|Call name: Ace
Owners: Charlie & Joan MacMillan, Pat Gorgerat (2020)
Handler: Charlie MacMillan
Breeder: Del Lunn
In 2020 the dog world lost a remarkable individual with the passing of Charlie MacMillan. Charlie impacted the lives of so many, and much of the success of the sport of rally in Canada is due to his contributions.
In Charlie's stead, Pat Gorgerat accepted the #5 spot:
“I am honoured to accept #5 Top Rally Dog Award on Charlie's behalf. Charlie MacMillan's love, passion and commitment for dog trialling was beyond measure. He was a master in the field; a modest sportsman as well as a gentleman who enriched the sport of rally and obedience in Canada and the U.S. He always trained with "love" and with enthusiasm. He was a mentor to many and an encouraging teacher, rooting on his competitors and novice handlers. With his wife, Joan, by his side they travelled to many, many trials over the decades. Enthusiasts and ambassadors encouraging, inspiring and demonstrating their authentic love for the sport. Their dogs loved showing as much as they did and always entered the ring wagging tails, worked wagging tails and exited wagging tails no matter the outcome.
Achieving Top Rally Dog awards consecutively from 2011 to 2019 as well as Top Obedience Dog awards from 2010 to 2015 is an unprecedented feat. Charlie also placed 1st at the AKC Rally Inaugural Invitational in 2013.”
How and when did you get started? (Top Dogs 2016 Interview) The first dog that I trained was the family dog in the late 1950s that was purposely for hunting. It wasn't until the early 1970s that I was introduced to obedience training and titling a dog. When he died from cancer, Joan and I said "no more dogs". Within a month, Mac was purchased. He became CKC's Top Obedience Dog in 1992.
Did Ace show early potential?(From Del Lunn, Ace's breeder) The pairing of Dory and Fly'R was a match made in heaven. I kept a close eye on the puppies as they developed. Charlie conducted the formal testing and I concurred on Ace being the best prospect. It certainly paid off. Unfortunately his career with Charlie on lead was cut short as Ace was well on his way to meeting the accolades of his father.
How can someone interested in rally learn more? (Top Dogs 2016 Interview) First, work on heeling. You cannot have a good rally dog without having a good heeling dog. Second, get someone who knows rally to show you how each exercise should be performed and then make sure that you and your dog are comfortable with each exercise. If I could find rally fun matches or courses to run I would. Then, I would go out and enjoy showing at rally competitions.
What keeps you motivated? (From Pat Gorgerat) Unfortunately, we will never know. Charlie had an unprecedented desire and passion for trialling. He brought out the best in his dogs and trained them to excel. He had an uncanny ability to understand what would turn them on and made training fun and positive. He also had a marital partnership that supported, encouraged and celebrated trialling.
What is Ace up to these days? (From Pat Gorgerat) Ace has adjusted very well to his new family. Although wrestling and chasing his brother Deuce is always on the agenda. Naps under Pat's work desk has become a daily ritual. Watch for us in the show ring one day soon.