We took a "slight" detour first...as Radar wasn't allow to go to Crufts (you have to be "invited"!!), he was going to stay with our good friend (& his number 2 Mum) Vicky Martin for two nights. Vicky runs this incredible kennel called To The Manor Bourne which is in a village called Dyke, just north of Peterborough. To call it a "kennel" is really totally inaccurate...it's a real home-from-home & Vicky loves & cares for all her "clients" as if they were her own, so we knew that Radar would be well looked after & would have an amazing time. After a four hour journey, we arrived at Vicky's at about 11 a.m. just in time for Radar to join her & her own dogs & "clients" for a fun swim at a local Hydrotherapy pool (Newborough Dogs Hydro Pool). Here's a very short video of him & Vicky in action...he looks a bit confused at having to wear a buoyancy aid...bless him!!!
After dropping Radar off, Rio & I headed west to a lovely village called Wyre Piddle, near Evesham...this time we were off to our friends Lynn & Roy (Rio's two-legged Grannie & Grandad) where we were going to stay the night. It was another long journey (about 3 hours...I think every tractor, caravan & learner driver were on the road at the same time as us!!) but we eventually arrived at about 3 p.m. We had a lovely relaxing afternoon & evening with Lynn & Roy & their 4 gorgeous vizzies - Digby (Rio's dad), Ali, Easle & Tango...Rio thought he was in seventh heaven with all those red dogs to play with!
Thursday morning was another early start (up at 6 a.m. & on the road at 7!)...this time Lynn was with us as she was going to handle Rio for me...yes, I know I'm a whimp...but I wanted Rio to enjoy himself & not have to deal with a quivering wreck!!! We arrived at Crufts(which is held at the NEC in Birmingham) at just before 8 a.m. so we had plenty of time to find our bench & relax a bit before judging began at 9 a.m. Rio's class (Special Puppy Dog) was second up (after Veteran Dog) & all too soon it was his turn!
You know what...I was just SO proud of my little boy...he trotted beautifully round the ring &, when necessary, stood like a rock (though his tail was wagging so fast it looked like a helicopter blade!!). Here's a few pictures/videos of him "in action":
|Rio "standing" with Lynn holding on to his tail to keep it still!!|
|Rio being examined by judge Peter Upton.|
Then came the moment of truth...would Rio get placed? YES...my precious pup was awarded SECOND place (which, apparently, qualifies him for Crufts 2012!)...wow...I was so proud of him (& of Lynn too!). Here's a picture of him in final line up - again standing beautifully while the judge did his critique:
|From left to right: 1st - HIGHFORCE MIDNIGHT FLYER (with Elaine Cannon); 2nd - ADOLPHUSTOWN ACORN (Rio, with Lynn Eales); 3rd - RANCHSTAR HENRY GRUBSTICK (with Pam Joyce)|
And another photo...
|Rio with his rosette & certificate...& handled by me...but I'm hiding!!|
And so our exciting day at Crufts ended...unfortunately it was too late (& too longer drive) to collect Radar, so he spent Thursday night with Mum Vicky...here he is having an explore:
Our exciting 3 days ended with me leaving Roy & Lynn's (thank you both so much for looking after us!) first thing Friday morning...then it was back to Vicky's (thank you for taking such good care of our precious boy!) to collect Radar & finally home...arriving back at about 6 p.m....phew...exhausted!! Radar & Rio didn't seem particularly tired though as witnessed by this video...no peace for the wicked eh!!?