Neighborhood show allows for close encounters between residents and pets

Neighborhood show allows for close encounters between residents and pets
MJ Varcholick, Sarah Puckett, Viola Varcholik and Anna Leonard show off their pets.

A tortoise, a bearded dragon and an American Miniature Horse were just a few of the pets that took part in Mike and Sharon Leonard’s annual neighborhood pet show May 18.

Dr. Sharon Leonard shows off Gypsy, an American Miniature Horse, during a neighborhood pet show at her home in Colonial Manor May 18.
Dr. Sharon Leonard shows off Gypsy, an American Miniature Horse, during a neighborhood pet show at her home in Colonial Manor May 18.

More than 100 friends and neighbors gathered in the front yard of the Leonards’ Colonial Manor home to show off their pets in what could have been easily mistaken for a traveling petting zoo.

Assisting with the show was Suzie Puckett, Sharon Leonard’s sister, who came down from Valdosta, Georgia, with several of her pets, to help with the event. Neighborhood children were also invited to bring their animal buddies for show and tell.

Emiliano Makros showed off his rabbit, Caramellow, Olivia Baggs brought Maggie, a bearded dragon, and special guests, Jennifer Pfieffer and her daughter, Brooke,  showed their therapy animals, Gypsy, an American Miniature Horse, who is already certified and Asher, a one-year-old Great Dane, who is taking the certifying test very soon. “They will start traveling together for pet therapy,” said Sharon Leonard. “Jenny calls them the ‘Dog and Pony Show.’”

Emiliano Makros shows off his rabbit, Caramellow.
Emiliano Makros shows off his rabbit, Caramellow.

For the past five years, the Leonards have set up a tent in their front yard in April to hatch Monarch butterflies. This year the tent was established between April 13 and May 20, taking the Monarchs through their birth cycle from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. This year they released more than 50 adult Monarchs into the world. The tent was set up for viewing during the pet show, allowing children and their parents to have a close encounter with the butterflies.  

Asher the Great Dane greets many admirers during a neighborhood pet show May 18.
Asher the Great Dane greets many admirers during a neighborhood pet show.
Mike Leonard shows Cinnamon Sugar, the hedgehog, to Meg O’Malley.
Mike Leonard shows Cinnamon Sugar, the hedgehog, to Meg O’Malley.
Viola Varcholik and Lillian Davis feed Rocky, a 17-year-old Sulcata tortoise.
Viola Varcholik and Lillian Davis feed Rocky, a 17-year-old Sulcata tortoise.
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