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Donald McCaig

Nathan Mooney

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Dear Friends,

 

I am informed that Nathan Mooney has passed. Nancy Starkey told me Duff George brought him to the Wilson trial where he greeted old friends and met lots of people who came into sheepdogging after his heyday. Soon after he died.

 

He was a fine handler and his Max was an important sire. He was President of the USBCHA during its formative years and adapted its rulebook from the rodeo cowboys'. He was a quarterhorse man too.

 

Nathan was very funny and when he and Hub Holmes sat side by side handlers moved their chairs closer.

 

He was also the only human being on the planet who could get away with calling Ethel Conrad "Sweet Cheeks".

 

See you on down the road, Nathan . . .

 

Donald McCaig

Edited by Donald McCaig

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Unless my memory deceives me, Nathan was the judge at Edgeworth the only year I have made it there. I sat with him in Tommy's comfy pickup and scribed all three days of the trial (except maybe Sunday morning as I ran off to church for a couple of hours). He was a delightful man, kind and thoughtful, always willing to answer a novice's questions, alert and keenly watching the action, judging fairly and honestly, and always being humble about his expertise and experience.

 

My only chance to meet him, and I treasure the memory.

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All of us owe a big debt to Nathan. He did so many things to advance the working dog in this country. Without his and Bud Boudreaus vision there wouldn't be a Nursery program. At a time when most of the best dogs were imported, the start of this program gave a huge incentive for folks to go out and train their own dogs. This has had an untold positive effect on training, handling, and breeding of working dogs in this country. Nathan and Bud really brought this program up from the ground level.

 

Also, the National Finals were changed immensely by his efforts. He encouraged and cajoled the handlers association to take the finals from Bellevue, IL and move it around the country. This opened things up for folks all over the continent. When he was President of the USBCHA there was a strong sentiment for the ABCA to hold their own finals. Nathan worked tirelessly with ABCA Directors and USBCHA Directors to hold a single, unified finals. The long range positive effect of this was immense.

 

As Donald noted, he was also an accomplished handler. His most well known dog was Max, but he also imported many other fine dogs that added to our gene pool in this country.

 

I was fortunate to call him a friend, as were many other folks. His outgoing personality, warm smile, hearty laugh and wit attracted people. He was a good man and although I didn't see him much the last number of years,as he curtailed his trialing, I still thought of him often. He always made it to the finals in VA and spent a couple of days catching up with old friends. I was so looking forward to seeing him this year. I'll think of him fondly.

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Thank you, Mike, for your thoughtful post to share the notable contributions made by Nathan which benefited the working Border Collie community. In addition to his accomplishments (in both the sheepdog and quarter horse worlds), he was a truly fine person. Nathan was a man with a heart as big as his ten gallon hat and an easy going manner that captivated everyone he met. Those of us who knew Nathan have so many wonderful memories to treasure, and I am honored to have been his friend. We will miss you, Nathan.

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