Tribute to Brenda

Brenda Brown

1954 – 2017

SDDA founder Brenda Marie Brown passed away on October 26, 2017. Three years after her diagnosis of lung and breast cancer, she is finally free of pain. She lived her life to the fullest these last few years, focusing on family and her bucket list, but always kept an eye on the organization that she helped start. “How is it doing, Karin?” she’d ask when I visited. “How many provinces left to go?”

It is safe to say that without Brenda, the SDDA probably wouldn’t exist. While we all loved the activity of detection and were interested in getting involved in the sport, it was Brenda who provided the necessary kick in the pants to cause the three of us founders (Karin Apfel, Stacey Shaw and Brenda) to pool our meagre resources and start up a brand new not-for-profit organization dedicated to a sport no one we knew had ever competed in. “If we don’t do it we’ll regret it. And we should do it soon before our dogs get too old to play!” said Brenda over one of our post-seminar dinners. “We can do this.” Could three trainers with varying perspectives on training and sport work together without acrimony and create something they all could be proud of?

With the drive and determination that characterized her training in obedience, field, conformation and a variety of other dog sports, Brenda pushed us to think big and to be confident enough in the sport that the many sacrifices that were made would be worth it in the long run. We argued over everything from the look of the certificates to the judging criteria, but she was right. Again. Somewhere across the rainbow Brenda is smiling, the final victory hers. “I told you so!” she’d say with a wink. Godspeed my dear friend. We will miss you.


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