Early Saturday morning, the weather can't seem to make up its mind, so a typical July weekend in Britain then? Off we set to Stansted Park in Havant for the Summer Paws in the Park show.
Not great planning with the Goodwood Festival of Speed on and we need to get through Chichester so we take the scenic route along the A259 through Bosham and Fishbourne.
Arrive at the park and are surprised at how quiet it is for a Saturday morning but haul the Hounds out of the van and trundle off towards the entrance. As always we get the usual comments of "oooohhhh Basset Hounds, you don't see many of those nowadays" and "are they all related?" or "are these Beagles?". Anyway we pay the £8 entrance fee and off we set.
Confronted by lots of different stalls offering the latest gadgets, gizmos and dog related paraphernalia you can imagine. I was particularly taken with a wooden sign saying "I was normal 3 dogs ago".......that was kind of made for me?
Buddy-love thinking he's died and gone to heaven with all the Stall Holders offering him free treats and plenty of tummy rubs. Daisy always gets in on the action when there's the opportunity of fuss and treats. Peach on the other hand is quite happy to stay at the back minding her own business. She really doesn't enjoy crowds and not that keen on strangers making a big fuss of her.
The first stall we stop at is a man offering to give Buddy a brush with this double sided comb that vaguely resembles a Furminator although seems a little less harsh. I'm amazed at the amount of fur that's coming out of Bud who, by this stage has lost interest in being brushed and just wants the free treats! So first purchase made. While this is going on, Mr Furry is engrossed in a conversation on the next stall selling metal folding dog ramps. As he explained, we are likely to need one soon, not for the Hounds but for our poor backs!
Off we go again and we see the Equafleece stand. 2 nice ladies assist us by measuring Bud up for a Tankie. Apparently these are best suited for Bassets as they have no sleeves. I choose a lovely blue one for him. The girls are then measured and then supplied with pink for Peach and purple for Daisy. Relieved of £109..........seriously whose idea was it to have 3 dogs? The reason I will never ever have any money!!
Wander around all the other stalls picking up as many free samples as we can. Bud becomes extremely interested in the sausage stand where he refuses to move until I coax him away with some of the earlier free treats! Then we come across another stall for a dog-friendly B&B in Devon and the lady is smiling at our dogs and she says "Oh my daughter would love these dogs to come and stay!" My first question is always do they have a limit on the number of dogs as it is increasingly difficult to find places that will happily accept 3 dogs. Information is given and further research to be done for a weekend away in the future.
Next stop and most importantly is the vintage tea cart (see pic), time for a coffee and some homemade cake. Again the Hounds are looking hopeful but instead had to settle for some of the earlier free dog treats.
On the way out I'm caught by the Nurture Them Naturally raw food stall and a special show deal they have on 8 tubs for £10. Bud is again offered some to try to which the girls say "we think he likes it!".......trust me this dog is almost 9 and I've not found anything that he doesn't like! He polishes that off then barks at the poor lady for some more...........wondering if we should have called him Oliver?
While this is going on, Mr Furry and the girls have met up with another Basset Hound called Millie. A lovely looking girl who is 8 years old(see pic). It's always so lovely to meet up with fellow Basset owners and compare stories. They're normally the same but we take solace in knowing that this is just Bassets.............they're all the same!
So we leave Paws in the Park and on the way home stop at Bosham where, when the tide is out you can walk around the quay and harbour. Pit stop in a lovely cafe which is dog-friendly (very important) for a sandwich and a drink. By this time the sunshine has made an appearance and it's much warmer.
We were prompted to leave when Peach decided to quietly throw up on Mr Furry's new trainers under the table, again, refer back to the earlier free treats! The Hounds are now very tired having not had any of their usual daily napping so we head off home and all is quiet in the back. 3 sleepy Hounds means the rest of the day will be peaceful. It's hard work being a Hound!