Rylen Brown’s light-up shoes stopped flashing when the 6-year-old sat alongside his mother and bunched up his face to cry.
Amy said she was proud of her youngest and that she’d happily give him one of her purple ribbons, symbolizing superior quality, since “it was that good.” Marley is Rylen’s abnormally big, ornery 3-year-old Shetland sheepdog that Rylen showed at his second-ever dog show Saturday during the Reno County Fair 4-H Dog Show at the Kansas State Fairgrounds.
Marley would go berserk when Rylen would reach down to pet him. Rylen would smile as Marley would spin counter clockwise, then quickly alternate the other way. Although, that same enthusiasm made it hard for Marley to be a standout in obedience.
“Bad dog, Marley,” said 11-year-old Hayden, Rylen’s brother.
Amy grew up doing 4-H dog shows in Barton County. The dog show genes passed to her boys, and dog shows have become bonding events for the Haven family, involving her husband, Ted, too.
Amy told Rylen not to cry, letting him know the judge’s notes listed things they could practice. He smiled and hugged his mother.
“We had four (dogs), but it was an old dog that had cancer,” Rylen said, noting they have three dogs now. He noted Marley was unusual since he didn't like "toys very much."
“It’s fun," Rylen said about doing dog shows
Hayden won a grand champion in an obedience competition for experienced handlers with a beginner dog, despite 1-year-old Onyx chewing at his shoes during down time of that competition.
“She’s a hoot,” Amy said.