While many dog devotees will gather around their television sets on Thanksgiving Day to watch as John O’Hurley, David Frei and Mary Castillo spotlight the search for the Best in Show at the 12th annual airing of the National Dog Show, on November 15th the announcers gave thanks for canines who are doggedly devoted to helping those in need as the red carpet rolled out at the inaugural Spotlight Therapy Dogs fundraiser.
The former Seinfeld star acted as host for the event, which took place at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House and included dinner, a meet and greet and Q&A session with the three broadcasters, silent and live auctions and the chance to meet the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Therapy Dog Ambassador Team:
- Familiar faces to the children at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Philadelphia, Wynonna and Waylon are two Belgian Sheepdogs whose passion for compassion was passed down by their father Eli, the late therapy dog who helped to mend the hearts of those near Ground Zero when the Twin Towers fell on September 11th.
- Big barking buddies with equally big hearts, Dogues de Bordeaux Li’l Abner and Stella visit schools, patients at Middletown’s St. Mary Medical Center and the children at the Ronald McDonald House.
- An alum of the New Leash on Life program, Staffordshire Terrier mix Vivian— a former bait dog– is a pal to kids at the Ronald McDonald House and helps released inmates as they embark on a new chapter in their lives.
Mary Carillo introduces the therapy dog ambassadors and talks about the their vital work in the following National Dog Show clip:
Kids at all 170 Ronald McDonald Houses across the country are now enjoying John O’ Hurley’s children’s book The Perfect Dog thanks to a joint charitable initiative of Nestle Purina PetCare®, Penguin Young Readers Group and The National Dog Show Presented by Purina®. A total of 850 copies of the book are being donated as part of Purina’s “Better with Pets” effort which highlights the strong bond between people and pets. The “Better With Pets” theme will be carried out throughout The National Dog Show Presented by Purina® broadcast through interviews and video content that demonstrate Purina’s belief that pets and people are better together. The two-hour NBC special airs Thanksgiving Day from noon-2 p.m. in all time zones.
Photo courtesy The National Dog Show Presented by Purina