MORE ON BAITING – THE JUDGES SPEAK OUT
By E. M. Gilbert Jr.
Judges and exhibitors are speaking out against the misuse of bait. The disrespect shown by the throwing of bait all over the ring is a real problem – some judges probably do not notice as it is such a common part of the unsportsmanlike disrespect shown by so many against all of us in the sport.
Sherry Wallis states: “There were a couple of handlers who seemed to think that bait aimed at the edge of the ring could be ignored.
”I changed my mind about this when I was sitting outside the ring at Reliant (Astrohall) with my $4.50 drink. Next to me was a family of four (no
kidding, I'm not making this up). They were admiring the dogs and oohhhing and ahhhing at every one. I guess it was either Boxers or Dobermans, and they thought this was just wonderful.
”About 30 minutes into the class judging, a giant piece of liver comes
flying out of the ring and hits me right between the eyes. DISGUSTING... because this handler was one who carries it in his mouth. This missile is followed closely by one that lands in my drink. I'd only had about a quarter's worth of it, so, now I'm out my $4.00.
”Next to me I hear a kid scream, "GROSS!!!!" I look over to see the father
peering into the jumbo size drink ($6.00) that his son has. Something has
landed in it, and Dad is fishing around to figure out what it is. While
that's going on, another piece comes flying out into either mother's drink or the daughter's. I forget which.
“By this time, Dad has fished out the rubbery hunk and is trying to figure
out what it is. A few more bits pepper the audience, and he connects the
stuff in his hands with the stuff the dogs are eating. Yes, it was gross,
and so was dumping $10.00 worth of soda after they'd spent $7 (or more) to
park, $40+ to get in, and heaven knows what on food (hot dogs are just
$6.00, and they're not the jumbo kind).
”So I'm looking at them and thinking --- This clearly doesn't pass the
family-of-four test. These people are totally grossed out and so was I.
”I don't mind people using bait, but they cannot throw it outside of the
ring and they absolutely must pick it up if it ends up on the floor.”
Sherry also remembers being an exhibitor: “Ahhh, Malamutes and Akitas--euphemisms for bionic vacuum cleaners! I used to DREAD showing the Mals especially after the "bait-throwing" breeds. My dogs were ducking and diving for food hither and thither. We used to ask the ring steward for permission to go in the ring between breeds if there
was a break to pickup the bait. At least that gave us a fighting chance to have our dogs move well, not corkscrewed about looking at the piece they missed. :-))”