Lewis was like no other dog entered into Saturday’s 13th annual Dog Days Dog Show.
When Constance Seward of Columbus adopted the 10-year-old basset hound/Labrador retriever mix 8½ years ago, he only had three legs.
Seward learned Lewis had been found along the road and was taken to an animal shelter with a bad front-right leg. The leg had been amputated shortly before Seward took him home from the shelter.
Saturday’s show in Seymour gave Seward an opportunity to share her story, as she entered Lewis into the best rescue story category.
“You save their lives, and they deserve to be saved. They deserve a good home just like everybody,” Seward said of the importance of rescuing animals.
Seward said she volunteers for Community Animal Rescue Effort in Columbus and the city’s animal shelter. She came down Saturday to support the show’s sponsor, the Humane Society of Jackson County.
She wasn’t planning on entering the show, which drew 30 dogs with 24 owners from Seymour, Brownstown and Columbus competing in 11 categories. But then she saw the best rescue story category and had to sign up.
Seward said she is glad she rescued Lewis.
“Normally, in those days, he would have just been euthanized because of the expense of dealing with the leg,” she said. “But C.A.R.E. took him in and arranged to have that leg removed, and then he was my foster and I never let him go. They suggested him because they thought he would be an easy foster for me for starters.”
Having three legs has presented challenges for Lewis.
“He hurts. I have to keep him on pain medicine. I didn’t always have to, but I do now with him,” Seward said. “It affects all of his spine and his hips and everything. He can’t walk normally. He has to hop. Nowadays, he really does get tired quickly. He used to go quite well.”
Seward said she hasn’t regretted adopting a three-legged dog, and she likes sharing his story.
“Children especially, they say, ‘Where is his other leg?’” she said. “They see that it’s fine for them to have a missing leg and still make good pets.”
If she could, Seward said she would rescue all dogs because Lewis has been a good companion.
“He is just absolutely people crazy, crazy for love from people,” she said. “He’s a good little guy.”
Greg Goen of Seymour wound up with an award-winning dog at the end of Saturday’s show. His 13-year-old cocker spaniel, Puanani, won the best trick category.
Goen found the dog for sale when he was living in Hawaii, and its name means “pretty flower” in Hawaiian. The dog learned tricks from a young age.
“When she was about 6 weeks old, she would sit up to beg, and she would roll over,” Goen said. “I guess she just figured if she did tricks, she would get a reward.”
On Saturday, Puanani showed how she plays dead when Goen says “bang, bang,” rolls over and begs and sits up.
Goen said the dog learned some tricks on her own, while he taught one of the tricks, and his daughter taught some.
“She’s just smart, a little bit too smart sometimes,” he said of Puanani.
This was Goen’s second year of participating in the show but first time winning. His wife entered two dogs this year, one of which is a rescue dog, but their other dog wasn’t feeling well.
At home, the couple also have seven cats, a Quaker parrot, 50 chickens and nine geese.
“I want to get more, but she’s putting the brakes on,” Goen said, smiling.
Another winner Saturday was Michele Schuerman, who won for dog most resembling owner with her 3-year-old Chihuahua, Twee.
Schuerman wore a red pea coat and cheetah-print dress, while Twee wore a small red coat and a cheetah-print harness.
“My mom actually got me the dress, and then the coat was just given to me recently as a gift,” Schuerman said. “We were putting the costumes together (Friday) night, and I was like, ‘Hey, I can wear the red pea coat, and it’ll match.’ It was just a coincidence it all came together.”
The pair also competed in the best dressed category, but they only earned an award for dog most resembling owner. That was good considering it was their first time entering the show, Schuerman said.
“It’s great to win,” she said, smiling.
Schuerman said it’s nice to have an event for people and their dogs.
“I think it’s great to have something like this in Seymour to do because there’s not a lot of stuff for people to do with their pets,” she said. “It brings people and their pets together, and it’s good to promote the Humane Society and people helping their pets.”
Winners of the 13th annual Dog Days Dog Show
Most hair: Holly, St. Bernard, owner David Neuman
Longest tail: Holly, St. Bernard, owner David Neuman
Shortest natural tail: Fudge, Australian Shepherd, owner Chris Parisi
Oldest dog: Tequila, Chihuahua mix, owner Leslie Kruse
Best dressed: Charlie, toy poodle, owner Katie Deppen
Most unique: Lily, pit bull/basset hound mix, owner Nicohl Birdwell Goodin
Longest ears: Jed, basset hound, owner Kim Robbins
Most resembling owner: Twee, Chihuahua, owner Michele Schuerman
Precious puppy: Neon, Bernese mountain dog, owner Roni Jo Scarlett
Best trick: Puanani, cocker spaniel, owner Greg Goen
Best rescue story: J.J., Chihuahua, owner Greta Terry