As many of you may know I was recently very ill as a result of eating something soft, furry and chewy, and I had to have an operation. Fortunately I have made a miraculous recovery and I was well chuffed when my vets gave me the all clear to attend Discover Dogs at ExCel London at the weekend.
Discover Dogs promotes itself as London’s biggest dog event were you can – ‘Meet hundreds of dogs, chat to owners, enjoy great shopping and watch world-class displays and competitions. A great day out for the whole family!’ Well maybe not all the family as dogs have to be invited to attend. So with my official Discover Dogs’ press pass in paw I was determined to do some tip top journalistic repawting.
We travelled to King’s Cross by train and then took a taxi to ExCel, otherwise it is a trip on the tube and 2 DLR rides which was simply not practical for me and a stroller plus all my other paraphernalia. We’ve travelled around London quite a few times and never had any problems with getting black cabs, with or without the stroller. If you’re in a stroller make sure you have the breaks on because some of those drivers hurl round the bends like racing drivers!
The Discover Dogs’ event took place in one very large hall – it is a much smaller exhibition than Crufts but nonetheless there was much activity with opportunities to meet various dog breeds and chat to their humans, watch displays and agility competitions in one of the 2 event rings, cheer on the competitors in the Scruffs semi-finals, and of course visit the trade stands to do some shopping.
I was hoping to repawt on dog toys so the pawrents and I looked at some doggie toys, a very sore point with me at the moment because of what I had ingested, but we didn’t find anything that I hadn’t seen before. This was a bit disappointing because I wanted to find something I could say was totally safe to play with! I shall continue my search and repawt back to you ASAP!
I did spot some rather fancy doggy trousers though which looked very trendy, particularly in khaki! Ideal for use on wet, muddy days whilst walking though woodland to keep us clean and burr-free! They seemed a really good idea.
Photo: Doggy trousers available from the Dog Trouser Company.com
As we were wondering around we came across some friendly people who were selling little doggy statuettes. The idea is to send in a photograph of yourself and then some very clever and talented artists make statuettes of you. I was thinking that I would look quite good having pride of place on my pawrents’ mantlepiece!
Photo: 3D Sculptures available from Arty Lobster
We all noticed and commented on how much merchandise is now being personalised. My mum is a great one for having all sorts of Cavalier branded stuff but I’m sure she would rather have our faces on them! One of my favourite personalised products was the stand where people were selling human bottles of wine with customised labels. I would certainly love to have my face splashed about on my very own vintage of Pinot Gizmo, that’s for sure! What a novel concept!
Photo: Personalised wine labels from Habbibal Brown
Another great stand was the one selling t-shirts with the face of your beloved canine in full display. My pawrents and I agreed that these personalised gifts are great ideas and many people would love them!
Photo: Personalised t-shirts and sweat shirts from Hoop n Loop
Taking personalised services one step further were Wags & Weddings who offer a service for doggies attending their pawrents’ wedding. Now Frodo was the best man when mum and dad got hitched and a grand job he did as well – you should have heard the speech he gave!
Photo: Wags & Weddings
After walking around for nearly three hours and stopping off for cuddles and chats with various friends old and new it was time for us to attend a presentation for the prestigious Dog Friendly Awards 2017. Sadly this year there were no winners from Norfolk but a full list of all the winners can be found on the Dog Friendly website.
The awards were followed by the calendar competition winners’ presentation and there were some totally pawesome entries. I was really chuffed to collect a prize on behalf of Frodo and was just about to tuck into the contents when low and behold his face appeared on a giant screen – Eeeek! There really is no getting away from Big Brother!
I really hope Frodo will share or let me have a least one bottle of Pawsecco for all my efforts on behalf of The Barking Bugle.
I certainly enjoyed my trip to Discover Dogs – there is enough to do and see for a good full day and for those of you who may feel that Crufts is a little overwhelming this is a nice quieter option. So I do hope you have enjoyed reading my repawt. We will be away for part of the half-term but we will be barking about our adventures soon.
Woofs – Gizmo Deputy Editor x
Discover Dogs is an annual event that takes place each October at ExCel, London. Visit Discover Dogs for further information and tickets.