We finished our last update as Mary
was looking forward to the up and coming Crufts dog show which looked like it was going to be a busy time for her
At the end of February the BBC
were coming out to take a quick video of Mary's new routine to help them with their camera and lighting angles.
The music she
was using was to a compilation of James Bond themes probably the best James Bond compilation we have ever heard.
As is usual with all these types of events the BBC
had to get rights to use the music which due to the unusual circumstances of the recording and the artist involved Dave had to get involved with the performing rights.
I understand that he
had to trace the people involved in Europe and speak to the personally to gain the rights.
On Tuesday 6th March Dave spent the day up at the NEC sorting out some of his
work that he
does at Crufts and on the Wednesday Mary moved in for the duration.
The main job for Mary
on the Wednesday before Crufts was rehearsing in the main ring.
had 30 minutes to try out the routine on the non slip Crufts carpet and everything seemed to go well.
On Thursday, the first day of Crufts, Mary
had been asked to do some htm with Matt Baker the ex Blue Peter presenter and his BC Meg.
That was really good fun and Mary
really enjoyed it and more importantly so did Matt.
also did her
first demonstration of her
new routine in the main ring.
Later in the day, Mary
had been booked to put on a 30 minute clicker demo on the Pedigree stand.
Pedigree had built a new raised stage area due to the popularity of these demonstrations and it looked like people were standing 15 to 20 deep watching.
It was a really successful part of the Pedigree stand.
also did a couple of book signings.
Friday was the first of Mary
's obedience days.
It was the Bitch Obedience Championships and Mary
had qualified Kizzy.
Kizzy was 12 1/4 years old and Mary
had made the decision in advance that she
was going to retire her
there as she
is going a little deaf.
worked a super round and Mary
was really proud of her
did insist that we didn't say anything about Kizzy retiring as she
didn't want any fuss made and it would have upset her
if there had been any celebration of any sort.
As far as she
is concerned, Kizzy's obedience career has finished on a high at Crufts and she
will now have a lazy life at home and hopefully have a long and happy retirement as the much loved pet she
has always been.
Saturday it was obedience again this time the Dog Obedience Championships and Mary
had qualified Taz and Quincy.
Taz wasn't as confident as Mary
would have hoped.
stopped during the heelwork pattern as if Mary
had given him a position to do and along with many others he
It is weird what happens at Crufts because it is probably like no other show.
Dogs were indicating the right cloths from a distance but then after going over decoys and then trying to find the right cloths they seemed to give up and then bring back a decoy cloth.
Then it came to Quincy's turn, and if you know Quincy you will know he
is sometimes a bit full of himself, well he
contained himself today and worked extremely well.
At one point during the round Mary
set off in the wrong pace (naughty Mary!) and when she
left him for distance control there was a rather loud bang from elsewhere in the hall which she
knew would upset him.
But on the whole he
worked very well and completed the scent exercise correctly and came in with 3rd place in the overall results in the Dog Obedience Championships which of course Mary
was very pleased with making another year that she
has been in the line up at Crufts.
was cued into the arena at 8:25pm and she
did look gorgeous in her
black evening suit a la James Bond complete with blue dicky bow and just to match her
dogs were to be wearing their blue flashing collars.
The house lights dimmed, the spot lights came on, the superb specially composed compilation of James Bond started and it was just a magical routine.
If you were in the audience it was stunning!
will always do a flowing heelwork to music routine it will never be very circus tricky and it was enough to bring a tear to you eye as she
flowed round the arena first with Foxy then joined by Levi in complete unison with them.
I find it quite amazing that Mary
hardly seems to speak to them they seem to take all their cues from her
body language and the music.
If you watched it at home
on the television of course, it may not have looked as good.
Even after numerous camera and lighting rehearsals for the BBC
, this year seemed to be particularly bad for them to get the cameras zoomed in to the right place at the right time.
When there was an interesting part of the routine going on the cameras zoomed right out showing the whole of the arena and the audience with Mary
a little dot in the distance, so consequently viewers at home
missed a lot of what was good in the routine.
Anyway, as usual, it was a superb end to Crufts for Mary
with the routine being watched with over 5 million tv viewers and 7,000 in the audience at Crufts.
We stayed over on the Sunday night and went back home Monday morning but as they say "no rest for the wicked" because on Tuesday Mary was filming a pilot for a new television programme called 'Underdogs'.
was originally spoken to months prior to this with I think a view to be one of the trainers or a judge on the programme but to take a role on like this she
would have had to committed herself for 6 weeks and as you will see later, she
had prior engagements so a cabaret spot was the best she
The pilot went well, everyone was pleased and Mary
was asked to go back the following week to appear on the first live show.
The day after the pilot was filmed, they sent through the music they wanted Mary
to use on the first live show.
It was just about the worst kind of music you could use for a HTM routine and Mary
told them so!
On the Thursday they agreed that Mary
could use a Scissor Sisters number so Dave cut the music to fill in the time that was allowed - 3 minutes and Mary and Jan
on the Thursday put together a routine in fact they hired the village hall to do so.
The reason for having to do it then was that the next day, Friday, Mary was off to Iceland to train for the Icelandic Kennel Club for the weekend and she was not due back until the Monday night and the show was on Tuesday.
When Dave got back from the airport on Friday the TV company had actually emailed a different version of the Scissor Sisters number they wanted her
So on the Tuesday morning before going down to London to appear on the programme Mary
was frantically trying to rechoreograph the routine to fit the new edited edition of the music!
Not an auspicious way to appear on a live television programme but anyway it went well she
was pleased with it even though the television people insisted on her
using a minimum of two dogs which is ten times harder to choreograph than with one dog.
The following weekend which was the 24/25th March Mary
was training for Ian Davies in Barcelona.
Renate is a really nice lady and Mary
stopped in her
house and was well looked after.
Over the Easter weekend, Dave and Mary
split up a little.
Dave took the Pedigree stand down to the Easter Celebration agility show down at Ardingly.
decided to have an Easter obedience weekend and competed at three shows.
On Good Friday she
went to Sherwood Foresters at Nottingham and won Open 'C' with both Taz and Quincy and won Class 'A' with Levi.
On the Saturday she
attended Oxhey and Levi gained 2nd place in Class 'A' and Foxy got her
first ever placing in Open 'C' coming 5th.
Mary though had accepted a job at the British Dressage Championships in Solihull on the Friday and Saturday nights.
was to do a 20 minute masterclass showing what the dogs can do followed by her
Crufts Best in Show James Bond routine later in the evening.
This is a very professional event with tiered grandstand seating and the houselights were lowered and spot lights on for when Mary
routine which went extremely well.
The organisers were really pleased with it and I have to say that their hospitality was second to none.
They were treated as sponsors both nights with a superb meal and all the wine they could drink.
competed at Birmingham on the Sunday and had another successful outing with both Quincy and Taz winning 1st places in Open 'C'.
Kizzy retired at Crufts
The weekend on the 21/22nd April Mary
slipped up and hadn't got anything booked and forgotten to enter a show but as luck would have it during the week prior she
had been asked to go on the final Underdogs programme on the 24th.
But, it was a cabaret spot with a difference, Mary
and Richard Curtis were going to do a pairs routine.
On the 28/29th April, Mary
was back to the shows with agility at Haslemere.