Friday, 7 March 2014


Ok, ok I lied my next post isn't about wildlife but there is a  birdy type question coming up soon so bear with me.
My mum and I decided to travel to Crufts today by train rather then car. I would love to say something heroic like "to reduce my carbon footprint" but seeing as I've already lied to you lot I'll be honest, one of the biggest drawbacks of Crufts is us exhibitors aren't allowed to leave before 5pm, this enables the paying public a chance to walk around the benches viewing all the dogs, fair enough, the downside is when that clocks turns to 5pm it's like a scene from the start of a Le Mans race circa 1950's everyone rushing to their cars, jumping in and roaring off into rush hour traffic, ever tried driving with a lunatic greyhound in rush hour? Not good, plus it was cheaper to go by train....and I did my bit for the environment too.
The train journey didn't go without a hitch mind, we sat with the two greyhounds in the disabled area, as this is large area where the dogs wouldn't be a nuisance to other travellers..or so we thought. There was this black lady who thought "public" transport was actually "personal" transport and had her laptop on one chair, bike helmet on the other not good in rush hour, tutting every tie the dog moved and was a right grumpy cow, I really had to bite my tongue and karma struck, Whimmsy let one heck of a silent but violent burst from her bum and boy did it stink watching the grumpy ol'cow screw her face in disgust was worth the train fare alone. Mack as we pulled into a station decided to push the "Emergency" lever/button, which in the disabled area is a greyhound tempting head height, he flipped the lid open that covered the button and with his nose pushed the button the conductor and driver walked up (oh ooh) looked at the button and reset it, good old Mack or as his Scottish breeder called him "naughty laddy"...ready for the birdy question?
On the way the Birmingham, it was either before or after Tile Hill station was a brilliant looking nature reserve, a couple of large pools and a smaller one, loads of painted green hides, a couple on stilts, anyone know the name of this reserve? It looks a good spot, I know it's not Brandon Marsh, maybe Upton Warren?
Sadly I had to use my very old Nikon D50 for today, small lens and flash being a must. The photos sadly were pants.
First up Whimmsy she was in two classes and her first class, for a greyhound class was quite big she only got a Third, which does mean she qualifies for next years Crufts and fourth in her last, she wasn't her usual self I thought so fair result.
 She earned her rest on the bench.
Mack, well what can I say about my Mack, 18 months old a complete lunatic and daft as a brush. He dragged my mum around the ring in his one class yet somehow managed a Fourth which was a real surprise, the results are to me irrelevant one great thing was a fellow greyhound owner showed me and my mum a different lead, we gave it a quick go, perfect just wish we had it when he was in his class, to me this what dog shows are about, enjoying the dog and sharing tips and tales.
The other good thing is meeting up with the breeders and sometimes meeting your dogs fellow litter puppies. Not only did I get to meet up with Mack's breeder but I also got to see Mack's brother and sister too.
His brother has a lot of the same character of Mack and their heads are so similar too, I think.
One of the other great things about Crufts, well if you're thinking of either getting a pedigree dog or even a rescue dog it's a good place to see everything and anything, the Discover Dog's section has every breed, there are loads of trade stands selling and some (alot actually) giving away freebies, always good, but also stands for rescue centres, stands offering advice and tips. I spent most of my time talking to people from not only all over the UK but from around the world, a few Americans, Italian, Russians, Chinese complete with "smog masks" cheeky sods Birmingham has clearer air then China!, a woman who fell in love with Mack from Tasmania!! and took thousands of photo's of him and talked to me for ages about him....and I didn't care, if you're not an exhibitor you'll find all exhibitors will not mind you coming up stroking, patting, photographing their dogs and talking or asking about the dog, we do like it....STILL I DIDN'T GET PATTED MYSELF, BUGGER!
I think I lost count at 60 people who took Mack's photo today, everyone "loved his eyes"
The other thing they loved about him and the thing I too love about him his the brown on his coat, they call it "ghost brown", my photo's do him no justice as in normal light etc his brown has a ghostly silver/grey hue which looks, well ghostly, you'll have to meet him in person to understand what I mean also he is a cheeky chap and loves saying hello to people some even kissed him! One kid who wasn't looking almost lost his toy as Mack sneaked up and gently took it much to the amusement of the kid who also kissed him.
Me, I went and said hello to the Rhodesian Ridgebacks after Adrian's comment on my previous blog post, I came so close to owning a rescue Ridgeback but saw this ragged old racer of a greyhound and took the greyhound and never looked back, to be fair I could easily have walked away from Crufts with one today, gorgeous breed of dog, loyal/protective but good temperament.
The highlight on the way home was talking to a disabled chap who told me how his dog looks after him, from helping to dress/undress him like pulling his socks off for him (he was paralysed), opening ovens/washing machine, answering the telephone etc, simply put awe inspiring and a good reminder why dogs are important and valuable, three years it took to train the dog for him.
A good day and if you're reading this and thinking of a dog Crufts and later in the year Discover Dogs are a great place to start looking and meeting different breeds.


  1. It sounds a great day. I thought it went on for a week.
    Alf is the farter here. I know it's time to move on when he stinks a pub out and everyone shouts Alf you foul arsed dog....give up. He is too high bred to even acknowledge them.

    Congratulations to both dogs, a good result. Public transport is good for dogs they always seem to enjoy trains and buses. Ravenglass is my twos favourite as they like the open carriages, the steam and the beautiful countryside.

    1. I think it might have gone on for a week when it used to be held at Earls Court but when it moved to the NEC it was shortened.
      I was a bit worried about using public transport and how the dogs would react but you're right they love it, in fact I think they prefer it to using cars/vans etc I reckon it's down to people making a fuss of them the attention seeking mutts :o)

  2. Glad you had a good, if rather busy, day Douglas? Whimmsy definitely put that woman in her place..I bet her farts smell of roses?
    That's an amazing story about the disabled chap and his helping dog, it sure deserves to come under the heading of... 'mans best friend'...[;o0

    1. I wish they were that fragrant imagine rabbit and tripe and you're close.
      The disabled chap was amazing and learning some of the things they're using dogs for you realise "man's" best decision was to domesticate the wolf all them years ago, obviously there was the drug dogs, military dogs but also these dogs trained to help locate cancer etc it's mind boggling, the meek inheriting the earth, nah it'll be cats and dogs:o)

  3. A "black, grumpy old cow", love your description of her mate but boy you have got some balls using those words! I am sure you meant to say "coloured/aging heffer".
    Nice post.......

    1. Paul maybe you're right, but the lady was selfish, the disabled area on a train is right next to the toilet so you have to put up with the whiff coming from the toilets if you happen to be disabled, it has two rows of five seats facing each other, on one side taking up all five seats was her mountain bike when she left she left behind mud and grease (from her bike chain) making five seats unfit to use, on the other five seats was herself, on her right one empty seat then her helmet, on her left another emtpy seat then her laptop bag so basciaally one person had occupied all 10 seats whilst only really paying for one, we had to ask her to move her stuff and she had no intention of doing so when she saw us and were greeted by a loud sucking of her teeth, something mumbled under her breath and just a plain shitty attitude so in my eyes and opinion she was a very selfish woman and to be fair the only word that might be a bit risque is "black", however it was used to be descriptive rather then racial.

  4. hi doug. the reserve you mention is marsh lane reserve between berkswell and hampton in arden. admittance is by permit only.

    1. Thanks Al, shame it's a permit only it looked really good from the train.