona, Gail plus Katie and Ian (new Club members), Sue and Maurice, Steph and Emma, certainly kept their cool as did Batman, Hector, Madly, Tia, Bembo and Archie plus two 7 months puppies who did half a day, all royally entertaining the eager throng outside.
Frequent questions, along with ‘do they moult?’ and ‘are they good with children?’ were about Health, suitability as a first dog and can they do Agility. Over 250 Information sheets and many Breeders Lists were handed out.
Discover Dogs is always great fun but the exhaustion afterwards is shattering!
On Sunday the whole show was less frenetic and the booth less hot and steamy. We kicked off with newcomers to Discover Dogs, though not to other Club events, Hong and David with Harry. Hong said that when she saw Coco she knew Norfolks were for her and Harry is their first dog. I pushed them into the front line where they took to it like ducks to water and I found out why - she’s in marketing and he’s in PR!
Carolyn Hoare kindly borrowed Dougal and Florance again, 2 marvellous long-time performers who knew the ropes and did their stuff, and the afternoon belonged to Sue and Michael Pearson, with Norfolks Hamish and Jessica, and their friends Sally and Richard Brown with Peggy and Lottie; they too were all superb. You may remember Sue and Michael, they used to be Discover Dogs regulars and their claim to fame – Sue is the world’s leading authority on teddy bears and they have a shop and hospital for teddy bears in Sussex.
Most Norfolks love greeting the visitors, some are unexpectedly and wildly enthusiastic, some surprise us by not caring for the noise and hustle but can be successfully encouraged with treats, while a few steadfastly say they don’t like it at all; often you cannot be certain until you try them.
Another excellent Discover Dogs for Norfolks thanks to our hard working volunteers.
The goodwill disintegrated when snarl-ups in the traffic outside delayed our get away for too long, and then fireworks terrified our greyhound, but that’s London.
From Linda Philip
Yet again we all had a great day at Discover Dogs if not a little whacked by the end of it.
My two senior kennel girls (they’ve been with me 7 years so well know Norfolks) Steph and Emma were excellent at helping on the stand, talking and Steph doing some excellent demonstrations of grooming with me. They had intended to be visitors to the show but in their usual way found themselves back to being with the dogs and helping
It was lovely to have Gail back again this year - she's such a good person and Norfolk friend.
Fiona had fun organizing and talking - her enthusiasm is catching.
The dogs were great, all just getting on with it together - such a good advert for Norfolks.
The chocolates I put out for visitors to the stand went down well (literally) and we had lots of requests to buy the little knitted dogs that a lady who has a rehomed Norfolk from the club knits for us. They weren't for sale just for display around the chocs.
All in all then it was a very good day. It would be better if the Norfolks could have a bigger/corner stand next time as we find our stand very crowded. It was good to have new club members involved (but not necessarily new Norfolk owners) and they enjoyed themselves - I do like to encourage new people for the future.
From Fiona Macartney
We had great (but exhausting) fun. Linda brought Batman (8 yrs) and Madly (2.5 yrs). Gail brought Tia (1 yr), and I brought Hector (3.5 yrs) for the whole day. Then we were joined for half a day each by two of Madly's 7 month old puppies (with quite a long overlap when we had 6 dogs!).
Katy and Ian with Archie came in the morning but had quite an experience as their tube broke down so Archie entertained the other stuck passengers with his ‘meet and greet’ on the tube – he had a lot of firsts going in a black cab also! They lost an old Norfolk a year ago.
Sue & Maurice with Bembo came in the afternoon, new Norfolk owners but Bembo lives with a Schnauzer.
Also Steff and Emma (who work at Linda's kennels) had some of our free tickets from the London Pet Show and came for the day too. They were great in the afternoon when we were flagging a bit as they each did at least 2 hours on the stand including a stripping demonstration with Linda by Steff and finished by Gail - which does help a lot of people realise that done correctly it doesn't hurt the dog and is not barbaric!!
We had lots of questions and interest as normal, with 4 or 5 that were serious purchasers including one couple who lost a 15-year-old Norfolk earlier this year; some families; couples and singles.
There seemed to be a mix of people asking about a Norfolk as a first dog; 'repeat' Norfolk owners; and also those downsizing from labs, spaniels etc.
London Pet Show - May 12th & 13th 2012
Discover Dogs at the London Pet Show was a great success and the Kennel Club was well pleased with our efforts.
The Saturday 'Keep calm...' team who have always been so brilliant at Discover Dogs were extremely busy all day and we can see from their photographs that it was fun - but they had no time for a group photo this year. Our thanks go to Linda Philip, Fiona Macartney, Amanda and Laura and the dogs.
The Sunday team was more sedate! Renata Beauchamp-Kerr brought Claire, her neighbour's nine year old daughter, and they were both fabulous as were dogs Googol and Tom Tom. Claire was soon answering questions as well as seeing to the dogs' exercise and comfort break needs.
We appreciate the Kennel Club's gesture in giving all the volunteers two complimentary tickets for friends and family for D.Dogs Earls Court in November.
The next Discover Dogs is on November 10th and 11th 2012 at Earls Court. We normally have 4 slots over two days unless one group wants to do the whole day. Volunteers are extremely welcome because sometimes we are short of people and dogs at the last minute. Newcomers can be confident that it's a great experience and not difficult at all if you know the ways of norfolks because the questions are about them as pets - help is always at hand. Your dog does need to be confident in crowds, good tempered especially with children and it goes without saying, clean and groomed, and not under 6 months old on the day. Do let me know if you would like to join us at Earls Court London.
Sally Willbie 01983 872703 or email via the web master.
For Crufts see below and contact Dorothy and Gina Dorkins 01704 506621
Discover Dogs Crufts 2012
I would like to thank all the hard working volunteers. All 4 days were very busy with Saturday and Sunday the busiest. Lots of people just wanting to stroke a Norfolk but there was a few genuinely interested in owning a Norfolk.
All day Thursday was manned by Linda and her team with Fiona, Laura and Amanda together with a pack of Norfolks, Juliet joined the party and Chris Davis and Rosi did the morning.
Friday Gina and I manned the booth all day with Monty and Saffron, the 2 dogs we were showing on the Sunday.
Saturday Jill and her Friend did the morning with 2 of Jill’s lovely Norfolks, in the afternoon Lisa, Claire and Rosalie accompanied by their great Norfolks.
Sunday Janet and her husband did the morning, they were run of their feet and their little dogs deserved a big sleep on the way home. The afternoon was looked after by Martyn Craddock and company, they did a sterling job on one of the busiest times. Juliet was also on hand to help out on Sunday.
A special mention must go to Lisa and Claire who also got up early on the Sunday as well to help us run the club stand at the ring side. We could not have managed without you THANK YOU so much.
From Janet and Martyn Howes
We have done Discover Dogs for the last four or five years and we usually do the morning of terrier day as we do not show our Norfolks. So this year we set off at 0730 on Sunday 11 March and were duly on the stand by 0910 with our three dogs Caiseal (pronounced Cashel) who is six, Maeve, five, and Caitlin who was, appropriately enough, four on St Patrick's Day. No sooner had we taken our coats off and caught our breath than people started to call at the stand and they did not stop until we finished our shift at 1300. There was a crowd around the stand for almost the whole morning and, looking along the row of stands it was clear that Norfolks were one of the most popular breeds. There was much answering of questions, giving out breeders lists to the adults and 'I love Norfolk Terriers' stickers to the younger ones and of course there was a great deal of posing for cameras (by the dogs not us). The dogs themselves were terrific, both patient and giving at the same time. None of us, humans or dogs, sat down for the whole of the nearly four hours and the only break for the dogs was a quick 'comfort run' at about midday.
Crufts is always packed, especially on a Saturday and Sunday, but the dogs seem to take it in their stride. Even we are amused by our three little Norfolks pressing on through the crush of people completely unabashed. Nevertheless, after our DD stint, we made a quick visit to the Norfolk ring to catch up with friends then did a bit of essential (and some non-essential) shopping and beat a retreat at 1500. Two humans and three canines were very tired when they arrived home!
Discover Dogs is a superb idea by the Kennel Club and it is great to be able to talk to potential owners about the strengths and weaknesses of Norfolks. For all breeds of dogs it means that responsible owners can establish just which breed is right for them and hopefully leads to less unwanted or abandoned dogs. We shall certainly be volunteering again next year – great fun.
The Thursday team
Scenes at Discover Dogs
Photos of the Scenes by Gina Dorkins