Let me start at the end … if you get my gist. I’ve ‘ad a bit of a haul at the St Leonards Church Dog Show. That said, I’m not sure that I wasn’t robbed!! You see, it’s like this. I got up first this morning. There wasn’t much sign of them getting up so I had a jolly good bark – that did the trick and it wasn’t long before Daddy Richard appeared and I took him straight out for a quick walk around the block. By the time we got back he was up and, after a rather satisfying breakfast (kibble for me and tea and toast for them), we all went out for a walk along Salisbury Road, Oxted Road, up Church Lane and down Bay Pond Path. Unusually (sic) for him, he was moaning … on this occasion about having sore feet. It made no difference to me so I wasn’t worrying about it. I produced a couple of two baggers and enjoyed my walk in the morning sunshine – if he wasn’t enjoying it because of his sore feet, I can’t honestly say I was all that bothered. Apparently it had something to do with some shoes that he used to wear without socks having become quite rough where they have been chewed … I know nothing about that, honest guv!
Anyway, we got back from our walk and he went off in the car thingy. To be fair he wasn’t gone all that long and when he came back Grandma was with him. Well, they hadn’t been in for more than five minutes and we all went out again. The boot was opened of the car thingy and I jumped in – I’ve worked out that there’s no point in resisting because I end up in it anyway! Off we went. We were following Auntie Fran and Uncle Iain and Auntie Sue was following us. We drove all the way to somewhere called Chelsham where we ended up, having driven down miles and miles of country lanes (well, about 2 actually), at this church called St Leonards Church. We all got out of our car thingys and Auntie Sue had Eric with her. He tried to nip my ears again but I ignored him … mind you, one of these days if he keeps that up I’ll show him what getting nipped on the ear really feels like! Auntie Sue says he has been less nippy recently but I’m not so sure. He might be a bit less nippy with her but he’s a lot more nippy with me. As he’s growing up he’s getting just a little too brave. I may well have to Pupdate him on the rules of growing up. Rule 1: Don’t nip me, Rule 2: Don’t nip me, and Rule 3: Don’t nip me! Anyway, it was all very exciting and I pulled him like a flamin’ freight train because he was far too slow and I was in a hurry to get there – even if I didn’t know where there was! We walked through this thing called a Lych Gate and down a long path to the church where I dragged him straight inside. He was trying to slow me down because he was wearing flip flops which were apparently not so painful on the sore feet. Bothered? Nah! I left Daddy Richard to bring up the rear with Auntie Fran, Uncle Iain, Auntie Sue, Eric and Grandma. After all, they weren’t in quite such a hurry to get there as I was!
It turned out we were going to a thing called a “Blessing of the Animals”. This, it turns out, takes place during a thing called a ‘Church Service” – I haven’t actually been to one of those before but I think I’ve got it cracked. Basically, someone (in this case a lady called Beccy) who is dressed up in a long coat that’s a bit like a dress which I Doogled and is called a ‘cassock’, with a white smock like thing over the top called a ‘surplice’, and wearing a white collar thing … most people call it a ‘dog collar’ but it has nothing to do with dogs and it is really called a ‘clerical collar’ … stands up at the front and reads out some prayers and things. I think they call this ‘Preaching’ but when I Doogled it I got details of some naff American TV series. Then, when they have said their bit (there’s a bit of audience participation too when the person in the front says something and everyone answers them back), everyone stands up and sings a song. Then they sit down again and there’s bit more of the ‘preaching’ stuff before everyone stands up and sings another song (I think they’re called hymns but I’ve done enough Doogling for one day!). This goes on for about 45 minutes or so with a small break in the middle for the person in fancy dress to tell a little story. (I think they’re called Vicars but when I Doogled it I got results for a ‘Vicars and Tarts’ party and I don’t think the photos were quite what a dog of my age should see!)
I did get a bit bored during the ‘service’ but then the person in fancy dress came and made a fuss of me which was much better. At the end of the service she made a special blessing for all the animals – there were quite a lot of us dogs there – and then everyone had a cup of tea and some cake. Well I didn’t, but I did try! Then we went outside and we had a bit of time to wait before the Dog Show started. I took the opportunity to find out what a ‘lych gate’ is. This is what I found, “Lych is derived from the Old English ‘lich’, meaning corpse. They were meeting places and shelters for the party bringing a corpse for burial, and for the priest to receive the corpse. Although some had been built earlier, the 1549 Prayer Book required the priest to meet the corpse at the churchyard entrance. This encouraged the provision of lych-gates to shelter the corpse and the funeral party for that purpose.” So there … every day’s a school day! Mind you, and this is a bit confusing, when the Dog Show started it turned out that each category was called a ‘class’, but it had nothing to do with a school!
We decided I would enter three ‘classes’ at the show. The first class was for ‘Best Rescue Dog’ – well, obviously I was going to win that – I am the best dog in dogdom, so it went without saying. Well, it turns out that the man judging the dogs didn’t have very good eyesight … I came fourth!!! I got beaten by some mutt that frankly didn’t share my good looks in any way shape or form – he wasn’t even a Golden Retriever! The next class I entered was ‘Most Good Looking Dog’ – well, obviously I was going to win that – I am the most handsome dog in dogdom! Well it turns out that the man judging definitely didn’t have very good eyesight … I came fifth!! I got beaten by some mutt called a ‘Cockerpoo’ whatever that is! I mean, did the judge not see how handsome I am? Did he overlook the fact that I am the most handsome dog in dogdom? Clearly, he couldn’t see very well. I didn’t hold out much hope for the next class – ‘Best Young Dog’. It was for any dog between six months and seven years old. They even relaxed the rules ever so slightly so that Eric could enter (he’s five months old next week). As you might imagine, there were a lot of dogs in that category. I knew there were some cute young dogs around and I knew by now that the judge might not have the best eyesight in the world, so I didn’t hold out much hope. As it was I got fourth again! That was OK until … and you won’t believe this … Eric got third!!! I got flamin’ beaten by Eric!!!!! Honestly, the embarrassment – he won’t let me live that one down for ages!
So, I did get a bit of a haul of rosettes at the Dog Show but they weren’t all firsts as you might expect! It turns out that the judge (he was a vicar too I think but he wasn’t in church for the ‘Blessing of the Animals’) has a Golden Retriever at home and he said he didn’t want to show too much bias for Golden Retrievers. Too much bias? I think it was the opposite – bias against Golden Retrievers and, since I was the only one in the show, I took the brunt of it! I reckon it’s either that or he recognised that I am so much more handsome than his Golden Retriever that he was jealous! Anyway, it was only the second time I have ever entered a dog show, so I need to give it time for people to get up to speed that I am the handsomest dog in dogdom!
To be honest, apart from the excitement of the dog show, this week has been pretty quiet. The weather was dreadful and, although I have been out for a walk at my usual times, it hasn’t been a lot of fun. He has been out doing that ‘work’ thing he does – he was even in London for a ‘breakfast meeting’ (he hates eating anything more than a slice of toast for breakfast, so he doesn’t enjoy it like Daddy Richard does) at 8 o’clock in the morning on Friday. By the time he arrived home in the evening even he looked completely cream crackered! I spent most of the week spending quality time with Daddy Richard. I did go out for a walk with Auntie Zena and Eric one day but the little pup kept nipping at me! Actually, I reckon I’m due a walk about now, so I think I’d better go and tell him to put some proper shoes on. So, for now, must paws … ????