Kim's speech at Hamilton Dog Obedience Club about Theresa


I wasn't sure what to say, but wanted share a few memories of Theresa, because she loved being here for this fun day and would have wanted me to. We lived together for 28 years, and were best friends for longer than that.

She grew up with dogs in her life, but they did not have the place in her life that our dogs later would. Her father was a taxidermist, and hunter, and dogs were for hunting and lived in a kennel in the yard. They were coon hounds, plot hounds and Theresa actually hunted coons as a kid, near Goderich. There are photos of night hunts where they would let the dogs go and they would know by the baying when they had treed a racoon. Then they would follow the sound to the tree shine a flashlight at it, and shoot it.... I think they sold the pelts, not sure exactly. There are also photos of a racoon in a cage being pulled across a river on a raft, that the dogs were supposed to swim after, to teach them to swim after the prey if it took to water. She said she had one special dog, Drum, who she would go and sit in the kennel with and tell her troubles to, when she was a young teenager. Barat was her first "house dog", and OMG she loved him... I think he was her heart dog.

A story most of you know, is how in Tree's very 1st obedience trial, she put a utility title on a dog. I had trained Barat up to utility level and after many trials got his 1st and 2nd legs. After about 25 more trials for the 3rd leg i gave up. I was so frustrated and he was less and less interested. She decided no way! She would get the 3rd leg. So, it was one summer, HDOC was on hiatus, and she decided to enter the fall trial, so booked some private lessons with Jane Book. Well, Tree had NEVER handled a Dog in obed. NEVER. So Jane asked Tree to show her where they were at, and started putting her through the exercises.... 1st " about turn" and Tree turned Left into Barat!....oh yes, they had some work to do. She practiced though and of course, Barat loved it... Tree made it fresh and new. She entered under Ted that fall, and by the skin of her teeth, to huge cheers from all of you, passed! Probably the first person ever to put a utility title on a dog her 1st time in the ring.

I think her 2 proudest accomplishments were her earthdog work with Daphne our Norfolk terrier, and the creation of our flyball team, Zoom! She loved the camaraderie of Zoom! And was so proud of the team, some of you are here. She loved nothing better than to spend her weekends at flyball tournaments, camping with her friends. Earthdog with Daphne our Norfolk terrier was one of her passions. Now you may think there is not much training that it is just an instinct test, and in the beginning levels, it is. In the higher levels it does take work and training and practice, and Tree loved it. Tree had her dad make 9 inch tunnels out of wood for her, she could lay on the ground in various configurations. She also had him live trap squirrels for her so that Daphne could practice racing through the tunnels and "work" the live animal at the end and then being recalled and picked up.. that was the hardest part. Of course Joe hunter did not think it strange to be trapping squirrels for his daughter to train her terrier to hunt rats! No squirrels were injured, they were just traumatized and relocated from Hamilton mountain to the lower city. Tree loved the earthdog trials where all the middle aged ladies terrorized rats and wore tshirts with sayings like "real women train terriers". There are Junior earthdog, Senior earthdog and Master earthdog CKC titles. Daphne is the only Norfolk terrier to have earned the CKC Master Earthdog title, all due to Tree's perserverance and love of Daphne and the sport. I brought an article that she wrote for the Canadian Norfolk Terrier club newsletter about that if any of you would like to read it later.... and also a photo album you can look through.

Here, at the club, Theresa did not feel initially that she could help much with classes, but she loved to cook and found her place working the kitchen at the trials. She really enjoyed the social aspect of that, and she and Danusia were like a well oiled machine. I would bring up a potential problem the night before, and she would say, "Oh that's OK, Danusia will be there". The last few years though, Tree WAS assisting at classes. She would come home and enthuse about someone's problem she was able to make a suggestion to help. She was kind of surprised at herself and so pleased to be able to do that. It was cute.

Thank you to all of our HDOC friends who were there to support us during her illness. I know she enjoyed all of your visits, cards, texts and emails. At the hospital, when she died, there were 7 or 8 of us there I think, and the hospital chaplain came in to the room to talk to us. I had left the room at one point, but my mom told me... Tree's sister was telling some story about her and the Chaplain said "it sounds like she was a shy person"... her sister said yes, she was. My mom didn't say anything, but couldn't believe it... No, she wasn't! Well from what Tree told me she was a painfully shy child and adolescent and young adult. Here at the club, with her flyball team, and all her other dog people, she was a social butterfly. She was quiet and happy and supportive and made friends with everyone she met. You all took her in, gave her a hobby and a club and she loved you and this club.

We will all miss her. I like to talk about her and tell her stories.... if you have stories about her i would love to hear them over the course of the afternoon and dinner."

Tree Tree
Tree Tree