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Friday, April 19, 2024

National Dog Show Therapy Team unleashes new ambassdor


Above / The National Dog Show Therapy Team welcomes one new ambassador for 2024, an award-winning collie named Rosebud Rae that resides in Naperville.

The National Dog Show Therapy Dog Ambassador Team has added one new prominent member for 2024. She is an award-winning collie named Rosebud Rae from Naperville, Illinois. The team now includes 21 certified therapy dogs and handlers from across the United States.

Rosebud, has been quite a star recently, adding several awards to her legacy of therapy work. Most recently Rosebud has joined an elite group of 21 therapy dogs (on a national level) to represent the best dogs across the country carrying on therapy work.

Rosebud Rae, a 10-year-old rough coat sable and white collie, started her therapy training at the age of one under her owner and handler, Ted Slupik. Rosebud has exceled at any venue she has worked in, and she is a master at engaging with people of all ages. Her positive and hardworking traits enable her to seek out the individuals who need her the most, and she spends whatever time is necessary to engage with them.

Rosebud and Slupik visit elementary, junior high, high schools and colleges to provide therapy. She also works with special needs students. Together, they spread awareness to students about giving back to the community through volunteering. From these visits, they have recruited several of these students to work with Rosebud’s team to visit schools and nursing homes.

Over her career, Rosebud has recruited 15 student volunteers. Three of the volunteers have written articles about their experiences with Rosebud and those articles were published in national online publications, winning Junior Writer of the Year awards, which included cash prizes. Two of these junior authors have traveled to New York City to receive their awards and attended the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.  

Rosebud and her owner-handler, Ted Slupik, are fondly recognized as popular volunteers in Naperville School District 203.

Rosebud has earned several achievements throughout her career. She has most recently been named as the 2024 Collie Club of America Therapy Dog Winner. She has been the subject of at least 15 articles. She has appeared in the Collie Connection of the American Working Collie Association, Ruff Drafts of the Dog Writers Association of America, the Cassette and the Collie Nose of the Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois.

Rosebud and Slupik received a “Volunteer of the Year” award from the Madison Junior High School in Naperville. They were then awarded the same award at a District level from Naperville School District 203 before ultimately earning the Illinois School Volunteer of the Year award presented by Governor J.B. Pritzker.  

Rosebud will continue her therapy dog work for as long as she can.  She is in the process of training her new collie housemate, Ginger, who is seven years-old.   

The National Dog Show Therapy Dog Ambassador Team represents six states stretching from Oregon to Miami to Philadelphia. Appearances are planned for summer and fall at Valley Forge National Historical Park and at the WMGK-nine Walk at Green Lane Park in Montgomery County. Then, the therapy dog team will populate a booth at the National Dog Show in November 2024, at the greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. 

National Dog Show Therapy Dog Ambassador Team 

(Listed Alphabetically by the first name of the dog)

  • Alfie and Axle” Birth Year: 2016 and 2021 / Breed: Golden Retriever / Owner-Handler: Sue and Tom Good / From: Wilmington, DE 
  • Bella” Birth Year: 2012 / Breed: Golden Retriever / Owner-Handler: Luann D’Agostino / From: Newark, DE 
  • Charlotte” Birth Year: 2015 / Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Owner-Handler: Kelly Silliman / From: Kennett Square, PA 
  • Darien” Birth Year: 2015 / Breed: Golden Retriever / Owner-Handler: Harry and Marilyn Martens / From: Rehoboth Beach, DE 
  • Dyson” Birth Year: 2017 / Breed: Shetland Sheepdog / Owner-Handler: Alice Hoersch / From: Hatfield, PA  
  • Frangelica” Birth Year: 2011 / Breed: Mixed breed (Maltese, Yorkie, Cairn Terrier and a little Pom) / Owner-Handler: Kathryn Meloni / From: Chadds Ford, PA
  • Holly” Birth year: 2015 / Breed: Old English Sheepdog / Owner-Handler: Bob Hairgrove / From:  Townsend, DE
  • Lucy” Birth Year: 2013 / Breed: Mini Labradoodle / Owner-Handler: Aileen Murray / From: Bear, DE 
  • Onyx” Birth Year: 2022 / Breed: Jack Russel and Pug / Owner: Tawanda Harbison / From: Newark, DE 
  • Piper” Birth Year: 2011 / Breed: Malti-poo / Owner: Sherri Kearns / From: Phoenixville, PA 
  • Ralphie” Birth Year: 2021 / Breed: / Owner-Handler: Michele Pich / From: Glassboro, NJ 
  • Robbie aka Honeyfox Heartthrob” Birth Year: 2012 / Breed: Pembroke Welsh Corgi / Owner-Handler: Becky Cronin / From: Townsend, DE 
  • Rosebud Rae” Birth Year: 2013 / Breed: Rough Coat Collie / Owner-Handler: Ted Slupik / From: Naperville, IL 
  • Ryder” Birth Year: 2016 / Breed: Mudi / Owner-Handler: Rebecca Ingersoll  / From: Illinois
  • Stella” Birth Year: 2020 / Breed: Mini Irish Doodle / Owner-Handler: Rhonda James / From: Newark, DE 
  • Teddy” Birth Year: 2017 / Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Owner-Handler: Kelly Rounds / From: Miami, FL  
  • True Dat” Birth Year: 2020 /Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Owner-Handler: David Frei / From: Seattle, WA 
  • Vivian” Birth Year: 2010 / Breed: Staffordshire Terrier / Owner-Handler: Michele Pich / From: Glassboro, NJ  
  • Wasabi” Birth Year: 2019 / Breed: Bullmastiff / Owner-Handler: Tamar Paltin Mayer / From: Pottstown, PA  
  • Wesley” Birth Year: 2015 / Breed: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel / Owner-Handler: Amy Celona / From: Lincoln University, PA 

Report submitted on behalf of National Dog Show (Presented by Purina) and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia / Photos courtesy Bernie Slupik.

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