I began my association with dogs as a young child when I trained our family Labrador to track and sneak up on the rival group of kids in the forestry block behind our house. He also retrieved on demand and kept our guinea pigs within the confines of our yard – without harming them.
I began to read more about dog behavior and how people have lived with dogs over the years. Still something I do avidly.
My first dog was a German Shepherd bitch which I got at just 3 weeks old. No socialising with littler mates was her major problem and she took 18 months to graduate from what we now call Essential Skills class at Christchurch Dog Training Club. I moved to Kapiti where I joined the Kapiti Dog Training Club, here I was introduced to Working Trials. Ultimately, Sleeze Bum became a well-balanced social dog and we together achieved the South Islands first Working Trial Champion. She ended her Obedience career in Test C with 2 Ch wins and several 2nd and 3rd places- unfortunately not as an Ob Ch due to Champ status being tied to Show Regs. Ie all her 2nds and 3rds were beaten by a bitch. Only one bitch and one dog Challenge allowed at each show. Thank goodness this rule has changed.
Since “Sleeze Bum” aka WT CH Lisa I have had a number of different breeds, both my own and others borrowed or trained for other people. German Shepherds, Weimaraner, Bearded Collie, Yorkshire Terriers, Foxy Spaniel Cross, Afghan and Labrador. I have finally settled on Flatcoated Retrievers, I’m now on my 6th FCR. I also have by default a breed I never thought I’d have – an ACD – not only that she’s a deaf one.
As well as being a Life Member of the Nelson Dog Training Club for which I am truly proud, I am involved in a Field Trial Club and have done breed showing over many years. I also was involved in the beginnings of Working Trials in the Nelson region. I have an extramural Level 3 qualification from Massey University studying dog behaviour and social structure within human society. Hence my interest and wholehearted support for the establishment of CGC as a basic and essential discipline offered by our club.
Over the many years I have been a NCOC/NDTC member I have been involved in all aspects of Obedience training, the introduction of Agility / Jumpers and Flyball and latterly CGC and Rally-O to the club. The development and constant redevelopment and improvement of the Domestic Training courses. I have also served as a Committee Member since joining in the late 1970’s with only a few breaks for work commitments, I have served the club as Treasurer and President more than once or twice.
For the privilege of being a Life Member I want to give as much back to the club as I can and am still keen to serve on the Management Committee for this reason.