Remember the Christmas card picture? It’s me, Mojai, aka Champion Ambylan Chyn-Cha At Braeduke JW (great title, eh?) Well after much begging and pleading by my owner I’ve agreed to write this blog (tapping a keyboard with fluffy paws isn’t easy!) but it’s amazing what you can do when you’re a handsome, debonair Tibetan Spaniel like “moi”.
But first a bit of background…I’ve done many a star-turn at Crufts and won a few prizes but that’s all in the past now. This, my furry foray into blogging is my Guide to Crufts for Humans (it also includes a smattering of treats for you too!)
The Grand Show Preparation
First, the grooming…actually I rather enjoy a good wash and blow dry (Tibetan Spaniels do not get trimmed!) and for extra special pampering, my favourite groomers are Hair of The Dog London for a mere £30 – I’m coiffed and fluffed beyond my wildest dreams…. I’m very fussy about how I smell but FuzzYard products are fabulous. My favourite is their Shea Butter & Avocado Oil Paw Balm – yummy.
Now all spritzed up and ready to go, it’s time for a good brush and comb – or “le brushing” as my French basset hound friends at Crufts call it. To smooth my very fine and silky coat (even though I say it myself) I like the Bristle Dog Brush £18.40 and Dog Comb £6.90 from Mungo and Maud. My human loves the wood handle and they’re ‘tirelessly chic’- one must be seen being brushed by the best.... Finishing touches can be done with a dab of Aubrey Organics Grooming spray £9.68 from Aubrey Organics.
As a solo traveller (multiple dogs go in cages – not moi!) I’m normally belted up in the back of the car with this rather chic adjustable dog car harness (good for my varying waistline – I was very pleased to have it for Christmas when it rather alarmingly had to be let out slightly).
Hemmo and Co Adjustable Dog Car Harness is a good one with nylon webbings, solid hardware and craftsmanship at £11.99 ex VAT from The Pampered Pet Company.
A stylish travelling bowl is a must too, one that can go from car to show bench. I don’t like to follow the pack so my pick would be The Hair of the Dog London’s exclusive Hand-made Vintage Wine Crate Feeder at £85 which fits the bill.
Meeting and greeting (and generally showing off) takes place in the car park. But a dog needs to get from car park to the arena without getting wet or muddy, so here’s what I’ve found: A Doggie Mac! Yup, this is the clever coat cover protects from cold and wet conditions plus has a removable fleece interior that keep me both warm and dry . In 5 base colours with 8 trim colour combinations you can have a Made2 Measure coat from £54 or a Ready2 Wear coat from £45. My personal favourite is a Forest Green fleece lined Made2Measure Doggie Wrap from £34.99. Both are available from Doggie Macs TOP TIP: This is soon to be the biggest doggie ‘must have’ when it makes its debut appearance at the London Palladium on 21st April for the Comic Relief show of the Wizard of Oz.
Now at the arena there is a lot of hanging around on the show benches. These horrid and uncomfortable wooden benches with metal partitions need padding out so this is where the Sheepskin Pet Bed comes in. (In my case, particularly soothing for my arthritis). They are soft and warm with quilted pads underneath and best of all - humans will appreciate this – they’re machine washable.
Into the Ring
For top dog shows owners usually use slip leads. My favourites are these half check leads made from soft lamb skin, reinforced with strong nylon cord that come in a myriad of colours – one of these is bound to coordinate with any human’s wardrobe. From £30 Hide and Collars.
Whilst show leads must co-ordinate with humans, it’s important that humans do not embarrass their dog i.e. with bright garish colours, swirly skirts or silly high heels (aw-woof-ful!). A copy of Judith Watt’s Dogs In Vogue may give a little inspiration for your coordinated look.
Humans have lots of things to juggle in the show ring so an elegant treat bag is essential. I like the Waifs & Strays Designer Dog Treat Bag at £36 ex VAT from The Pampered Pet Company which is definitely a stylish accoutrement for the discerning pet owner. It can be filled with our favourite titbits to encourage us to smile and wag our tails. Cooked liver and goat cheese are my personal favourites (are you taking notes?)
After our fine performances we deserve something rather delicious…like Wilson's Paw Bakery Gift Box of 3 Dog Cookie's. So much more than “doggy biscuits” they look like human confectionery and only use the finest ingredients that are safe for dogs. The products contain no cocoa and no theobromine. I hope everyone knows that human chocolate has cocoa and theobromine which is highly toxic to dogs. These treats are wheat & gluten free, no artificial colouring or flavourings, no GMO's (Genetically modified organisms) and are proudly handmade and hand-decorated in the UK. The complete range has been tested and enjoyed by humans. So if your pet is feeling generous he might share…
Finally, how about immortalising your pet? Not just some boring old photo or a painting to hang on the wall, think Banksy, think 21st Century. The artist Teddy Baden has some great suggestions for painting your prize-winning pet as a mural on your garden wall or perhaps on the front of the house...well it would give the other dogs in the neighbourhood something talk about.
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