Proud owners showcase pets at weekend 4-H event
By SCOTT AUST
Jacob Arnold's excitement could barely be contained after his hamster Spunky was named grand champion of the 4-H pet show on Saturday morning at the Finney County Fairgrounds.
As soon as his name was read, the 11-year-old leaped from his seat and ran to the judge's table to get his paperwork.
Jacob said Spunky is 11 months old but doesn't really know any tricks, though he does have good night vision and runs really fast.
"They're cute," Jacob said when asked about the best part of owning a hamster.
Jacob's sister, Sophia Arnold, also showed off a hamster, Luke, who earned a blue ribbon as cutest pet. Both Arnolds are members of the 4-H Challengers club.
Sophia said Luke is 10 months old and needs daily attention.
"You have to give them fresh food and fresh water every day, and clean their cage weekly," she said. "He can run around for peanuts, and climb up his cage and run fast. He also does gymnastics."
Broken into two divisions, 4-H and Open Class, Saturday's pet show brought out many dogs, a few cats, hamsters, fish, and even a turtle.
Debra Brungardt and her granddaughter, Avigail, brought T.C., a roughly 1-year-old cat who they think is a Maine Coon though Brungardt said she isn't really sure since he was a rescue.
"I rescued him when he was about four weeks old. He was out and hungry and in the middle of nowhere," she said.
Avigail, 6, said her cat does come to his name, and stretches when she tells him to.
"I like the color of him," Avigail said. "Also, it's funny when he goes, 'meow', in the car. It's really loud."
Brungardt said T.C. knows the word, "treat", and will come running when he hears it. And while he doesn't travel well inside a pet carrier inside the car, T.C., entered in the open class division of the pet show, was plenty playful and relaxed when outside the cage at the 4-H building.
"I wanted to bring him today so we could get that experience, but also to show that you can rescue and tame wild kitties, though he was really little when we found this one."
Brandon Tremmel, 11, showed off his little dog, Remy, a two-year old Pinscher-Blue Heeler mix who earned a couple of ribbons as Most Lovable and Adult Pet in the 4-H class.
"He plays fetch, and he likes to play basketball and football," Tremmel said. "The best part is he's very lovable. He's a good guard dog."
Tremmel, a member of the Go Getters 4-H Club, is doing some crafts projects at the fair this week. He said he also enjoys the rides.
Audrey Musil, age 9, brought her nine-year-old dog, Krissy, a happy-faced Lhasa Apso wearing a blue bow with white polka dots to hold the hair out of her face who proudly perched on the lap of Denise Musil, Audrey's mom, while waiting for judging to begin.
"She likes to play, and go for walks," Audrey said. "She's a very good dog."
Krissy can also shake hands.
"Krissy. Shake," Aubrey commanded as Krissy stuck out her paw.
Four-year-old Colten Musil brought Chloe, a two-year-old shih tzu to the pet show, which was an animal shelter rescue.
"She likes to play a lot, too," Aubrey said.
Denise Musil said she gets a kick out of seeing the other pets.
"Last year we brought a whole bunch of pets, but this year we just brought the two dogs because it is a lot of work," she said.
Aubrey and Colten were looking forward to this week's fair. Aubrey said she likes looking at the duct tape 4-H projects, while Colten agreed with his mom's suggestion about seeing the demolition derby and monster truck shows.
The Finney County Fair runs from Wednesday through Saturday this week.