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Each year we took our dog Molly to the National Canine Defence League kennels open day at Honiley, near Kenilworth. We rehomed Molly from Honiley, and we like to support their fund raising event, and we used to enter Molly in some of the dog show classes. Since our first visit in 1998, the year after we rehomed Molly, she collected some prize ribbons, which are pinned on Carol's study wall.

These photos were taken on our last visit with Molly on June 23rd, 2002. Sadly, she died on 30 May 2003 from an auto-immune disorder, despite valiant attempts by the vets to suppress her immune system and save her. If you click on any of the photos below, you can see a bigger copy. Use your browser's back button to return here after viewing one.

Honiley draws enthusiastic crowds to the open day every year. There are activities for all the family.
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The bouncy castle is popular with the children, and strawberries and icecream are popular with everyone, including (especially) Carol.

To see a short video of the scene at Honiley, click the link below. It is 1.3MB.


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Molly has a great time at Honiley. Here you see her stepping out to show off the new collar and lead we bought her from one of the stalls, and playing with Don while she waits for her classes to begin.

Although most of the classes at the Honiley dog show are fun classes for mutts and mongrels like Molly, there are three classes for pedigree dogs. While we were waiting for Molly's classes to begin we watched the class for pedigree sporting dogs.

sportingthum.jpg - 21kbHere are some of the entrants lined up waiting to be judged.

chowthum.jpg - 19kbbeaglethum.jpg - 22kbThese are two of the fine entrants in the pedigree sporting dogs class.

littledogthum.jpg - 21kbboydogthum.jpg - 20kb This little dog really caught my eye. He was a splendid little terrier, and when his turn to be shown and judged came, he was shown by far and away the youngest handler in any class. The little boy, who could not have been more than about 6 or 7 years old, showed his dog with real professionalism, and they won third prize out of quite a big class.

mollywagthum.jpg - 17kbThen it was Molly's first class of the afternoon - to find the dog with the waggiest tail. Molly gave a great performance, and won third prize. You can view a short video of Molly's tail wagging if you click the link below. (1.3MB). The brown dog on the right of the video screen, and just behind Molly in this photo, was the class winner.



planethum.jpg - 17kbBetween classes we could watch the aircraft flying into Birmingham airport, because Honiley kennels are right under the flight path.

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Now it was time for Molly's second visit to the show ring. For the first time, she is eligible to enter the Golden Oldies class, for dogs aged 7 and above - Molly passed her 7th birthday earlier in the year. Here you see her with the older dogs lined up waiting to be judged.

mollyjudgethum.jpg - 20kbHere the judge is inspecting Molly. Molly did not win a prize in this class, and we think it will be a year or two before she is a serious contender. The winners were all very much older than she is.

This was, as always, a fun afternoon. The weather was perfect, as it always seems to be for Honiley Open Day. A lot of money was raised to help in the work of the National Canine Defence League. No healthy dog that comes into their care is ever put down. Those who have such behavioural problems that they cannot be rehomed are given a permanent home with the NCDL. Molly had been a problem dog, and had been with them for over a year because she did not like men. When we first chose her, she was fine with Carol, but barked very threateningly at Don. We spent a month visiting her at Honiley several times a week, while Don bribed her with treats until she accepted him and we were able to take her home. Now she follows him everywhere, but she still does not like other men. We have to muzzle her when we have male visitors. We imagine that before the dog warden found her as a stray, a man had been cruel to her. But she is fine now, and below you see her proudly wearing her ribbon as third prize winner in 'Waggiest Tail'.

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NCDL Click here to visit the Dogs Trust (formerly NCDL) site

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