A night of canine capers to remember

How's this for a civic night out with a difference? Sheriff of Norwich Derek James and deputy dog Doris host a fabulous furry fundraising event at Notcutts.

This was a civic night out with a difference – a crazy fashion show for dogs and their owners and carers, hosted by the Sheriff and deputy dog Doris, and organised by Michele Neave and members of the East Anglian Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club.

Notcutts was packed on a wet Tuesday for a night of fun and games and the stars of the show were the dogs, who proved what wonderful companions they are.

Staffies are lovely dogs who, along with so many others, often get owners they don't deserve.

And they, and their friends, some without homes, were the kings of the catwalk as they paraded up and down with their owners in stylish winter warmers.

The whole idea was to have some fun, raise awareness of responsible dog ownership, and collect some money, �750, for the civic charity, Rotary House for the Deaf.

We certainly did all that – and some more. This was a party with the feelgood factor stamped all over it as dog lovers, people of all ages and from all walks of life, came together to have a good time.

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As the classic song Hound Dog played, the show was opened by Nick Conrad of BBC Radio Norfolk, who set the scene for a night of barks and laughs. Those on parade included fabulous and faithful Foggy, the hearing dog, with his master Simon Moore and Jasper, the three-legged wonder with his owner Martin Smith.

All the dogs on show were on top form and while most went home with their owners, there were some with no homes to go to. They were rescue dogs looking for someone to love them.

The star cabaret was provided by Jo-Ann Essex and her brilliant dancing dog Bacon, who put on a dazzling show. And no one could have failed to fall in love with the dogs all dressed up in their best bib and tuckers for a night out.

'They say actions speak louder than words and An Evening with The Sheriff and His Dog did just that,' said Michele.

Everybody gave their services for free, so all the money raised will go to Rotary House. Special thanks go to the following:

Steve Boon and his team at Notcutts.

Hughes for the loan of the sound equipment.

Peter Dell of Buffaload for supplying all the drinks.

Jenny's Signing Angels who entertained us all so well and Kim, the interpreter.

Nick Weavers and Moira, the Dog Warden, who organised the 'name the dog' competition.

Michele Neave for all her hard work in putting this special show together.

The wonderful girls from Michele's dance class who worked so hard as hosts.

The talented Sylvia Miller who made the outfits and Doris' magnificent robe.

The members of the East Anglian Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club.

My wife Bridgette and daughter Verity for all their support.

Angi and the team from Rotary House.

If you are thinking about taking on a rescue dog please telephone Meadowgreen on 01508 548010 or Michele Neave on 01603 625929. One call could change your life.