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Several pooches display their stuff at 4-H Dog Show

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Lindsey Blake poses with her dog Sakari Blizzard, an American Eskimo, after showing him in the Veterans division of Saturday’s 4-H Dog Show at Memorial Park. Sakari Blizzard was rescued after being abandoned in an apartment, has doubled his weight, and is now eight years old.
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Cora Russell, a 10-year 4-H member, shows her dog LeDoux, a Mini Texas Heeler, in the Obedience 1A class during Saturday’s 4-H Dog Show at Memorial Park. Russell got LeDoux from a breeder here in Henry County when he was seven weeks old. Now one year old, LeDoux is very easy to train, according to Russell.

By DAVID RISLEY - drisley@thecouriertimes.com

Dogs of many types and sizes were shown by their owners before the heat kicked in Saturday morning in the annual 4-H Dog Show at Frank Shuler Arena in Memorial Park.

The show was hosted by the Henry County 4-H Tailshakers Club and its various sponsors. The show was divided into several segments, starting with Mini 4-H followed by Veterans, Obedience 1B, Obedience 1A, Junior Showmanship, Intermediate Showmanship, and Senior Showmanship.

There was one person in the Veterans category, Lindsay Blake, who showed her dog Sakari Blizzard, an American Eskimo. Blake had an interesting story on how she acquired Sakari Blizzard.

“My aunt actually found him on Facebook of the Hamilton County Humane Society,” Blake said. “He had been abandoned in an apartment when he was about one year old and I’ve shown him for seven years, so he’s about eight. He’s in much better shape now and has doubled his weight.”

Sakari Blizzard isn’t an old dog, per se, but is older than many of the dogs shown on Saturday.

“When dogs get to be his age, the judges ease off somewhat on the dog,” Blake noted. “He did all right today, but the judges told me he needed some more attention training. I agree with that because he’s kind of hyperactive.”

Blake is looking forward to showing Sakari Blizzard at the Indiana State Fair for the first time.

“I’m really excited about that,” Blake added. “You’re not asked to do any more with your dog than you are at the county fair, but the state fair is super-competitive.”

In the obedience divisions, one judge evaluated how the owner’s dog looked when walking with the owner and through a figure-8 with two individuals standing still.

Madison Stewart, a Tri High School volleyball player and cheerleader and seven-year 4-H Club member, showed her dog Fitzgerald, a Sheltie, in the obedience 1B division.

“The judges are looking for obedience, how the dog follows the commands of the owner, how it walks and sits, and if it gets distracted by its surroundings,” Stewart said. “Fitzgerald got a couple points off in sitting, but the judges told me it was hard to find anything else to mark him down on, which was nice to hear.”

Cora Russell, who is home-schooled and has completed all requirements for high school graduation, showed her dog LeDoux, a Mini Texas Heeler, in the Obedience 1A division.

“Some people might think LeDoux is from a rare breed, but actually it’s quite common,” Russell said. “I got him from a breeder right here in Henry County when he was just seven weeks old. I’ve had him ever since and he’s a year old now.”

Russell spoke about the training of LeDoux.

“He’s been super-easy to train,” Russell remarked. “He listens to all my commands and is a good student. The judges told me I might want to change a couple of the commands, but they told be he did remarkably well for being just one year old. After all, he’s still a puppy.”

This is Russell’s first (and final year) in the dog project and she talked about it, her other 4-H projects, and the future.

“I really had a blast in the dog project this year,” Russell added. “I’ve been involved with photography and gift-wrapping, and also am involved in swine, goats and cattle. I’m taking a year off from school to work and save for college, and want to do something in the veterinary field.”

Russell was honored at the end of Saturday’s competition as the Tailshakers Club’s only 10-year 4-H member.