Animal mad? Thinking of getting a pet but no idea where to start? Or maybe you just wish you had a pet/were able to get one so you want an opportunity to stroke other people’s pets? Then visiting the annual two-day London Pet Show is the ideal weekend treat for you.
Considering the last exhibition show I saw was the 50+ show, it wouldn’t have been hard for the Pet Show to impress me, but as it was, the show was organised well with a range of interesting stalls, talks and displays to keep me amused for several hours.
Numerous breeds of your average domestic pet were on display for admiration and pats, with owners obligingly answering questions on the breeds. Alongside the dogs, cats, guinea pigs and chinchillas were somewhat more wild and exotic breeds such as the bearded dragon, birds of prey, a large albino python and some miniature ponies. The dog area had the widest variety of breeds for people to see and they were the most accessible, various dogs rolling in the middle of the aisle waving their limbs in the air for a belly rub. The cats on the other hand looked utterly contemptuous at all the fuss and given that some were brought in cages rather creepily adorned with various trophies and rosettes they had won, making it appear like a giant shrines were dotted around, the cats clearly thought they were amongst riff-raff.
Stands were also there representing various pet products and animal charities, but naturally the buzz around them was a little more low-key, even among adults, pet insurance was never going to compete with an adorable ball of fluff.
There were various display rings dotted around the venue, which always were filled. Bunny show-jumping and the various dog displays probably tied for the most engaging performances of the day. The rabbits were cute and did some gravity-defying jumps around their little arena, although a few had to be prompted to go in the right direction. Although the ones deciding to go around the jumps rather than over them probably exhibited more common sense than the others…
If you do get a chance to go next year, I highly recommend watching the Flyball display. For the uninitiated, of which I was one until last weekend, flyball is a game where teams of dogs race over jumps to a contraption that when pressed with their front paws releases a ball for them to catch, and they then have to go back over the jumps and then the next dog in their team has to go. Naturally most teams had a healthy dose of border collies, given how clever and fast these traditional sheep herders are. It was quite amusing to observe one team’s Jack Russell that appeared to float through the air, although sadly that did mean the team lost…
So keep an eye out for next year’s London Pet Show animal lovers, it is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of even the most hardened adult and makes for a very pleasant way to while away a lazy weekend afternoon.