The world’s top dogs will tonight step out in By Jim Lawson Crufts’ glittering finale.
But as they parade before an audience of millions, one unsung hero will watch from afar.
Aileen Toynton, creator of the ‘dog onesie’, is missing the event for the first time in 31 years.
The 53-year-old is too busy keeping up with demand for her bizarre invention.
The outfits are in high demand to keep models spotless before they compete.
While designed to protect the dogs’ coats from the damp weather, the tartan, spots, and even tiger print options mean there is no need to be drab.
Mrs Toynton said: ‘It’s really exciting. There will be literally hundreds worn to walk in. ‘They are very distinctive in their bright colours. This is the first time since 1987 that I have not gone to Crufts but having got all the Crufts orders ready and with all the other orders from pet owners over the last fortnight of dreadful weather, I just cannot afford to go.’ Some 160,000 visitors have attended the fourday event, with breeders and dogs travelling from around the world in the hope of taking home a prize. It culminates tonight with Best in Show. Mrs Toynton, of Elgin, Moray, whose husband Chris thought her idea was ‘barking’, said: ‘The coats are handmade to fit each individual dog. And yes, there is a space for them to do their business.’