Tirlta Blue Yuranigh - Maddie
OC Billiejean 10/10/85 – 7/12/01
Sue Dickerson's love of Australian Cattle Dogs began when she was given an unsocialised, unregistered puppy: Billiejean. Sue joined the local obedience club and was fascinated by what dogs could achieve, if trained. Together as their own training progressed, Sue and Billiejean overcame their insecurities until they were ready to enter their first obedience trial. At one of their early trials, Sue met Dorothy Lawrence, well-known in the ACD world (and particularly in obedience and tracking circles). Dorothy was supportive and generously shared her knowledge and experience. After Billiejean gained her Novice (CD), Open (CDX) and Utility (UD) titles, Sue turned towards tracking. Titles followed. Her Tracking Dog (TD) and Tracking Dog Excellent (TDX) qualified Billiejean as an Obedience Champion (OC).
Gradual loss of sight forced Billiejean’s retirement. Despite this heartbreak and the difficulties of their early training years, Sue’s passion for competitive obedience had taken hold. She left the choice of Billiejean's successor to Dorothy and remembers telling the baby Maddie that she would be a dual champion. Maddie become the first, and to date (2020) only ACD bitch with both Breed and Obedience Champion titles.
Dual Ch (O) Tirlta Blue Yuranigh
Sue’s dream of a great future for Maddie was justified, in 1995, when she sailed through Novice Obedience in three trials, within three weeks, with three first placings, to qualify for her CD title. She added to this by winning a Silver Medal (Novice) at NSW Obedience State Titles shortly afterwards.
Maddie’s interest in training waned as she progressed through the more difficult CDX routines. For Sue, training became an unequal partnership. Noreen Clark was involved with prcd-PRA research at the time (1998) and recommended ophthalmological examination of Maddie. Sadly, Maddie was diagnosed prcd-PRA affected. Sue realised that Maddie’s trialing life would be limited by the progression of the disease and may even have contributed to her lack of enthusiasm. Despite, Sue and Maddie worked their way through CDX and UD, then OC with uniformly high scores and several first placings.
Maddie’s Dual Champion title was awarded in 2002 - the goal Sue set for her in 1993.