Local Doberman Honored as Lyons VA Hospital’s Therapy Dog of the Year
In April 2017 Koby, a.k.a AKC/UKC Ch. Scarlet Night One Man Show RN, NW1, L1I was honored as Therapy Dog of the Year (2016) for his work with the veterans at Lyons VA Hospital by Planetree. Planetree is an internationally recognized leader in developing and implementing patient-centered care practices.
According to Planetree’s website, “The Spirit of Planetree Awards were created to promote patient-centered care by publicly recognizing individuals who personalize and demystify the health care experience for others, as well as programs and services that support extraordinary achievement in patient-centered care.”
Koby is handled by his breeder/owner M Elaine Werner MSW, who visits as a representative of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 344, Rockaway. Mrs. Werner is also a member of the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, Newton Kennel Club, North Jersey Kennel Club, and a delegate to the New Jersey Federation of Dog Clubs. Koby is certified by Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs.
Koby is a wonderful ambassador for the breed and visits the Lyons VA Hospital Behavioral Health units regularly and the Hospice unit once a month.
Each visit to the Behavioral Units includes 30 to 50 contacts with patients, and Koby has made more than 3750 patient contacts. The number of dog/patient contacts is recorded because the Koby is escorted by Ruth Sposito, Recreational Therapist, and she has to document the dog/patient contacts to help determine efficacy of the Therapy Dog Program.
Koby is especially popular in the PTSD, Women’s Trauma, and locked behavioral health units. Koby has his own business cards thanking the veterans for their service which are greatly appreciated.
Koby makes great eye contact and is intuitively drawn to certain patients. Recently one veteran in the PTSD Unit, who was initially reluctant to touch him, began petting him and gazing into his eyes. Koby then lay on the floor and the veteran followed and continued petting him while they were almost nose to nose on the floor. This lasted more than five minutes. The veteran commented that it was the calmest he felt in a very long time. He also made a decision to pursue a service dog application.
One of Koby’s favorite wheelchair bound inpatients was hospitalized and his unit was quarantined for several weeks. When Koby saw him again, Koby went up to him and snuggled his nose into his elbow and stayed as long as the veteran wished to pet him. His smile when Koby did this was priceless.
Koby is a multiple American Kennel Club Best of Breed winner and finished his United Kennel Club title with a Reserve Best in Show. He has a Rally and two Nose Work titles
Local Doberman Honored as Lyons VA Hospital’s Therapy Dog of the Year (cont.)
and continues to train and compete in Nose Work. Most importantly, he occupies a VERY special place in every one’s hearts and is an absolute joy to live with.
The following pictures were taken by Scott R. Snell, Photographer, Medical Media
L to R: Bud Werner, Ruth Sposito, Elaine Werner, Koby, and Jose Gonzalez, Acting Associate DirectorKoby with his medal
Koby’s “Business Card”