Harrisburg – A packed arena enthusiastically cheered on talented dogs during the “Farm to Fun” dog demonstration, held Sunday, Jan. 9, at the 2011 Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Entertaining the crowd were the dogs and their handlers from Canine Companions, Jet Set Flyball, the Summit and Northeast Search and Rescue teams and K-9s in Flight.
In the Canine Companions agility event, pairs of dogs raced against each other over jumps and through tunnels. The audience was encouraged to cheer on the dogs as they raced through the course.
Jet Set Flyball took the stage next with dogs trained to snatch tennis balls and bring them back to their handlers. Six volunteer kids from the audience tried the same event, racing against the dogs, but the canines were much faster at the game.
Terri Heck from Summit Search and Rescue brought her bloodhound, Merit, for lost child search and criminal line-up demonstrations, and golden retriever Bailey from the Northeast Search and Rescue team sniffed out an unidentified substance from beneath one-of-four cones.
Belgian sheepdog Eli, owned by Sherry Hanley, greeted the crowd next. After the tragedy of Sept. 11, Eli worked with the New York City Police Department and the National Guard as a remorse therapy dog for victims and their families. He was recognized as a hero of his kind, providing a service hard to find among humans.
Wrapping up the show with energy and excitement was K-9s in Flight’s “Frisbee Dogs.” Handlers John Misita and Gale Mirabella brought several talented canines, including Lulu, Popper the Show Stopper and Razzle Dazzle, to catch Frisbees across the arena, up in the air and bounced off the ground.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 290 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 8-15 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $10.
For more information, visit www.farmshow.state.pa.us.
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