There are times in life when one wonders "How on earth did I get myself into this!" It was a lovely Wednesday afternoon and I and the Gundog team where due in the main ring at The Scottish Game Fair on the Friday morning but serious car problems with both vehicles were hampering our journey North. Stress levels were high to say the least but the show had to go on. Finally at the eleventh hour with borrowed transport we were able to get the team moving up to Perth.
A 'Game Fair' is a thoroughly enjoyable experience not only for the Green Welly brigade but also for the family and the public in general as there are many diverse attractions. It is a meeting place for folk to catch up with likeminded friends, browse around the stalls and for those with a competitive spirit a chance to enter their gundogs into the gundog scurries or working tests and shooters to show their prowess on the clays. When giving Gundog demonstrations I am very aware that we are entertaining a wide and varied audience and the emphasis must be on entertaining. I have a selection of dogs in the kennel who are natural show offs for the environment in which they have to perform in to say the least is somewhat daunting. The tannoy is blaring the crowd is intense with small children often eating sweets and ice cream within easy reach of the dogs! The ring although visually bare is littered with strange smells of Ferrets. Terriers. Birds of prey and at Scone this year even ducks! All vying for your dogs attention which of course should be on you. The Scone weekend is over three days and with two demonstrations a day one has to be pretty flexible to cope with the dalliances of your canine team. From the usually rock steady cocker who decides to bark at the photographer trying to get a close up in the ring to the retriever who munches any leftovers! from previous demonstrations and of course that spaced out youngster that simply stares blankly at you when given a very familiar command! Yes it is an enjoyable experience but an ability to think on ones feet is vital and yes, it is tiring.
Sunday evening came around all too quickly and on our meander home the phone rang (hands free of course) with a request from the Galloway Country Fair for two more demonstrations from us at the Fair to be held in August. - "Yes Jane, of course we'd love to!".