It’s come round to that time of year again: CRUFTS!!! We take a massive van and trailer from Aberdeenshire to NEC Birmingham each year to exhibit our dog beds at Crufts for four days. It really is like a marathon. First the workshop live up to “The List” of Crufts beds that we decide to bring. Everyone is flat out making beds, nests, covers, Really Tough Tuffie Chew proof beds. Busy stacking, packing and sorting. Then there is the massive packing of the vehicles, which is done expertly in order to try and make the unpacking at NEC as logical as possible. It is not easy if you haven’t got a map in your head of where all the various bags and beds are. As we have increased our range more and more over the years, it becomes more and more difficult not to get completely muddled up with where everything is. Basically, one has to accept that we can never take exactly what we need each time.
Then there is the drive down the road, which takes a day plus the subsequent “setting up the stall”. If you have a whole day to do it, it is quite ok, but that is not the case….. you are allowed to park the van near the stand for max two hours before you have to remove it, go back to get your deposit back, queue to get in again and pay your deposit once more. This is great fun…… not. So you dash in and out carrying heavy dog beds till you are exhausted.
Anyway, we always get there in the end and by Thursday morning all is ready for the next instalment of the marathon, the trade. After ten hours of busy chatting to everyone, your feet start to hurt, your back starts to hurt and after four days you can’t remember if you have already said X,Y and Z to the customer you are currently talking to or whether you said that to the previous one. Things definitely start going round in circles. You get luxury dog beds stuck on your mind, forgetting what you are saying.
Crufts is good fun, though, and everyone seem to be in sparkling mood. All the dog owner parade past our stand, taking a good look at our dog beds on the way and as the dogs are walked past the stand in the afternoon, some are sporting fantastic rosettes and the owners are wearing very large smiles.
Then we go home and live another year till it’s Crufts time once again.