Great Day for LONDON 2023 MEET UP


Report by Jennie Hegarty

Sunday was warm and sunny with a gentle breeze, the ideal weather for a Bolognese MEET UP. We met, as we had in previous years, at the Pavilion Café in Greenwich Park. This is a super location for dogs and humans with plenty of parking and dogs are even allowed in the café where you place your orders. This year was slightly different from previous years as we were without our leader and Chairperson Melanie Thomas. Paul and I were tasked with running the operation and to make sure it was as enjoyable as ever – little bit of pressure there!

I arrived first with Fizz 6 years and Fabio 1 year. Fabio was sporting bright yellow markings around his eye as he is recovering from an operation to remove a grass seed at the back of his eye. Paul was next to arrive with his beautiful girls Gianna and 12 year old Minnie his wife Neelu and his son Khush and with them came the raffle prizes and a small stroller in case Minnie got tired (although it wasn’t used). Apparently the stroller comes into its own when the family want to take the dogs places where they might not be welcomed. Paul said the stroller kept the dogs safe and hidden from view but as Khush pointed out anyone would be able to see the white faces behind the mesh.

Next to arrive were Donna and Andrew with Rosie – this was their first MEET UP and they were keen to see if Rosie would enjoy herself. Almost immediately Carol and Gary with Bolognese Flo arrived all three of them are veterans of the meet ups and Flo is a veteran herself aged 11 although she still looks like a puppy. We were becoming quite a group and now Laura and Michael with Rory and their 2 children Oscar and George arrived. Swiftly followed Dave, Catherine and Tally with their Bolognese Pegasus and finally Sue arrived with 2 year old Benji.

We mingled some dogs on leads and some off but all so well behaved and seeming pleased to be among their own kind. We decided to start with coffees food and drinks.  Lots of conversation and laughter we were all sharing tips and experiences and admiring each other’s dogs. Dave’s dog Pegasus was able to meet up with his mother Gianna.

Neelu had been setting up the raffle prizes – everyone had a ticket and everyone had a prize however there was a stunning ‘Main Prize’ a goodie bag of all sorts of doggie treats and fun items and this would be the last ticket called. We had 3 youngsters to pick out and call the raffle – Oscar, George and Khush. They were an excellent choice and called out the winning tickets clearly and loudly Carol & Martin won the main prize.

Now for some competitions we needed a judge or two. Our first judge was Eddie – he was a very young chap a baby held in his mums arms (I would think about 1 year old). He was judging Prettiest Girl and initially we thought mum would be judging but Eddie after looking at each and every dog so carefully smiled and held out his arms to Rosie.  It was obvious to all this was his choice we were all pleased with the result especially Rosie’s

Next was the Handsomest Dog Competition our judge was one of the café customers a stylish lady called Jane she studied our boys and made her choice Pegasus. Our next two competitions were Best Hairdo won by Gianni and Best Veteran (over 7 years) won by Pegasus. I think we were all heartened to see how well our breed ages particularly those of us with younger dogs we can see the future and it looks pretty good.

Now for a walk firstly to the Bandstand where group photos were taken and then to the viewing point giving the most fantastic views over London particularly Canary Wharf. It was such a clear day the views were amazing.
As always the dogs attracted a lot of attention they looked wonderful in the sunshine walking and trotting along with us. We all took the opportunity to take photos and videos and have lasting memories of a happy day amongst enthusiasts of the breed back to the café and then time to go. I don’t know about anyone else but my dogs were very tired and slept all the way home and I think we humans were tired too

Melanie you were missed and I hope everyone enjoyed their day at the Music Festival. I apologise if I have left anybody out it was a fast and furious fun day with lots of chatter and excitement and we all agreed these MEET UPS are such an agreeable way of meeting up and making friends  – if our dogs could speak I think they would agree!

Jennie Fizz and Fabio

Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

Melanie Thomas, Chairperson

I live in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex with 2 Bolognese and I show one of my dogs.