Sunday, 13 March 2016

It's Show Time!

I've had a pleasant few evenings watching Crufts on the TV with 'Her Indoors'.  'Him Indoors' watches too but he has his own criteria for judging dog breeds which is usually along the lines of size (maximum expense and affront to the senses), capacity for shedding hair, and tendancy to drool.  That rules out quite a few breeds, but not Border Terriers of course.  He also enjoys the clips where dogs do useful things, like helping people with illnesses or disabilities, or sniffing out drugs and explosives.  He usually addresses me directly with a plaintive 'why can't you do that', but I just stretch out on my beanie bag, in front of the wood burner and have a quick nap.  Watching working dogs always makes me feel tired.

I like the agility and fly ball as there's a lot of action, excitment and barking.  This year there was a Minature Snauchzer who was doing very nicely until he got an itch.  He sat down, mid-course, and had a good scratch, then decided to go under the jump rather than over it, several times.  I suspect he'd had a long day and just didn't feel like it which was fair enough.

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about the breed judging.  As a pedigree dog myself (I like to think I hide it well), buying a know breed has certain advantages: you get roughly what it says on the tin.  However, I do feel a bit uncomfortable watching some dogs bred for particularly exagerated features.  I can't quite believe that great folds of excess skin, ears that are so long you could almost tie them in a bow, and squashed faces, are actually in the best interests of the dog's well-being, and I'm no expert, but that German Shepherd with the sloping back, didn't look very happy to me.  Maybe he was just tired or it was a bad camera angle......

 Fortunately for me, Border Terriers are a sensible breed; a bit like how a child would draw a dog.  When I was having my portrait done for my book cover, the other week, Sally who was drawing me and is also a breeder of Border Terriers, and 'Her Indoors' were having a little chat about my appearance, and apparently I don't really conform that closely to my breed standard (Charming - don't mind me!).  My head isn't otter shaped enough, but then I'm not an otter, I'm a dog.  My nose is a bit too pointy but that has it's advantages as I can get right into the corners of a crisp packet.  My coat is a bit too smooth, but then I don't need much maintainance and I don't need to go to the doggy hairdressers for hand stripping or clipping.  As Sally and 'Her Indoors' rightfully concluded, I wasn't bought as a show dog, I was bought as a family pet, and I fulfill that role in some style, if I say so myself.  I've had, paws crossed, thirteen years of good health, I'm generally a friendly sort of dog and I'm great with children.  Maybe they should just adjust my breed standard to suit me.  Still, if there was a class at Crufts for best senior or dog with the most appealing eyes, after my success at the village show last summer, I'd be in with a chance.  It's all good fun, or at least it should be....


  1. Rolo, I think you're perfect the way you are!!! You look just like my Rolo. Janice & Rolo xx