Friday, 17 June 2011

Dash Extravaganza!

The first photo of Dash above was taken at the Greyhound Extravaganza in Suffolk by The colour and quality are wonderful. The hay bales add a rural touch, and nicely match the gold on her coat. It’s just the pose that’s a bit odd, but there’s only Dash to blame for that. It looks like she’s just spotted a hare going past the barn door! To be fair, though, it was an odd day all round. Oxford and Newmarket in Suffolk aren’t close, but we arrived at our destination in just over two hours. This probably had something to do with the shiny new sat-nav stuck to my windscreen. Yup, I’ve finally succumbed. No more crumpled pieces of paper with directions to dog shows in the back of beyond; no more phoning up organizers from a lay-by and, after explaining that we’re going to be late, asking if they could stay on the line while I follow the sound of their voice. Instead, at ten o’clock sharp, Dash and I trotted up to the stand of the event sponsor, (Burgess also sponsored the launch of ‘Dash: Bitch of the Year’ and we attended the Greyhound Walks Show in Essex as their guests, so Richard Rockett – real name, very nice guy – is fast becoming one of Dash’s pals. That’s him in the second photo above.) The stand itself was right next to the main ring – a prime position. It was also right next to the public address system, so we spent the first half hour shouting into people’s ears as if we were at a nightclub. Fortunately, it was later turned down. Also fortunately, the weather stayed fine and the turnout was good. It was gratifying that plenty of people (and their hounds) came up to say that they’d already read the book. Perhaps I should have offered to buy it back at resell it to someone else at half price?! But it’s not only about ‘shifting units’. I was there to meet and share stories with more greyhound lovers; I also had a perfect view as the different classes were judged in the fun dog show. The ‘fancy dress’ class is the one that always cracks me up. There were some hilarious outfits, including a really good one of a grey-muzzled male as the Red Baron, with flying ace goggles and, best of all, a pair of floppy wings. It was obvious that some owners had spent considerable time and effort in making the costumes, like the spotted flamenco outfit pictured above sported by ‘Kenza’, a Spanish greyhound or ‘galgo’. The oddest part of the day was still to occur however. As the crowd began to thin out, we said our goodbyes and set off for Oxford. Three miles later, the car broke down. A sat-nav can do many things, but it can’t replace dead spark plugs and a blown coil pack! Six hours and two tow-trucks after that, we finally arrived in Oxford. For those of you who know the story in ‘Dash: Bitch of the Year’, it wasn’t the first time Dash has seen the inside of a tow-truck! My hope is that it'll be the last …

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