Mascots recognized; contest benefits humane society

July 17, 2014
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Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
Go-Go, a pygmy goat, was named agricultural mascot for Washington County during the Washington County commissioners’ meeting Thursday. Go-Go is owned by Amber Young of Claysville. Order a Print
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Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
Washington County Commission Vice Chairman Diana Irey Vaughan with the new Washington County mascot, her 6-month-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Daisy Darling. Order a Print
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Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
First runner-up for mascot of Washington County was Winston, a 4-year-old English bulldog owned by Rene Crow of Bentleyville. Order a Print

There have been occasions over the years when Washington County commissioners butted heads, figuratively speaking, when they had a difference of opinion.

On Thursday morning, the head-butting was literal rather than a figure of speech. The head-butt, however, was not among members of the board during their monthly public meeting, but between two candidates who have been vying tooth, nail and hoof for the title of Washington County’s first mascots.

Just after posing for a photo with the commissioners, witnesses saw Go-Go the Goat go after Winston, a bruiser of a purebred English bulldog.

There was an audible gasp from humans on the sidelines, but those who saw the dust-up said Winston acted like the champion he is and did not reciprocate, snarl or act in any way other than an English gentleman.

County jail GED tutor Amber Young of Claysville, the nanny’s goatherd, didn’t see the incident, but she attributed Go-Go’s behavior to possibly the stress of losing the contest.

Another explanation may be that’s just how goats play.

“I apologized to Rene (Crow, Winston’s owner),” Young said. “She said it didn’t even faze him. I’ve never seen her do that. I have two St. Bernards and a kind of mixed Lab. She’s never been like that. I don’t what provoked her. She’s a sweet goat, (but) she’s a very competitive goat. Her emotions were still raw.”

Go-Go met Winston Saturday at an animal fair in the parking lot of the Trinity Point Petco store, so she may have been treating the show dog like a character from the book, “My Pet Goat.”

According to her Facebook emoticon Thursday afternoon, Go-Go was feeling “awesome,” but perhaps a bit sheepish about behavior unbecoming a public personage, er, goatage. Maybe goats are stubborn about getting, or trying to get, someone’s goat.

Go-Go may have to take a few lessons in proper behavior as the Washington County agricultural mascot and winner of the spirit award before she is trotted out at next month’s Washington County Fair and other venues. The competition was at first limited to only canines and felines, but Go-Go won the hearts of many and munched out a special designation in a county once known for its agricultural prowess, especially the production of fine wool.

Winston, meanwhile, who is known to don a purple velvet cape and black tri-cornered hat when showing off around Bentleyville and other places, was named “best of show” and first runner-up and to a prim little pup.

Serenely above the fray – because she was cradled in the arms of her owner, Commission Vice Chairman Diana Irey Vaughan – was Daisy Darling, a purse-sized Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Daisy Darling is the reigning Washington County mascot, having collected the biggest treasury of cash donations, $552, for the Washington Area Humane Society among the dozen contestants.

Laurelle Dicks, general manager of the Washington Area Humane Society, was on hand to receive a check for $1,137.03, the total raised among the dozen competitors. Washington County Commission Chairman Larry Maggi noted the humane society, a private nonprofit which was granted local share funds from gambling at The Meadows Casino, is not included in the county’s annual budget.

Every dog has its day, but for Charlie, a therapy dog at Washington County Health Center, recognition came about a week too late. Charlie died last Thursday, but Karen Succop, a clerk at the prothonotary’s office, picked up his “angel award” posthumously.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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