Yesterday 30th May would have been Pastoral Day at Southern Counties. The show started in 1870 and this is the only time it has been cancelled except during the two World Wars. Last year the Buhund entry was very low, which was sad as over the years the show has done much to improve things for exhibitors. When I started showing back in 1992, the show at that time had CCs for the breed and was held on its own ground at Ifield Wood near Crawley in Sussex, where it had moved to in 1986/7 from Hickstead, after that become a show jumping Arena. The land had a great deal of work done on it to prepare it as a show ground. It was a bit noisy as it was in the flight path of Gatwick airport, but the real problem was that it was on clay soil, and in spite of it being drained it would flood very easily. By 2002 the committee felt a larger ground was required as more space was needed, particularly for caravans. There was also a narrow access lane which often delayed exhibitors. The committee applied to the Newbury Agricultural Society to use their showground which has 146 acres, it has easy access being just off the M4 and their first show was held there in 2003. Sadly, the show lost CCs for the breed many years ago but has kept the breed scheduled, nearly always with a Scandinavian judge. More recently the marquees with the in/out rings have been introduced, and the naming of the breed on the benches to help find numbers, which is always very helpful, especially with numerically small breeds such as ours. Although it has easy access it is very much in the south of the country, and with Buhund exhibitors spread all over the country it has not been as popular as it might have been without CCs. It was a bit chaotic last year as they introduced two new groups, Junior and Special Beginners, which were added to the BOB, BP and Veteran Groups. The problem was that the BOB and PGs were in one marquee and the other three groups in another marquee, and they all ran at almost the same time, which was fine if the BOB was not qualified for another group, or if an Exhibitor who was on their own, did not have several dogs qualified in different groups. I am sure they would have had it sorted for this year, so will be fine next year.
I want to say a massive thank you to those of you who have sent me articles for these notes, without shows and other canine activities it is not easy, so again thank you.
Below is an article Jacqui Cobb sent me about how she became involved with Hearing Dogs, I am sure you have enjoyed her previous articles where she wrote about her affix and how she became involved with Buhunds.
‘I was at Crufts sitting on the benches with my Borzois, when an announcement came over the tannoy, about the setting up of a new charity, ‘Hearing Dogs for the Deaf’. At the time I was the only hearing member of the family so this caught my attention. The announcement said that the public were being invited to go to the charity’s stand, and on receipt pf £1 you could sign a book to wish them well. As soon as I could, off I went to the stand. I wanted to do more, and so I stared fund raising. I made a harness for Okie, and we started collecting at all our local open and companion shows. Crufts saw us working on the stand, an added attraction as small children would make their parents stop so that they could put a penny in the dog’s money box. I also began giving talks, and I have the distinction of being the first puppy socialiser. That came about by accident. A girl’s magazine wanted to run a competition to name a Hearing Dog, the idea was to raise the profile of the charity. As the magazine wanted a puppy, the NCDL who had previously supplied Tony Blunt with Favour the charity’s original dog, offered to take along a suitable puppy for the photo shoot. In due course the competition was held and the puppy was named Bonnie. In the meantime, Maureen, from NCLD, had rung Tony and told him that the puppy was too intelligent not to make a brilliant hearing dog. So, Bonnie came to me to be socialised until she was 6 months old.’ Many Buhunds went onto be hearing dogs, until they started to breed their own dogs. In normal times you can have a tour of the training centres in Buckinghamshire and Yorkshire, where you can see behind the scenes and find out how the dogs are trained.
Margaret Deuchar email@example.com
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.