GREENFIELD — Despite spending hour after hour and month after month training for the 4-H Dog Show at the county fair, when Logan Overman took to the agility course with his dog, Teddy, on the big day Friday, Teddy did what Teddy wanted.
Shaking his head disappointedly while looking toward 4-H officials, Logan, a seventh-grader at Greenfield Central Junior High School, shrugged his shoulders and walked out of the center show ring with Teddy on a leash after their agility run.
Teddy, a 3-year-old Dachshund-Sheltie mix, had himself a whale of a time running the opposite direction nearly every time Logan – who 4-H officials say is one of the hardest-working youngsters in the Dog Show – tried to get him to obey.
Still, it’s all part of the process, Logan said afterward, sitting with a an obviously content – and oblivious – Teddy in his lap.
“It’s OK,” Logan said, having shaken off the disappointment of their performance.
As if sensing Teddy might be a bit of handful prior to their time in the agility ring, Logan said regardless of how animals show during 4-H competition, it’s all about learning life lessons.
“Even though your dog may not be listening that day or isn’t in the mood, you just have to get up and wipe yourself off and try again,” Logan said.
Logan’s father, Tim Overman, said the experience his son is getting while taking part in 4-H activities will pay off regardless of how well Logan and Teddy showed.
“This has given him some responsibility,” he said. “Logan’s always trying and wanting to do and be the best at things that he could be.”
Agility trainer Judy Schroeder said regardless of how well the youngsters and their dogs perform, show day is what they’ve been training for.
“Logan is the kind of kid who shows up early to work on things that he’ll need to know for next year,” she said.
He wasn’t the only one learning about how hard it is to train and then show a dog during competition.
Brandywine Elementary School sixth-grader Kiera Wiseman had double duty. She trained and showed her two 3-year-old dogs, Wicket and Chirpa.
“Showing my dogs is my life,” Kiera said. “I love it.”
It was her second year taking part in the 4-H Dog Show. Last year, she and Wicket worked together and ended up placing 16th at the Indiana State Fair and fourth at the Hancock County 4-H Fair.
Kiera had so much fun training Wicket that she wanted to get Chirpa in on the show this year.
“It was a lot of hard work training two dogs,” Kiera said. “We start out not knowing barely anything on the dogs, and then they come to know just about everything that could be.”
Her father, Jake Wiseman, said it’s been great watching his daughter take on the training for the family dogs.
“I’m pretty proud of her, although the dogs showed so-so today,” he said.
A few stalls down from Kiera was tuckered-out 10-year-old Megan Ashley from Fortville Elementary School, who was processing her first year of dog competition with her dog, Lily.
“I just like showing how good you are at something,” Megan said. “With the dog, you have the chance to see if the dog can do something or if they are good at it.”
While Megan is a four-year veteran of 4-H shows, having taken part in horsemanship and pocket pets events, she said showing Lily was special.
“We got into the finals of showmanship, and I think she did really good in obedience and agility,” Megan said. “The only thing she didn’t do in obedience was sit.”
Megan’s mother, April Ashley, was a 10-year 4-H member and said being a part of all the fair activities is important for her daughter.
“She loves animals, so this has been a good opportunity for her to work with them and her dog,” she said. “She’s gaining some friends and learning about a good strong work ethic.”