I showed cavaliers for over thirty years and made up a Champion.
I had a wonderful time, it was my hobby & my social life but never did I think I was doing it to give my dogs a day out.
Although my cavaliers seemed happy to be at shows as long as they were in my company, I always knew we were there for my amusement and they would be even happier running free on a woodland walk.
Being shut up in a crate for hours at a time in the car and at the show would guarantee almost any dog would come out happy and tail wagging at being released.
There are ways of keeping a dog cool or warm while out for the day, but let's not fool ourselves that any sensible dog would choose to spend their day shut in a cage where they cannot even move away to seek a more comfortable position.
I have been to some summer shows where I have really struggled to keep my dogs comfortable despite fans, cool mats, parasols etc.
I am not completely anti-show, as I said I have had some wonderful times with some beautiful, responsive cavaliers on the other end of the lead, but we were there for me and my ego, after all what does a rosette mean to a dog?
The long battle I had to get SM acknowledged as a serious inherited health problem, when I was the Cavalier Club health representative, made me question some of the things I had taken for granted.
As people I had liked and respected denied the problems that they were seeing in their own dogs I realised just how much the human competitive streak can change people.
Over those thirty years I have met proud pet owners at their first show and seen too many of them transform into exhibitors who will win at any cost.
Until health considerations are somehow factored into success in the show ring then the temptation to deny health problems, to not health test, or to ignore bad results will continue.
Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi