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March 2001 Newsletter

Member Spotlight

Fred Baird


Title: Fred Baird a Legend With a Big Heart

Member Spotlight
By Rhonda Schrader

One familiar face you will see at every dog pull is the ever smiling face
of Fred Baird. Fred is a TSAMC veteran and has been involved with the club
since the club first started in approximately 1980 and was known as the
Wisconsin Freighters Club and was a freight racing club. The WI Freighters
Club later changed their name to the TSAMC club and emphasis in the club
later changed from freight racing to weight pulling. Fred has been there
throughout TSAMC's history and has witnessed it all. He also has held a
vice-president position for the TSAMC club at one point and has been an
active member all the years he has been with TSAMC.

A way to find Fred at a pull is to look for his trademark dog trailer
labeled Roller Coaster Kennel. When asked how he got his dog kennel name,
"the road I live on the kids call roller coaster road so I named my kennel
after the road." Fred has owned numerous dogs throughout his canine career
and one dog who comes to mind is his last Malamute he owned named Tom Tom,
"we named him twice because he was so big." In Tom Tom's prime he pulled
3500lbs. That was ten years ago. Once in a two day pull, Tom Tom didn't
even pull his first pull on the first day, but the second day, Tom Tom took
first place. Currently, Fred owns Alaskan dogs, and one St. Bernard. He has
all his dogs given to him or has breed with his own dogs and may split
the litter with his friend. Fred also has a stray cat named drifter who
lives in his tool shed, "drifter will eat dog food but he won't work out in
my sled team."

The most interesting tidbit that was dug up about Fred's past was when he
was in High School he ran away from home to join the circus for a summer.
When Fred first told this to members, no one believed him so Fred proceeded
to prove it with some acrobatics. He wowed everyone and no one needed any
more proof. While in High School, Fred learned his acrobatics at a club
that he would frequent at nights. He learned tumbling, rings, horizontal
bars, hand balancing and also trampoline. After graduating from High School,
he and two friends put a comedy act together and toured the Midwest for
three years. Dressing in sailor clothes, they named their act the 3 Goof
Gubs and used a miniature trampoline along with hand balance and tumbling.
What put a stop to the act was the notice that Fred was drafted into the
military for two years which disbanded the group.



Now Fred makes his living as a floor covering contractor along with
promotional and internet sales.  Fred currently resides 3 miles north of
the Wisconsin Dells in the country. Born in Madison, WI, he lived there
until he finished High School. He met his wife, Barb, in a laundry mat
while he was washing 4 weeks worth of laundry. They have 4 children and 5
grandchildren.

Fred's entertainment now includes clowns of a different nature, his sled
dog team, "it helps to be nuts to be involved with dogs" He enjoys training
his dogs to pull as a team and to weight pull. His other hobbies include
hunting and fishing. One thing Fred said that is very important in dog
sledding is to never loose your team, "I was in a freight race and my sled
flipped on its side and I was dragged approximately 200 yards on a trail
bouncing off trees, but I did NOT loose the team." Fred also has been known
to have snoring contests while spending the night with club members when
they were freight racing. Some members swear they saw the drapes move from
the amount of air exhaled when Fred was snoring. Before getting involved
with dogs, Fred was into snowmobiling. "I remember discussing with him how
loud and smelly snowmobiles were. I remember that comment later, when
thinking about how loud and smelly our dogs are. You can use the same
argument to make a snowmobile sound good," states Helen Schultz.

When a new person shows up at a TSAMC event, it is Fred who breaks the ice
for that person and makes them feel welcomed. He is a genuine person who
will talk to anyone and knows he will have something in common with a
handler who has entered an event; their love for the working dog, so lack
of communication is never something that enters Fred's mind while
entertaining a rookie handler. Fred was asked what tool he uses best in
training, "my advise is, treat dogs the way you would like to be treated
with love and kindness, be consistent and always in charge." It seems to me
that this is the way Fred also treats humans, what a great character trait
to share with your friends. "He's a great guy with a big heart,"
says members.

RIGHT: Fred Baird takes a moment to ham it up for the

camera at Ode to Champions pull.




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