Domino, a black-and-white cocker spaniel-dachsund mixed puppy, sits quietly in his owner’s lap waiting for their turn in the fenced off show arena in the Junior Fair Building.
He would at times switch laps to one of Ky Knoch’s friends or relatives, getting a better view of his surroundings and a few more pettings on his head and scratches under his chin.
Ky, 10, of Botkins said she thought bringing Domino to the fair and training him for the obedience portion of the show would be fun and would be good training for the 10-month old puppy.
When it comes to showing Domino, the Tailwagger’s member replied, “What’s not to like — sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s not, but it is always fun and he does OK.”
Ky said she would bring Domino to practice an hour early for each weekly practice to work with him and help him learn to settle down when competing with the other dogs since he was a puppy.
“He does everything pretty well, but he does not want to stay,” Ky said, noting they have been practicing together since May 4. “He’s very friendly and he wants to play.”
During the obedience part of the show, dogs are required to sit, lay down, stay, walk, stand, heel and recall, which means to stay in a spot as the owner walks away and to come to the owner only when called or motioned.
Domino, who is Ky’s fourth dog and first dog she trained, has Wapakoneta roots.
“We were looking on Craigslist around Christmas and we bought it from a lady in Wapakoneta,” Ky said. “He just stood out from among the rest — all calm and not hyper.”
Today, Domino stays in his own kennel in the house, but he is the family lap dog, getting attention from Ky, her sisters, Kimber and Kate, and her parents, Jo Martin and Ben Knoch.
Ky decided this spring she wanted to do something different with Domino.
“I thought it would be fun, and I always wanted to be in 4-H but I never knew what I needed to do,” Ky said. “My friends and my cousins are in 4-H and they told me about it.”
Her cousins are Amanda and Allison Presnell.
Up to Saturday’s show, Ky said she is proud of her blue ribbon in outstanding livestock interview, but now she was looking forward to showing what Domino learned to do.
Jillian Wine brought her dog, Bella, but the pair may never have made it to the show together.
The daughter of Clarinda and Doug Wine had ordered a dog through Pat’s Pets store, but she noticed another dog in the meantime — the reddish-brown cocker spaniel-Beshong mix puppy. There hair color matched and the dog’s temperament was perfect, plus she fell in love with it at first sight. She returned three times to the pet store before convincing her parents to purchase the puppy.
Jillian said, “She loves her because she’s cuddly.” She overlooks her desire to chew everyone’s shoes.
The 11-year-old St. Marys girl joined Tailwaggers and brought Bella with her to the practices held once each week in the Miller Building at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
Jillian revealed some secrets to his training.
“I use treats,” Jillian said. “She likes to lay down so she has trouble standing, but you only have to softly touch her back and she stands.”
Like Ky, she enjoyed the interview part of the show held earlier and was introduced to the activity by friends.
“I really liked the interview proceess,” Jillian said. “I get nervous when you have to show.
“I decided to enter because they (friends sitting around her) were all doing it,” Jillian said about Madison, Makayla and Michael Key, of St. Marys. “I also just thought it would be fun and she needs a little bit of training.”
Jillian said Bella was responding well to the training.
Moriah Dilbine picked up her pomeranian-Welsch corgi mixed from the floor to comb the dog’s fur to give her a little more fluff. She has had “Charlie” for nearly two years.
She adopted Charlie from friends who moved to the area from Arizona, where they got Charlie from an animal shelter. Her friends could not keep the dog after they moved to the area so she offered to keep the young dog.
This is the New Knoxville Schools student’s first year showing a dog at the fair.
She also is a member of Tailwaggers and her friends and family convinced her to “throw her hat into the ring.”
“Everybody said he was such a cute dog and I should show him and then I finally decided I wanted to show him,” the daughter of Mary and Bob Dilbine said.
Moriah said a friend and adviser in the Horse and Pony Pioneers helped convince her to enter Charlie into the obedience portion of the show.
She has been training Charlie since June.
“He is doing pretty good, but he is still a little inexperienced and doesn’t know all the tricks but he gets most of them,” Moriah said.
She said he does well on sitting and laying down, but he needs to work on standing because he prefers to sit.
She said she thought it would be fun for her and Charlie to do something together at the fair.
“He is really calm just by nature,” Moriah said about why she loves him, “and he likes to run and have fun.”