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Dog days of summer

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Future fire chief Dean Tyner and his dalmatian, Ember, recently participated in the 4-H dog show..
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Future fire chief Dean Tyner and his dalmatian, Ember, recently participated in the 4-H dog show..

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Dear readers,

It is once again Fair time. All of the kids in 4-H have their animals, crafts, food, and projects on display. I sharpened my number two Ticonderoga pencil and did some old-fashioned reporting this week.

I arrived just in time for the dog show. Whitney Carlton is the 4-H dog leader. She told me that the kids have been working with their dogs for three hours every Tuesday for months. The project promotes discipline, agility, and obedience; and that is just what it does for the kids.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a giant white dog. Several years ago I decided to try my hand at dog training. Someone had given me a little white puppy. I named him Fluffy. Local dentist, Michael Jester, trains dogs and he gave me tips on dog training. My success was about the same as if he had given me tips on dentistry and I had tried to put fillings in my own teeth, but more about that later.

I knew instantly that the giant white dog was a Great Pyrenees just like my Fluffy. The dog’s trainer was Bella Matney, an eighth grader at Shelbyville Middle School. She got the large breed dog when she was only in the third grade. At that time she thought she might be able to saddle break the dog. She could then ride the dog similar to the monkey that rides the dog at halftime at Denver Broncos games. However, her dog Mole’ wasn’t going to have any part of that, so she settled for more traditional dog training. It paid off because her dog is a past Grand Champion in obedience and agility.

I didn’t have much luck with Fluffy, my Great Pyrenees. They are herding dogs and he kept herding all of my relatives and they didn’t want to be herded. The final straw was when he wouldn’t let my Aunt Martha Spalding out of her house and mistook her lawn furniture for chew toys. I was forced to find Fluffy a new home.

Bella’s dad Steve Matney said that they know my Aunt Martha and usually sit behind her in church every Sunday. It is a small world. I told them they better not bring up the topic of Fluffy when they see her. It’s still a sore point.

The Carlton sisters from Morristown, Baylee and Maycee both had dogs in the show. Maycee had a Cocker Spaniel and Baylee had a Heinz 57 dog she got from a shelter. They said that they have had a lot of success with the dog training techniques. Unfortunately, none of techniques worked on their little sister, Payslee.

Kaysie and Molly Fogle are both showing Australian Shepards this year. They are granddaughters of Terry Ogden, the Schwinn Sting Ray wheelie champion of 1965. Molly is also learning sewing. She has made some really cute outfits for her dog, Mya, but unfortunately there is no best dressed dog category.

Baileigh Butler, a fourth grader from Loper, was showing her Boxer Bassett mix for the first time. Her little brother Braydyn was getting a head start. He can’t show his dog for three years but he was already working with his Australian Shepard mix, Anna.

Abbey Maple was showing her Boston Terrier Boxer mix, Lucy. Abbey’s older sister, Morgan showed dogs for four years with a Grand Champion for two years. Abbey said that she doesn’t really feel any extra pressure because of the success of her sister.

Marissa Harrell, a sixth grader from Triton, was showing her dog Muncie named for the city where he was born. Marissa is also in the horse and pony club.

Dean Tyner, a Morristown fifth grader was showing his Dalmatian, Ember. Dean said that he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up and thought getting a Dalmatian was a good start on his future career. His father, also named Dean, is the Fire Chief of the Fountaintown Fire Department. His mom Gina told me that her son and Ember share the same birthday, July 17th. If there was a category for dogs with the most spots, Ember would be the Grand Champion.

The Schwinn team is looking forward to seeing all of you loyal readers at Waldron this weekend. It will be the 60th anniversary since Royal Coxswain and local Waldron celebrity, Jack Yeend was named “Little Mr. Firecracker” at the 4th of July celebration.