Eli, a therapy dog who comforted first responders and victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, has been named Therapy Dog Ambassador for The National Dog Show Presented by Purina and the Kennel Club of Philadelphia for 2011.
A retired show dog and therapy dog who competed at the first National Dog Show in 2002, Eli travels the country with owner/handler Sherry Hanley appearing at dog shows and fundraising events to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project and other causes.
“It’s a great honor for Eli to come back to Philadelphia as Therapy Dog Ambassador for the KCP and The National Dog Show,” says Hanley, a Lehigh County, Penn. deputy sheriff. “Therapy Dog work is important and Eli is active in generating awareness about its value. Also, he loves to meet people and he is a ham, so we are looking forward to being involved.”
Eli will also appear at the Kennel Club of Philadelphia cluster, meeting the public on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 2-3 p.m. in the Purina Pro Plan exposition area at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks/Valley Forge, just west of Philadelphia. Eli will also appear on Sunday, November 20 from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. at the same venue.
The show will be broadcast on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) on NBC following the Macy’s Parade. An audience of 20 million is expected to tune in.
“Eli’s therapy work will never be forgotten and there is a whole generation of therapy dogs who walk now in his footsteps,” says National Dog Show NBC expert analyst David Frei, the author of “Angel On A Leash,” a new book about therapy dogs. “Eli and Sherry Hanley will get a huge ovation Saturday when they are introduced in the stadium at The National Dog Show.”