Linda Conley, the office manager for the show's sponsor, Nash, Cleveland and Godfrey, acted as emcee, as she has for the 15 years she has worked at the veterinary clinic.
"They've normally had this in the afternoon, but decided to do it early this year so the pets wouldn't get so hot," Conley said.
No worries there; rain and wind were abundant during the contest, but didn't seem to affect the 22 entries and good-sized audience. Smallest pup, cutest kitten, purebreds, costumes and trick dogs were among the many divisions that owners proudly flaunted their animals in.
"We just wanted to socialize him," said Karl Glafenheim of Danville, about entering his 5-month-old Neapolitan Mastiff, Slayter. With gray eyes and a wrinkled hound dog appearance, Slayter creates quite a stir no matter where they take him, Glafenheim said.
Slayter took the blue ribbon in the purebred division. "She's a Boyle County purebred," joked Randy Ashmore of Danville. Ashmore was referring to his dog, Vesta, brought home by the family from the Humane Society. Tasha, the older dog, is a Mercer County purebred, he said.
Vesta was entered in the dog tricks category because she can talk like a pirate. "Arrrrr, arrrrrrr," Ashmore demonstrated before the contest, only Vesta wasn't in the mood. She came in third, with BJ the Pomeranian, shown by Becky Owens, coming in first place.
Vesta and Tasha did get their kudos in the mixed breed division. Vesta won first place and her house-mate, Tasha, came in second.
Outfits ranged from beachwear to Santa Claus
Yorkshire Terriers, Pekinese and Chihuahuas were among the many entered in the costume contest, and outfits ranged from beachwear to Santa Claus and the tooth fairy to a wild teenager. Phylis Middleton won with her experienced Chihuahua, Sassy, dressed as an aviator in goggles, leather jacket and a scarf.
Buddy, a 3-year old tri-colored Chihuahua, was barking at other much bigger dogs in the aisle as they passed.
"The judges at another fair told us that if there was a class for dogs that don't know what size they are he'd win it every time," said Buddy's owner, Vickie Feldman of Lancaster.
Buddy was raised with four larger dogs and apparently thinks he's one, too, she explained. "He only barks and growls at dogs way bigger than he is."
Snappy the duck and Twinkie the huge cat were in the "strangest animal" division, with a tiny turtle named Miracle.
"No honey! You don't go on stage," said Davina Cook to her 4-year old daughter, Montanna Adams, both of Hustonville. Montanna was walking her 7-week old Boston Terrier, Pandy, for the smallest puppy contest and after receiving the blue ribbon began to walk up the steps to the stage instead of to her mother in the audience. "She's always watching the dog shows on TV and thought she was supposed to walk him in a circle like they do," Cook said with a laugh.
As the rain subsided and the contest wound down, so did some of the pets. Chloe, a Yorkshire Terrier, had a pink and perky bow on top of her head but wasn't feeling so perky herself.
Chloe was sprawled out across Jason Hampton's lap, even yawning now and then. "She's worn out and ready for the couch," Hampton said.