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The Daily



07-30-03: Candid canines strut their stuff
Dog Care Judging held at Auglaize County Fair

The Daily Standard
    WAPAKONETA - The Dog Care Judging event was running late Tuesday afternoon at the Auglaize County Fair and the contestants were getting anxious.
    Every few minutes a howl and some nervous panting could be heard ... from the dozens of young 4-H members. The dogs, on the other hand, appeared cool as cucumbers.
    "It's always fun to see how the kids handle their dogs during the interview," said Bridget Weigly, the sole judge of the contest.
    Amanda Newlove of St. Marys, a member of the Cloverines, proudly took a chair next to Weigly for the judging interview. Her basset hound, Cocoa, wasn't as thrilled to take her turn.
    "Sorry," Newlove told Weigly as the brown and white canine tried to make a clean get-away under the judge's chair.
    "Don't worry about it, she's just a puppy. That's what puppies do," Weigly assured the 12-year-old.
    Weigly of Columbus, who works for the Ohio 4-H Foundation, said she's judged the dog care event before and loves every minute of it. A dog lover herself, she said it's good to see the children learn more about their pets.
    Several dozen 4-H boys and girls from all over Auglaize County waited at nearby tables with their four-legged friends for a turn to tell the judge what they've learned about caring for dogs.
    An Australian shepherd named Sydney gracefully took her place at the foot of her owner, Amanda Tebbe of St. Marys.
    "We just got her during the last year," said 14-year-old Tebbe as she rubbed the well-groomed dog's coat. "I brought a cat here last year, so I guess I'm trying something new."
    Tebbe, a member of the 4-H group Spirits and daughter of Jerry and Stacy Tebbe, said doing the dog care project taught her the importance of pet vaccinations.
    "I learned how important it is to get them their shots cause people can get some diseases from dogs," she said.
    Just a few steps from the judges table, 10-year-old Taylor Schmit of New Bremen looked as unexcited as her dog Max. The small, black and white Shiht Tzu rested patiently on the table in front of Schmit, occasionally lifting his head as bigger dogs walked by.
    "He doesn't mind being here one bit," said the young girl as she petted the back of the puppy's hairy neck. "But I think he's getting bored. "
    Schmit, the daughter of Kevin and Lisa Schmit, said there's more to owning dogs than most people think.
    "You have to give them baths, get their hair cut and feed them every day," said the young blonde. "And you have to make sure they don't get sick."
    Nearby, a mother of one of the other contestants shook her head and smiled, "Yep, it's a lot like being a mom."


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