A BOSTON Terrier handler at Crufts had the surprise of her life when she arrived at Crufts on the second day.
Anna Spencer had come to see good friend professional groomer Mike Wildman at the Aesculap stand. He was busy trimming his Cocker Spaniel Sh Ch Lindridge Ticket To Ride (Zac) - a veteran now but who amassed 20 CCs during his career - and she was asked to have a look at his collar.
On it was a plastic ring, which at first meant nothing to her. But as she turned around she saw her boyfriend Paul Hunter sink to the floor on one knee holding a small box. Inside was a solitaire diamond ring set in white gold.
So before the gathered masses Paul proposed to Anna - after a whirlwind, six-month romance - and was quickly accepted.
They had just arrived at the NEC from Chester where they live; Aesculap staff had been primed about what was to happen so glasses of bubbly were quickly proffered and quaffed.
"I had absolutely no idea," said Anna, 31, afterwards. "It was a complete shock. I thought it was a wonderful thing to do - but I was really shocked, in a good way!
"The plastic ring on Zac's collar fell out of a cracker during Christmas lunch at my mum's house - I thought that was a sign then. But when I saw it this morning the penny didn't drop until I saw Paul on one knee!"
Paul, 36, said: "I thought it was appropriate as we met at a dog show, both handling Bostons for Frank and Margaret Wildman (Wildax). We had known of each other before but romance bloomed in the show ring.
"I'm just delighted she said yes."
Plans for a wedding have yet to be made, but the happy couple - who will both be handling at Crufts on Saturday - say it will be this year or next.