After fine and sunny weather, Utility day certainly drew the short straw as many exhibitors woke up to find it was snowing and if the ground wasn’t white it was very wet and cold. A real shock to the system! Once again at Crufts, it was keesies turn to be second in the ring, after an entry of 60+ Schnauzers down in Hall 1. Our judge Alison Passmore – Torrikees (who last judged at the NoEKC Ch show in 2016) was ready and waiting for the 1st class which was called in just after 12.00pm and Best of Breed was awarded at just after 3.30pm.
From an entry of 84 dogs there were 15 absentees (5 dogs & 10 bitches), with 20 dogs entered from Holland, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Bulgaria, Finland, France and Germany; it was the highest number of keesies entered from abroad shown in the UK I think that we have ever had – a very international line-up!
At his first championship show in the UK, winning his first big green card along with Best of Breed was Stephanie Aguirre’s Ch Iron Man Del Monte Dragnone (Ch Blessed To Dare from Lavender Mist x Ch Leazehond Stardance) bred in Italy and living in France. They then really did the breed proud by getting fourth in the group. The RDCC went to the second in open; Paolo Malasoma’s Antonio Floro Flores (Ch Maggiociondolo x Ch Moonlight Serenade) also from Italy and handled by Sergio Gemmi.
It was a fourth CC for Audrey White’s recently crowned Ch Neradmik Vanilla Ice Morvania (Ch Samkees With Love to Neradmik (imp Malt) x Ch Neradmik Miss Hollyberry) with the RBCC also going to second in open, Debbie Hopkins’ Int Ch Osiris Shining Bright Van Het Earlskamp among Serenaubach (Am Ch Trumpets It’s Good To Be King x Int Ch Torrikees Shakira among Serenaubach) handled as usual by Simon Oakley.
Best Puppy was Sue Pattison’s Serenaubach Full Of Wonder (Quasars Brilliant Light Van Het Earlskamp x Int Ch Torrikees Shakira among Serenaubach)
Although there were a few familiar faces around the ring, there were quite a few empty seats ringside. As our ring was again right next to the food areas in the corner of the hall, the empty seats were quickly taken up by members of the public to sit & eat their food, which must have been a distraction for some of the dogs.
The North of England Keeshond Club organises the Discover Dogs stand and a big thanks to the 2 legged workers helping me again this year – Sue & Steve Jardine, Annette Stone, Sue Pattison along with much of her family and Sarah and David Murray.
Although as usual, the real stars of the long four days though were of the 4 legged variety and ‘being discovered’ for the first time were young Solo at 8 months, accompanied by Darcy, brothers Tenat & Joey aged 12 months with Ennis, Keisha, Olympia and daughter Tooin completing the team.
I’m sure that the attendance figures were up this year on last year’s 160,000+ visitors; as it was really busy on all 4 days with the week days especially being more crowded than it has been for a long time.
Lots of people came up to the stand for a keesie cuddle and at some points the crowds were 4 & 5 people deep waiting their turn. The dogs just took it all in their stride, meeting and greeting virtually non-stop all day long.
There was the usual mix of people interested in the breed; both current & ex owners who dropped by to say hallo and a few non-dog owners who had researched a few selected breeds & were trying to decide if a keesie was the right breed for them.
We also had quite a few seemingly genuine inquiries about keesie puppies. Let’s just hope that there are going to be some puppies around for them – they were all aware that they would have to wait for one, hopefully not for too long. But time will tell though if they are prepared to wait or not!
Wheelchair access to the pens can sometimes be almost impossible especially when the public stand three or four deep and on more than one occasion Tooin was taken out to meet a visitor who was thrilled to be able to cuddle her and talk to us about keesies. Being cuddled (whilst laying on her back with legs akimbo) is probably her favourite position, but what made it for us was the fact that one girl (who had come back for seconds!) thanked us as this was the first time a dog had been taken out for her to fuss over and hold – one of the few occasions when doing Discover Dogs can be so rewarding.
But on a more negative note, yet again walking to & from the east car parks at least, it was obvious that the message about cleaning up after your dog was still being ignored by an awful lot of exhibitors; probably not helped that this year the cheerful girls who usually hand out free poo bags to everyone were standing outside the hall entrances. Too late as the ‘damage’ had already been done up by the carparks!
The bins along the route didn’t appeared to have been emptied at all during the first two days and by Friday evening (Working & Pastoral day) it was disgusting having to walk around uncleared ‘mountains’ and those owners who had bothered to clear up, had simply thrown the bags into the hedging. With the media spotlight shining on the world of dogs, what kind of example does it give?