We went to Crufts on Saturday, which was a lot of fun. I’d half expected it to be a nightmare of noise, crowds and queues and was concerned as to how well Joseph would cope with all that but he did very well. It helped that despite the size and scale of the whole thing, it didn’t feel too crowded or claustrophobic. I had also assumed that the ‘backstage’ areas you see on television, where the dogs are being kept until they’re shown were just that, backstage and not open to the public but this wasn’t the case. They were all in the halls with the judging areas, food stalls and trade stands, so there always something to see. It was nice to see so many unusual breeds, often in packs as they waited in their area to be judged. We would suddenly come across a collection of Bloodhounds, Borzoi or Irish Wolfhounds, as shown in my photos. We spent a little time in the arena watching some heelwork to music but we were sat so far up, it was hard to see, even with the big screens.
I’d stress we don’t have a dog, we really went to find an activity for Joseph for the day. He enjoyed the easy 23 minute train ride from Sandwell and Dudley and I particularly enjoyed the quick buggy push out of the station to the NEC. After initial bewilderment at the size and noise of this new place he soon warmed up and was racing around as usual. Interestingly, any time he sees a dog in the street he says ‘fwoo fwoo’ (it’s an anagram) but didn’t say it at all at Crufts, almost as if it stood to reason and they didn’t need pointing out. He did differentiate dog types though, noting that Irish Wolfhounds were ‘big’. He’s still not that confident with them up close, but got a step closer to one day stroking one. Anyway, would heartily recommend Crufts as a good family day out, although it does of course help if you like dogs.