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Parading pooches

Hyper hound is star of Ag Expo show

Hyper hound is star of Ag Expo show

August 09, 2002|by Liz Boch

lizb@herald-mail.com

Before the 4-H/FFA Dog Show Thursday, Misty, an 8-year-old German spitz-keeshond mix, seemed an unlikely candidate for grand champion, barking at the mellow border collie awaiting his owner's command.

Daveeda Land, 15, of Hagerstown, worked to calm Misty at the Washington County Ag Expo.

After taking the ribbon, Land attributed the win to her ability to control Misty's skittish nature.

"She's 8 and she's still this hyper," Land said. "I'm glad she listened. If I get too nervous she will, too. Controlling her hyperness was important, and she also had to stay excited enough to work."

Misty was not the only jumpy dog at the show. Jenna Polk's 3-pound white Maltese, J.B., walked on only two legs, looking backwards during his turns around the ring just to catch a glimpse of "Lady," a Rottweiler, with whom he wanted to romp.

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Lady, owned by Sara Engle, of Boonsboro, dwarfed the Maltese. But Polk, 10, said J.B. has no fear.

"Around other dogs, he just wants to play with them," said Polk, of Hagerstown. "He's so small, but he's not shy at all."

J.B., short for Jenna's Boy, took third place for obedience and fitting and showing in the junior class.

All five dogs performed a series of exercises ranging from leading and sitting to laying down for three minutes on their owners' commands.

Tip, Amy Senay's border collie, won first place in the intermediate class for obedience and fitting and showing. Senay, 14, of Sharpsburg, used hand signals to send Tip messages.

Though Lady usually led 9-year-old Engle, she said treats keep her dog in line.

"When I make her sit, I pull her head up by moving the treat over her head," Engle said.

"Then I bring my hand down and she'll eat out of it," she said.

Engle won second-place ribbons in both obedience and fitting and showing in the junior class.

Briana Lee, whose blue tick Labrador Patches took first-place junior class ribbons in both obedience and fitting and showing, said she arrives before all the other dogs and handlers in order to acclimate Patches to the ring to keep her dog calm.

"She gets tired out and then lays down so she's less anxious and stuff," Lee, 11, of Sharpsburg said.

Once the show ended and kids rushed to congratulate Misty, she became her skittish self again and bounced on her front legs to show her excitement.

"I'm happy. She's won before and I knew she'd calm down after a half hour. I mean, she's not even interested in the other dogs now," Land said as youngsters lavished attention on the veteran dog.

The Washington County Ag Expo ends tonight at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center off Sharpsburg Pike, 11 miles south of Hagerstown.

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