Eulogy for a good Judge
I don’t normally write about individual judges on my blog but the unexpected loss of Judith Goodin can not go unnoticed. She was well-respected and from all reports a good and honest judge of dogs. I hardly ever had the opportunity to show to her, but her skill and knowledge as a judge is not what made her a special person, it was neither that or her style or her excellent footwear. What made her special was her kindness.
I have been lucky in that my 1st show dog was sold to me by some wonderful people Linda and Kevin Flynn who are my dear friends and mentors still. I was lucky that they trusted me enough to send me a pick bitch from a lovely litter. That pick bitch became my beautiful Windy, Ch Keltic’s Winter Solstice, CGC. They sent her across the country to a newbie Novice and trusted that I’d do right by her and I tried. She placed at the GSPCA nationals and I had managed to put single points on her but could just not get to Winner’s Bitch in major competition. I had begun to worry that my lovely girl, oh so worthy was being held back by her not so worthy handler. I was to the point of giving up and handing her off to someone with skill. The Flynn’s had confidence in me but they were two time zones away and I was flaying. Then along came Judy.
I spent a lot of time stewarding in my early days (still do when I have time) and after another disappointing day in the ring I was assigned to Judy’s ring. What a lovely lady, kind to the dogs and handlers, pleasant and friendly to her steward, had great shoes. Instead of doing her own thing during breaks she took the time to chat with me and ask about my breed. Aww, a sporting dog person, how had I done, etc. I told her how I had a lovely girl but I felt like as a novice I was getting in her way. She made a kind remark and had to go back to judging. When the lunch break came and the arena cleared out she looked around furtively and asked me if my girl was near by and if she was go and get her. She was and I did. Judy put me thru my paces in the ring, had me stack, gait, set up. When she was done she put her hand on my shoulder and told me that I was doing a fine job and to just keep doing what I was doing and Windy would be a Champion before I knew it. Then she went off for her much shorter lunch break.
Of course Windy did go on to finish owner handled and have a lovely litter and I went on to other doggy endeavors. I have often wondered if Judith Goodin had not take that time to instill confidence in a novice handler would I have continued?
But I did continue and to this day I try to remember her kindness, I try to make the effort to help new people to the sport, to give back and to be a force for good.
To the people who loved her, your loss is devastating and there are no words of comfort I can give but know that she made a difference and may her kindness be remembered and paid forward.