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Watch: Dog show judge invites girl with autism to ‘show’ her soft toy puppy

Girl and judge at dog show dog-happy
© Rex Chapman - Twitter

Dog shows have a reputation for being very serious and formal events with incredibly strict judges. But a video shared online reveals a softer side to dog show judging.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 09/09/2020, 09:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:25

The event took place at the Poodle Club of America and was just like any other dog show, packed with well-behaved, beautifully groomed dogs and a row of eagle-eyed judges closely watching the action.

But then one of the judges notices a young girl sitting on the sidelines holding a little soft toy dog who looked as if it had been specially dressed for the occasion and even had a lead.

Young dog lover

The judge, Johnny Shoemaker, had been invited to judge a Poodle themed hat contest. He approached the little girl, who had autism, and after stroking her toy puppy, he asked her if she wanted to ‘show’ her dog just like the dog owners she had been watching.

The little girl looks thrilled at the prospect of her dog performing for everyone and immediately gets up and does a lap with her dog. The young girl then goes back to the judge who congratulates her for her performance and gives her a big hug.

Heartwarming clip

The heartwarming footage was originally posted on Reddit before former NBA player Rex Chapman spotted it and shared the clip on Twitter, much to the delight of his 528,000 followers.

While one commented that the clip gave them goosebumps and that their favourite part was when the little girl ran and prodded her toy dog with excitement, another said that not only did the judge make the little girl’s day but also everyone who watches the clip!

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