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"Disco"
CH Baikadunia, AX, AXJ, STDs, MAD, MS, MA, CGC
DN02643101, 5/11/02 - June 2012

I'm saddened to hear of Disco's passing. I do hope the longevity of her mother will be passed on to her offspring and grand get. I have so many fond memories of Disco. The one that stands out the most, is a time when I lived with her owner as a caretaker. The owner was trialing a lot, so it was my duty to care for the dogs that stayed home, the livestock, and keeping the house in order. Occasionally, I would play hostess for a clinic if the owner had other places to be. It was a grand way to learn about trainers and dog sports I had never been exposed to. The home was so glorious there in Modjeska Canyon. We had orange, lemon and lime trees, and a lovely lawn. Coyotes traveled the area frequently, in fact nightly they'd trot right down the driveway.

On this particular weekend, I had Disco in the back yard while I was cleaning in the kitchen. That's when I saw it... Disco jumped the back fence, floated up the hill in her eternally puppy-like way, and prostrated herself before this canid. It was a big reddish male. I was never sure, to this day, if this was a large coyote, or one of the red wolf hybrids from Holy Jim Canyon. I sucked in my breath tightly, terrified of the all the wive's tales of how a dog would be mutilated by coyotes. The proud canid simply looked down at her, maintaining a strong posture. It's hard to say if he also growled at her. I called to Disco in my most happy voice, and she bounded down the hill, sailed over the fence, back into the yard, and looked at me with her best "are we going to play now?" gaze.

I remember other times, the owner would be training on the agility field. Below this was the sheep pasture. Disco was famous for jumping the fence to harass stock, even through an e-collar. On this day, I happened to be in the pasture feeding sheep when she jumped. Kylie intercepted her, and repeatedly did so, body slamming her and flipping her. She didn't leave a mark on her, but repeatedly blocked her from the sheep. Disco never wiped the smile off her face. Kylie could never outrun Disco, but was adept at cutting her off. From that day on, Kylie had it in for Disco. It was probably a year later that she finally nailed Disco and bruised her. I never understood really, how Disco didn't reciprocate any hard feelings. But that was Disco. Always happy, always joyful.

Disco never knew a bad day, though I saw her in a moment of "I want my mommy." We were at a herding trial in Temecula. Rita's place. Doug Manley took Disco in the ring, and The Owner was somewhere outside the ring. Disco would work for Doug gladly on any day of the week...but on this day, she did not want to be away from The Owner. The stock gate had some odd feature, one I don't remember clearly. What I remember however is that it was extremely tall... and Disco scaled that gate, like a palisade, and over to find The Owner. The gasp from the crowd was audible. Seems like that gate was 6-10 feet tall, but I don't remember what about it made it so tall.

I worked Disco some on sheep. I took her to lessons at Jerry Stewart's a few times. She loved him. She seemed to like strong men. She worked so beautifully for him, but with me, it seemed a bit out of control. I was nervous to handle her in a trial... though now I work dogs differently and would love to have had the opportunity to work her now.

Disco is survived by 19 offspring, and I believe 26 grand get. Her mother still lives in Belgium at 16 years of age, and still performed in agility at 14. Her offspring begin a legacy of high performance Belgian Shepherds. I look forward to watching them all grow up, and to continuing to expand on the talents of my own Disco puppy. Jairam is her singleton puppy from her second litter, one born during the time of many wildfires in Southern California. Jairam has deployed on three SAR missions, and has been a lovely trailing dog. He is my skijor partner, and future intentions include frisbee and protection sports. He inherited Disco's intense prey drive, which has precluded him from area searching. However he's becoming a lovely stock dog for me, tending the sheep on free-grazes, and learning that "less is more." He's finally grown up some at 5 years of age... he's his mother's son.

Disco was a fine girl, perhaps not serious enough about work, but with so much drive to be sculpted. She had intense toy drive, extreme prey drive, and was highly social to people and dogs. What I will remember her most for is that sociability and of course her prey drive. I'll never forget her puppy-like temperament. Truly a sad loss. My own bitch and her puppies are like this: Life is a party held in their honor. They are always ready to go. This is how I will always remember Disco. God Speed Disco. May you now find the greatest freedom and happiness.