On 16th July, Helmsdale residents and visitors braved the elements to attend our first Dog Show at Helmsdale Community Centre. Twenty-six dogs in total took part in the event at Helmsdale Community Centre, with a number of puppies watching and learning from the sidelines.
Entrants went up against each other in 10 award categories, including Best Pedigree, Best Cross-breed and Best Small Dog. All categories were judged by Rogart artist Lyn Wells who chose Iona the Border Terrier as the Dog the Judge Would Most Like to Take Home. Other winners on the day included Bruno the Staffordshire Bull Terrier for Dog with the Waggiest Tail and Kirsty the Golden Retriever for Best Veteran. Maggi the Boston Terrier picked up the award for Best Trick for her dancing skills as well as Best Dressed when she donned a pink tutu. Top prize for Best in Show went to Summer the Border Collie who, alongside her owner Catriona, was thrilled to receive the trophy.
Beverages and cake were served in the Community Centre hall where visitors could browse around tables with plants from Portgower, local crafts and the SSPCA. Braveheart Photography from Dornoch, who specialise in pet photography, had a number of their beautiful slate-mounted pictures, frames and pet-themed gifts on display and available to buy.
To close the event, the Sutherland Dog Training Group provided a particularly enjoyable agility display and offered the dogs who had taken part in the earlier competition a chance to try out the tunnels, seesaw, hurdles and slalom.
Wendy Simmonds from Dementia Friendly Communities said following the event: “We were delighted with the turn-out for our Dog Show. With the weather as it was we weren’t sure many people would come, but it didn’t seem to put anyone off. We even had some visitors from the West coast and from the south too who happened to see the signs as they were passing. It was a great day. We’d like to thank everyone who came along and supported us. We’re also grateful to Easter Ross Vets in Tain for sponsoring the rosettes and Lyn Wells for doing the hardest job of all in judging the competition.”
Since launching our Bridge Over Troubled Waters project earlier this year, we have seen the positive impact it is having on the lives of carers when they are faced with times of particular stress. In addition, those who are cared for appear to be benefitting too. Below are just some examples of the support we have provided.
Mary cares for her husband who has a long-term illness. When she broke her arm she found it difficult manage daily tasks such as preparing food, driving to the shops – even washing her own hair. We provided a support worker to visit and chop ingredients so she could cook meals and help with the everyday jobs, which allowed Mary to continue to care for her husband until her arm healed.
James was caring for his mother who was already receiving palliative care – we provided a support worker to spend a few extra hours with her in the afternoon to enable James to have a shower, get some rest and attend to some errands, assured by the knowledge his mother was still in good hands during his absence.
Claire’s father has dementia and had previously been living alone but now needs a greater level or care. She called us for help at a time of great upheaval for them both. We assisted by provided, firstly, a listening ear and practical advice around moving her father in with her, then daily personal care for him until a support package from social care was in place. We also introduced him to the local well-being Hub, which has not only made him feel welcome in the community and kept him physically, mentally and socially active, but also given Claire regular respite during the week.