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Dogs strut their stuff at fair

A Labrador retriever was named best in show at the Berkeley County Youth Fair 2002 Dog Show.

A Labrador retriever was named best in show at the Berkeley County Youth Fair 2002 Dog Show.

August 06, 2002|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Clean teeth, a trim coat and a happy wag went a long way at the Berkeley County Youth Fair Monday.

Teresa Verdi's Labrador retriever, named Yoo Hoo, was named best in show at the 2002 Dog Show.

"Her dog was exceedingly happy to work for her," said Sandy Melichar of Ellicott City, Md., who judged the dogs.

Teresa controlled Yoo Hoo well and praised him often, Melichar said.

As a result, Yoo Hoo followed Teresa's every command and "did it with his tail wagging," Melichar said.

Teresa, 17, of Hedgesville, W.Va., said she has trained her two-year-old Lab "since he was a puppy."

In the finals, Yoo Hoo defeated three other group winners: Curt Shade's cocker spaniel, Hudson; Natalie Wenck's collie mix, Katy; and Jennifer Manor's Shetland sheepdog, Jenica's Ruby Rose Wine.

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The dog show was the culmination of months of 4-H lessons in dog obedience and grooming.

Ribbons were awarded - blue as the highest, then red, then white - according to how many points each dog and human team earned, said Amy Sencindiver, the 4-H dog chairwoman.

Dogs and exhibitors were grouped by level of experience.

In each class, Melichar checked how clean the dogs' teeth, nails and coats were. Exhibitors had to lead their dogs around the large sand-filled pen. Melichar directed handlers when to make turns and to walk faster or slower.

In the most advanced class, handlers had to put down their leashes and walk away. The dogs had to resist the temptation to follow.

Melichar also asked each handler to talk a little about their dog's breed.

For the most part, the dogs obeyed.

Occasionally, a human had to lean a thigh into a dog who wouldn't move in a certain direction or tug a dog away from a captivating smell emanating from the sand.

Sticky, hot weather slowed some dogs.

Wenck, 16, of Martinsburg, said Katy, who is 11 years old, didn't drink a lot and was lagging.

But when sheets of rain swept over the fairgrounds mid-afternoon, it cooled the air inside the barn.

After the best of show was chosen, several dogs and handlers returned to the pen for a costume contest.

Kenny Butts, 12, of Inwood, W.Va., and his Yorkshire terrier, Sassy Dollar Butts, won first prize. Kenny wore two inflatable pool toys and oversized sunglasses. Sassy was dressed in a bathing suit.

Kenny's sister, Jenny, 10, took second with her poodle, Princess "Cocoa" Delight, who was dressed like a princess.

Joseph Collis of Bunker Hill, W.Va., won the best trick competition when his Australian red heeler, Channon, jumped through a hoop.

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