|Above - BOB 2011|
|Class of 2011|
And here's a close-up of her eyes - the reason she failed the vet-check.
The only glimmer of hope I saw last year was in a bitch called Nukualofa's Vaoila, owned by the UKClub's health-rep, Kim Slater. Vaoila won Junior Bitch and Reserve Best Bitch.
|Vaola in 2012|
Vaoila was at Crufts again yesterday and this time took Best Bitch. She's filled out a little since last year, but as you can see below, is still a moderate dog. She does have some ectropion but there was no soreness yesterday, and her coat was like polished slate... absolutely gleaming.
But she didn't win Best of Breed. She was beaten by a more "typey" dog that was owned by the same breeder whose bitch failed the vet check last year. Now this dog was certainly less extreme than last year's DQ'd winner, as you can see here:
In the photograph below he appears to be reasonably fluid... and those ringside thought he moved quite well.
But this dog, currently only 20 months old, is not going to age well.
And if you have a closer look at his eyes, they are barely better than last year's disqualified dog - with clear ectropion and redness.
So how come this dog passed the vet check, ensuring that not a single one of the high profile breeds failed this year? This is, I believe, another example of the goalposts widening because the Crufts vets are now under the KC's wing.
I enjoyed spending a bit of time ringside with the Neos (or the Mastini as they would prefer I called them) on Sunday. Club Chair Steve Cox, whose dogs I have strongly criticised in the past, clearly wasn't that thrilled that I was there, but was polite enough both to me and the German film-crew that was filming me at the time (something that brought the KC's Bill Lambert running as it must have looked like it was me filming without permission).
I was also impressed by breeder Sean Platts (Vallino Mastino) who was really open and has led the field in health-testing. Sean had a young dog there with a hip score of just 3/3 - pretty amazing for a Neapolitan Mastiff.
It all made me not want to be horrid about their dogs.
And I fear that's how the Cruft's vet felt too.
But tell me what you think. Should this dog have been passed or not?