Belinda was one of the real characters that agility seems to attract, usually leading us in a rousing chorus of a raucous song with a glass of Baileys in hand. In the ring she kept her sense of humour, and one of the abiding memories of her is the time she fell over at the bottom of the dog walk - and still managed to lead Franci down to the contact. As well as agility, she was very involved in Hearing Dogs, puppy walking for Wensley, Charlie, Raven and Hamlet amongst others.
She adored Franci (''pronounced Frankie'") and Kayleigh, her two dogs; she was thrilled with every achievement from a clear round to winning out of elementary, and even kept a smile on her face when it all went wrong.
Belinda has been a member of Aylesbury Canine Training Society for many years now. and she played a key role in putting together our first show, for which we will always be grateful. We are deeply saddened by the news, Belinda will be missed by us all. Our thoughts are with her family at this time.
From all at Aylesbury CTS
Its just ten days since Belinda was sat in my lounge, drinking coffee and being covered in kisses by Tess. We were talking, amongst other things, of how well Kayleigh had progressed and what potential she had. It seems an injustice that Belinda will never get to enjoy that potential, enjoy the great things she had brought out of a confused, crazy little rescue.
There was a side to Belinda that many of you may not be aware of. She was capable of great kindness - I remember attending a Hearing Dogs coffee morning, where she was desperate to win a large Bugs Bunny and ended up buying loads of raffle tickets. The bunny wasn't for herself, but for another raffle, but to her it didn't matter it was all in a good cause. Hearing Dogs recognised something special in her, giving her a trophy for her contribution as a puppy walker.
It's hard to believe that when we start going to shows again that Belinda won't be there, that there will not be any more pairs - like the unforgettable time at Dogs in Need Theresa came out of her "tart's" costume, and Belinda hammed it up beautifully as her "tramp" partner - no more raucous songs, quiz nights and being the first on the dance floor. Belinda loved her dogs to bits, and took so much delight out of running them, and in that sense is an example to us all. Dog training, agility and Aylesbury Canine Training Society are the poorer for her loss.
Take it easy, mate.
Jill, Tess and Brynnie.
As I write this, I am looking at a third place trophy, for Novice Agility Pairs, won by Belinda and Franci with Bamaby and me, in June 1998, at the Norfolk Agility Festival. It's special to me because it is the only trophy place old Bamaby has ever achieved and I remember how surprised and delighted Belinda and I both were. Belinda always enjoyed Norfolk and said it was her 'special show', but she actively competed in lots of agility shows in the last four years or so and from time to time we did pairs together.
Belinda was always nervous in team or pairs events, mainly because she did not want to let the other(s) down. Nevertheless, she would always take part. For me, this is typical of Belinda. Despite being very nervous and anxious, she would push herself to stand up for what she believed in, sometimes at personal cost, when it became stressful for her. And Belinda could be passionate passionately funny and passionately pissed off. We didn't always agree, sometimes we definitely disagreed, but it was never boring and overall Belinda was a good mate who was there when you were in trouble.
The last time I had a long chat with Belinda was at Norfolk last Summer, when we had both qualified for the tournament final and were waiting to compete. We lay on the grass together, with Franci and Tommy, looking up at the bright blue sky and talking. As Belinda went first, we wished each other luck and she went on to get another good result with Franci at her special show. That's how I will remember Belinda, always thrilled with Franci (whatever he did!). If there's agility in heaven I'm sure Belinda's getting it organised for when Franci and Kayleigh can join her again. Belinda, hope we can do pairs again one day. All the best.
Lesley, Bamaby, Tommy and Star.
I only saw Belinda a few weeks ago at one of the agility classes and we enjoyed a brief chat before she left. The time I saw her before was at the Hearing Dogs Centre, and it became a standing joke that wherever dogs were, we would bump into each other.
Belinda was a very warm-hearted lady who always had time to talk, and I enjoyed our conversations when we bumped into each other in and around Aylesbury. I always remember her very keen sense of humour! Very wicked at times!
It seems so long since we all left school, yet I have known Belinda since junior school - how many things have happened since then.
I hope Belinda is at peace and watching over her family and beloved dogs.
It wasn't until Judith and I went to our dog training class last Thursday that we realised that the enthusiastic dog owner with the happy smile and so full of encouragement for us struggling with our labradors, was your daughter. It has been a privilege to have known her.