You haven’t lived until you’ve visited a Pet Expo. The Pet Expo came to Dublin in October. We simply had to go, not only to see all the ridiculous gadgets you could buy for our fluffy friends, but also so our kids could do something other than playing in the rain. Playing Noah’s Ark in the rain isn’t that much fun after a while. We just had to go because our kids love animals – especially dogs.
We went on Sunday afternoon, thinking we were outsmarting everyone by going on a holy day. We thought less people would be attending the expo. Boy were we wrong! 2000 other people had the same idea, meaning we had to queue for 15 minutes before we were let in. It was bizarre standing outside waiting, as we were surrounded by the strangest of animals. No, not the other visitors, but snakes, dogs, spiders, cats and birds. All of them going outside to get some fresh air and to have their pictures taken.
My dear wife had received a family voucher for the expo, which had expired 24 hours earlier, but the friendly cashier didn’t seem to mind. That’s what we love about Ireland. They are not strict about those things. The kids were getting excited and dragged us through to the ticket stand. My son was dragging me to the toilet. Drinking 0.5 liter juice while waiting outside was putting unnecessary pressure on his little bladder.
The first thing we noticed when entering the expo was the strong smell of animal feces. It gave the experience a more authentic feel to it, as you had feces from all parts of the World. It just made me wonder what they did with the dogs. Was there outdoor facilities for canines or did they just have to hold it in? Anyway, it made me look closely at where I stepped, hoping to avoid any squishy piles.
I couldn’t believe the amount of stalls they crammed in. Worse. I couldn’t believe what some of the stands were selling. Dog therapy and massage!! It was difficult to picture our Bernese Mountain Dog (Angel) with a cucumber face mask, while getting a pawdicure (pedicure for dogs). They had all kinds of outfits. They even had a fashion show!
We had agreed not to buy anything, or very little if possible. My daughter and wife only bought 3 bags worth of accessories; back pack for our St. Bernard, Ultimate Dog Grooming kit for the Bernese and a Superman outfit for the Labrador. I bought something that might have been on TV Shop, a non-spill drinking bowl. My wife doubted my abilities to spot good deals, but having used the non-spill bowl for a few weeks, I must admit that it actually works. I don’t spill anymore and my dogs like it too.
In the middle of the expo area, they built a dog agility track. I have always been amazed by those games when watching Crufts, and now we had a chance to see it live. The dogs loved it and our kids were enjoying the show immensely.
After the agility show, they showed some dog training tricks and games. I suddenly realised that dog trainers are a different breed of humans. Appearances didn’t seem to matter. They all used the same gadgets; little pouch for goodies, super tight T-shirt (no matter what size they were) and an over enthusiastic attitude. I could just picture a movie with Will Ferrell, similar to “Blades of Glory”.
Anyway, after 2 hours of walking around at the expo, witnessing the madness of dog breeders and holistic dog food from Scotland, we decided we had had enough. Last stop was the face painting stall for kids. They refused to pain my face!!