Share Fair, Fun And Loyalty With Your Pets

FOCUS ON PETS

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Paw Prints, the newsletter of Paws in the Park, has a photo and story that so well expresses the love and loyalty of dogs. A fireman found this Doberman pinscher in a burning home. He was quite afraid of Dobermans, but picked her up and carried her outside to safety and then continued to fight the fire. Later, he was resting for a moment and this dog walked up to him and licked his face, cleaning away the soot and grime. She picked him out from among many men there to thank him for his kindness. A photographer from the local paper happened to catch this wonderful photo.

We have not given dogs enough credit for their ability to learn. Neither have we given them credit for their unbelievable loyalty. There was an Akita, the national dog of Japan, who went every day to the train station waiting for his master. The man had died but the dog kept looking for him for years until he finally died. Many dogs have saved the lives of their masters. Many have lost their lives saving those they love.

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Dogs and all kinds of feathered and furry creatures will be performing or just looking beautiful at the Northern Gila County Fair.

Dogs love those who care for them. It is tragic when a dog goes from one home to another throughout his life without the opportunity to share that great love and devotion. My rescue dog, Megan, came to me pregnant. For eight weeks, those puppies were underfoot, following me around, playing with me and lapping up the bowls of food I brought to them. Those pups are now four years old and still recognize me and are happy to see me.

The loyalty of dogs is unequaled. So many are not deserving of that loyalty. I always wonder why anyone would get a dog if they were not going to make it part of their family and their life. Dogs deserve that.

The Northern Gila County Fair is Sept. 9, 10 and 11 at the rodeo grounds in Payson. For all those who love their dogs and other pets and want an opportunity to show them off, this is the place. There are events for just 4-H kids and lots of open events for all ages. Pick up a fair book at the Payson or Pine library, the Park and Recreation office and at Sunny Mountain Realty in Pine. All entry forms and information are in the fair book.

Get your pet all dressed up because there is some place to go -- the Gila County Fair. The pet-owner look-alike contest and the pet costume event will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. Any kind of pet can enter. There will be prizes for the winners. For more information, call Susie Belcher at (928) 472-9910.

A fun dog show will be held on Sunday, Sept. 11. Registration is at 11 a.m. There will be obedience, most talented, best costume, longest ears and longest tail. Call Helen Young at (928) 474-6477 for information.

There will be two events for horse enthusiasts. A fun horse show will be at 6 30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9. Registration is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. There will be games on horseback, keyhole, barrels, poles and a flag race. Come with your horse or just come and watch the fun.

On Saturday, there will be an open horse show and everyone is invited to participate. There will be halter classes, 4-H showmanship, leadline, bareback equitation, western pleasure and horsemanship, trail, reining, driving class, English equitation and pleasure. Early registration is required. Entries must be received by Wednesday, Sept. 7. No late entries will be accepted. Mail entries to Brenda Steelman, P.O. Box 2393, Pine, 85544. Call Brenda with questions, (928) 476-0809.

Small animals will be exhibited throughout the fair. Entries must be received by Sept. 6. There will be classes for rabbits, Guinea pigs, fur class, poultry, pigeons and all other caged birds. The 4-H kids will be doing demonstrations on Saturday afternoon. For information about small animals, call Kin James at (928) 978-9166.

A special treat, Raptors Inc., will be presenting an on-going program from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday. They have a variety of birds of prey and an Asian Arctic Owl that is almost 4 feet tall.

Be sure to pick up your fair booklet, read all the information and get your entries in on time. There are also entries for food, photography and more. There was no fair last year. These folks are really working to put together a fun and meaningful event. Come and participate or just come and enjoy the many events.

Christy Powers can be reached by e-mail at cpwrather@earthlink.net or by snail mail at HC1 Box 210, Strawberry, AZ 85544.

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