WE MANAGED to dodge the showers on Saturday and head to the Dogs Trust Summer Open Day and fun dog show in Harefield. I think most of Hillingdon were there too as it was heaving.
After we’d got over the shock and inconvenience of treading in dog poo the minute we arrived, we had a great time. The place was awash with gorgeous rescue dogs – and a few irresponsible owners who didn’t have the decency to clear up the mess their dogs had left behind.
I had my niece Neve and nephew George in tow and they loved the bouncy castle and the face painting stands. They were lucky enough to win a toy on the tombola too but to be honest their favourite thing was coming face to face with so many different dogs.
We often pop over to the Dogs Trust Harefield to see the dogs that are there and to have a coffee in their little café.
The kids spend time talking to the dogs through the ‘sniff-holes’ that have cleverly been designed in the Perspex screens at the front of the dogs’ rooms – designed so that the dogs can sniff and hear what’s going on without being overwhelmed.
Some dogs bark at the children when they appear at the screens if they’re not keen or they sit nonchalantly in their dog baskets, but most often the dogs rush up to the screen with their tales wagging when they spot a child there.
And nothing pleases a two or three-year-old more than to be greeted by a happy dog who isn’t going to knock them over with excitement or lick their face.
All the dogs that are usually safely behind a screen were on leads with their owners, and George and Neve couldn’t get enough of them.
To be able to see so many breeds up close was amazing for the children, and for us. Not all dogs are as friendly as our family dog, who will happily allow the children to pet him and cuddle him, so I was wary of them getting too close to strange dogs, but they were all lovely and well behaved.
Well done Dogs Trust team; all your hard work and effort paid off. It was a fabulous local family day out and I hope you raised lots of money to continue your great work.
And as for the irresponsible few – I hope you trod in it on the way out!