Having recently had our chances of winning ‘best in Show’ at the Adderbury village dog show ruined, due to Archie developing Kennel cough the night before the big day, I was delighted when I found there was to be a dog show right on my door step. As part of the Shoreditch Festival, the Shoreditch Bark dog show, sounded much more up our street, why there was even a prize for Hoxtons hottest dog, how could we resist?
On the day of the show I was up bright and early, grooming Archie within an inch of his life and practising my very best Crufts prancing (why do they do that?). I wasn’t met with much enthusiasm when trying to engage the teens or middleaged dad in coming along to suport their favivourite pooch in his potential victory as the loveliest labradoodle in London. It’s strange how my family profess to love the dog beyond life itself, but are nowhere to be found when it comes to walking, picking up poo, or in fact anything that requires more than cuddling up on the sofa or throwing the occasional ball.
Middleaged dad finally relunctantly agrees to come and we arrive far earlier than needed. Registration isn’t yet open and MAD is already grumbling about ‘having things to do at home’, which basically means watching the History chanel, followed by a snooze, so I ignore him and try to engage him in the fascinating number of dog breeds that are turning up. Not only are the types of dog interesting, their owners are equally fascinating. There are Hackney hipsters, Shoreditch designer families, uber fashionable Japanese tourists and lots of local Eastenders. There are even a few slightly batty old ladies without dogs, who have simply come along to talk to other peoples dogs. I am aware I am in danger of becoming one of those old ladies in the future and make a mental note to always make sure I actually own my own dog!
Archie and I register for our prefered class – the most handsome dog – I dont even bother with the others, as he is clearly the most handsome here by miles – and we settle down to watch the show. MAD’s boredom slowly turns to interest as we watch the dogs parade around the area (a cordoned off area of grass, but who cares) and listen to stories of rescue dogs and owners who clearly adore their pets. There are ahhs for the 17 year old mongrel, laughter at the naughty fox terrier and cheers for the local 9 year old boy and his massive boxer. It seems dogs bring out the best in everyone!
Then Archie and I are called for our catagory and off we prance. Archie slightly lets himself down by getting overexcited and barking, which I fear the judges may see as attention seeking, but we hold our heads high and carry on. After a couple of rounds of the arena, we seem to have a small fan club of glamorous Australian girls and Dalston fixie boys, I can feel victory calling!
The judges deliberate and call out the final three, there must be some mistake – we not even placed – WTH! Are they insane, did they not see that face? I am gutted, but try to grin and pretend it’s all fine. The winner is a flat coated retriever and I consider mugging it’s owner for the rosette, but quickly realise this is wrong. After all, it’s only a bit of fun, isn’t it?