The benching area started to fill and spectators started to sit at ringside, the stewards and Judge arrived at the ring and Shaggy's final entry in the showring was almost upon us. Whatever the result, Shaggy was retiring at Crufts, aged 10 years.
Veteran Dog was the first class of the day and Michaela and Shaggy followed Nicky Worthington and her young veteran Callum into the ring. Shaggy appeared to be full of efforvescent beans and was clearly enjoying his day and certainly not acting his age. A lap around the ring before the individual assessments. As always, Shaggy showed beautifully and then back to the lineup for final consideration by the Judge, Carl Sparrow. Shaggy was placed 1st, a fitting finale performance for our special homebred pom.
It was a wonderful moment just tinged with a little sadness that this was his last show. Michaela tried taking some photos of Shaggy with his prize card and rosette but Shaggy decided that he didn't want to co-operate. For him, retirement meant no more photos ! Lots of fuss and attention for Shaggy followed and eventually he was put to bed for a rest before the Challenge.
Shaggy continued to show well in the challenge along with the other class winners. Then the Judge had a break for lunch and it was time to focus on Hussy who had slept through the morning, totally unfazed by the whole Crufts experience. Exercise followed by a groom and then waiting for the Puppy BItch class to be called.
Eleven entries in the Puppy class and Hussy was very much a baby in the class at 9 months old, competing against much older and maturer bitches of between 12-14 months. Hussy was completely at home in the ring and showed beautifully, but was sadly not placed. Nonetheless, we were very proud of Hussy.
Melissa went to do some shopping and we then said our goodbyes to friends, packed up and started the long walk through the halls, further shopping on the way.
It was a fabulous day and was great to catch up with friends.
Unfortunately, such a wonderful day could only mean that the journey home was going to be horrendous, and it was. The car park and roads were gridlocked and it took approximately 3 hours to get from the car park to the M42 (a grand distance of approximately 3 miles). Once on the M42, traffic remained slow and then finally we reached the M40 and could finally get going, arriving home at about 10.30pm.
Both Shaggy and Hussy slept well that night, but it was no rest for the wicked, as they say. 9.50am appointment at the vets for Hussy to start her pet passport by having a microchip and then Fleur receiving at the same time her travel treatment ready for our weekend trip to France.