Starting a Show Career

In January, we started going to Ringcraft classes.  Primarily to socialise me better after I got into a few fights over the Summer last year.  Also, I quite like ‘standing’ and everyone always said how nicely I stood.  After all, 90% of a dog show is just standing in a lineup, right?!  I’ve attended Crufts before, as a breed representative for Welsh Terriers in their Discover Dogs stands, and I always enjoyed that.  Mummy thought that would be all we’d ever manage.  Not so!

show1So, we started Monday night “school” with the Buckinghamshire Canine Society, who run ringcraft classes locally.  At just over 3 years old, I was almost certainly the oldest pupil there… mostly lots of puppies of various sizes.  And absolutely no other Welsh Terriers.  Lots of Italian Greyhounds, Frenchies, retrievers etc… In fact, I think I was the only terrier of any breed!

Safe to say, I absolutely LOVED it.  Like, really really loved it.  I was fed cheese cubes to stand nicely, I got to meet other dogs who liked to stand around, and got touched by strangers.  The Society were holding a show later that month, so I got entered into that…

show2

Crufts 2015

I haven’t posted in a few weeks.  I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had the time to dictate my thoughts to my secretary to type up…

crufts2015_1The big news is all about Crufts 2015, obviously.  I know it doesn’t float everyone’s boat.  Not everyone thinks “show” dogs are treated well, or that any animal should be put into  competition.  You all read about what happened to poor Jagger.  I want to offer a different view on what Crufts offers – because I’m not a show dog, but I was still there.

When humans decide they’d like to be adopted by a dog, they sometimes don’t have a particular breed in mind – or they want to learn more about us and what we are like etc.  Humans need to be fully prepared for our needs and demands.  The best way to learn is to meet us all to find out whether you’d like to be owned by one of us.  Which dog’s lifestyle best suits yours.  Crufts is a great venue to learn more because it has a whole area dedicated to each breed, not as show dogs, but just generally home-bodies such as myself.  It’s called “Discover Dogs“.  My great WT friends Max and Lucie own a human called Chris who is part of our WT Club – he organises our appearances at lots of events around the country.  Last summer I featured at the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace with them.  This time he organised our appearance at the Welsh Terrier stand at Crufts Discover Dogs.

I appeared on the Sunday with Max and Lucie and a new friend whose name I have temporarily forgotten, but he had a great beard.   We let lots of kids and adults pet us and have cuddles – our humans offered advice and information about Welsh Terriers and we handed out stickers too.

crufts2015_2The Welsh Terrier stand was always busy with guests, very brightly decorated and had posters with excellent information about us with lots of photographs of our extended WT families.  The best news?  WE WON A PRIZE!  Mummy and Daddy took me out for a quick wee and when we came back, there was a photographer and nice lady who had awarded our display as the best Terrier (overall) display at Discover Dogs.  This is a great accolade for all the hard work everyone put in.  We got a big bag of treats etc too.

I had a chance to have a quick stroll around, we went to find the Honey’s Dog Food stand to say hello (they supply my food, day to day) and they were lovely enough to offer me a free bag of liver treats which are DELICIOUS.  We also went to see my favourite charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, who had Pat from Eastenders helping out.  That was very exciting.  They have an Open Day on 11 April, which you should all attend.

Furry Business & New Yummies!

IMG_3878Mummy had to go to the garden centre yesterday to buy a spade to get engraved for her school’s special turf-cutting ceremony.  I told her that she didn’t need to buy a special spade when I would happily dig a hole for free and I’m definitely special enough without any engraving.  When she was at the garden centre, she wandered into the pet corner and found literally the best yummies I’ve had for quite some time.  I liked them so much, I’m going to add them to my Edibles page and do a little picture with the packet.

These are dried Venison Marrow Bones from Billy + Margot.  I’ve tried their seaweed popcorn and I wasn’t convinced.  I didn’t know what to do with the odd fluffy crunchballs, but the venison bones are out of this world.  I don’t normally spend a lot of time with things like this.  I’ve had a buffalo horn for over a year now and mostly I just carry it round, dropping it behind the sofa for laughs.  But this venison totally captured my attention.  Big tick in the Chuck-friendly box for Billy + Margot!

I’m going to be at Crufts 2015.  We are members of the Welsh Terrier Club UK and at many events across the UK, the club has a stand promoting the breed.  The Kennel Club UK has said that Welsh Terriers are an “at watch” vulnerable breed.  Vulnerable breeds have fewer than 300 puppies registered as born per annum.  “At Watch” breeds have around 300 or slightly more per annum.  This is a big shame, because WTs are brilliant dogs.  We are one of the oldest breeds ever, and to see so few of us registered is a great shame.  The club’s stands at various events promotes the breed but also educates people who are looking for a puppy or for general information about what we’re like.  Obviously, we’re pawsome, but the word needs to get out somehow!

It’s people who say “aww, a miniature Airedale” that my mummy and daddy meet the most.  Only today, I was squatting down to do my business on my lunchtime walk and a lady came over to say “Look! A baby Airedale puppy doing a poo!”.  This was fairly upsetting on two levels.  Firstly, I was trying to do my business, and really – who tries to pet anyone doing that?  Secondly, I’m not an Airedale.  I’m also not a puppy.  I growled.  Mummy did a human version of a growl.

stripI digress.  The reason I mentioned Crufts was that in preparation for this event, I needed a haircut.  The KC state a certain breed standard for shape and grooming and as I’m representing my breed, it’s important that I look vaguely appropriate.  Welsh Terriers are like many dogs who don’t shed their fur.  We grow an undercoat that needs to be stripped back (hand plucked) every few months.  So technically, I didn’t really have a haircut today – I had a furstrip.  We have a lovely groomer called Teresa who comes to Wycombe regularly.  You can see her website here.  She told my Daddy how great I was during my furstrip.  Look at the results!!!  Aren’t I handsome?