SHELBYVILLE — The Dog Days of Summer Dog Show lived up to its name this year as hot and humid conditions during the day set the stage for the annual event at Lake Shelbyville Saturday afternoon.
This was the first year the dog show was held at the Forrest W. “Bo” Wood campground as the traditional venue was not available this year, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lead Ranger of Interpretive Services and Outreach Ashley Florey, who also served as Master of Ceremonies for the event.
“We’re building a new amphitheater at Coon Creek and we really didn’t have a place to have it,” Florey said. “So we decided to change the location in hopes of drawing more folks from the Sullivan area.”
Florey said the number of participants varies every year.
“The weather is very crucial,” Florey said. “It’s pretty hot today and pretty hot on the dogs as well.”
“We get anywhere from 15 to 30 dogs,” Florey added. “Some years are high and some are low.”
Nineteen dogs were registered in Saturday’s event. Each registered dog was eligible to compete for two of five categories; Best Trick, Smallest Dog, Largest Dog, Most Precious Puppy and Best Dressed.
Morgan Powers came to the dog show with her mom, Carol Powers, and Carol’s fiance, Joe Kortte, all of Shelbyville.
Kortte entered his purebred Siberian Huskey named Leo and Morgan Powers registered her dog, Loki, a French bulldog and Boston terrier mix, in the Best Trick category. This was the first year Kortte and Powers entered dogs in the annual show.
“My sister helped out with the show last year and told us about it,” Powers said. “And we decided to come this year.”
Debi Croy of Mattoon was camping at the Forrest W. “Bo” Wood campground, where she read a sign about the dog show.
“I read the sign and thought why not have some fun and get outside today,” Croy said. “I’m signed up for Best Dressed and Smallest Dog categories.”
Croy brought Benji, her half Yorkshire terrier and half Pomeranian mix, and Frankie, a Scottish terrier, both dressed up in patriotic dog wear.
But the Best Dressed Dog was a boxer named Diesel, owned by Terry Becker of Moweaqua, who took top honor for his fishing costume.
The Best Trick award went to Missy, a Border Collie, owned by Diana Sullivan. Missy performed both a high-five and a high-10 standing on her back legs.
The Smallest Dog was a Chihuahua named Ralph, brought on stage by Arissa Warner of Mattoon.
Matt Purdeu of Brazil, Indiana, took home top honors in the Biggest Dog category with his 2-year-old Great Dane Titan coming in at 110 pounds.
Two dogs were entered in the Most Precious Puppy category. Kevin DeValk of Shelbyville entered a 6-month-old Australian Shepherd and Pit mix named Malcolm that he is fostering for EARS of Effingham. Kim Voegel of Sullivan entered her dog, Ozzie, a 12-week-old Great Pyrenees and Anatolian Shepherd mix.
Ozzie won the hearts of the judges, taking home the Most Precious Puppy crown.
Charles Mills can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 217-347-7151 ext. 126.