Naperville Dog joins National Dog Show Therapy Team

Donate Today Buy This Video

The National Dog Show Therapy Team has welcomed a new ambassador from Naperville. A rough-coat sable collie named Rosebud Rae.

Who is Rosebud Rae?

“Rosebud, I first met kind of by chance when she was two weeks old. She could fit into the palm of your hand,” said Ted Slupik, owner and handler of Rosebud Rae. “She was one of eight dogs and she was very enthusiastic from the start.”

Her paws-itive attitude toward people made her a perfect candidate for a therapy dog. But before visiting the community, she had to undergo therapy certification.

“They have to go through kind of a rigorous process. A minimum of four visits, and they have to be very tolerant and obedient,” said Bernie Slupik, owner of Rosebud Rae.

At a year and a half old, Rosebud completed her certification and joined the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. A national organization of 16,000 teams made of handlers and dogs.

Therapy work in the community

Today at age 10, she works six to eight hours a week at a variety of locations. This includes elementary, middle, and high schools in Districts 203 and 204, area colleges, and nursing homes like St. Patrick’s Residence Nursing and Rehabilitation.

“All the residents are always super excited to see her. She really increases all of their moods and is a really impactful member here at St. Pat’s,” said Emmy Dutkovich, a Life Enrichment staff member at St. Pat’s.

While Rosebud creates new fur-ever friendships with the residents, she also makes it easy for her volunteer handlers to join in on the fun.

“She’s so good with people and it’s really easy to work with her because she just makes it so easy to talk to people,” said Harper Miller, Rosebud’s volunteer handler.

Rosebud Rae joins the National Dog Show Therapy Team

Rosebud has earned herself numerous awards throughout the years like the 2024 Collie Club of America Therapy Dog of the Year and even the Collie Rescue of Greater Illinois hot dog eating contest.

Her biggest achievement is being selected as 1 of 21 dogs across America to be an ambassador for the National Dog Show Therapy Team in 2024. She may even travel to Philadelphia to be part of the National Dog Show expo in November. 

“She deserves it because she’s been doing this for ten years, and we don’t know how much longer she can do it. But, she deserves having her life’s work recognized,” said Bernie.

If you have a story idea, we want to hear from you!