If you're animal mad, the place to be last weekend was at Earls Court for the London Pet Show! I was lucky enough to get a free pair of tickets and we bought three more so my whole family could discover what the show is all about.
We were certainly not disappointed! There were so many different stands, talks and shows to explore, by the time it got to 5pm we were glad to put up our feet for the journey home on the underground.
One of my favourite parts of the show by far was the rabbit showjumping. Unfortunately, my rabbit Simba's career as a showjumper was over before it even began due to the plate in his leg, so I couldn't wait to see what these fluffy bunnies could do. Dubbed the Rabbit Grand National, these specially trained rabbits had flown all the way over from Sweden for this demonstration and couldn't they jump! The fences at the show were 50cms high, but some of these talented critters could jump an amazing 80cms.
When walking around, there were so many animals of all shapes and sizes I didn't know where to start! What was great about this show is that there were so many experts on hand to help you learn more about your pet or to help you choose which breed or even species was the best choice for you.
I bought some lovely biscuits with carrot in for Simba from Katie's Canine Kitchen - her business has been such a success with dogs that she's ventured into making delicious treats for rabbits, cats and even ponies too.
The Duck Herding demonstation was another great addition to the programme. The handler of the border collies rounding up the eight Indian Runner ducks made it look so easy to herd them through a tunnel, but just remembering the commands for sending the collies a certain way had my head in a spin. The funniest part was when the second border collie kept steering the ducks away from the pen because she was having too much fun!
Sadly, the miniature horse display was cancelled due to unforseen circumstances, but watching the free flight parrots in the Parrot display from World of Wings was particularly inspiring. One of the handlers Nick explained to the crowd how to treat and get the best out of a socially bored, outgoing parrot and a very nervous and scared parrot. What was great to see was the trust they both had in the handler, especially afterwards when three other parrots were let loose and there could have been chaos!
Now I wish I had a dog as the Celebrity Doggy Dancing with Donelda Guy and the Heelwork to Music with Mary Ray was amazing! If I could do half the things they did with their dogs, I would be one happy owner.
Something I didn't know was that dogs are also left or right handed just like people. Mary Ray demonstrated this with one of her dogs Levi as when circling her, Mary pointed out that one circle was larger whilst the other was tighter and closer to her. This showed he felt more comfortable and was on the hand (or should I saw paw) he preferred going one way than when he on the other.
Dancing to 'Puttin' on the Ritz' from Top Hat, it was amazing to see the connection Mary had with her dogs. Simply by using clicker training, she was able to make a stunning routine with her dogs that many of us can only dream of.
The last show we watched was the Southern Golden Retriever Display Team. Obedience is a worthwhile skill to have with your dog, especially when you can make a routine to 'Moves Like Jagger'! Seeing 20 dogs all sitting still as their owners walk around the arena and with barely any hiccups is certainly amazing and what's more, they looked like they were having a great time too.
Completely worth seeing just for all the wagging tails!
Check out the London Pet Show website for next year's show at www.londonpetshow.co.uk