We have just arrived back from our second appearance at the Dog Lover Show at the SECC in Glasgow. After it's first year success in 2018 this promised to be bigger and better and it fully lived up to the expectation.
We have been involved in many events, shows and festivals and this is by far our favourite. Ok, so what's so different about the Dog Lover Show? Well for me there are two main factors that make this so special and that is the organisation and the atmosphere.
I spoke to Vic and Robyn, the organisers, really briefly over the weekend and that isn't because they are unapproachable in fact the reverse is the case. No, it's because they were both running round for the two days making sure every little detail was right and everybody was happy.
Secondly then the atmosphere. It's such a friendly and upbeat show and that's right throughout from the organisers to the venue staff, the exhibitors and the public. It really is a celebration of Dogs and that comes across in such a positive way.
2019 definetly saw a growth to the show with more exhibitors and breed clubs but it still retained that family friendly atmosphere. Though we were very busy with our story times we managed to get around the show and there was so much to see. The arena as always was packed out when the displays were running. The breed club area had a wonderful variety of happy dogs and informative owners to give advice to prospective new pawrents.
There were stands packed with every doggy product you could think of but also represented were the charities and rescue organisations which gave a really nice balance to the whole experience when walking around show.
The Instagram dogs were as popular as ever and this year they had a wonderful area to meet their adoring public complete with light up signs and plinths to pose properly.
The childrens area of course is where we were and again this year we had a wonderful area to set up our story sessions. Next to us was the free face painting area which, as you can imagine was extremely busy.
We were packed out in our area for most of the two days and Monty must have met literally hundreds of children who wanted to come and hear the stories, but of course also cuddle the star of the books.
This year we were joined by some 'Ocean Defenders' from the wonderful Sunnyside Primary School in Glasgow who did some reading but also spoke to people about some of the wonderful conservation work they're involved in. Again, another difference with this show in supporting and encouraging local community links.
What was really special was how many people came to see Monty who had also visited last year. They had bought his book and now wanted to hear the new ones and get to say hello to him again. We also had lots of new visitors but many had already heard of him and the books which was really nice.
We arrived back home tired but elated at the wonderful weekend that we'd had in some lovely company at a brilliant show. Glasgow is a great city to visit and of course offers that wonderful Scottish welcome that is both unique and world famous.
I would say to any dog lover that if you haven't been to this show then it needs to be on your wish list. Wherever you are it's very accessible and we got back to Wigan in around three hours so it's not a huge distance and it is so worth it.
The Dog Lover Show is certainly here to stay and if the first two years are anything to go by then 2020 promises to be amazing. If I were to make a prediction I'd be very surprised if this isn't very soon the......Top Dog.