This years show season has begun but there’s a new show on the schedule! For the first time ever the PDSA hosted their very own pet festival at Cheltenham racecourse. It was a dog friendly music festival, from what I know the first one ever in the UK [I think] that you can bring your dogs along to.
As it’s the first of it’s kind that I’ve seen I had no idea what to expect. In the day there were trade stands, demonstrations and have a go activities for you and your dogs. I must admit there weren’t many trade stands in comparison to other shows, but hopefully this will grow if the show is to continue over the years as it was the first one after all. The sponsors and biggest stands were Lily’s Kitchen, Vodafone, Hartpury, Skyes Holiday Cottages, Paw patrol & Lintbells.
The weather was absolutely glorious, unfortunately a little too hot for the dogs. Although this was completely out the hands of the organisers they did a fantastic job at looking after the dogs. There were paddling pools round every corner, the PDSA volunteers would come up to you and help cover your dog in water to cool them down. We went around the show via the shade spots and pools, with plenty of breaks I was certain my dogs weren’t too hot. The PDSA also had their own team of vets on patrol, they were checking any dogs that had an injury but also carried water bowls to make sure they were all hydrated and not over heating. I couldn’t fault them at all, they were all amazing despite being out in the heat all day themselves!
Our agility club were doing demos in the day, so we sat in the shade and watched their final performance of the day. Wilma was tired out from the heat so curled up in a ball telling any dog off that came near her [She’s so miserable when she’s tired!]. But Woody instantly spotted all his pals and squealed along for the whole demo, cheering them on.
The crowds were a mixture of dog people, families with their dog & a LOT of teenage girls there for the music. For a dog enthusiast it is quite a pricey entrance fee if you don’t hang around for the music which I think is why there was such a variety in the audience. There were a lot of people with their dogs on a flexi lead [My absolute worst pet peeve ever] which led to a lot of tangles, but the racecourse is such a huge venue there was lots of room to get away and have a break.
Then onto the music, the main attraction of the show. I wasn’t planning on staying long for this bit as it had been a long hot day & wanted to pop the dogs home; plus I’m definitely not a concert kinda girl. We sat down to watch the start of the Vamps and didn’t really get up again. Woody, a born and bred [Useless] gundog, spooks easily at loud noises and bangs so I was anxious at how he’d react. The PDSA team kept putting a message up on the screens for everyone with dogs to stay at the back of the audience so it wasn’t too loud for dogs, unfortuantely some owners ignored this and were rather close with their dogs but again the team worked well and did their best to move them backwards. People have to remember dogs hearing is so much more sensitive than ours so even if the music is bearable for us, it’s even louder for them! At the back there was plenty of room, people were relaxing out on blankets with their families and dogs. This was honestly my favourite part of the whole day! Dogs were snoozing through the music, having tummy tickles, some were dancing along with their humans [SO CUTE!] and then of course if you’ve seen the video on our Instagram feed there’s Woody…who’s singing along [Oh I love him!].
We stayed for Jessie J’s performance too and there was such a beautiful sunset to end the evening. It was such a perfect festival mood I kept pinching myself that we were also surrounded by 100’s of dogs, it was glorious. If only all festivals and concerts were like this, everyone was so cheerful and loving the dog cuddles!
Paws crossed the show was a great fundraiser for the PDSA as that’s what it was all about, hopefully it will become an annual event and we can see you there next year!
Thanks for reading,
Megan, Woody & Wilma x