DogFest 2016

I cannot see a dog without cooing out loud, it's an involuntary impulse. Any place Gareth and I go, if one of us sees a dog we immediately inform the other so we can coo over it's cute little doggy face together. So last weekend at DogFest we went in to doggy overload.

We've been fans of the channel 4 show The Supervet for a long time, and last summer when 'Supervet in The Field' aired, we knew we'd have to be at the next one. So this is how we found ourselves with tickets to DogFest '16 at Arley Hall in Cheshire. Of course we brought our furry baby Charlie along in the hopes that he'd make some pals.

We don't live far from Arley Hall at all, but we set off in plenty of time, expecting a bit of a queue to park up. And bloody hell, did we get a queue. We sat in the car for about half an hour until we were pretty much at the venue. A further half a mile down the road we were on and we'd have been there. But when we got to the front of the line, and came in to contact with the first parking official/DogFest Rep, he was blocking the road ahead and directing all the cars down another street. We continued at snails pace down this street for a further hour, just following the traffic. There were no signs, or any further Officials to direct us. Eventually an hour and a half had passed in near gridlock, when all of a sudden all the cars started turning around. Some one drove past us and told us there was another DogFest Rep at the end of the road sending us all back the way we'd come from. So around we turned, to sit in another hours worth of gridlock. It was a boiling hot day and everyone was getting out at the side of the road to give their dogs a breather. By the time we got back to the first bloke who'd sent us the wrong way, he'd changed positions and was now sending the traffic the right way. Within minutes from there we were in and parked up. Honestly, I was so angry. It had taken us 2 hours to get back to where we'd started, all because one plonker had sent every one the wrong way. There'd been no signage or any further communication from DogFest, regardless of the amount of angry tweets they were receiving. I could rant about the absolutely terrible organisation until the cows come home... but I won't.

By the time we got in, all three of us were hot, fed up, and needed food and drink (a stiff one to take the edge off, in my case). Feeling hangry, we headed straight for the food trucks and tucked in to some 'duck fat fries'. Which were genuinely the best fries I've ever had, or maybe I was just so hungry anything would have tasted amazing. 

Anyway, it was difficult to stay angry for long. I could not control the enourmous smile spreading across my face. Dogs, everywhere. More dogs than I've ever seen in once place ever. The atmosphere was catching and I couldn't help but just feel deliriously happy at the sight of a field full of all different shapes and sizes of dog.

We watched the Supervet himself Noel Fitzpatrick give a really great speech about his charity, The Humanimal Trust, all about human and animal healthcare working together to progress. I bloody love Noel, such a clever and compassionate human.

After his speech, there was a huge queue to meet Noel, which why decided to bypass and instead chose to grab a drink and have a proper good look around. Cue a million photos of my pooch being an adorable sweetface...

There were different pens all around the field showcasing different things. We watched some agility for a while and then watched puppy training, sheep dog training and doggy aqua sports as well as a whole load of other stuff. It was hard to keep track. There were hundreds of stalls selling all sorts of doggy related stuff, from food and health to fashion and accessories. We got Charlie measured up for a cute little waterproof fleece and discovered he's so long and thin he's actually in a Dachshund size of clothing, which is probably not at all interesting to anyone but me, ha. We got a few sample freebies from various treat stalls as well, which Charlie loved. 

I could have spent days walking around, not even looking at the stalls but at all the four legged guests. There was one woman with a whole herd of pugs. Where ever she went a black cloud of snorting pugs followed her like a shadow. It was too cute, and now it's my life's ambition to have my own herd of dogs. There was also a surprising amount of dogs in pushchairs. One lady had a bundle of Chihuahuas in an old fashioned pram, and another had a bull dog looking completely chilled out in his doggy stroller. 

By the time The Great Dog walk came around, we'd been walking around for hours and I'd pretty much lost my voice from all the 'omg look how cute that dog is' type squealing coming out of my mouth. Charlie, being a shy little fellow with tiny legs, was exhausted by this point. He'd been stroked, nuzzled and prodded by so many doggy noses, he'd had enough. So of course, The Great Dog Walk turned in to The Great Dog Carry for me. 

Aside from the terrible start, the rest of the day was absolutely amazing. We had a very sleepy dog in the car ride home and I think both us humans were just as worn out, but we loved it. Hopefully DogFest sort out their traffic organistation issues because I'll definitely be going again next year!

- Adel xx

P.S. Here's a pic I found on DogFest's Facebook page, with Gareth and I making a little appearance towards the front.


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