You will know that Discover Dogs took place at the Excel on the weekend 20th -21st November. Lisa Strong looks after the breed booth photos, sets up the booth and runs it, below is her account of the weekend.
‘Soo 19th December 2021 saw the eve of Discover dogs 2021 and an exciting if a little nervous return to London Excel after a 1-year break, we had had a few wobbles in the run up with various people succumbing to colds but everyone was negative for COVID and improving so we were a go. After finishing work my husband and I headed home to feed the dogs, walk them and then load them, the Norwegian Buhund stand and our items for a hotel stay into the car. As we were about to leave a work disaster occurred which meant that 7:40pm saw the car fully loaded in a work car park, whilst things were fixed. 40 minutes later we were finally on our way to our hotel in Barking a lot later than planned. The Hotel was an Ibis budget and although basic (no tea or coffee facilities in the room) had plenty of room for us and the 2 dogs and was very clean so was perfect for our stay. The next morning although we are both fully vaccinated, we did lateral flow testing (negative) before heading to Excel for 8am. On arrival we were checked for compliance with the vaccine status/lateral flow test and issued with bands before being allowed to the side pathway. Usually, we then go up a ramp and walk along to an appropriate door and enter excel at the show level. This year however, we had to go along the lower promenade and gain entry via a lift or stairs. As all of us at that time had equipment for stands or displays and only 2 stands max could get into the lift it made for a long wait in a narrow corridor which wasn’t the best. Once in we rapidly made our way over to the stand, settled the dogs down and commenced set up. Corridors were wider than usual and there were maybe 6 breed stands and then a sizeable gap before the next section so that, along with the strict checks made us feel safe. By 9:45am we were being joined by other helpers and at 10am it opened to the public.
Paul Martin with Ulfie came all the way down from up North by train to join us on the stand and despite train delays they persevered and made it there by lunchtime, this enabled us to rotate dogs on the stand to give them a break and also allow the owners to shop. Tom and Penny Glibbery had Indy with them, Marie Corin and Adam Camm had Bergen and we had Loki and Eris. Eris is a black Buhund (the others are all wheaten) so it was nice for the public to see the 2 main colours. Loki and Ulfie were blowing their coats and therefore we were able to demonstrate what happens when a Bu sheds – Paul swears that Ulfie was over 1kg lighter to carry on the Underground escalators on the way back. It became clear quite quickly that the type of visitor to the stand was a bit different in percentage to previous years with more people being there to do research on what dog they would like instead of coming along for a day out and a dog fix. It was nice to hear from the Discover Dogs attendees that had decided to wait until we had had a decent period of being lockdown free before deciding to look into getting a dog and a large number of the visitors had a list of questions to ask in order to determine if the breed might be right for them. There were several couples/families that came back to the stand again a couple of times to ask for more information.
At the end of day one we all went our separate ways with Alex and I heading back to our hotel with Loki and Eris for a well-deserved rest for the dogs and a glass of wine and a takeaway pizza for us. After a good night’s sleep we took the Buhunds for a walk before checking out and heading back to Excel for day 2. The cleaners had managed to remove most of the shedding from yesterday and there was a bag from Royal Canin (who sponsor Discover Dogs) on the stand again with some toys in for the dogs plus drinks and snacks for the humans.We were joined again by Marie Corin and Adam Camm with Bergen. Bergen was a Discover Dogs first timer at 2 years old and coped extremely well with all the noise and people. There were some children who seemed to be big fans of his. Again, there were people who kept coming back to the booth and some wanted to know if there were other opportunities to meet Buhunds apart from shows. Bu Bumbles are hosted around the country throughout the year so we gave them information on where they could find out about them on facebook. The day flew by with all of us getting hoarse at various points from talking so much and before we knew it a KC steward was telling us we were allowed to pack up. Having the additional hands of Marie and Adam at the end of the day definitely made for a speedy taking down and packing up of the stand and even with the stand down people were still coming over to us to ask about the breed!!! Several people have now made contact with various Buhund forums on Facebook wanting to know more about the breed so attending Discover Dogs was definitely worth it.’
Thank you all so much for working so hard over the weekend to represent the breed and get it better known and understood, with a numerically small breed such as ours it is so important. A number of the numerically large breeds did not have booths this year, so a great testament to you all.
Stay safe everyone.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK