Disclaimer: We attended this event, free of charge, with journalist access during the weekend – as part of a selected group of dogs (& their owners) who are active and have ‘influence’ on social media. Nothing else in this post is an ‘ad’. All opinions are my own.
What a weekend! I didn’t initially plan on writing a blog post, but we had such a fabulous time, I wanted to document some of the fun. So most the photos are just from my phone.
Tilly and I jumped in the car and headed for Pylewell Park, near to Beaulieu in The New Forest. 🌲 The grounds & 17th Century manor house are privately owned, with views of the Solent.
We headed for the press tent, and were made to feel so welcome by the lovely Alex of Bark & Beyond PR. It was the perfect space for the dogs to relax away from the hubbub, and we were treated to a caricature!
This tent really came into it’s own when we were caught in a shower on the Sunday. ☔
Little Daphne couldn’t resist my treats! Tilly couldn’t resist the cuddles, and after polishing off a doggie iced-cream, promptly fell asleep.
My favourite thing about the weekend, was that so many of our friends came out! Everywhere I turned I saw a familiar fluffy (and less fluffy) face! 💕 It was also a massive honour to make people so happy with Tilly’s presence… we finally met, and had a good catch up with so many online chums.
As soon as I saw the agility course, there was no stopping us! Since our agility club sadly shut up shop, I take every opportunity going with Tilly, who relishes flying round the jumps.
Thanks to Claire for filming. 📷 We may have messed up the weaves, but we have not practiced in over a year!
It’s Kevin! 🐶 Our buddy & his doting humans wouldn’t even let a car accident stop them from coming! These guys were absolute troopers, and made our weekend an absolute cracker.
Kevin is such an amazing dog, I’m always flawed by how chilled he is, and even though Tilly avoids his advances… I’m convinced he has a calming influence on her.
Dogstival did a great job with their range of food & shopping traders. There were vegan options at most stands – I went for a veggie galette.
Many of our favourite dog-businesses were there, it was lovely to meet so many in person. We sniffed out Utterly Rawesome, Red Hound, Designed For Dogs, Dotty Dog Art, Collar Club Box, Fur & Fables, Good Chaps, and Two Dogs Co (where I purchased a new cork collar… oops!).
I was really impressed to see many traders using little to no plastic, and a real focus from the festival organisers to reduce waste, and use local produce where possible. ♻
I also noticed that there were a far fewer amount of stressed dogs than I typically see at dog events. I put this largely down to the generous space given in the festival layout, the cool weather, and well-rounded Hampshire hounds in attendance!
The beach was a perfect release for the dogs. ⚓ We joined a few of our friends for a stroll along the water. Cooper (below) has my whole heart. Look at him! Who wants to start a Cooper fan club?
Tilly (who usually avoids water) decided Saturday was the day to wade up to her waist in smelly estuary water, following Cooper’s rather impressive example. 🐙 Gross! But she enjoyed herself, which is the main thing… Tilly & Cooper were wearing their paracord, waterproof collars Devil Dood Designs which thankfully can be chucked in the wash.
Like many others, we were truly saddened to see such ugly behaviour towards Chris Packham… causing him to be unable to attend. We proudly flew the poodle flag, and I had a few people asking if I had Mr Scratchy with me! I really hope Chris can attend next year, as he’s such a fantastically passionate ambassador for wildlife.
To have such a big doggie day out in our home county was amazing, bring on 2020! Thank you Dogstival for having us. 💕
Where is your closest ‘dog-festival’? What do you think of this new phenomenon? I personally think it’s the best way to spend a weekend…
Thanks for reading,
Amy 🖤 & Tilly 🐾