The 1st December, 2013 saw 80 dog lovers from many disciplines of our wonderful Canine sport hit the waves and cruise off to The South Pacific. Noumea, Villa, Isle of pines were very popular stops for all of us. All who went ashore certainly enjoyed the tours they did and the goods they bought from the locals.
Dog enthusiasts came from CANADA, NORTHERN iRELAND N.S.W, QLD, VICTORIA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA, NORTHERN TERRITORY, A.C.T, & WESTERN AUSTRALIA. They came from the Conformation Discipline, Breeders, Obedience enthusiasts, Agility Competitors Fly ball lovers, Dog Trainers and many who just love dogs. Who said we cant’ get together in peace, harmony and joy.
Was this just a holiday? No it was not. We were fortunate that in the organising of this wonderful time, 5 (five) presenters were asked to give Seminars on 4 (four) of the days we were afloat. These presenters were the best at what they do and what they spoke about.
We had Steve Austin (Trainer. Sydney) Ian Rasmussan (Conformation Judge) Brisbane, Robert Humphreys (Animal Chiropractor/Manipulator) Brisbane, Vicki Austin (Trainer.) Sydney, and Kaye McGhie (Nutrician & D.N.A The new Frontier) Brisbane. There were a total of 30 different lectures given, and most were of around 2 hours each in duration. Many videos were shown, and all varied. Even saw one on Training a Gorilla. How different is that, but how interesting.
With over 2300 passengers and 900 staff on board, these 80 Dog Activity Lovers did a wonderful job of spreading the word of what it means to own, love and work with a dog. Because we met so many different people when we were sharing tables at meal time, sneaking a cigarette on the allotted decks, and generally speaking to so many different people, every one of these 80 people have done more in the 10 day time slot we were on this cruise to spread the Canine love we all have, than any other way I can think of. I would say without a doubt that each person in this Dog Activity Group made every effort to speak with as many people as they could.
We were easily recognisable by the pouch we wore around our necks. It gave our names, the type of dogs we each had, a place to put passports, money and of course our cabin cards which allowed us to get in and out of our rooms. By wearing these pouches which were supplied to us at the very start, others naturally asked what we were doing, and as you can imagine, we were very happy to tell them. The conversations around and about were great. Many laughs were heard, and many stories told about different experiences people had been through with their pets or working dogs.
TRACKING, SEARCH AND RESCUE, POLICE WORK, SCENTING, DRUG DETECTION, ERADICATION OF PESTS, THE JOYS AND PITFALLS OF SHOWING, THE COMPETING IN OBEDIENCE, THE DIFFICULTIES OFTEN FACED BY BREEDERS, BUT ALSO THE JOY THEY HAVE WHEN THEIR PUPPIES GO TO GREAT HOMES. TRAINING OF THE AVERAGE PET OWNER TO HAVE A GREAT COMPANION.
These were subjects covered, and they were just the tip of the iceberg.
All of this was organised by one lady Valerie Bulte . She organised the whole thing from start to finish, and did an incredible job, even to having a Cocktail party on the last afternoon up on the 13th deck. She managed to have the area closed off to the general public.
She was ably assisted on the ship by Angie Burke (Dances with Dog enthusiast.) They oversaw all the lectures, and made sure that all 80 people had everything they required.
Of course it wasn’t all work. The ship the “Radiance of the Sea “ is a great ship. All 13 decks of her.
Entertainment every day and evening on almost every deck. We even had one of our members compete in the Karaoke and make the finals. What a great voice he had.
I could go on and on here, but the reason I am writing this is because of the success of the initiative of this one lady.
I believe that all in the DOG WORLD need to look at ways to spread and keep spreading our wonderful world not only between those who are already enthusiasts, but those outside the realm of our reality.
There are millions of dogs in our country, over 22 million in Japan and only the Lord knows how many World Wide. Why can’t we always share the joy and regard we had for each other on this trip. and spread our arms to all who own dogs.
I will finish this article by saying CONGRATULATIONS to all who played a part in organising this great trip. PRESENTERS and their partners, the two girls who worked so hard on board to see that everything ran smoothly, to Valerie Bulte who had the foresight to plan it all, and to each and every person who attended. For their companionship, their laughter, and their outgoing friendly attitude to all they came in contact with.
WELL DONE TO ALL. HOPE YOU ALL GOT HOME SAFELY.
Val Bonney (Canine Behaviourist/International Trainer and fellow Cruiser.)