John MacDonald (Cuordha Reg., established 1981)
It all started with my brother David wanting a dog. Dad did some research and decided that a Golden Retriever would be just the thing. Dad bought our first Golden Retriever from Bill and Barb Vye back in 1978. Through many conversations with various dog people, Dad learned all about the different aspects of the dog community. This quickly grew into becoming a part of Obedience trials, Agility, Conformation, and lastly, breeding.
He enjoyed the challenges of the Obedience trials, especially with his star pupil, Loki, a full brother (separated by several years) to our first Golden, Baldur. Dad would often share stories of the antics Loki would get into in the Obedience ring.
In the late ’70s and (I think) early ’80s, Dad was part of a volunteer group of Agility Handlers, who would go around to various places, entertaining people with their synchronized drills. (Don and Gladys Gates were also a part of this).
Although Conformation wasn’t his biggest focus, he did show several times and was able to get several Championships over the years. He was very pleased when Piper, one of his pups, got Best in Show. (Owned by Jane Fitzrandolph).
He really enjoyed his years of breeding. He was quite methodical in his research of the breeding lines, trying to maintain a high standard for the breed. He would also take great care to place the best people with the puppy, ensuring a successful outcome for all. He even offered free obedience classes to new puppy owners. This led to many long-lasting friendships, some of which were still in place at the time of his passing. In his later years, he did switch to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, but ensured that the remaining Goldens at home enjoyed their final years with him.
He also lent his time to several Kennel Clubs as Secretary and Treasurer, often being found at the front desk of dog shows, getting everyone organized for the day.
Through a happy accident, Dad found his life’s work, especially post-retirement. He thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this community, meeting wonderful people and of course, being around the dogs.
Golden Retriever Club of Canada
Halifax Kennel Club
Dartmouth Kennel Club
Maritime Golden Retriever Kennel Club
Evangeline Kennel Club
Canadian Kennel Club