Became Lifetime members March 2018

OUR HISTORY WITH GOLDEN RETRIEVERS – Colleen & Larry Coombe

Larry and I purchased our first Golden in the summer of 1976.  A couple of years before that we had moved into a house about 4 blocks from the hospital where I worked and most days I would walk home from work.  There was a house about a block from ours that had a golden retriever named “Whiskey” who would usually come to the fence to greet me when I walked by.  He was a very friendly, good-looking boy and sometimes he would show up with his friend “cat” in his mouth.  Cat was just fine with this and I was hooked on the breed from then on and vowed that we would get a Golden as soon as we bought a place of our own.  Shortly thereafter, we did buy a house and on Jan 1, 1976, Larry quit smoking and we saved the cigarette money to the “dog” fund.

Golden Retrievers breeders were quite hard to find in those days and I really had no idea where to look but I had purchased Gertrude Fischer’s book “The Complete Golden Retriever” and noticed that it mentioned a Mrs. Evelyn Smith on Torquay Drive in Victoria.  I checked the phone book and sure enough, there was a Smith who lived at that address so I called.  Ev only had boys at that point but she did refer me to the Beckwith’s in Washington who had a litter sired by her Daemon (Am./Can. CH. Gayhaven Daemon Can/Am CDX WC).  We got the last puppy available from that litter in the summer of 1976 and called him “Simon” after the English Champion Simon of Westley (also from Fischer’s book).  Simon’s registered name was Beckwith’s Gallant Fellow.  A very fitting name as it turned out. 

Through our neighbour, we met David & Coral Denis who were also “into” dogs and involved in Obedience so we joined the obedience club and the journey continued.  We tried really hard to train Simon so we could compete but alas, Simon suffered from serious health problems and although he would never accomplish those goals, we loved him dearly.  Ludelle Beckwith provided us with our “Buddy” (Beckwith’s Sunshine Wine) in 1978.  We joined the GRCBC and received our first plaque and bar for Buddy’s CD in 79. “Buddy” achieved Am/Can CDX, TD.

Our third boy was not planned but as luck would have it, Ev Smith’s boy “Rion” (Am/Can CH Can. OTCH Orion of Alderbrooke Am UD Can TD OS) sired a litter in 1980 that Ev had taken over the care of.  She offered us a puppy, we jumped at the chance and BJ joined the family.  We had a great time with great friends while trialing, tracking and showing in those days and met so many new friends on both sides of the border.

That was the beginning – a long time ago. There have been many others since those early days. Some attained more titles than others did but they all gave us so much love and so many rewards in their own way and we learned so much from every single one of them.

  1. Simon – Beckwith’s Gallant Fellow
  2. Buddy – Beckwith’s Sunshine Wine Am/Can CDX, TD
  3. BJ – Golden Boy BJ, Can/Am CD (+ 5 pt major)
  4. Marni – OTCH Sunshine Grand Marnier Can WC TD, Am CDX – co owned with Avis Mitchell
  5. Cassie – CH OTCH Oriana Craig’s Cassandra, Am CD – co owned with Avis Mitchell
  6. Woody – Oriana Knock On Wood, CD
  7. Brun – a rescue
  8. Beamer – CH Maplebears Hypnotize the Moon, CD TDX WC JH GRCBC Versatility Dog of the Year 2004
  9. And our current work in progress, Vegas – CH Riverdance Show Me The Action, TDX, UTD, RN

Ps – I have never had a golden that would carry the cat nor have I ever had a cat that was willing to be carried.  Whiskey and “cat” were a unique in that respect.

GRCBC Life Member, Colleen Coombe