Bright and early Saturday morning, not even the threat of rain could dampen our spirits as we headed off to Windsor for our first day at Dog Fest. With our furfriend Tilly and her human Amy, who was our personal photographer for the day, in tow we piled into Mummy’s Mini and we were off! We arrived nice and early to avoid any queues, always recommended when you attend a big event, and at exactly 9.30 we were through the gates! The first thing we noticed about the festival was just how big the site was, even though the event was sold out and at capacity, we never felt like space was an issue which has been the case at some other event so that was great for both human and canine attendees.
We started with a wander around all the stalls and we were so excited to see loads of our favourite companies, we have even started to recognise the humans that run them (shoutout to Katie from Gerties and Berties who we may even like more than our own humans). Just a few of our friends include: Mabel & Mu with their wonderfully different accessories, Gerties & Berties with their innovative waterproof dog beds; Benyfit with their premium raw dog food; Olive’s Larder with their artisan dog treats; Quarters of Sussex with their luxurious dog houses; The Dog Treat Company with their yummy liver treats; Bauwow raising the profile of their pawsome app and so many more! We also met lots of new faces – see our post Dog Fest – Companies To Look Out For.
A highlight of our weekend was meeting loads of our Instagram friends; some that we only knew from pictures and some that were already firm friends. We had brief encounters, mostly at the fabulous Guru Pet Food stand, with @rolothespaniel who had the best hair we’ve ever seen; Otto from @dogphotosuk who has to be the most majestic dog we’ve ever met; @winnythecorgi, otherwise known as my favourite boxing buddy; @brunotheminidashound who rather fancied a sniff of little Rhapsody; @lifewithrosie who was possible the tiniest and cutest dog we’ve ever met; one half of @thewondercollies, Storm, who was a total sweetheart and a total trick star; @_alfiebear who is every bit as gorgeous as all his Mummy’s stunning photos and finally @spaniellife who were just too darn sweet for words! Phew, I hope I didn’t miss anyone out. It was a real pleasure to meet them all, there were ALOT of new friends to be made, and we are sure these will not be our last encounters with any of them! We also managed a little walk and photoshoot with @thecotswoldspaniel Woody and his lovely Mummy, we had a blast and can’t wait to meet up with him, and his new sibling, soon!
Dog Fest had so much to offer, we had a jam packed weekend so I am just going to share with you a few of our favourite bits, after meeting up with all our friends of course. Our first highlight, of course, has to be being invited into the VIP area. VIP stands for Very Important Pups, as I’m sure you know, and boy did it make us feel important! The tent was amazing, the perfect place to escape the brief rainy showers and all the VIPs were wonderfully looked after. If you have the chance to buy VIP tickets for next year we would thoroughly recommend it; with a VIP only dedicated entrance, snacks, drinks, lunch and a intimate talk from Professeur Noel Fitzpatrick himself included in your ticket price, even without the luxurious tent in which to rest your tired paws and escape the British weather, you get great value for money!
Of course, even without a VIP ticket, Dog Fest had loads to do and plenty of great activities going on, as well as dedicated rest areas for humans and pooches alike. Prof. Noel Fitzpatrick spoke twice on both days and, as he was at The National Pet Show, he was both hilarious and inspirational. He has such a passion for what he does and for making the world a better place for both humans and animals and that is so infectious. It was also great to meet some of the rest of the Fitzpatrick’s team, of course, we charmed our fluffy butts right into their hearts. Noel also led the Great Dog Walk twice on each day, albeit in a modified quad bike due to his recent ankle operation!
Our favourite activity of the weekend to watch, note I said watch not participate in, was the doggy diving at the K9 Aqua Sport pool. Our water limit is a paddle in a shallow stream but it was great fun to watch all the braver doggies have a go! We did however have a go at the “Rocket Dog” challenge. The aim of the game was to get to your human, over a line of flyball hurdles, as quickly as possible. Finally our hyperattachment to our humans was about to pay off. We all had a great time and flew over those hurdles, weirdly enough we all ended up having exactly the same fastest time, spooky or what? We also enjoyed watching some of the demos going on in the various rings around the festival site, our personal highlights were the fire agility (as crazy and cool as it sounds) and some of the amazing doggy dancing routines including the amazing Lucy and Trip Hazzard from Britains Got Talent! We had a go at some tricks at the Clever Dog Company stall ourselves but I think we need just as smidge more practice.
We had a great weekend at Dog Fest, it was totally exhausting and we got a little bit wet and muddy but overall it was the best show we’ve been to so far this year. There was loads of great stalls, inspiring talks and displays, fun activities and lots of new doggy friends were made. Of course, this wonderful event is the brainchild of the amazing Noel Fitzpatrick but so many more people were involved and are responsible for making this event as great as it was. The event was excellently run, all the staff were fantastic (especially all the parking attendant getting everyone in and out safely, no mean feat when there are hundreds of cars and only one entrance/exit) and we cannot wait to go back next year!