Barbet News (page 89)
Barbet Funday 2018. (Vers 2)
This years Barbet Fun Day was held on 30th June, and hosted by Richard and Julie McDougal. It was hot, but the location, at the top of a hill surrounded by stunning views, ensured there was a nice breeze throughout the day helping to keep everyone cool. The area was also set up with marquee's, paddling pools, and a hose pipe, to keep the dogs cool and out of the sun. The Barbet community is small here in the UK, and with people in different parts of the country some of us rarely, if ever, meet. The Fun Day was a great opportunity meet existing friends and make new ones. The turnout was great, with 24 people, 13 Barbets and a small number of other breeds. More people had booked, but due to the heat some made the decision not to attend this year. Four generations of Wendy Preston's Novaforesta line attended, and it was lovely to see a good mix of older dogs and youngsters.
Open Female Class.
The day was well thought out, with activities to take part in, and people on hand to provide information and knowledge about the Barbet. The first activity of the day was the agility course. This was as much fun for the owners as well as the Barbets, with people helping and encouraging their dogs by completing the course themselves! First place went to Truffle owned by Nikki and Andre Frullo. Next Carolyn Fry, who was also invited to judge the fun show, gave a talk and practice session on gun dog training. The Barbet is a versatile breed, and capable in many activities, so it was really good for people new to the breed to have an insight into what the Barbet may enjoy, and to see dogs who already take part in these activities in action.
Time then for the dogs to relax, and the humans to eat! A fantastic barbecue with cake for afters cooked by our hosts, Richard and Julie McDougal, left everyone refreshed and ready for the afternoons activities. There was plenty of time to chat, get to know new people and dogs, and to relax and enjoy our shared interest in the Barbet. I brought copies of my latest book, A Puppy Called Wolfie for those interested, and we also held a raffle.
Whilst our Barbets are an active breed excelling at sports, they also do well in the show ring. The fun show was well received, and a great experience for the younger dogs not familiar with showing. Carolyn, our judge, a breeder of Golden Retrievers and Italian Spinones, has also judged at Crufts. Guiding people through the process of showing their Barbet and providing enthusiastic and constructive feedback made for an enjoyable and informative show. And will, I am sure, result in more people deciding to have a go at showing. Most of the Barbets entered the show, it was lovely seeing them lined up waiting for their turn. Best Dog went to Archie, owned by Sandra Rutter, and Best Female was won by Bonnie, owned by Richard and Julie McDougal. Bonnie also took the title of Best in Show. Following this, Wendy Preston gave a masterclass in grooming. As the Barbet coat can be different, it was good to hear what approach was good for what type of coat.
After a great day Barbets and their humans were content, tired, and ready for home. It takes time and effort to organise and manage an event like this, along with providing an interesting and informative day, whilst making sure it is set up to consider the needs and comfort of both people and dogs. The Barbet Fun Day is a really great way to celebrate the breed, share knowledge and stories, and connect with like minded people. I will look forward to the next one.