Dogs on show: Caring Canines event returns to Paphos

Dogs on show: Caring Canines event returns to Paphos

Pauline Bishop has always owned dogs. In fact, one of her Weimaraners once saved her life…

 

Pauline Bishop has always owned dogs. In fact, one of her Weimaraners once saved her life…

“About 18 years ago, Elsa started acting very strangely around me. Normally aloof and independent, she began jumping up and head butting me; she wouldn’t leave me alone. Then, just where she was bumping me, I found a lump!”

Pauline took herself off to the doctor. Who immediately fast-tracked an operation to remove what turned out to be a cancerous lump. “But when I returned home, Elsa was still frantic – her behaviour hadn’t changed. So I went straight back to the doctor, who told me the first operation hadn’t been wholly successful, and I needed another immediately – which I had.

“After that second procedure, I went back home again. And Elsa gave me a once over and left me alone; in her eyes I was now fine. I was later told that if I had left things even a few days, the cancer would have been inoperable, and I would no longer be here!”

To this day, all of the Caring Canines Dog Shows – which take place twice a year in the Paphos district – have been dedicated to the wonderful Elsa, who saved her owner’s life.

“Our first show was held in 2010, at Bonamare Beach Bar,” says Pauline, “in honour, of course, of Elsa. My husband Leigh and I – who have our own dog grooming business in Paphos – work with a fantastic team of volunteers to put the shows together. We’re all dog-lovers, all dedicated to helping both humans and animals – that’s where the name Caring Canines comes from – and none of us receive any remuneration for our services,” says Pauline. “We do what we do because we love dogs, and we love being around dogs, and we love being around people who love dogs!”

Held twice a year since – with the exception of April 2020, when Covid put the kibosh on the spring show – the Caring Canines Dog Show is a gathering of owners and their dogs from all over the island. This autumn, it will be taking place on October 11 at the Atlantida Beach Bar – “a super place, with lots and lots of space,” says Pauline – a wonderful event for all the family!

“Entrance is free, and it’s €3 to enter any of the classes,” Pauline explains. “We have pedigree and non-pedigree classes, and we always begin with Best Pedigree Puppy, which is an absolute delight for everyone to watch!”

Other classes include Waggiest Tail – “it’s such fun to watch the owners doing anything and everything to get their doggies to wag their tails!” laughs Pauline – and Best Cyprus Poodle, in which spectators will get to see all sorts of different sizes and coats and colours. Then there’s Most Beautiful Eyes, a new class this year, and one which Pauline suggests will be very well-subscribed, as well as ‘Best Rescue’ (expect more than a few heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories), and Best in Show.

“Last year, our Best in Show was a Cyprus poodle named Sophie,” Pauline reveals. “She’s a tiny little thing who always does very well – and boy can she move! You wouldn’t know she wasn’t pedigree! And I think it’s really important to note that many of the dogs in the show are by no means purebreds – we just love seeing all the dogs and their owners.”

In fact, owners and dogs are encouraged to come along even if they don’t wish to participate in any of the classes. “All dogs are welcome whether they’re entering or not,” smiles Pauline. “This is an event that’s really all about the fun of being around canines: we just love them all!”

The show will also have tonnes of entertainment: stalls selling everything from pre-made doggie dinners to bespoke dog beds, candles, sweets and make up, along with fabulous cakes and savouries. And Pauline and her team are expecting hundreds of people to come along and enjoy the day: “Some people come alone with their dogs, others bring a tent and the whole family!

“We’re very aware of the restrictions in place,” she notes, adding that “putting together this show has been a HUGE challenge. We will be ensuring that social distancing takes place at all times and in all areas, and owners are absolutely required to wear masks while they’re in the ring.”

It’s also worth noting that the show is in aid of The Friends’ Hospice in Paphos which, since its opening in 2006, has provided palliative care to 2,000 patients with life-limiting illnesses for which a medical cure is no longer possible – care that is offered, free of charge, to people of every nationality, regardless of their ability to pay.

“Unfortunately,” says Pauline, “the Hospice has had to vacate its dedicated wing in St George’s Polyclinic in Paphos. So, for the moment, it is homeless. While a nine-bedroom house in the Tala area has been offered, rent-free, to enable palliative care to continue, it’s crucial that the Hospice finds the funding to make the Tala house fit-for-purpose as the Hospice’s new home.”

Funding for the Hospice currently comes from its charity shops in Chlorakas, Kato Paphos, Polis and Pissouri, as well as through donations and sponsored events. “We’re so proud that the Caring Canines Dog Show can contribute to this,” Pauline concludes. “The Hospice has done so much for so many. I think Elsa would be proud to know that she inspired an event that’s helping so many people!”

 

The Caring Canines Dog Show

October 11. 9.30am to 4pm at the Atlantida Beach Bar in Paphos. For more information, visit the Facebook event page Caring Canines Dog Show! or call 99 130761

 

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