For the third time this year the car was packed and we took the ferry across to the UK. This time we took the trailer as we were travelling with four chessies.
The weather was grim as we crossed the Irish Sea with no promise of improvement for the weekend.
Our first stop when we reach Wales is generally JCT 17 on the A55. There is a fantastic dog friendly beach here. It gives the dogs a chance to have a good blow out and a swim after the long journey. This morning it was completely deserted, only a mad Irish woman and her brown dogs were brave enough to take on the deluge of rain that was pouring from the heavens..
After towelling off the dogs we pushed on to Husbands Bosworth where we would be staying for the next two nights. It’s a really pretty little village , quentisentially english with no shop just one pub. We were staying in The Old Hall, an Elizabethen house with a fascinating history and a very welcoming hostess. Well set in off the road and surrounded by parkland it was perfect for travelling with dogs. Carolyn, our hostess, outlined some walks where we could run the dogs safely. After unloading the car we took the dogs for a long walk through the village and down along the tow path . We ate at The Hall that evening, something we appreciated after our long journey as we would have an early start the next morning.
Saturday morning we were up and on the road by 8.30am heading to Peterborough to the East Of England Champ Show. We had entered Chester and Mossy. Both would be competing against each other in Open Dog. This is a show we’ve never done before and it was just luck that it happened to coincide with the same weekend as the Club Show. There were six chesapeakes entered. Three dogs and three bitches. Our judge was a Mr R Morris, who I’d never shown my dogs under before. Judging that day was slow as all the rings had to be moved indoors due to flooding. It was late afternoon by the time judging of our breed started. I was happy with the way both dogs behaved in the ring and delighted when Mossy won Best Dog and BOB and his father, Chester, won Reserve Dog. We waited on for the group and although Mossy showed well we didn’t make the cut.
On our way back to our accomadation that evening we stopped at a lake outside Peterborough and took the dogs for a long walk through meadows and rain. We settled and fed the dogs back at the Old Hall and walked down the road to the local pub for a bite to eat.
Now Des and I have long been fans of the English pub scene. We love the old cluttered charm that exists in many of them. You get the feeling when you enter one of these establishments that you’re walking into someone’s sitting room.You immediately relax , settle down and let the evening unfold. The food is always comfort food , exactly what the weary traveller is looking for. The Bell pub, I’m pleased to say , was exactly one of these pubs that we love. The entertainment for the evening came from the land lady with the purple hair and her immaculatly dressed daughter . Poles apart in looks and personality but complemented each other perfectly as an effective and efficient team for running a pub.
There seemed to be some sort of area pub quiz going on and every now and then the phone would ring. The land lady would answer in her loudest voice and so would pursue a lengthy discussion as to whether it was the right or wrong answer. All food and drink orders were put on hold while this exchange took place. Silence would descend throughout the pub as we all craned to hear and waited to see if the correct answer had been given. It was heart stopping stuff…
We walked back to our B&B. The rain had stopped, sheep were bleating in the park as we wound our way up the lane and everything looked promising for the show next day.
So our final show of the weekend also happened to be the pinnacle of the UK CBRC Show calender, the Championship show. More importantly a chance to catch up with friends and aquaintances. It always has the atmosphere of a lawn picnic and almost always has fantastic weather. Although this year’s forecast had not been the most promising it turned out to be a beautiful Summer afternoon.
There were over fifty dogs entered under breed specialist Mrs M Woods. Mossy entered in Open Dog won his class. Chester entered in Veteran dog also won his class. In the line up for the dog challenge both dogs moved and showed well. Today it was the turn of the Old Fella , Chester. He won Dog CC and Best Veteran in Show. It was a very proud moment for Des. Of all our dogs Chester is his. Mossy won Reserve Dog CC. Winnie won Veteran bitch class but was beaten by Chester for Best Veteran. Although she had very little coat and is only 16 weeks after having puppies she has regained her figure, moved well and most importantly enjoyed herself in the ring.
We also brought Uisce for the weekend. This was her first big trip . She took everything in her stride. Tried her best to keep up with the adult dogs on walks, lapped up the attention at the show and travelled without any problems. Photos courtesy of Ms Sue Worrall Watersplash photography.