The Melbourne Dog Lovers Show was on a few weekends ago and I was fortunate enough to have been gifted two tickets. I had attended an animal charity event the previous day and happened to be sitting next to a couple, who along with me and many others in the room, entered a raffle. Prior to the raffle being drawn, they saw me spread my raffle tickets out and comment on winning tickets to the Dog Lovers Show’. Next thing you know, the couple's number was called and they went to collect their prize, a bottle of wine and two tickets to the Dog Lovers Show. They then turned to me and very generously offered me the two tickets. I thanked them profusely. I was chuffed! The universe delivers in many guises!
I had plans early the following morning to meet a friend and her two greyhounds. We had planned to go for an early morning walk by the Yarra, watch the sunrise and take some photos, with her adopted greyhounds taking centre stage. Unbeknownst to me, my friend also intended on going to the Dog Lovers Show. She was equally chuffed when I told her I had two tickets for us!
After a lengthy walk, a gorgeous sunrise and a leisurely breakfast overlooking the Yarra river with two large greyhounds by our feet, we dropped the dogs back home and headed for the Royal Exhibition Buildings to get our dose of all things dog related.
Arriving shortly after the doors opened, there was already a sizeable crowd of a diverse demographic. It was day three of the event; the final day. I have long known that Australia has one of the largest (per capita) dog ownership ratios in our world, but I was still surprised by how popular the event appeared to be, gauging by the amount of early attendees.
Upon sighting my first dog, a dog up for adoption, I immediately reached for my camera.. There is something inside me which takes over me when I see dogs. When I happen to have my camera with me, it is like a double burst of passion and energy that spills out.
The next couple of hours saw my friend and me get separated on many occasions, each in our own canine heavens. We’d come together then be drawn to another breed or another show or another item of intrigue. As someone who takes photos of dogs, I was in canine heaven. All manner of breeds were represented by the their respective clubs. There were even breeds I had not previously heard of. A pleasant surprise.
The sheer volume of rescue organisations represented at the Show was quite confronting. For every organisation I had heard of, there was at least another, which I had not. I remember being surprised by just how many breed-specific rescue organisations that were, and wondering why in this day and age we needed so many in Australia. In the next breath I was grateful to the people who felt strong enough to devote their time to such organisations.
In amongst all the breeds and rescue organisations, were products, services, training workshops and various displays. There was even a stall that helped keep the memories of your dog alive, long after they had gone, offering pet cremation and vessel options.
So after a couple of hours making bee lines for the dogs through crowds of people and consumerism, I'd had enough and headed out. I walked out feeling grateful having spent time in a room where the collective energy was filled with likeminded dog loving people.
I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking....