Friday, 8 March 2013

Hugo & Pip at Crufts as featured on TV!

At 6.50am this morning Toby and I set off with Hugo and Pip on the journey to Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham. At 6.53am we had stopped the car because BOTH of them needed a comfort break - at this rate it promised to be a very long day! Once back in the car they both settled down and by the time we were on the motorway were lying down which is always something of a relief - two Akitas standing up in the back of a Fiat Panda is not conducive to a clear view of the road behind!
Hugo working the crowds

After a fairly smooth journey we arrived at the show ground and parked up along with hundreds of other cars all containing little balls of fluff, all either being carried or wheeled along in cages - whoever decided that the Utility and Toy dog groups should be shown on the same day must have had a sense of humour as you could not get much more extreme sizes. Hugo and Pip were very excited and we had to walk them quite a way to get to the main halls - no bus ride for them as we would not risk taking them in one with all those little tasty snacks in a confined space!

Dogs were not allowed in through the entrance that would have been closer to where we were heading so we had to go through Hall 1 and 2, all chock-a-block with people and dogs which we had to negotiate, until we eventually made our way to our allotted space in Hall 3. As we got Hugo and Pip in to their special little pen we breathed a sigh of relief we had made it without any incidents. Needless to say we all felt a bit hot and bothered at this time.

Pip sporting her pink bandanna
Shortly after we arrived, Stephanie and Anouk joined us and Teresa and Kirsty were not far behind. Hugo and Pip behaved beautifully and eagerly greeted everyone who came to see them, standing up with their front paws on the edge of the pen thoroughly enjoying all the fuss and attention. At one point Hugo started to get a bit stressed out but after a short comfort break he was back to his usual self.

After three hours on the stand with hundreds of people stroking them we were relieved by Christine and Clive who had bought Obi and Kiri along and we took Hugo and Pip out for a walk outside. After a bite to eat (Hugo and Pip enjoyed their bits of bacon roll) we walked them round all the stands and arenas for an hour or so. Although they were really well behaved it was just so packed with people it was very hard work guiding them round and through the crowds so it was with great relief when we arrived back at our space again.

Too exhausted to move!
Lots of people were taking photographs of the dogs, some very official looking with huge lenses on their cameras but Hugo and Pip took it in their stride and posed for most. As the afternoon went on they began to flag and they lay down on the floor, looking absolutely exhausted not so keen or interested now in all the people passing by. At 4pm we left the stand and fought our way back through the crowds and made the long trek back to the car. Unfortunately, the M42 at that time of night is horrendous and it took us an hour to get to the M5 and another hour home. Normally when the car slows down in traffic Hugo and Pip will stand up to see what is happening but not today - there were flat out on their bed in the back of the car and stayed that way for all of the two hour journey. 

As we were sitting recovering from the day we watched the Crufts programme on Channel 4 and there were Hugo and Pip wearing their Akita Rescue & Welfare bandannas - what a lovely way to end the day - fame at last!

As I sit typing this I am accompanied by two snoring, very tired dogs, no doubt dreaming of all they have seen today and perhaps wondering what one of those fluff-ball snacks would have tasted of!

N.B. I took very few photographs today so will 'borrow' some from Teresa and Stephanie to post another day.