Carryduff fire victim remembered as 'wonderful dog trainer, great company and a true gentleman'
THE victim of a house fire on the outskirts of south Belfast was last night remembered as a "wonderful dog trainer, great company and a true gentleman".
Tributes were paid to David Marshall, who was well-known in dog training circles in Northern Ireland, following his tragic death at his Carryduff home.
One friend said that "if any human gets over the rainbow bridge, David will be there".
The blaze broke out at the property on the Manse Road on Tuesday morning, with four fire appliances attending the scene.
It was later confirmed that Mr Marshall had died and it is thought a pet dog that belonged to him also perished.
He had been a long-serving member of Glandore Dog Training Club of Ulster, which in a post on Facebook told members it was "with a heavy heart" that they reflect on his tragic death.
"David was one of the longest serving members of Glandore Dog Training Club of Ulster. First becoming a member in the 1970’s," a spokesman said.
"His first dogs were German Shepherds that he worked in obedience.
"However, his main love and the dogs he will be remembered most for, were black poodles (they had to be black that was the only colour for a poodle, to quote David).
"He had a unique relationship with his dogs and love is definitely not too stronger word for the way he felt about them.
"They were his constant companions and went everywhere with him.
"David and his dogs were known to everyone in the NI canine world during the many years he was involved."
The club said Mr Marshall competed at several levels associated with dog training, including obedience and agility.
"He was a senior trainer at Glandore for many years, training good citizens, competition obedience and agility," he added.
"It is difficult to say which he most enjoyed, as any time he was able to spend times concentrating on his beloved poodles his joy was obvious.
"He was chair of Glandore for years and for a long time would be instructing or in a Glandore class, two and often three times a week.
"His character and attitude to dogs, his own and other peoples, affected everyone who met him.
"If any human gets over the Rainbow Bridge, David will be there."
Other tributes remembered him as someone who "had always time to have a chat and help out when asked, he was such a character and his poodles were his precious bundles of joy".
Another said "he was a wonderful dog trainer, great company and a true gentleman", while another added that his death was "a very sad loss to the dog world".