It starts before the light of day and for those who have experienced the world renown occasion there’s always a sense of excitement as Crufts approaches. This year was no different and a constant stream of dogs and people with various forms of show trolleys made their way from the NEC car parks to the main entrances for one of the four days the show covers.

Discover Dogs is one of the elements that populate just one of the cavernous halls and the whole show is crammed with all sorts of activities for dogs with trade stands galore including recognised brands and independent companies alike. Charities are evident including the JR Whippet Rescue stall which was manned by a hard-working team of volunteers and we referred a number of enquiries during the day in their direction.

The Kennel Club carefully monitors the Discover Dogs section as all breeds are represented by members of the relevant breed clubs; experienced and knowledgeable people who can give qualified advice in response to the many questions that get asked by visitors of their chosen breed. We have a team of humans and whippets to work on ‘shifts’ throughout the day; the dogs need time off from the constant attention just as much as their owners from the stream of questions that the public queue to ask.We also get visitors from more familiar faces; TV actors and personalities alongside our whippet friends who visit the stand to say ‘hi’. It’s a long day but the reward of talking to people about such a lovely breed as the whippet is well worth it.

A big thanks to Sue Hoddinott, Jane Ward & Mel Davis with their dogs Alf, sister Kelly, mum Poppy and half sister Lila who were on the stand during the first day. Thanks to the members of the Midland Whippet Club who were on the stand for the Friday and Saturday. Also to Martin & Sonja Moore and Philippa & Rob Rixon who were on the stand on Sunday.

Write up by Kim Saxby.

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