Denali the Therapy Dog


AKC cameras recently followed along on a therapy dog visit with Spinone Italiano "Denali" and his owner Bob Ipcar at NY Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. Denali visited with patients in the physical rehabilitation gym and charmed doctors, staff and visitors alike throughout the hospital. Watch the video above or on our YouTube page.  Denali, a therapy dog with the Good Dog Foundation, was recently awarded the ACE Empire State Award, and will be honored for his work and greeting fans at AKC Meet the Breeds!

Do you and your dog do therapy work? Check out the video and share your therapy dog moments with us in the comments!

Here's more about the accomplishments that earned Denali the ACE Empire State Award:

Empire State Award Winner: “Denali,” a Spinone Italiano owned by Robert Ipcar and Jane Landis of Brooklyn, New York

During the devastating floods of Hurricane Sandy, Spinone Italiano “Denali” made daily rounds as part of the Good Dog Foundation at the 15th Street Armory in Brooklyn, located just around the corner from his home. The Armory housed several hundred displaced nursing home evacuees from Belle Harbor for almost a month, and Denali proved to be a welcome distraction for the elderly patients. City Councilman Brad Lander (District 39) presented Denali with a proclamation honoring his service during the natural disaster. Miriam Eisenstein-Drachley, an evacuee from Belle Harbor Manor nursing home in Far Rockaway said that Denali provided “courtesy, gentleness and goodness beyond description” for shelter residents during their stay.

Denali also works at the New York Methodist Hospital’s Physical Rehabilitation Unit, where he interacts with anyone who needs a moment to re-charge their batteries -- families, patients and staff alike. He also visits the palliative care/oncology unit of the Brooklyn VA Harbor Heath Care system. Denali has made appearances promoting his breed, most notably for the American Kennel Club’s New York office when he has marched with other Italian breeds in the Columbus Day Parade, as well as at AKC Meet the Breeds®, where he has worked the Spinone booth for the past three years. Denali and his owners Bob and Jane received the Marie La Ruffa Award for patient care at NY Methodist’s annual Volunteer Dinner three year ago. They’ve also been honored by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz for their volunteer work and won the Spinone Club of America’s 2012 Asti’s Compassion Award, given to Spinoni who have proved themselves above-average therapy dogs.