DogFest North 2018 | Cholmondeley Castle | Cheshire
For anyone who hasn't been to DogFest before, it's a bit like going to a country fair or county show except, instead of the dog-oriented elements being shoved into a corner of the showground as a sideline, this event is centred around dogs! You can learn about dog-related topics at one of the talks or demonstrations, let your dog enjoy some of the many activities including agility, flyball or diving, and meet lots and lots of other dogs! There are dog shops, charity stalls, a group dog walk and the opportunity to meet a few celebrities too, both canine and human! The main host of DogFest is the Supervet himself, Noel Fitzpatrick.
This festival for dogs grown so big over the past few years that, instead of being split across two weekends: one in Cheshire (16/17th June) and another in Hertfordshire (23/24th June), they have now added an extra weekend to the line-up in Bristol (7/8th July)! Although the core elements are the same, each DogFest location has its own local variety and special guests.
This was our third year at DogFest North in Cheshire, and we were keen to see what the new venue would be like. (DogFest North has previously been held at Arley Hall in Cheshire.) Cholmondeley Castle is somewhere that we've wanted to visit for a while, although we were so busy enjoying DogFest on Sunday that we only managed to catch a glimpse of the castle itself! [We'll go back soon to explore the gardens properly and also visit the dog-friendly pub, The Cholmondeley Arms nearby...] The first time that we visited DogFest, we entered Elsa into the Fun Dog Show and she was awarded first prize in her category for being the best groomed dog of the day! Last year's festival was hit by a heatwave which made it a bit more difficult to take part in the events and we spent much of the day trying to keep Elsa cool and hydrated... Luckily this year the weather was absolutely ideal, not too sunny and there was a lovely breeze to keep the dogs cool.
After having a quick scout around the site to get our bearings, we headed over to say hello to our friends at PitPat! Elsa has been a part of the PitPat pack for a couple of years now, and it's great to see that they have made lots of updates to their activity tracker and app so that you can now see the total distance that your dog has travelled, along with how much time they spend walking, running, playing and resting. Elsa enjoyed hanging out in the VIP: Very Important Pooch area, and even paw-fected her deck-chair pose!
Scrumptious is one of our most adventurous PaB Pack members, he’s a pro at sniffing out dog-friendly locations including the Cotswold Wildlife Park and he’s recently been to a drive-in movie theatre. Click here to read more about Scrumptious.
Since Elsa is the ambassador for ORIJEN, we thought that it would be nice to share some of their tasty treats with the dogs at DogFest!
We took a selection of flavours with us including Regional Red, Tundra and Romney Lamb and gave these to some of the PaB Pack members that we met, along with a few new friends including Roo, a Lowchen who we have been following on Instagram for some time now. Roo is even more gorgeous in real life, I was completely smitten with her beautiful brown eyes! Hopefully Roo will be joining the PaB Pack soon...
I must also thank Jenny for alerting us to the fact that Chris Packham was right behind us, along with his own dog Scratchy! We had the pleasure of meeting Chris at DogFest last year and I couldn't resist saying hello again, of course we gave Scratchy some treats too!
Waggy Doggy Ice Cream Van
This could have easily been mistaken for a regular ice cream van, but we recognised the bright pink and white logo of ‘Doggy Ice Cream’ because it’s the same brand that Elsa enjoyed with Bodie at The Ness a couple of months ago. I absolutely love the quirkiness of this van, it’s what DogFest is all about! We got Elsa a scoop of Carrot Crunch which she absolutely loved.
Testing out Elsa’s new action camera!
We bought this camera a while ago and thought that DogFest would be the ideal place to trial it. Elsa wasn’t bothered about wearing the harness at all, she actually turned quite a few heads with it!
Harry also wore the camera to go around the agility course too. The videos need to be edited because there are lots of very shaky scenes, but there are a few good clips which we’ll share on our Instagram feed soon.
Mojo’s Club meetup at the DogFest Hound Hangout
Our final stop of the day was at Noel’s Ark where we got the opportunity to see Mojo and Freddie perform their magnificent dancing act together! We can’t get enough of these talented little Poodles, they are absolutely gorgeous. Their good manners seem to rub off on Elsa too, she was very eager to join in with their tricks and even attempted a little dance move! Anything for a treat…
There is so much to see and do at DogFest, the time flies by. It’s wonderful to detach from the outside world and ‘live in the moment’ for a while, especially when you are surrounded by like-minded people who are all there because they just love dogs! I think that’s what makes DogFest so special, and we can’t wait to do it all again next year...