It was day two of Crufts today and while the terriers and hound fought it out in the show ring, Buddy and I spent some time on The Blue Cross stand. The Blue Cross is an animal charity and here's what they say about their role:
The Blue Cross mission: Provide care, promote companionship, enhance animal and human lives
The Blue Cross is a registered UK animal welfare charity. Our aims are to:
- ensure the welfare of animals by providing practical care
- highlight the benefits of companionship between animals and people
- promote a sense of respect and responsibility towards animals in the community
We provide support to the nation's pets and their owners by:
- treating pets whose owners cannot afford private veterinary treatment
- finding permanent homes for unwanted or abandoned animals
The charity was founded in 1897, although back then it was called Our Dumb Friends' League. In the early days it helped improve the quality of life of working horses as well as working to improve the treatment of animals in a variety of ways. You can read more about the history at The Blue Cross site. Today they have eleven adoption centres across the UK , are still involved in equine welfare, and have educational schemes.
That's where Buddy and I come in. We visit schools and other youth organisations talking to children about the work of The Blue Cross, and about how to treat animals in the right way, and how to stay safe around animals. Taking a dog along on these talks makes them more effective and memorable for the children - and also of course the children and the dog love interacting. If you think your dog would be suitable to accompany you on voluntary educational visits you can find our more about volunteering at the website too.
Today we met some lovely people and Buddy did just what he was supposed to do - he drew their attention to The Blue Cross, and to the great work dogs like him are doing on the charity's behalf. As you walk around Crufts you see numerous Pets as Therapy dogs, as well as Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and Dogs for the Disabled, and its heart warming to know how these dogs are enriching the lives of their owners. The really great part is that the dogs are thoroughly enjoying themselves at the same time. Crufts is an opportunity to celebrate all that.