Paws for a show

September 30, 2000

Paws for a show

By RICHARD F. BELISLE / Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - Bernie looked like a shoo-in for the blue ribbon until the judges glanced at Eddie. Everybody knew then it would be no contest.

Eddie, a 7-year-old basset hound, copped first place in the laziest dog contest in the Third Annual Fun Fall Dog Show Saturday at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center on Sharpsburg Pike.

"I think he's part stuffed animal," said Eddie's owner, Diane Fink of Vienna, Va. "I take an hour walk with him and I don't get any exercise. Walking with Eddie is like pushing a grocery cart."

Bernie, a 4-month old Saint Bernard pup, did OK in two other competitions though. He took second in the cutest puppy competition and fourth in the junior handlers contest, said his owner, Sylvia Sabath, 11, of Hagerstown.


"He's really lazy," Sylvia said, as Bernie lay asleep at her feet. "He's had a long day."

Next to Bernie was his stepsister, Minnie, 8. Bernie and Minnie represent the long and short of the canine world. Minnie is a Chihuahua.

She snuggled safely into the armpit of Stephanie Sabath, Sylvia's 14-year-old sister. Minnie did well in Saturday's events, coming in first in the Best Little Dog in the Sharpsburg contest, second for showing the most interesting expression, fourth in the senior dog event and third in tricks for her singing abilities.

The blue ribbon in the best trick contest went to 7-year-old Sparky, a boxer-golden retriever mix from Falling Waters, W.Va.

It probably wasn't fair to the other contestants, all amateurs, that Sparky was even in the contest since he's a professional.

"He performs all the time at Antietam Recreation for children and adult groups," said Guy Rotz, 78, Sparky's owner.

"I only had him do half the tricks he knows today," Rotz said. "He's really easy to train. After he knows what you want he does it."

Sparky showed his stuff in the ring. He kept a balloon airborne with his nose until Rotz told him to pop it with his teeth. He pulled a single tissue from a box and brought it to his master. He rolled a plastic barrel along the floor then put it upright, and he could roll over and play dead like it was kid stuff.

More than 70 dogs were registered in Saturday's competitions. Among the other events were best groomed, best mix, most beautiful, hairiest, most colorful, longest ears, owner-dog look-alike, the biscuit race and, last but not least, best butt.

"This is a fun show. It's our annual fund-raiser," said Alisa Garbrick, spokeswoman for Basset Rescue of Old Dominion, the show's sponsor. The group's headquarters are in Charlottesville, Va.

This is the second year the show has been held in the ag center.

"We raised about $2,000 last year, Garbrick said.

Members come from Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania, Garbrick said.

A half-dozen basset hounds were milling around in a wire cage near Garbrick's desk. All were up for adoption, she said.

As of mid-day Saturday, two had found new homes.

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