It was another first for me yesterday. You'll know from previous ramblings that I support a fabulous charity called Schnauzerfest (www.facebook.com/SchnauzerfestUK) which helps ex puppy farm dogs find loving, safe homes.
Yesterday I dragged the husband down to the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre (www.dbarc.org.uk/) who work closely with Schnauzerfest, as they were having their annual fundraising event. I had already looked at what was on offer there, and was marginally excited by the fact that there was a dog show. There were many categories, such as 'Best Rescue', 'Dog of Courage' and 'Puppy Farm Survivor', but setting myself and the two dogs a sensible target, I entered them in for 'Best Puppy', 'Cutest Schnauzer', 'Most Appealing Eyes' and 'Dog With Most Expressive Ears'.
Assuming that all I would have to do was make the two of them sit still for about five minutes (pockets stuffed with treats as bribery) I was feeling quite optimistic, so the husband bought some coffees, and we wandered round, checking out the competition. It was lovely to bump into three ladies who I have met through the Schnauzer network and for Percy and Reg to meet their buddies again. Reg had the honour of reuniting with his sister, Dolly, and to be honest, seeing how well behaved she was, the husband and I shared that look which says, 'I told you we picked the wrong one....'
And so into the first class, the Best Puppy one. The husband had his day made as I trotted, yes you read right, trotted around the ring, dragging a reluctant Reg on the lead, who was far more interested in the people watching who were settling down with their lunches. On the first lap, he managed a few crisps, half a ham roll and a sandal, which had to be wrestled off him. On the second lap round the ring, he got into a fracas with a small poodle and then cocked his leg up a lady's folding chair. By the third lap, I was sweating heavily and Reg was refusing to walk past anyone with food (mind you, by this time, people had got wise to this and had put the lids back on their Tupperware boxes). I dragged him round the last corner, where the husband was standing, the grin on his face a mile wide as he took photo after photo.
Finally stopping at the point where the judge inspected the puppies, Reg flatly refused to look at her, presenting his fuzzy bottom to her, as the person behind me was eating biscuits, and he chose to give her his most appealing stare rather than the judge. I am rather embarrassed to say that out of the eight puppies, six got a rosette - Reg was not one of them.
We entered two more classes, where our two dogs, who we obviously consider the most beautiful in the world didn't win any rosettes. Percy was marginally better behaved than Reg, although the male dog next to him in the ring did get some serious Percy Loving much to the husband's embarrassment, who was on the other end of the lead. I really wish he'd make up his mind which side of the sexual fence he'd like to sit on (Percy, not the husband...)
'Did you enjoy your 15 minutes of fame?' asked the husband, as the four of us walked towards the car with our tails between our legs, bags filled to the brim with leads, bandanas and liver cake. 'Fame?' I asked. 'Shame, more like it'.
But it was money well spent, as every penny will go to help those dogs who would give their last biscuit to live in a home like ours.
And that's a good thing...