DogFest at Dalkeith: Our Dolly is sure to be a hit – Hayley Matthews

We're all excited about DogFest this weekend. Dolly Dog, our beautiful rescue pet, was saved as a puppy by a lovely Cypriot woman called Stella, whilst she was in Greece.

Hayley Matthews' pet dog Dolly is said to be looking forward to DogFest
Hayley Matthews' pet dog Dolly is said to be looking forward to DogFest

She found Dolly left for dead and tied to a tree. It makes me cry to even imagine how or why. None the less, she's happy and well now and is particularly cock-a-hoop about a fun-filled weekend coming up.

DogFest is taking place at Dalkeith Country Park and what a spectacular area for such an event! I'm sure it will be bouncing with happy animals.

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It sounds like the ultimate dog-friendly festival for both pets and pet lovers and, with the promise of lots of activities, those wee tails will be wagging all day.

It's not just all for dogs though as over 100 shopping stands will fill the grounds, as well as fun-filled activities like flyball and an agility course, and lots of food and drink stalls, serving gourmet burgers as well as the odd "paw star" martini. Not to forget to mention pup ice cream which our wee Dolly dog will not pass by. She loves her food and an ice cream.

When you're a family with young children and a dog, it can be challenging to find activities to keep everyone happy. However, this one definitely ticks all the boxes for us so we're getting Dolly all ‘dolled up’ (sorry, I had to) for the weekend.

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Dog festival back at Dalkeith near Edinburgh in September

There's going to be so much to do and the boys are really excited about trying the agility course (I'm hoping they can get Dolly round it too as she is the laid back type – don't tell her I said that if you bump in to us).

We're also going to have a go at the haybale racing as well as the 2k and 4k Big Dog Walk through the country grounds to raise vital funds for Dogs Trust. Anything we can do to help our little furry friends out is always welcomed in our family.

But most of our excitement is for the Dog Show, with categories including "Best Rescue" which we're definitely entering Dolly for. She's the most beautiful and well-natured dog I've ever known and we'd love to see how she gets on.

There's going to be lots of local stalls to get some retail therapy in afterwards, with venders like Stocky & Dee for unique, Scottish-made, luxury accessories and canine favourites Butternut Box and Nuts For Pets.

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It will be interesting to speak to the gurus that the Dogs Trust are bringing along to the Dog School. They're going to be giving out expert advice from the industry’s leading professionals including expert animal behaviourist and trainer Adem Fehmi.

There is going to be a safe space to go and ask for advice and to learn ways on recognising different behaviours in a dog so it's an educational day out too.

And no good dog fest would be complete without an action-packed main arena where there will be demonstrations from hugely talented canines and trainers including TikTok sensation Lucy Heath.

Honestly, I feel like I'm going to burst with excitement! If you do go to DogFest and see this wee pooch, pictured, she speaks Greek, so do come and say hello or Καλημέρα!