Happy 40th Anniversary to the BCCA!

by Maryann Szalka

Below are some selections from the very first issue of the Beardie Bulletin. I hope you will enjoy this trip down memory lane; I know I had a great time.

“In our few short months of existence, the club has grown rapidly and is progressing well. We’ve adopted a breed standard and have begun registration. If growth continues at its present pace, it will soon be time to petition the American Kennel Club for miscellaneous status.”

This was the opening paragraph of the President’s Message, written by Lawrence Levy.

“He is a cool and cautious worker. Shepherds state that they can safely entrust two hundred or three hundred sheep to the sagacity of this dog who will not hurry or push his charges improperly even if his master isn’t present. The Beardie is easily controlled with even young puppies obeying commands.”

These are a few sentences taken from the article titled General Characteristics of the Bearded Collie.

From the Breed Standard (adopted November 15, 1969)

GENERAL APPEARANCE: An active dog with long, lean body, and none of the stumpiness of the Bobtail and which though strongly made, shows plenty of daylight under the body and does not look too heavy. The face should have an enquiring expression. Movement should be free and active.

COLOR: Slate grey or reddish fawn, black, all shades of grey, brown and sandy with or without white Collie markings.

Mrs. G. O. Willison wrote an article titled Preparing the Bearded Collie for Show, which included the following advice:

“The Bearded Collie requires no stripping or trimming for the show ring, the most important preparation for an exhibitor is to allow him plenty of free running exercise to get him into the lean hard condition which is natural to the breed, to teach him to move freely on a slack lead at both a walk and a trot and to learn to stand naturally while the judge is looking at him. Though the Beardie is a working dog, no judge will look kindly upon him if he still has samples of the local soil clinging to his coat. Therefore, if it should be necessary give him a bath 7-10 days before the show, this will give the coat time to harden and get back into condition. After the bath, rough dry with towels and finish by brushing until completely dry. This is accomplished quite quickly out of doors on a hot sunny day, but an electric hair dryer is a useful alternative.”

The Membership List printed in the original Beardie Bulletin provided the name and address of all 48 members. In addition to members from the US, there were Beardie owners from Canada, England, Spain, and Finland.