Editors note: Out guest blogger is Kim Beckberger, an MDSA judge from Ontario, Canada. Kim is a long-time friend and training partner of MDSA member Faye McDonald. She and Faye started their self-trained adventure in canine musical freestyle together in 2000. After training themselves, they reached out to their community and offered free classes to help others learn the joy that comes from canine freestyle and spending time training their dogs. Kim has written a very touching tribute to Faye’s poodle, BC, who tragically died this spring. Below you will find her tribute to BC, in words and video.
I am not really sure where to start BC's story. She was this tiny little fur ball when Faye McDonald first saw her at 6 weeks old. Faye started working for BC’s breeder, who was ill and could no longer do all the chores needed to care for her line of poodle puppies. When Faye would open the pen to clean out their area, this little pup would run up to Faye and just wanted to be loved by her. This pup was a little parti poodle marbled in a black and white coat, and as another member of our little freestyle group (Anne) would say, she had a marshmallow at the end of her tail. She was doted on by Faye from the very first moment they met. She wasn't like the other pups that just wanted to run and play with their littermates. This black and white ball of fur had her own ideas! She was intent on melting Faye's heart, and going home with her. This beautiful little puppy picked Faye, from the very first day they met, and the bond of love was quickly reciprocated. Faye was destined to have her...This is how their story began.
Because she was black and white, Faye named her BC, and yes this name did come from another wonderful breed of dog, the Border Collie. Faye joked with me, that I had my BC's and now, she had hers. BC did quickly live up to that name!
At that time, we were very much involved in training our dogs in agility. BC quickly began to bring home qualifying scores and titled with both ADC and AADC. Faye was working on a Masters title in agility with BC, when BC decided she no longer wanted to do agility. She also had two titles in Rally obedience, Novice B and Advanced B (the B represents no food in the ring). We were also dabbling at the time, with Dancing with our Dogs, and teaching our dogs some of the moves you see in freestyle. Faye and I were beginning our first duet performance with both BC and ZoeZoe to the song “Puttin’ on the Ritz” by Taco. We were fortunate enough to be able to attend a seminar, and perform this routine for two of the best in the sport, Richard Curtis and MDSA's own Carolyn Scott. What a great weekend that experience was! We got some great advice, and input from them both. I am sure both Faye and I will never forget this experience. Carolyn was working hard at this point in creating MDSA and forming it into the group that you know today. Faye and I both believed in Carolyn's vision of canine freestyle, and we were soon hooked! We created routines for fun matches at the start, and then later for freestyle events. Not only were we hooked, but so were our dogs! When we played music, we would see them running to us wanting to play this game of freestyle. I know for sure that this is what our dogs had come to love. You could see that BC really was not as interested anymore in agility and rally obedience. She just wanted to dance. When Faye worked another dog, you would catch BC sneaking onto the floor trying to bud in on her brother or sister dancing. She loved it! If another member of our little group was trying to teach the back-up move, there was BC backing up an incredible distance. Dancing is what she loved!
BC loved to strut her stuff at fairs, clubs, and especially at the local seniors’ homes where she could also enjoy a special pet or sit on the knee of an elderly person. BC and Faye showed in so many demos and places over the years, that it would be difficult to list them all. This team’s love and bond are so evident in their performances that you could see magic as they performed.
On May 22 of this year, little BC found her way to Rainbow Bridge under very tragic circumstances.
I wanted to do something for Faye, BC & the rest of her family. I decided to make a tribute to them of some of the great memories we shared with this team. I was not alone in this venture. I would like to thank MDSA for helping me bring this to light. Several of the music picks in the tribute were picked by our judges and Executive Board, and also by Carolyn Scott, and my daughter, Sarah. LOL, I couldn't pick just one song. Sarah also helped me through some of the issues I faced in bringing the video to reality, so thanks kiddo for keeping me on track! Thank you Lori and Faye for sending me some of the still shots, and thank you also to our group, The Rotoxman Country Canines for making these memories possible, all of you!
So here is our tribute to BC, Faye and Wayne. BC may be gone from here, but her memories will be held in our hearts forever! R.I.P. wee one...miss ya and love ya, little girl! I know you are Dancing at the Bridge!