In the interests of having as many â€˜culturalâ€™ experiences as possible, I decided, with my friend Paula and her daughter Bethany, to spend Saturday at Crufts! These things have to be done, you know, and being a dog lover (specifically a Nancy-dog lover â€“ I miss my poochy!) I thought it would be fun!
Crufts is held at the NEC at Birmingham, which is about a 2-hour drive from Basildon. We left early Saturday morning, and arrived at about 10am. The NEC is huge! Thereâ€™s just nothing like it in Australia â€“ it seems to go on forever! The dog show and all its accompanying paraphernalia fills two large exhibition halls. Heats for each class are carried out at various locations throughout the hall, and the main ring is reserved for things like finals and working dog trials that require a quieter space. We spent some time watching the working dogs; sheepdog trials at the Lucindale Field Days have nothing on this! In the spaces not filled with dog showing, there is stall upon stall of every possible dog-related merchandise imaginable. If you canâ€™t buy it at Crufts, I donâ€™t think they sell it! I admit I succumbed and bought some new ruggies and a little coat for Nancyâ€¦
My favourite part of the show was the display of all the different breeds. Every breed on show had a stall with breeding and temperament information, and you got the chance to meet the doggies and give them a cuddle. I went on a search for the Irish Wolf Hounds and found I loved them as much as I had hoped. Unfortunately I donâ€™t think I will ever own a house and yard big enough to accommodate them â€“ they are the size of a small pony! I also went looking for the various breeds that make up my little mongrel darling, and found the Lancashire Terrier to be the closest in many ways. Heaven knows where she got that from!
We stayed to watch the finals of one of the sections â€“ a very interesting process. All in all it was a genuinely entertaining day!