x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The lighter side of Dubai's dog shows

Honey Bunch, a seven-year-old Maltese cross, is ready to impress judges again at this year's Dubai Pet Show, after having won the Best Cross Breed Female title last year.

Freya Kelly holding her prize-winning dog Honey Bunch while he's being groomed at the Energetic Panacea clinic, ahead of the Dubai Pet Show in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Freya Kelly holding her prize-winning dog Honey Bunch while he's being groomed at the Energetic Panacea clinic, ahead of the Dubai Pet Show in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

Mani-pedi? Done. Full body wash? Done. Haircut? Done. Nails clipped? Done. Teeth brushed? Done.

After an hour of pampering and preening, Honey Bunch, a seven-year-old Maltese cross, is ready for her moment in the spotlight.

The fluffy canine is somewhat of an expert at impressing the judges, having won the Best Cross Breed Female title at last year's Dubai Pet Show.

Her owner, Horizon School pupil Freya Kelly, thinks she's in with a good chance of succesfully defending her crown when she takes to the stage once more tomorrow.

"I think we can win this year because she's so cute, but it's OK if she doesn't," she says. "I will be happy with second or third because she would still be one of the best dogs in Dubai."

The nine-year-old, who lives with her father Peter, a pilot, and her mother Carin , doesn't take the competition as seriously as some of the other entrants and says she takes part only "for a bit of fun".

"I see some other people taking it very seriously and I see some people forcing their dogs to tricks and things. For us we just brush Honey Bunch and have her groomed, and then she is ready. She gets really fluffy and nice.

"She really has fun because I think she likes being around other dogs and she makes new friends and meets new people, and she likes being centre of attention."

* Mitya Underwood