Two superstars of the dog world made a special visit to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women in Orlando on December 10, in conjunction with the AKC/Eukanuba National Invitational Championship. Young patients were delighted to hug, hold and visit with J.R., the Bichon Frise who was Best In Show at the AKC/Eukanuba show in 2001, and Cara, the Standard Poodle who was the AKC's 2002 Award for Canine Excellence therapy dog honoree. It was the first official visit as a therapy dog for J.R., his handler, Scott Sommer, and owner Cecilia Ruggles. For the 11-year-old Cara, it was quite another story, as she came out of retirement for one final therapy dog visit with owner Sherry Brosnahan. Cara, who lost a leg to cancer four years ago, provided special inspiration for the children, while J.R. was a huge hit with his trademark wave with his two front paws.
click on image for a larger view and caption - Photos by Mary Bloom