There was a private message on Facebook on Saturday, “please could you help me and take a dog to Périgueux” I phoned to learn that S has a litter of puppies she’s bottle feeding so couldn’t get to the show. I said OK and she brought two dogs over to me, Let It Be is a son of Turretbank Silver Sixpence, who won the RCC at Crufts. There have been times over the summer where he has been Best of Breed and my own Lettie (Let It Be Me has been best opposite sex) the other, Barcley, is a nice little tricolour. She didn’t need me to handle them, Nicolas would do that. I had the TV on, watching Crufts, so S stayed a while and watched too. We chose different dogs: she liked the Labrador while I preferred the Flatcoat.

The dogs settled well with mine and the boys happily joined Cedric and Maxim in the kitchen overnight. I set my alarm wrongly: on my phone I have to enter the date as well as the time, and I put in Saturday’s date. Derrr. I didn’t wake until 07;30. Consequently I didn’t get to the show until about10:00 and the Blenheim classes had started at 09:30 so Let It Be missed the class. Not a few people said “everyone had been asking “where’s Jane, have you seen Jane yet? Do you feel in demand?” I asked Nicolas if he’d please handle Hula for me as I had Lettie in the same class. He agreed and asked if the CAC would be OK, to which I said yes, very OK, but I was doubtful as I knew the judge doesn’t much like Hula’s head. She got it . Nicolas then handled the little tri boy who also won the CAC. His own girl had won the Blenheim bitch CAC so he asked if I’d mind handling Hula for the challenge for the CACIB, no of course I didn’t. She didn’t get it, nor the reserve, but that was more to do with the better quality of the other bitches than my handling. It had been a breed specialty, and after drinks and nibbles, Nicolas brought me Barcley’s CAC, trophy and critique. “I assume you’re taking S’s dogs home” so I said yes. Once home I phoned S and asked if she’d like me to deliver them to her today. “I’m on my way over to you” she replied and shortly afterwards rang the bell. I had Crufts on TV again, offered her a coffee and she said no thanks, she’d stay all evening and had the puppies to go back to: her daughter was keeping an eye on them at the moment. She did say she thought the American Cocker would win BIS as it was so “flashy”, and this was before either of Sunday’s groups had been judged. I liked the Puli, the Newfoundland and the Leonberger, so was hoping the Newfie would win BIS. American Cockers aren’t my cup of tea, I’m not that keen on breeds that are sculpted. I did though, at the Périgueux show, talk to a woman with Standard Poodles in lamb cut: she has the same surname as me! She told me even lamb cut is better if you learn to do it yourself as few groomers are capable of doing it well or understanding what is required for the show ring.