WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB CARES
WESTMINSTER'S ANGEL ON A LEASH THERAPY DOG PROGRAM GROWS AND THRIVES Copyright © 2007 Westminster Kennel Club
As it enters its third year of existence, The Westminster Kennel Club's therapy dog program, Angel On A Leash, is growing in many ways, continuing to change the lives of many people in need.
Under the leadership of program coordinator Greer Griffith, Angel On A Leash continues to be a wonderful success in benefiting the young patients at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian. The number of volunteer teams has grown to more than 25 since the program's inception.
Volunteer teams continue to be active in the Child Life Department at the Hospital. There, the benefits of the therapy dog visits are spontaneous, coming from interaction between the patient and the dog and its human partner and promoting smiles, conversation and positive emotional responses.
And recently, Angel On A Leash teams have expanded their roles, adding more involved activities in the Occupational / Physical Therapy Department. There the dog becomes an integral part of the treatment process, working with a health professional to promote specific goal-oriented improvements in physical, emotional and cognitive skills of the individual patients.
Angel On A Leash volunteer teams have also begun to visit the Ronald McDonald House in New York City. The New York House is one of more than 200 Ronald McDonald Houses around the world that provide a "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals, a low-cost temporary residence near the medical facility where family members can stay and find support from other families in similar situations.
The use of therapy dogs has been shown to help reduce stress for pediatric patients and their families. Studies are showing the many benefits, ranging from encouraging smiles and conversation, to motivating them during physical therapy.
Angel On A Leash enhances the healing process for the Hospital's pediatric patients. With organizations such as the Delta Society, New York's Good Dog Foundation, and the ASPCA providing the training for special dogs and their human partners, the program touches the lives of patients, their families, and staff at New York's leading children's hospital.
"Therapy dogs bring unconditional love from an animal to the bedside, which greatly contributes to the emotional and physical healing process," says Joan Bompane, Director of Child Life at Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital.
Angel On A Leash is supported through the sales of the Westminster poster, "Westminster. There's Only One." The 2007 poster, by artist Debra Hurd of Austin, TX, was unveiled in November 2006 at the Hospital and is available for purchase via the Westminster website. It was also for sale at the show, with Ms. Hurd on hand to personally sign posters.
For information about Angel On A Leash, call (212) 213-3212 or e-mail email@example.com.
WESTMINSTER KENNEL CLUB 2007 SIDELIGHTS
The dogs listed below were all entered in Westminster Kennel Club 131st Annual Benched AKC Champions Only Dog Show on February 12th and 13th, 2007.
Catherine and Louise Emanuel of Scottsville, VA entered their Anatolian Shepherd, Ch Birinci’s Big Green Toad (Bitch). Toad was the only survivor in the litter. At eight weeks of age she was bitten by a poisonous snake. She had a slow recovery from the bite. After recovery, Toad went on to win the Livestock Guarding Dog Award after saving the Emanuel’s livestock from a pack of foxes.
Laura Hardman of Seattle, WA entered her Portuguese Water Dog, Ch. Do Gato’s Catwoman (Bitch), Pickles. Pickles is a Delta Society Pet Partner. Laura has been a Delta Society Instructor for ten years. Laura works 40 hours a week with Pickles visiting maximum security inmates, domestic violence victims, children with reading disabilities and senior citizens.
Julie Seaton of Muskego, WI entered her Australian Terrier, Ch. Temora Bully (Dog) for the first time in Westminster. Bully can detect diabetic seizures before they happen. Bully has alerted Julie’s diabetic son to oncoming hypoglycemic seizures. Julie was also diabetic, she received a rare surgery called eyelet cell transplantation through the contributions of Westminster to Take the Lead. Julie knows that Take the Lead has saved her life.
Alexandra Geremia of Santa Barbara, CA entered her Norwich Terrier, Ch. Snowyridge Don’t Fence Me In (Dog) and went BOB. Alexandra owns a ranch in the foothills outside Santa Barbara and raises African Ankole-Watusi Cattle and Zebras. Last spring, she took her dogs to a rattlesnake avoidance class. A month after the class, Dudley went under the bed barking at a small chest next to the wall. Dudley alerted the family to a rattlesnake that had made its way through a faulty door into the bedroom. The class and Dudley paid off big time.
George, Raquel and Danielle Warner of San Diego, CA entered their Parson Russell Terrier, Ch. Stonebrook Sunny Blue Sky (Bitch). The bitch Skykler is a trained hearing service dog.
Cassandra and Christine Friemel of Fullerton, CA entered their Tibetan Terrier, Ch. Starlight’s Beautiful Dreamer (Bitch). The bitch Beauty began her life as the only puppy out of five to survive. Then as a puppy Beauty was lost for eight days in Las Vegas. A couple recognized that she was not a typical stray dog and spent hours trying to catch her. They succeeded and Beauty was reunited with her owners and went on to complete her Championship.
Karen Evasuik of Denver, CO entered her Keeshond, which she bred, Ch. Twin Trees Stray Cat (Dog). Karen has suffered from severe headaches . She had a car accident on the way to a dog show. Her dog, Tommy, six months after the accident started waking Karen in the middle of the night alerting her to oncoming headaches. Tommy is now registered as a service dog in recognition of his special gift.
Don Hancock of Inman, SC entered his American Water Spaniel, Ch. Kei-Rin’s Mountain Man (Dog). Don’s dog, Bridger, loves to swim and has been used as a therapy dog to help children overcome fear of water.
Sharon and Carl Misiak of Hammond, IN entered their Vizsla, Ch. Sunnyside’s Harbor Master JH, call name Cappy. Cappy accompanies Carl, who has Multiple Sclerosis, to the VA clinic as his service dog. Although Carl is in a wheelchair, he is training and plans to compete with Cappy in AKC Rallies.
Iris Love of New York, NY bred and entered her Smooth Dachshund, Ch. Dachsmith Love Psyche N Tyche II (Bitch). Iris is a world famous archaeologist, and discovered the Temple of Aphrodite in Greece. Her dogs come along with her on the digs and are always helpful finding bones. But as Iris says, “They’re always mixing up the Paleolithic with the Neolithic era!”