Top Notch Toys - September 2021

“we all need to be thankful for these individuals AND ALL THEY DO FOR US.”

that has caused some members to sim- ply quit the club and the sport. The Late President George Bush used his “thousand points of light” initiative to showAmerica the value of the VOL- UNTEER in our society. He wanted everyone to understand the value in volunteerism and giving back. Earlier in this article I asked, are you a working volunteer member of your local kennel club? If your answer was NO my next question is why not? I am not naïve, and I know that person- alities and other issues exist in many clubs, but I also know that one person can make a difference. Being a Volunteer can be very reward- ing. For many years I had the pleasure of chairing the St Jude Showcase of Dogs in Memphis, TN. It was an in- credible event that truly made a dif- ference through our donations to that wonderful institution. It was a special event and I will be the first to admit that in some cases the situations were not ideal, but they were always work- able within reason. There were oc- casions when an exhibitor, spectator, judge and even volunteer would be up- set. My standard question was, Is your issue a minor inconvenience, or a per- sonal issue? If it either of these Iwill be glad to take you with me to St. Jude’s to let you meet the children that are dealing with a real problem for which this event is trying to assist. There is a huge difference between a small issue with parking, grooming, even judging and that of people dealing with issues of life, death, health and family. Please keep this in mind when dealing with the volunteers that have given so much of their time and talents to keep the show or trial going for you. Be sure to thank all the volunteers you encounter at the show. Please

In my opinion some of my fellow judg- es need to remember there is a huge list of available judges for any club to hire and we as judges should be grateful to those that thought highly enough of us to invite us. We need to show respect to the clubs’ volunteers as well as the exhibitors at the show. We as judges also need to remember that we are just one part of the show and appreciate the privilege to officiate there. If one is truly unhappy with the experience, he or she should just make a note of it to themselves and politely decline an invitation from that club in the fu- ture. There is no reason to be rude or disrespectful to any club member or volunteer. Having also been a show and cluster chair it continues to amaze me how rude todays exhibitors and handlers can be to members of the show com- mittee. In my opinion the two tough- est jobs at any show are parking and trying to control the grooming area. It seems that to many people the entry fee entitles them to park where they want, leave vehicles in the unloading areas for extended periods of time, try to take asmuch space as possible in the grooming area and save space for their friends regardless of what is published in the premium list. I have observed people trying to get into buildings be- fore the designated day or time, Refuse to stack crates, spread out as if they are entitled to however much space they want and when asked to consoli- date and be considerate they berate the club volunteer who is just trying to help everyone have an enjoyable day at the show. We all know it does not stop at just these few instances, but it is rather an ongoing sense of entitlement and bad behavior by exhibitors and handlers

It is very important to never forget that shows are put on and worked by unpaid volunteers. These individuals take time away from their families, their jobs and other interests to pro- vide shows and trials for all of us to participate in. we all need to be thank- ful for these individuals and all they do for us. In my capacity as a judge I have on oc- casion been embarrassed by the treat- ment of various clubofficialsbysomeof my colleague judges who complained about situations and issues that made them unhappy. In my experience most clubs try to do their best to be sure the judges, as well as all exhibitors needs are met. It Is also true that those clubs with memberships that include judges generally are a little more in tune with what makes for a good experience for the judges. Most judges just want a good line of communication, a nice clean hotel in a respectable area with hopefully an in-house restaurant and simple transportation to and from the airport and to the showgrounds. There are occasions when we will encoun- ter a club volunteer that has accepted the responsibility and has had no as- sistance or guidance in dealing with the care of the judges, and through no fault of their own or just trying to stay within a clubs guideline budget put judges in a less than ideal situation. It would be helpful for a club to remem- ber that the judges are at their mercy and are not familiar with the area. In many cases they do not have the trans- portation available to allow them any flexibility. When in those situations that are less than ideal, I always try to remember that they are volunteers and thank them for their efforts and when the time is right suggest a possible change to them for the future.

38 • T op N otch T oys , S eptember 2021

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