Marg Bethune

The dog that grew up with my 2 boys was not a Golden.  It was a mix between a boxer and a Chessie – now it looked like a golden – except it hated water. That must be the boxer in her.  She was a great dog – lived to be 16. Her diet consisted of burger bits, left over cat food, left overs from the kids. Today, I say yuck but who can challenge her 16 years of life. She went wherever my kids went, learned to look both ways before she crossed the street. Now we live in a small town outside of saint John, N.B. Well it is not so small now but it was then. We are really a bedroom community of Greater Saint John – much the same way as Rothesay and Quispamsis.

My husband had seen a  beautiful  Golden  Retriever  at an exhibition in Moncton.  It was not a dog show but some people were exhibiting their dogs. So we had to research Goldens. Fortunately for us Val Corner lived in our town and at that time was still breeding Goldens. Through her, we met Linda Grant. Both had a waiting list but it turned out that one of Linda’s dogs that she had sold to Malcolm was due to have puppies out of Doug Winsor’s Risky Business. Now we had been told what to watch for with all of the required clearances.

You should understand that we had never been to a dog show and didn’t understand all of that. We soon discovered that we needed something more than a car plus all other stuff, like grooming tables, brushes, combs etc. I had never shown a dog and took handling classes from my dear friend, Brian Stevens. A lot of exhibitors were very friendly and helpful.

The MGRC held their fall & spring shows in Truro at the raceway.  It was either freezing cold or muddy.but all loved it. We were invited to the meeting  where we met John Macdonald. Now he stressed joining MGRC, GRCC, CKC. He also stressed how important it was to not just finish our dog but to put titles on both end –  CH , CD  or today could be Rally Novice.

Ross and  John were best friends right to the end. Both are gone but not forgotten. They would talk for hours.

The first big show that we participated in was the GRCC National in Rothesay – August 2001. It was a big learning curve with all of those goldens, varying in the different shades of gold. It was fun just to participate. Later that week, the NBKC had 4 shows and the Ladies Kennel Club had 3 shows with a day in between the both clubs.

I got to use my new found handling skills with my Tyler. The first day, the judge was Mel Downing. He kept putting me out front. There were over 50 goldens in the breed ring including the one who had won the Specialty the day before. Needless to  say I was very nervous. Brian Stevens was at ringside telling me to calm down. Anyway, Tyler took breed that day plus a Group 1st. The place went wild. Tyler was a local dog. He took breed and a Group 2 later that week too.

Now obedience was not his thing. We made too many mistakes when we first started. However, I was determined to get that CD which he did after 15 tries.

My next dog was Surfer, Goldenhills Royal Performance. He not only got his Championship at 10 months but he also got his CD and a Tracking title.

We made 3 trips to Bermuda with Tyler and Surfer. Tyler got his Bermuda CH and Surfer got his CD. After Surfer, came Chip. He easily finished his CH and also his CD.  He also sired 4 litters.

Up until this time Tyler had never sired a litter. However, Verity Caskey was determined and she brought a female over to Tyler from Scotland. She seemed to think he would do fine and that he did. His first litter at 10 years of age resulted in 11 puppies – of which I kept pick male, Dealer.

Now no-one in their right mind would do that considering how many times it took Tyler to complete his CD. Dealer proved everyone wrong.  Dealer got his CD, CDX, WC and Junior Hunt title. He also won the Gibson Memorial Trophy for 2003. Let us not forget that I was the person who in no way was touching one of those dead ducks. I got over it!!  I remember getting scolded by Val Corner one day when I was trying my best to take the duck that Dealer brought to me. She said to put a better expression on my face, like one that my dog would want to come to.

Next came Decker, a puppy from Sue Norrie one of the “Sashettes”. He loved to show and did get his CD too.

Next came Paradocs  Good Time Charlie – call name Charlie. He got his CH, CD, CDX, loved to track so he got his TD and TDX and also got a WC.  He also got Back to Back HIT’s under Del Lunn when he got his CD. During several regional specialties which were held in PEI, Charlie got a JAM under Jeffrey Pepper. Also another year, he got BOS and Best Field dog under Marcia Schleur. I must say it was nice to be recognized by Breeder Judges.

My last dog is GCH Sunkozi  Catch Me If You Can CD RE  and needs one more pass in Rally Masters.

All this while I had been working full time in our Insurance Office but retired  4 years ago. All of my dogs loved being in our office and greeting all of the people.

Now you ask how I got involved in all of the different positions in MGRC. I guess once I took one, I  gradually covered all positions from director, to secretary, to treasurer to president. No matter what position I had, I felt it was important to help where needed. When John passed away, we had agreed to host the 2019  GRCC National and Regional.  We had just one month to get the premium lists out but no-one knew the password for John’s computer. This had all of the information in it for the said  premium lists. John had always done our show secretary for the specialties. But John is no longer here. Big Dilemma!! To the rescue was Jane Christy from BC, Jane FitzRendolph and myself from MGRC. Thank heavens we managed to do it.

Then there is the National club GRCC. I first took the Atlantic Director for 4 years or 2 terms and then they needed someone for Second Vice, which I did for 2 years or one term. That is how one small position with MGRC expanded to the National club. I certainly helped or chaired many of the Nationals that we hosted. They were a  lot of work.

What was the best part of belonging to MGRC and GRCC? All the great people you get  to meet and the places you go.