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Miss Ivy’s Petfest – How it began

I keep getting asked how on earth I have gone from running Vintage and Wedding Shows to now focusing on ‘Pet Shows’ so I thought what a great blog post!

My ‘doggy’ journey started this time last year, growing up we had always had 2 – 3 dogs, cats, chickens, horses, goats and the list goes on so I was very used to animals! Leaving home, working full-time it was always on my ‘retired’ thing to do but not practical when you are always out at meetings (and have a bit of a commitment phobia!!)

My partner and I had loosely discussed maybe one day we would get one, but looking after his 2 on occasional weekends and doggy sitting when friends went on holiday seemed to satisfy our ‘doggy’ emotions!

We were driving back from friends one weekend last March and Mark (my partner) who had obviously been perusing the rescue homes suggested we pop into the Gables Farm as there was a collie he quite liked the look of. I agreed what harm could it do, I was simply not going to be mesmerised by any little doggy eyes or wet noses. In we go fill out forms and ask to see said collie to be told she has just been reserved – not meant to be and we go to leave. Lady behind counter starts whispering to another lady and one of them says ‘well we do have some 14 week old puppies who are not in the kennels and we are looking for owners with collie experience – would you like to see them?’ Why not I said to Mark and off we trot and out comes Major Tom – he sits and looks at us trots over to both of us gives us a little lick and then sits again just giving us those puppy dog eyes. That was it he had captured our heart with 1 lick and we reserved him there and then and the task in hand was now to make the garden ‘dog proof’ £1000.00 later this was achieved and a week later our little bundle came home!


I had been told all the horror stories – no sleep, your house destroyed, shoes chewed how bad could this be! I think my friends were convinced it wouldn’t last a week as I do like a nice, clean tidy house and need my sleep! I was ready for that first sleepless night, waiting for the whimpers and barking but none came he slept in his crate until 8:00 – oh my goodness a dog after my own heart..

We did have one episode with a laptop charger and that was it, I think we just got really lucky! I read every book going on vaccinations, feeding, training etc etc. So many different views, research, opinions it was all very confusing and I just wanted the best for him so he lives a healthy life.

It was at that point I realised there was no big Pet Shows in the South West, they were all further up country so off I went to investigate how they did it and was actually a bit disappointed! I sat down one night and wrote what I wanted to offer at my Shows and the list consisted off supporting local charities and pets like Max, sourcing well respected speakers to do talks on food, vaccinations, obedience, rescue dogs and lots more and educating children at a young age on how to care and respect for animals.

I started meeting amazing local pet service providers and speakers and the end of last year our first Festive Pet Show happened in Tavistock. Over 1000 people attended and everyone was so happy and so many doggies attended it was such a great day, I at this point knew I wanted to make a difference to pet owners in the South West and the PetFest’s were officially born! We now have 5 in the calendar with one of them being totally in aid of Woodside Sanctuary. Check out the dates on               www.missivyevents.co.uk

I want to raise a glass to my amazing Max who I adore and who has changed my life in more ways than one…..


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