Charlie, a Shih Tzu, did the unthinkable, going from a rescue dog early in the year to winning first place overall in the showmanship class Friday at the Fourth Annual 4-H Faulkner County Fair Dog Show.

Charlie and 11-year-old owner Joy Murdock competed against 10 other dogs in three divisions, in the showmanship class, where owners had to show their dogs and walk their dogs around a pen.

Charlie and Joy competed in the Junior Division, where they took first place.

From there, the winners of the Senior, Intermediate and Junior Divisions competed for an overall winner, which Joy and Charlie won.

In addition to Charlie’s win, this was his and Joy’s first competition.

"We helped set up for something in Little Rock," Joy’s mother Lisa said. "They had a junior division, so she took him down to just try it out. This is the first time Charlie has competed in the Faulkner County Fair dog show. This is the real time. The first time was practice."

Joy said she found Charlie while he was running in her street and decided to rescue him.

"We got him late-April, early-May," Lisa said. "That’s when we found out he was ours."

Because he’s a rescue, the family is not sure of his age, but think he could be around 3 years old.

In preparation for the show, Joy and Charlie trained with a trainer, but Joy also plays with Charlie and trains him at home.

"He’s a ball dog, so he jumps up and down," Joy said.

Joy said she got help from Tammy Calico, Faulkner County 4-H Canine Companions leader.

"We got help from Ms. Tammy, and I saw other dogs doing tricks and other dogs participating in the shows, and that’s why I wanted to get Charlie involved," Joy said.

Because she won first overall in showmanship, Joy was awarded $10 to Pet Country in Conway.

(Staff writer Andy Robertson can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to Send us your news at