This weekend, our founder, Nikki Tibbles, had the absolute joy of being welcomed back to the 2nd ever Goodwoof Weekend, held at Goodwood Estate – in the glorious Sussex countryside. She was accompanied by the beautiful Piccolina. A rescue dog who arrived from Greece 3 months ago and lives with the lovely Teresa from The Dog Vine. Check her out on Instagram.
And what a weekend it was, featuring dogs of all shapes and sizes. Nikki eagerly accepted the invitation to speak alongside the esteemed Georgina Montagu and The Duke of Richmond at The Literary Corner. Furthermore, she had the opportunity to catch up with her beloved friend, DJ Fat Tony, who happens to be an ambassador for the Wild at Heart Foundation. Finally, she had the honour of judging the Chien Charmant Competition, to acknowledge and celebrate the perfect partnership between humans and pooch.
There was also a beautifully presented gala dinner, which Nikki was honoured to attend. They thought of everything – it was all about the dogs, even down to the place settings.
Led by The Duke of Richmond, the parade saw glorious poodles of all sizes and colours parade through the grounds. The Duke holds the poodle in extremely high esteem on the Goodwood Estate and has fond memories of playing with his grandmother’s dog, Bruno, making it a breed very close to his heart. It was a spellbinding moment, displaying a sea of curly-coated creatures from all over the country.
With the brief ‘A Companion Piece – Dog’s at Work’ this year’s architecture competition saw architects considering the pivotal role that our pups play in our lives. It also focused on how they contribute to our happiness and well-being, with a focus on life in the office. The lovely Kevin McCloud MBE described how the Barkitecture competition was “in pursuit of one thing, the finest, most innovative 21st-century ideas for kennels.” Nikki particularly loved the Tennis Ball Kennel, Fetch, and she said her Ruby would have loved it!
Nikki enthusiastically agreed to help judge the Chien Charmant competition, an event that celebrates the unique bond between owners and their cherished companions. This competition is the equivalent of Goodwoof’s “Best in Show”. The categories for this year’s comp were Union, Spirit and Swagger. Nikki, along with the other judges had the difficult task of choosing the best human and dog pairing, showing the most wit, personality, bond, charm, charisma and style. The People’s Choice category gave the fans on social media the chance to show their love for the competitors.
The Literary Corner hosted a series of exciting events featuring talks, panel discussions, book signings, and readings by renowned writers who share a deep affection for dogs. They had a lot of amazing stories to share! There was even a bookshop complete with author signings.
Nikki had the pleasure of joining Georgina Montagu as she spoke about her new book ‘Top Dogs: A British Love Affair’. The book celebrates the British dog owners and their loyalty to their dogs and features Nikki’s beautiful rescue dogs. She was pleased to meet The Duke of Richmond, who was accompanied by Seamus, the Mascot of The Irish Guards. He spoke about his family’s connection to the regiment.
During the conversation, Nikki also had the opportunity to discuss our work here at Wild at Heart Foundation. She emphasised the importance of being kind to one another and teaching people to be kind to dogs. Additionally, she mentioned how our organisation strives to make a positive impact on both canines and humans alike. Want to read more? Check out our mission and the projects we are working on.
Tickets for the 2024 Goodwoof weekend are already on sale for a limited time so get them while you can!
Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to Goodwoof for inviting Nikki to this year’s spectacular festival of dogs. Above all, we are excited about what next year will bring and hope to play an even more pivotal part.
Check out Nikki’s interview with Georgina below and take a look at our socials for highlights of the weekend.