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The Jack Onofrio Junior Achievement Challenge
By Lauren McIlwraith

My name is Lauren McIlwraith. I am thirteen years old and I have been participating in the Jack Onofrio Junior Achievement Challenge (JAC) for the past three years.

This experience has taught me that you can always learn something new! Every year the sponsors of the JAC, Jack Onofrio Dog Shows and the Oklahoma City Kennel Club have different people come in and give seminars for the juniors.

I was able to learn some new skills from the Professional Handlers that gave a “Hand’s On” Seminar. They also talked to us about running a kennel. As well as learning Canine CPR. Tim James and Jon Rawleigh (Superintendents with Jack Onofrio) discussed different ways to prepare yourself and your dog before a show. I learned new ways to make this fun for your dog!

We also discussed the different job opportunities that are available that will enable us in the future to work with dogs. (Even though some of us aren’t ready to get a job, it was still very interesting.)

The Junior’s finals on Sunday were extremely hard for me. There are three Judges instead of just one and they are watching you all the time! I get so nervous when all the pressure is on that one moment, when the Judge is looking at everyone that last time. It made me want it to be over!

They always say when you are nervous your dog can tell. Well, my Siberian knew I was nervous and got very antsy and wouldn’t keep her stack. I just knew she was going to start doing the “Husky scoot” when one of the Judges was looking. But in the end I was fine! I won “Reserve” Best Junior and won a new computer. Kaylee Brandon won the trip to the AKC Eukanuba Classic.

It was only two days but in those two days you can learn a lifetime of information! I want to thank the Oklahoma City Kennel Club and the staff from Jack Onofrio Dog Shows. This was a wonderful experience and I hope to be able to attend next year and would encourage all juniors in the Midwest to try to make this a part of your summer dog show schedule.