Dog Show Judge Invites Girl With Autism To “Show” Her Stuffed Puppy

We’ve all seen dog shows on TV, and from what we’ve seen, we have this notion that dog shows are rather formal events full of stuffy people who place way too much emphasis on a dog’s breed.

While the first bit might be true that dogs shows are pretty formal settings, there is one thread on Reddit that is showing the people participating in the dog shows are actually pretty cool.

Redditor hiimcoleman shared a video of a dog show judge who made a little girl’s day when he included her in the action of the how. The judge had noticed the little seated on the side clutching a stuffed toy dog – she’d even placed a leash on the toy.

Goodable shared a tweet that read, “A judge at a dog show saw a young girl watching from the sidelines. The girl had autism, and she’d brought her stuffed animal. So the judge stopped, walked over to her, and asked if she wanted to show her dog, just like the others.”

The girl in the video has autism, so it is quite heartwarming to watch the way the judge goes out of his way to make her feel included and inspect her toy dog before letting the little girl show off her dog’s “skills.” The audience reacts with encouragement, and after a lap around, the girl returns with her toy only to receive a big hug from the judge. The video will bring out the tears to say the least. The moment was well-received with a unanimous “aww” from the audience watching.

Former NBA player Rex Chapman saw the video and shared it with his more than 528,000 followers, writing, “This beautiful little girl has autism. She brought her stuffed-puppy to the dog show. One of the judges stopped, walked over to her, and asked if she wanted to show her dog as well. This is what happened. Humanity.”

A different Reddit user going by the name pokechuno, actually shed some light on the judge’s identity, writing, “This is Johnny Shoemaker at the Poodle Club of America show last year. Super nice guy, he was the judge for a Poodle themed hat contest and even though I was disqualified for having a hat with Balloons he still gave me an honorable mention before announcing the winner.”

Info Dog Mobile has a Johnny Shoemaker bio which reads, “I also was in management with Smith Barney for 28 years and retired in 2008….and love retirement as it gives me more time to learn new breeds and judge. I have been honored to judge at many great dog shows in the USA plus dog shows in China, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and South Korea and soon Argentina. I have judged Best Of Breed at the Poodle Club of America twice and Miniature Poodles in 2019. I have judged the AKC-Eukanuba (now Royal Canin), Dog Show, in 2009 and 2010 and 2015. I also judged the Non-Sporting Group at Morris & Essex in 2015.”

Needless to say, there have been plenty of reactions from people across social media:

User surloc_dalnor said, “I love how at the end he offers a hug but stays where he is. He lets her approach him rather than just hugging her.”

Another user, gaveedraseven, wrote, “He was great the whole time! I saw at one point he went in like he was going to touch her shoulder but stopped short. Then he opened his arms at the end and looked over to what I’m guessing was a parent or guardian as if to ask is this ok. I just got the feeling that this was a guy used to physical contact who was consciously reigning himself in out of respect and understanding. Definitely a good guy.”

It just goes to show you how a little kindness can go a long way.


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