West London is going to change immeasurably in the next year or so. Once the Olympic Games are over, the plan is to demolish Earls Court and build new housing on the site. For now though, exhibitions like the London Pet Show are on my doorstep, so, I have no excuse if I’ve got friends exhibiting there. Especially if they happen to be championing a good cause. And I was lucky enough to get some free tickets from Vanish who I believe were one of the show’s major sponsors.
In this case, I went specifically to see the Guide Dogs for the Blind stand. My friend was there, running the sensory tunnel, a strange experience where you are completely blindfold and plunged into total darkness to walk through a tunnel of sounds and textures that is meant to replicate the experience of being blind. It’s very disorienting. People emerging from the other end look shell-shocked, although the younger ones all seemed to want to go through for a second or third time. And, it’s quite shocking how unnerving it is being totally without sight, even in the relative safety of a short padded tunnel.
We met trainee puppies and some of the owners with their guide dogs. And in the excitement of the show, just paused for a minute to think about how special these animals are and how much difference they make to their owners. Even 8 month old poppy was perfectly behaved…
The London Pet Show had a range of exhibitors, from the blue peter cats who seemed to be spending most of the show sleeping in their litter trays, to miniature ponies, to the tiniest hedgehogs I’ve ever seen to a rather impressive set of falconry.
I came away with leaflets for the ultimate in cat-scratching posts and a free packet of catnip seed but managed to avoid buying toys, cushions and cat carriers…or anything else. Despite the appeal of most of the animals on show!
It was fun and the animals all seemed to be incredibly well trained. Or VERY tired.
The younger visitors to the exhibition probably had the best time. And I would imagine pester power will continue after the show for some time because a lot of the animals were incredibly cute.
Where COULD I keep a hedgehog?