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.
|WHIMMSY ON THE RIGHT WITH MY MUM, NUMBER 9417 IS NOT MY MUMS AGE,CLOSE THOUGH..|
|CAN LET A REALLY SMELLY ONE GO FROM TIME TO TIME.|
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.
|MACK AND PART OF MY MUM|
|MACK'S BROTHER AND PART OF HIS BREEDER...SORRY|
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"
|SOME SAY THIS IS A HINT OF HIS TRUE NATURE|
|THIS IS MACK'S "PUBLIC"/BUTTER WOULDN'T MELT IN MY MOUTH PERSONA|
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.