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Michigan woman recalls time as National Dog Show judge

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 6:30 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - One of the largest Thanksgiving Day traditions is watching the National Dog Show.

Clinton Township resident Rita Biddle is a former National Dog Show judge.

“I judged the Working Group several years ago,” Biddle said.

As a woman standing 5 feet tall, she said many thought it was funny seeing her stand next to the notoriously large Great Dane.

“I ended up giving Group One to a Great Dane. The lady showing the Dane was about my height,” Biddle recalled. “You really couldn’t see either one of us through the Dane.”

Biddle said she’s been told by many that she brings a positive energy to her shows.

“I’ve had people sit outside the arena and just watch me and I go, ‘What are you doing?’ They say, ‘We really like watching you judge because you enjoy it. You’re having a good time and you make it fun for the exhibitors,’” Biddle said.

While she still judges dog shows in Mid-Michigan, she also enjoys coaching other exhibitors and their dogs.

“We’ve dedicated our lives to these breeds,” Biddle said. “These folks in there are lifelong dog people. It’s our advocation, our sport and our love.”

The winner of the 2021 National Dog Show was a Scottish Deerhound named Claire. It’s the first time a dog has won back-to-back in the show’s entire history.

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