Stephen Salter provides a fast-paced account of a 3-day Dog Expo in Bucharest, Romania:
Alarm went at 2am on Friday 16th May…
Left home for Romania via Stansted Airport at 3am – arrived to herds of people even at 4.30am.
New layout – it took just as long to go through, grabbed a coffee and waited for the gate.
A gentleman asked to share my table, we chatted and in conversation said I was going to give support to my Romanian Distributer at a show in Bucharest… when asking me did we produce a perception diet I guessed he was a Vet… I was right!
Quick but good chat!
Arrived Romania 11.30 ish picked up by Romi and off to the show.
Spoke with and translated to lots of both stockists and dog owning public…
All charming and interested and asked the right questions…
Apart from one man… “Tell me about your food” he said…
I hadn’t uttered more than one sentence when he was stopping me and trying to correct me and give his version.
As I tried again he stopped me again, then I tried once more on third ingredient and stopped again… to be polite!!
I was obviously not getting far and obviously not close enough… he was drunk! hah!
One out of a show full of people is not bad odds…
Really lovely people, polite, courteous, interesting and proud. On the 19th May it will have been 25 years since the break of Communism. They have a right to feel uplifted as the vast majority feel they have opportunities and hope.
Opposite us, was a stand where a cat would jump on to the toilet seat scratch around the litter and poo down the toilet, the trick being that a small hole is cut out first then the cat learns to poo then you cut out a bigger and bigger hole until the cat balances and does its business on a seat width and balances… hopefully successfully!
Much needed coffee… far stronger than the norm, but well received.
It was a fun day for all, lots of competitors, all enjoying a great weekend and winning with free professional photos.
My turn for water/Coke/Fanta… walking passed a “White Wolf” from a training promotional stand, suddenly the “wolf” lurched towards me roaring, teeth bared straight through me into a muscle dog!
Unfortunately on its way to fang into the muscle dog it gouged down the outside of my knee.
Fortunately I didn’t fall to the floor, but close.
Looking at the slobber over my knee my trousers seemed intact!
On further inspection in the loo, I was showing signs of blood! Oh…no rabies, infection, my mind raced!!
My only option Liquid soap and hot water…
On recovery and with wet trousers… (never a good sign) I was back on the stand and promoting Salters…
“We are from UK, we are, we believe – due to our superior quality ingredients – “ULTRA PREMIUM” English Dog Food.
“We have Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chicken is our number collective ingredient, wonderful rice used in risotto and puddings
even the yeast we use would go to make yummy vegetable spreads that we eat… we have no nasty chemicals, colours or flavour enhancers, what you can smell is our purity, here have a look – smell it… is it not a lovely smell? Look at the colour, well what do you think??”
Many times translated into Romanian but it was well received.
Time flew and by 4pm a man arrived with pizza… wow fabulous!!!
The show ended at 6.30pm so a good tidy up, everything secure, out came the vacuums and an army of people.
Found the hotel all in order, very professional and pleasant… so was the rate!
I was fairly dead on my feet… showered and unpacked, found a new lease of life…
Went and asked a local for a none tourist bar/restaurant… ah you want “traditional”!… yes perfect.
“200 metres across the lights turn left 100 meters and you have Serbian Taverna.”
Couldn’t have been better: ice cold Ursus beer and some lamb sausages… a special salad… couldn’t have found better.
Oh, I forgot to mention a really nice chilled dry white local brew…
Bed was hard and a really good night’s sleep was had.
Saturday morning came, starting at 6am… Romi collected me and off to the show we went.
Really good turn out, lots of interesting people and some really lovely dogs…
Very good shape and posture, but their coats – they were dull, no shine and almost looked like they were brittle.
But in fairness some were good all round.
They do like to dress their dogs, everything from socks, tights, PJs, onesies, jeans – you could see them all.
There was one lady said that her dog was overweight and did I have anything to help loose weight?
Simply yes… our Senior diet we use short-term as a light food to help reduce weight.
She was delighted… and bought a bag… only trouble was that it was difficult to fit the bag in the trolley with the DOG!!!
The offending “White Wolf” was at it again! something had sparked it off…
It’s a bit like the scenario of sticking your head into a lion’s mouth… one day it will close!!!
Spoke with several Vets, who had an amazing amount of kit at their practices and were really interesting, especially with their evaluations and procedures they could carry out… in fact, one had heard of the Bionic limb attached to “Bumble” a lovely dog, we fed to get into tiptop condition, before and after it’s very successful operation.
Many stockists were complaining about the huge growth in online shopping and how they couldn’t compete.
The day was long, but a good day with new contacts, new potentials for Salters dog foods, to help to promote health and happiness for both dog and owner.
Returning to the hotel, quick shower and then down to the old city…
wonderful buildings, pavement culture as you might expect, everyone pushing for business… but nicely with a smile.
Met with Romi and Amadaus who had worked like trojans during the day handing out brochures and filling sachets as we were in need of more.
Our Salters’ bowl was constantly being replenished as dogs passed… The real funny, is when you are being told that their dogs don’t like dry food, so you then alert them to the fact that their dog is munching away as they speak!!!
Romi has the most beautiful dog called “Foxy” – a Belgium cross and with her feathered ears and her black and brown markings she is a picture… A true Salters Dog!!!
A couple of drinks and then to eat… traditional all the way.
Returned to the hotel about 11pm to the rock hard but rewarding bed… for a good night’s sleep.
Sunday morning, up out and full on! Lots of new people and the sun was shining everyone in good spirits…
The first dog passed me, came on wheels, speaking to the owner she had rescued the dog having been hit by a car and paralysed, hence the wheels… she went away with some Salters Energy, for just that, as it was a constant pull from the front, but a happy chappy!!!
People were back to buy, having tried our samples…
Towards the end of the show, along came the TV, they wanted a response to the show, we were collared and duly said how delighted we were and how interested the people were.
Hopefully (if this section was aired) they understood my English! as they would not understand my Romanian.
Whilst this was taking place, Foxy’s travel cage was empty and a little boy had climbed in and closed himself in…
He had escaped his parents!! When his Mum arrived she pulled him out – only to find, he was going to scream the place down! It caused great hilarity and many photos.
The show closed and other stands said they had been pleased… but time would tell.
Loaded up the truck, pulled away from the show and headed directly for that cold Ursus beer…
We went back to my Serbian find! and met with others from the show… I should have been on commission for the place!!
Great end to the trip, great people, great company, great food and a good ending to a hard three days!!!
Got to the airport for my return, spent 40 mins in the transit bus, stationary, with little ventilation, flight longer, took 6hrs to travel, no food or drink, on the plane just dozed… arrived to the herds at Stansted, passport was at sea! Went straight to Costa, large, extra hot… bus waiting, fantastic! One step in… and… NO HOT DRINKS!!! Didn’t get a sip! Placed coffee on top of litter bin and shouted “FREE COFFEE ON ME!”