TROY — Despite the overcast skies and threat of rain, the Dog Grooming and Showmanship Show at the Miami County Fair drew a crowd Saturday afternoon as participants showed off the best of their best friends.
Serenity Mullins is an 11-year-old from Dayton and a first-year member of the Monroe Muttlies 4-H club. Her parents are Janelle and Spencer Mullins and her border collie, Neo, competed in the obedience and showmanship shows.
Her favorite part of participating in 4-H has been forging a bond with Neo, not just as pet and owner, but also as friends.
“It can’t be perfect all the time — there’s some mess-ups,” Mullins said. “But I’ve also learned that it is really fun to do. It’s just a blast.”
Nathan Alspaugh, 13, of Tipp City, competed in Pre-Novice Obedience and Intermediate B Showmanship with his boxer/Jack Russell terrier-mix, Lexi. The son of Rachel and Philip Alspaugh, he belongs to Perfect Paws 4-H club.
This is his third year competing in 4-H and for him, the most rewarding part has been getting to spend time with Lexi every day.
“This stuff looks easy, but it isn’t. You have to put a lot of time and work with your dog, but it’s a lot of fun spending time with them,” Alspaugh said.
A six-year participant in 4-H, 17-year-old Anastasia Minnich hails from Troy and is the daughter of Lori Minnich. She is a member of the Perfect Paws 4-H Club and participated in the Pre-Novice and Senior B Showmanship Show with her Lab mix, Oliver.
Spending time with her best friend has been a rewarding part of Minnich’s time in 4-H, but the best part goes deeper.
“He trusts me, and I know he’s okay being around me,” Minnich said. “We both have fun together.”
Reach Blythe Alspaugh at firstname.lastname@example.org