This year Crufts is celebrating it’s 125 year anniversary. It’s crazy when you think about it – that the world’s biggest dog show has been going that long. I’m lucky enough to be one of the Crufts bloggers and I really can’t wait to go this year and be reunited with my happy place.
As well as celebrating the show, I think it also celebrates the world’s love for dogs. People travel all over the world to show off their pooches at this show, which I think is pretty magical. Although it’s a competition, it’s also a celebration of love for our dogs and just how much work people put into them. It’s such a wonderful place full of love and to be totally honest, I’ve never seen a sad person at Crufts.
When I’ve told people I’m going to Crufts this year, I sometimes get a reaction of, ‘Oh?’ when I’m super excited. I’ve found these are people who aren’t dog owners or lovers. Yes dogs are hard work and they require a lot of time, money and love but I’ve found I’ve learnt some of my most important life lessons from being a dog owner. Dogs are a learning curve and with my older dog Alfie when I was younger and now Rufus, they have taken me on the most magical adventure. Since the day they entered my life I’ve been taken on a whirlwind of laughter, tears, cuddles and magic. My life’s been turned upside down and here are the most important lessons I’ve learnt.
- Be accepting of everyone
Rufus is such a people pooch and loves meeting new people. Whenever we go on a walk, he wants to say hello to everyone. He gives everyone a chance and always welcomes them into our home. Without a dog, I’ve noticed that no one says hello to you in the street. But walking Rufus on our 8am morning walk, everyone says good morning to us. Every stranger wants to know me and my hound and we both give them the chance. It’s wonderful.
- Love unconditionally
Rufus is literally my little scruffy shadow and we do everything together. He’ll sit on the sofa with me, he’ll curl up next to me whilst I’ll blog, he’ll travel with me, we go on a daily 5K walk together. We’re inseparable and it’s such a beautiful thing. The one thing I always see at Crufts is the love between the dog and their owner. You can see the dog is full of love and will follow their owners. It’s just such a special bond.
- Appreciate the little things in life
Remember that quote in Marley and Me? The one about them having no use for cars and fancy clothes? Totally true. A dog is happier with a stick or a big long walk. It’s made me appreciate the smaller things too. I love my morning walk with Rufus as it gets my heart going and wakes me up for the day. I love it when The Geek and I go to our local forest for the afternoon and take him on 5 mile walk and just chat without technology. We can just appreciate the great outdoors that’s on our doorstep.
- Be honest in what you want
Rufus wants a cuddle? Rufus will park his arse on my lap. Rufus wants to go outside? He’ll scratch the door until we let him out. They are the most honest creatures around and just say what they want. Sometimes, and especially me, could take a leaf from our pooches book and just say how we’re feeling and what we really want. Rufus doesn’t expect me to read his mind when he needs the toilet so why should I expect other people to read my mind when I want something?
- Forgive and Forget
I remember when the Geek went away and I was left on my own with Rufus for a week when he was around 16 weeks old. My best friend was coming over and I had to change the bed sheets, so, I left him on the landing and I’ll tell ya, little Rufus was not happy. He woofed and howled and I ended up crying and shouting at him because I so tired and I just wanted to get it done. After the bed was made he came trotting up to me and just sat on my knee and licked my face. Despite me unrationally shouting at him, he forgave me and has forgiven me for everything ever since. He forgives me when I have to get a blog post done and teas a little late. He forgives me when I accidentally step on his paw. He forgives me when I go away and leave him in someone else’s house. He doesn’t hold grudges and it’s something I’m trying to adapt.
- Always try everything once
When I went to puppy classes with Rufus he completely stuck his mind into it. He really loved it and put his all into it. It’s something he does with everything that we do. If we are doing something new for the first time, he’ll put his trust in me and himself and will always give it a go. Even if it doesn’t work out for him, he’s at least tried!
- Celebrate when you’re happy
He will always greet me with his tail wagging, jumping up in the air and full of glee when I come in the house. Every morning when I wake him up he’ll be full of happiness. And with walks, he goes bananas. Everytime he’s happy and he will show it and celebrate it. I’ve noticed that we really only celebrate the huge achievements and goals in our lives. Sometimes, these take years to achieve and can be few and far between. We should celebrate the little things too!
- Make time for exercise and play
Dogs love to play and need their daily walk. It does them the world of good to get some fresh air, smell the streets and have a fun around the field. You never see a sad dog on a walk, do you? It also does wonders for me when I get outside. As well as getting my daily exercise it helps clear my head too. I remember when I was 14 years old and I used to take my westie, Alfie, for a walk. I’d literally put the world to rights with him as we’d trot around the streets. Looking back, I think Rufus has it better listening to my 25 year old problems than my 14 year old love life!
- Accept praise
You never see a dog go, ‘Oh, don’t worry about it… it was nothing’ when you call him a good boy? Nope. You see his whole body shake, his tail going nuts and his eyes bright with excitement. Trust me he knows he’s done good! I’m the worst for not accepting credit when credit is due and I definetely need to take a leaf out of a dog’s book when I know I’ve done a good job!
- Never slow down and never look back
Dogs never slow down and always live in the moment. They are such happy beings and when in their element they live life to the full. They are such curious creatures and I always feel like Rufus is slightly puzzled by the world. It makes me smile everytime he discovers something new and just goes for it. I love that my older dog, Alfie, even to the day he died would still greet me at the door and still wanted to go on a walk everyday. It’s a tremendous spirit and one us humans need a dose of every now and again!