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Webster Co. Fair — Pets on parade

Seven 4-H’ers compete in pet show on last day of fair

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Charly Scharf, 13, with the Washington Winners 4-H club, pets her Dachshund, Chubs, before the pair competed in the pet project Sunday at the Webster County Fair.

The Webster County Fair reached its conclusion on Sunday with a variety of shows and competitions, including the annual pet show.

The pet show gave seven area 4-H’ers the opportunity to show off their furry, feathery and scaly friends, as well as talk about their role within the family and what it takes to care for them.

Taking best showman was Jeannie Boro, 18, a member of the C/C Sidekicks 4-H club, and her ball python, Nagini.

Named after a character from the “Harry Potter” book and movie franchise, Nagini sat mostly still as Boro described him and how he cares for him.

She’s had the snake for less than a year.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Joy, a Corgi competing in the Webster County Fair 4-H pet project, looks off-stage during the show Sunday. Joy was competing with her human, Hailey Rees, 13, a Washington Winners 4-H’er.

“I’m happy about it for sure,” Boro said after learning she’d taken home best showman.

What made her decide to enter Nagini in the pet show?

“I don’t know,” she said. “My brother’s been in the pet show twice.”

While she’s happy that Nagini won his year, she unfortunately won’t be able to compete again next year, as she has graduated from high school and will be moving on from 4-H.

Nagini wasn’t the only reptile on display at the pet show.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Jacob Shelton, pet project judge, looks over Guinea pig Trixie as her human, Brylie Butrick, 12, with the Dayton Tigers 4-H club, holds her.

Fellow C/C Sidekicks 4-H’er Sam Berry, 14, showed off her bearded dragon, Benjamin.

According to Berry, bearded dragons aren’t very difficult to take care of. They don’t get sick too often, especially if they’re being taken care of.

But Berry added to make sure the heat lamps in their tanks aren’t too hot, as sometimes their toes can burn off.

Fortunately, Benjamin still has all of his toes.

“You don’t ever use sand (in their tank),” Berry said, “as they can ingest it and it can really hurt them.”

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Wondering what her human, Dayton Tigers 4-H’er Paige Weiland, 12, is doing, Sassy stands on her hind legs to try and figure it out. Weiland was not distracted and continued speaking about her dog.

She also keeps a heat lamp, around 90 degrees, in Benjamin’s tank, as well as a small shelter.

“It looks like a turtle shell,” Berry said. “It’s just ceramic.”

Charly Scharf, 13, with the Washington Winners 4-H club, said picking a name for your pet is important, as it’s the name they will go by for the rest of their lives.

She explained how she came up with the name for her Dachshund.

“When you look at my dog, what do you think?” Scharf asked. “I thought, ‘Dang, he’s pretty chubby.’ And that stuck.”

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
SonRays 4-H club member Anna Lewandowski, 18, smiles as she holds her chinchilla, Muffin, before the two of them compete in the Webster County Fair pet project Sunday.

Going by the nickname of Chubs, Scharf said her dog loves to cuddle, but is also a bit shy.

“If he was home right now, he’d be hiding behind the couch for sure,” she said. “Every time someone comes to visit, he always hides, but warms up to everyone eventually.”

SonRays 4-H member Anna Lewandowski, 18, showed two pets during the pet show. One of them was her chinchilla, Muffin, whom she got last year from a fellow 4-H’er looking to rehome her.

Lewandowski highlighted Muffin’s interests.

“She likes dried banana chips, but she also likes dried out blueberries,” she said. “She also has a hamster ball. Sometimes I let her roll around.”

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Jeannie Boro, 18, a member of the C/C Sidekicks 4-H club, gently holds her ball python, Nagini, after the two took first in best showmanship at the 4-H pet show Sunday, the final day of the Webster County Fair.

And when Muffin is given free reign of the house, Lewandowski said she can be unpredictable.

“She can be fast at times,” Lewandowski said. “I guess it just depends on the mood she’s in. One time I couldn’t find her because she was in the couch.”

She also talked about her 3-month-old mallard duck, Poncho, who is best friends with her geese and lives in quite the feathery menagerie.

“Poncho lives with a bunch of chickens and pigeons and robins that are also in the yard,” Lewandowski said, adding that he enjoys eating Bomgaars brand poultry food, mealworms and bread.

Three of the 4-H’ers decided to share the stories of their pets as told from the pet’s perspective.

Hailey Rees, 13, with the Washington Winners 4-H club, spoke for her Corgi, Joy, and shared some of her interests.

“I also love to be lazy and lay around all day,” Rees read from Joy’s perspective.

Additionally, Joy “bragged” about being intelligent and sensitive, but added that her ears need to be checked every day.

Brylie Butrick, 13, a member of the Dayton Tigers 4-H club, spoke from the perspective of Trixie, her Guinea pig.

“My favorite snacks that I try are lettuce and tomatoes,” Butrick read from her pet’s perspecctive. “They are so good. I have an earring because I used to be in a Guinea pig show.”

She added that Trixie loves to snuggle in blankets and spend her time in a miniature pink igloo for her cage.

Not long after Butrick got her Guinea pig, she had three offspring: Millie, Wilbur and Steven.

“They were super wild and loved playing tag,” Butrick read. “Sometimes I played with them.”

Paige Weiland, 13, another Dayton Tigers 4-H’er, told her story from the perspective of her dog, Sassy, a shih tzu/Yorkshire terrier mix.

Speaking as Sassy, Weiland described the dog’s relationship with the other family dog, Artie, a Brittany spaniel.

“Sometimes Artie and I don’t get along that well,” Weiland said. “Other times, we get along very well.”

In Sassy’s voice, Weiland described a day in the life of her dog, from waking up at 5:30 a.m. to how she spends her day.

“If Artie leaves me alone, I like to enjoy long afternoon naps around 5 or 6 at night,” Weiland read as Sassy.

She added her dogs don’t eat near each other.

“I don’t eat by Artie because he is a pig and will eat my food,” Weiland read.

The pet show was judged by Jacob Shelton, who himself participated in the show when he was a 4-H’er. He said there’s a number of factors he looks at when deciding on a winner, including how attentive the 4-H’er is and how well they’ve taken care of their pet.

In addition to the pet show, entertainment included food, a petting zoo, and even helicopter rides.

Elizabeth Weber, of Fort Dodge, was one of the many people who decided to take a ride on the helicopter.

“I’m scared of heights and wanted to get over that fear,” she said. “I thought it was fun.”

She enjoyed her experience in the helicopter.

“It was really cool,” she said. “It’s beautiful up there, too.”

So has her fear been conquered?

“Well, maybe not quite,” she said. “I’ve got to try a couple more things.”

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari
Hope Miller, 14, left, a member of the Washington Winners 4-H club, holds onto Benjamin, a bearded dragon, as his human, Sam Berry, 13, a C/C Sidekicks 4-H’er, describes how to take care of him at the pet project Sunday.