Dogs have day at Ag Expo

August 06, 2004|by RYAN C. TUCK

Selecting a best friend may be based on a number of factors, but cleanliness and obedience probably would not be high on the list.

That is unless your best friend is a dog that competed in the 4-H Dog Show at Ag Expo Thursday.

Washington County residents brought their "best friends" to Ag Expo Thursday to test their showmanship and obedience.

Daveeda Land, 17, of Hagerstown, and Misty were at the show for the seventh straight year and took Grand Champion honors for the second year in a row.

Misty, a 10-year-old mix, and Daveeda are definitely best friends, Daveeda said after the show. "I work with her every day," she said. "We're close."


The dogs were judged on their responses to commands such as sit, turn and stay.

Showmanship was based simply on the dogs' looks, Daveeda said.

Sara Angle, 11, of Boonsboro, said she and her dog, Sadie, were participating in their second dog show.

"She jumped on my lap as soon as we got her and that's where it started," she said. "She loves you if you just walk in the room."

Sadie, an 18-month-old yellow lab husky, was hyper because of the new environment and all the people, Sara said.

Kissing Sadie before the show, Sara said she tried to calm her down by walking her around and letting her meet everyone.

Performance anxiety was common during the show, with some of the canine contestants seeming to care more about the spectators or the food stains on the floor than responding to commands.

Johnny Britt, 14, was showing a border collie puppy named Kip who "acted up" during the show.

"When he's excited, he's not good," Johnny said.

His sister, Debbie Britt, 15, was showing a border collie, Sandy.

It was the Britts' first dog show and Johnny said they didn't know what to expect, but that he was optimistic.

"Her dog only knows how to sit," he said, and noted his dog only knew one or two more commands.

Brianna Lee, 13, said she doesn't spend much time training her dog but said she did believe Patches is her best friend.

"She's not that obedient," Brianna said. "But I like her ... I just do."

After the show, spectators wanted to know the secret to having a well-behaved dog.

Daveeda's answer: "You have to work with your dog every day."

Daveeda wasn't sure how she was going to handle a year away from Misty. She is going to Texas and isn't allowed to have pets where she will be living.

"I'm really gonna miss her," she said. "I don't know what I'm going to do."

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