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Kodiak 4-H held its annual dog show over the weekend. Members trained their pets and brought them for the event at Kodiak Baptist Mission after the Farmers Market.
On a chilly Saturday morning at the Kodiak Baptist Mission, a dozen children stand to attention in a paddock usually reserved for horses and goats. At their feet are dogs of different breeds and colors, standing at attention.
Some watch intently as the two judges slowly pass, marking clipboards as they go – but others just smile thoughtlessly, tongues hanging from their heads as a gathering crowd looks on.
Greyson Foreman, 12, stands next to the other children with his dog Chester – a small Australian Shepherd with a tan and white coat. Greyson says Chester needs some time to get used to you.
“Chester is nice once he gets to know you. But often, when he’s at our house, he barks at a lot of strangers. So you have to get to know him before he becomes your friend,” Greyson said.
This is Greyson’s first time on the show. After seeing the 4-H show last year, he was determined to take part. He’s been training 2-year-old Chester since he got him as a puppy.
Greyson’s mother, Kelly Foreman, says that in addition to the responsibility of looking after and training Chester, Greyson also gets a lot out of the competition part of the show.
“You get to that part of the show. And you really like that good stress, you know, it’s a good safe environment to have some of the first stresses that a child will have for the rest of their life. They’re going to have to be in front of people and talk whether they like it or not,” Kelly said.
Barbara Waskowiac, leader of Kodiak 4-H, organized a week-long training program for 4-H members and their dogs. She trained animals with 4-H as a child and says the benefits are immense.
“Working with animals is a great gift and a great… The success of being able to train your dog to do what you want it to do, also helps everyone in the family to have a well-behaved, well-trained dog” , Waskowiac said.
The dogs took an agility course and a timed test to see who can sit most still if their handler walks away for a period of minutes. In the end, Jillian Koran and her Australian Shepherd Spar won first place, Zoey Zimmerman finished second with her rat terrier Groot, and Elianna Valladolid finished third with her mini Australian Shepherd/Poodle mix Betty.
Kodiak 4-H is hosting a livestock show and auction on Saturday, September 3 at the Kodiak Fairgrounds.