Our Kennel Assistants Story



4.30am and the alarm clock fires me into action!  Four of my own to let out, plus an extra one as Mum is staying to dog sit for the day!  Out/in and fed ..cuppa in hand, quick shower, food ready for day (why did I say I would do the catering for us all? But only the flask of coffee to make.  Must watch the time got to be at the kennels by 5.20am or else!!  YES...made it!

Dogs sorted with four in one car with Tim and Julie’s friend Clare, plus the food for us…gosh I hope they don’t drop the bags since I had strict instructions to pack a few wee drams!!  Julie and I are off in the second car with the last two of the six Winuwuk entries.

We’ve arrived at the N.E.C and its only just gone 6.30.  My god Ju can put her foot down! But we have long hike from the West Car Park so off we go?since they were headed for privileged parking Tim and Clare should have the benches sorted.  WRONG! We arrived before they did!!

Anyway…all ensconced and ready for Crufts 2009 and the food bags were intact!! “Sal?shouts Ju “I think the dogs need to go out?nbsp; “No prob?says I.  Well the older lads are fine but the young lads need grass and as for Dilys I WANT GRASS!  Well I walked and walked and walked all day to the degree that I didn’t even have to show the pass since the people on the door knew me!

The atmosphere was electric and I can only say the Boxer clan are one on their own who always make me feel part of their team!

The show progressed.  Enzo was pulled out in a lovely puppy class but didn’t get placed, however Dilys started the ball rolling and wow a red card!…We were on a high!..Then Frank took a 2nd and Leo a 3rd.  Wow, this is just a fab day out!!!  Then Jack went in for Ann and although he doesn’t live at the kennels, he is special and YES a 1st.

Oh my God, Max is due in the ring.  Will I have any nails left?  It’s so bad I’m worried that I won’t have any fingers left either!  But before that.. “Sal?shouts Ju, they need to go out?“No prob!!!?nbsp; Another few miles to walk!!  ANYWAY, all sorted for the umpteenth time. Don’t you just love being a kennel assistant?

Tell you what, the people on the door are my new best friends but my cigs are getting low and Ju hasn’t even had one yet!!!  Thank God I brought extra!!!

Max is in the ring and I can’t bear to watch……Oh my God he’s won……..that’s me in pieces, a total wreck, but we still have more to go.  Well, as you all know, he came out tops in the breed.  Well, if you didn’t know, where have you been the last few weeks?

Kennel assistant here is totally overcome with emotion.  To be honest, just ecstatic.  Chaos then erupts.  Four dogs need to go to the car.  “Make sure they have a wee etc?shouts Ju as she’s escorted off with our BEST OF BREED ... MAX!!  Bags packed and loaded onto the trolley which we are using for the first time but only in use as Tim is totally incapacitated with his back…makes a change..could have been alcohol! Anyway thank God Clare was there to help and get four dogs and all the gear back to the car.  Thank god Ju didn’t see us as she would have said “CONTROL those dogs!!?nbsp; But she would, I hope, have been proud of the two of us getting them securely back and snuggled down!  Then it was off to the Working Group final?.

We eventually managed to negotiate our way to Hall 1?hoping Tim had got the drinks lined up. WRONG!  “Did you get Ann’s cage??says Ju  “No, I thought Ann was getting it??br>
No problem, I will just go back  >>>>>>> Hall 1 to Hall 5…ahhhhhhh, but that’s a kennel assistant’s life, basically a gofor!  But, what the heck, I’m only 10 years younger than them.  Finish the old ones off first!

Eventually arrive in a very empty Hall 5 (God, it’s a long way round that NEC!)  Thank God the cage is still there!  Eventually dismantled it.  My God it’s heavy in its special bag!  No problem!  Now I have to carry it all the way back from Hall 5 to Hall 1. How fast can I walk when I’ve got a Group to watch?  Mega, that’s for sure……HELP!! Can I find the right hall?

EUREKA!  I’ve arrived at last with said cage, shoulder is aching BUT Tim to the rescue with a well deserved drink…thanks boss!!

Quick, take your seats?

The atmosphere is electric.  I still can’t believe we are sat here watching this happening.

GO MAX, GO BOY, COME ON YOU ARE THE BEST…We shout, we scream, we jump up and down.  Well, Tim shouts loudest, but can’t jump up and down!!!

OH MY GOD?.MAX HAS WON THE GROUP!!  This is just the most unbelievable day ever!!  We leave the arena to celebrate.  “Sal?says Ju (Gofor here!) “Can you make sure Enzo is OK??nbsp;  “No prob, on my way?br>
Enzo fine, loving the attention he has been getting and now curled up fast asleep, bless him.  It has been a very long day for a 10 month old who has never endured Crufts dog show before.  What a well behaved lad!  I wish my two Collies and two Labradors were as good as him!


Oh, this is surreal, huge trophy, Max so laid back, all of us chattering on and me trying to get any freebies that happen to be there!!  Food, drinks and I’m on another planet...this is the

I’ve phoned everyone on my mobile and my credit is nearly nil!  Why did the BBC pull out of televising Crufts this year of all years!

“I think Max needs to go out?said I.  “OK?says Ju?great, I can have a ciggie!!!!  Escorted to the door..Max a very laid back happy chap said “Wow Sal, I needed that wee but hang on, don’t rush me, there’s more!!!?nbsp; Ju’s at the door “Get back, we’re nearly on!??. “Sorry?says Max and me “We have more to do here!?br>
Time to take our seats…this is

Ju comes out with Max and he looks just fab, show man to the end.  I can’t honestly believe this is happening.  Please would someone pinch me and tell me I’m not dreaming!  I don’t think we will be able to speak soon, we’ve shouted and screamed so much!

WELL DONE MAX.  How that Sealyham could top you, I really don’t know!!!


The N.E.C empties, dogs to the car and drive home all very, very tired…but we are all on a high!!!  The most magnificent day of my life!!


It’s 11.15pm and we are home at WINUWUK KENNELS…six to feed and the rest to sort…….AND tomorrow is another day>>>>>>>>


PS - When do I get a pay rise?

Sally Shapland
Winuwuk Boxers?first team coach






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