COLUMBIA — Eight years ago, when Allison Frappier, now 17, walked into the Central Missouri Humane Society, a brown-eyed beagle mix with brown-, white- and black-speckled fur sat chewing at the bars of her cage.
After being adopted and returned by a number of families, the 13-week-old puppy, Kasey, finally found her permanent home with the Frappiers.
At age 9, Frappier immediately began training Kasey, and she always envisioned dog shows in her previously unwanted puppy's future, she said. Kasey went through basic obedience training and then moved to more advanced training.
Within a year, Kasey began entering dog shows through Missouri 4-H.
On Tuesday night, Frappier and Kasey competed at the Boone County 4-H/FFA Dog Show. Ten other area youths competed with their dogs in Tuesday's show, which featured classes in showmanship, an obstacle course, costumes and tricks. There were also demonstrations of jumpers, tunnels and nose work.
Kasey, who has won 20 show titles in the past eight years, competed in the agility demonstration Tuesday night. Frappier and Kasey competed with confidence, but that confidence was something that had to be earned.
"You have to be consistent and persistent," Frappier said. "If you don’t do the same thing consistently, they won’t get it."
From the beginning, Kasey proved to be the most difficult dog Frappier had to train. Between her beagle blood and her shelter background, Kasey had a mind of her own. But as the bond between the two grew, the training became easier.
"Allison has worked and dedicated herself to this dog," said Denise Skouby, a friend and co-owner of Frappier's 2-year-old black Labrador. "That's a level of trust she has earned."
Frappier spends Monday through Saturday training her dogs and takes a break only on Sundays, she said. Although they demand a lot of her time, she loves everything that showing entails.
"You really get to bond with them and get to know them better than you would if they were just pets," Frappier said.
Before Kasey and Frappier walked into the arena to perform, the two practiced in a separate room. The admiration the teen has for her dog showed through as the two of them practiced.
"She didn’t have to learn to like them — she always loved them," said her mother, Doreen Frappier.
Allison Frappier and Kasey took first place in the agility demonstration Tuesday night after the dog jumped over a stick, rolled between Frappier’s legs and performed a conga dance. Kasey, wearing a red, flower-patterned collar and wagging her tail, happily accepted a few Pup-Peroni treats and a hearty back scratch from her owner after the demonstration.
"She just loves her Allison," Doreen Frappier said. "And her food."
This is the first year the annual dog show has been held at the Central Missouri Events Center, the home of the Boone County Fair. Dog show superintendent Julie Holle said she hopes the show will return to the fairgrounds in coming years.
The 2014 Boone County Fair continues through Saturday, and another dog show will take place Saturday.
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