Disco dogs dances its way to success
Against all odds, last weekend’s canine extravaganza in London showcased all that is good in the world of dogs, both pedigree and cross breed.
Early figures confirm that the show bucked the trend, affecting many other similar events both in London at the NEC where attendances have been down. The Kennel Club have confirmed to OUR DOGS that it looks like the paying gate is UP by at least 5%.
It must have been a case of lucky 13 for the KC as amazingly it is that many times the show has been held. Once the flow of people had started to come in on Saturday, there was a growing feeling of ‘business as usual’ for the Kennel Club, the trade stands and of course the many hundreds of wonderful volunteers who man the breed stands all over the weekend. proving that the public at large still want to learn and appreciate our wonderful heritage of dogs.
There was every conceivable canine activity and initiative for people to find out about, learn, join, or take part in. Apart from the various stakes classes for Junior Warrant and Handling, there were opportunities for oldies, Good Citizens, taking the Guide Dog test and much more. Information from the KC abounded, ranging from YKC, Companion Clubs, the Open for Dogs initiative and of course all the vital and relevant information on breeding healthy dogs, fit for purpose and fit for life, as they say!
You may be forgiven for thinking that this paper would take this view, in support of the efforts of the caring and responsible breeders out there, and why not? BUT...if you were there, you would have drawn the same conclusion as the efforts of all, including the Kennel Club are admirable and fly in the face of the barrage of criticism that has been levelled of late by many uninformed sources who were conspicuous by their absence.
Rose Smart, Chief Executive of the Kennel Club told OUR DOGS, “I think the weekend was a marvellous example of genuine people who love dogs coming together to celebrate the relationship we have. The breed representatives were as always extraordinary both in terms of stamina and willingness to answer hundreds of, mainly, very sensible and encouraging questions.
‘There was great interest in the AB Scheme and our Find a Puppy stand was busy throughout. I hope our appreciation of those who helped us came through - everyone promoted pedigree dogs so well and the wagging tails everywhere was a sure sign that the dogs were happy - oh yes, and also healthy - as we all know.”
It was interesting to note that spaces vacated by charities like the Dogs Trust had been eagerly gobbled up by other stands and other charities. Battersea Dogs Home had a great stand, and it was ironic that the Cats Protection league appeared to have a busy show.
Neil Ewart speaking on behalf of Guide Dogs said, “Discover Dogs was a very positive show for our organisation; we met some good people and made lots of contacts..very busy, with lots of interested people. We look forward to meeting everyone at Crufts as usual in 2009”
Anyone who thought that Discover Dogs and Crufts have had their day appear to be sadly mistaken!