It’s that time of year again, the weekend before last we headed to Dog Fest West for a day of doggy fun! It was our 2nd year attending Dog Fest and it was definitely our favourite so far. It was held in Bristol at Ashton Court Estate so we took the opportunity to also spend a week away in the Cotswolds at our grandparents gorgeous country cottage. We left at 9:30 and were greeted by a lot of traffic which was to be expected in reality. We could’ve left earlier to miss the traffic but I’m not a morning person!
After queuing for a while we finally arrived at 10:45, excited to explore and start the day. First, we headed to our favourite stand, Guru Pet Food, for a catch up. Their impressive stand is always eye-catching and the atmosphere around it is like no other. This year they had a ‘Guruwood’ wall of fame which I thought was just brilliant! We also treated Max to a pack of Guru’s delicious venison sausages, they’re his all time favourite treat. Unfortunately, we were unable to bring Oscar this year due to his lung disease that makes the simple task of breathing more challenging for him, therefore he doesn’t have enough energy for days out anymore which is heartbreaking. But as soon as I saw the Guru chairs I thought of him, last year he refused to get off it and claimed it as his own!
After chatting for a while and snapping a few photos we headed off to watch some Dock Diving which is always quite entertaining! We were keen to give Max a go as he’s constantly growing in confidence in the water so I was interested to see if he’d be brave enough to dive in. However, at this point the queue was at least 2 hours long so we decided to try again later [little did we know we’d then be queuing for 3 hours…].
After having a laugh watching dogs excitedly tackle the water, we then went on the hunt for lunch. I opted for chips with melted cheese and paprika, not the healthiest choice but it was super tasty! During our lunch stop we met up with the lovely @thespottyspaniels and @thatspanielbella who we spent the majority of our remaining day with. We spotted a sweet little pink doggy ice cream van which we couldn’t resist treating the dogs to. The flavour options were either crushed carrot or sweet potato. Maximus, being the fussy eater he is, doesn’t like carrot [or any fruit!] so he had the sweet potato flavour which he really enjoyed, it was a perfect refreshing snack for dogs on a warm day.
With both the humans and the hounds hunger satisfied, we then went to the ‘have a go’ hay bale activity where there’s a line of hay bales your dog has to jump over in order to get to you. Max absolutely loves this and I’m sure he’d have happily done it again and again if we had the time!
Following this, we then headed to the Dogs Games Shop stand to buy Max a new harness. The harness we previously used had a strap going straight across Max’s chest which we recently discovered actually restricts muscle movement. Therefore, having heard a lot of good things about this brand, we decided to purchase one of their harnesses as they are designed to fit correctly on your dogs skeleton and can be individually fitted to your dog’s unique shape.
Max found the fitting process very stressful and anxiety provoking, the kind lady helping us was very understanding, so we moved outside of the tent to continue which he was a lot more comfortable with. We then headed to the little pools to cool him down and have some well deserved play time. To no surprise, he was not impressed with having to part from the water, typical Spaniel!
On the other hand, Bella from @thatspanielbella had other ideas… Despite being fully grown she is still so tiny and managed to fit herself into the dogs drinking bowl for a cool off right next to the VIP lounge, it was very amusing!
Lastly, we decided to go back to Dock Diving for Maximus to have a proper swim. We were told that the wait would be 1 hour 30 minutes but we ended up queuing for 3 hours. That being said, it really was worth it to see Max confidently dive in so many times with a look of sheer enjoyment. There was a big crowd cheering him on so I’m sure he was showing off a bit!
By the time we had finished the show was almost over so we decided to head home and try to get ahead of the traffic. We went back to the Guru stand for a final chat and to say our goodbyes before treating ourselves to a Mr Whippy ice cream, my favourite! It was the perfect way to end such a pleasant day.
There was also a wide variety of displays, talks and mini dog shows taking place in the rings throughout the day which I would’ve loved to watch but we ran out of time.
Overall, we had such a lovely day at Dog Fest and already can’t wait for next year to do it all over again! We were planning on going again this weekend but unfortunately, due to the heat, it was cancelled.
Did you manage to attend Dog Fest this year? I highly recommend going if you’re dog crazy like me!
Thanks for reading,
Charlotte & Maximus x