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  • Last modified 19 days ago (July 26, 2018)

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Who let the dogs out?

Staff writer

It was a dog day morning Saturday at Marion County Fair in Hillsboro.

Eight 4-H members competed in agility, showmanship and obedience trials.

Kole Kroupa started the year training his old farm dog, but it weighed 70 pounds and dragged the boy all over.

Not discouraged, he asked to borrow his grandma’s Mi-Ki, Crackers. The Mi-Ki breed is fairly new and rare.

It was the first fair for both boy and dog, and Crackers was the smallest dog competing.

Kole’s mother, Kim, said the 8-year-old had gained patience learning to care for the dog.

“He’s learned bathing and grooming, dental health, and nutrition,” Kim said. “He and Crackers have learned basic commands to take part in obedience and agility trials.”

Happy Hustlers 4-H member Charlotte James of Marion brought in the largest dog — her Belgian sheep dog, Gideon.

“I’m surprised at how quickly they learn and remember things,” 13-year-old Charlotte said.

She has been in 4-H for four years and competed three times at the dog show. Her biggest challenge with Gideon has been keeping his pure black coat clean.

“The funniest story about Gideon was when I was 4 or 5 years old. He’s a big dog. When my mother called me to come home, Gideon listened. He turned around and dragged me down the sidewalk to home,” Charlotte said.

Morgan Gaines is an old-timer in the 4-H dog show world. She’s been a member for nine years and competed in the project for eight of them.

A Peabody Achievers 4-H member, she loves working with dogs, especially her Australian Shepherd, Hank.

As she nears completion of her 4-H career, she’s taken a leadership role in the project.

“I’m the county dog leader,” she said.

She has been meeting regularly with members to help prepare them for showing.

She loves to work with dogs and loves seeing the connection between 4-H members and their animals grow.

Hank has helped her understand the responsibilities of owning and caring for an animal.

“We both have to learn skills and commands to work as a team,” she said.

Last modified July 26, 2018

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