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Top dogs on the catwalk

A one-hour tv special on December 12th for BBC Northern Ireland One is a must-see for dogs lovers. Billed as a warm-hearted, amusing documentary presented by Craig Doyle and Suzanne Cowie, it goes behind the scenes of a year in the life of some devoted owners and their pets. We see the plotting and planning that goes into the build-up to the big day. We watch as the stress levels rise between rivals reaches fever pitch. We see the dogs and their owners at work and at play, at home and in the hothouse atmosphere of the show arena.

Featuring some delightful characters – human and animal – it involves us in the everyday minutiae of their lives in and out of the show ring. We watch as the preparations slot into the day to day routine of family life and the way in which priorities change as the days tick by.

Among the leading players are Roberta Curran, whose recent addition to the family, Darius the Great Dane, has been doing exceptionally well on the show circuit this year. Elizabeth Mills’s prize Lhasa Apso Gracie is nearing retirement but is still a star turn in the arena; Alan Matthews and Sarah Simpson own Corgis and Apsos, and with Willie Dobbin and his Newfies have been involved in showing since they were children.