MOUNT VERNON — An eight-year member of the K-9 Companions 4-H Club has been named the 2009 recipient of the Sharon Boeshart Memorial Award. Lydia Durbin received the award In a ceremony at the 4-H Dog Show on Monday evening at the Knox County Fair.
The award reads, in part: “The committee looked for someone with leadership, a true love and compassion for animals and the desire to help others. Additionally, Durbin, who’s 16 years old, is a caring and supportive individual helping as a trainer. She had a loss last spring when her 4-year-old dog Gus died. Then she took the dog of an aunt and trained it to show at the fair.”
The award is given by the family of Sharon Boeshart, as a memorial of her life of giving to the K-9 Companions 4-H Club, teaching youth to train dogs and watching them earn awards for their work.
Monday’s show began with the 4-H’ers working their dogs in an agility exercise. The canine fashion show, a feature each year where the young people dress themselves and their dogs in imaginative costumes, was also part of the evening’s activities. The Knox County Commissioners judge the show, with awards going the prettiest, funniest, cutest, most original, most creative, best overall dog costume, best handler and judges choice.
Training their dogs takes considerable time and effort. A four-year 4-H member, Kalianne Clark, 12, worked with her Labrador retriever, Molly, nearly every day when she started obedience training. Then the training dropped to an hour each day. Clark said that living on a farm where her dog can run is good training. Molly was 12 weeks old when Clark got her.
Becca Trumble, 15, a K-9 Campanion member for two years, has trained her black Labador retriever, Sasha. She started training Sasha, who is nearly 2 years old, when Sasha was 6 months old. Trumble lives in the country, where she said lots of open space is ideal for teaching dogs. Working Sasha several hours each day, Becca said she is “pretty strict” with her training.
Judging of the 4-H projects was done a month ago, with points scoring for each class. Last night the top scorers in each class received their awards. The Master Showman award went to Anevin Tharp, with her sister, Anesha, taking Reserve Master Showman.
A complete list of winners will appear in the results tab in the Aug. 5 edition of the News.