Thrive Allergy & Gluten-free Expo

Angel Service Dogs Proudly Announce Support and Participation at THRIVE Allergy Expo With Rock’O, the Peanut Sniffing Dog!

A non-profit organization specializing in service alert dogs for anaphylactic allergies


Chicago, IL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/03/2009 -- Like most eight year olds, Riley Mers enjoyed going to the park to play. Unfortunately, one day a peanut shell slipped into her sandal leaving a permanent scar. Riley Mers is so severely allergic to peanuts that she can break out with hives or experience breathing difficulties by simply inhaling peanut oils/residue that cannot be detected by the human nose. Sherry Mers, Riley’s mother , constantly had to bring her daughter to the emergency room for medical attention. Riley has already figured out that she doesn’t enjoy hospitals or the gowns they provide her when she visits. Thanks to Rock’O, the allergy peanut sniffing dog, Riley’s hospitals visits have stopped completely!

Rock’O is a Portuguese water dog that has been specifically trained to find peanuts so Riley never comes in contact with them. She now lives a life without fear of going into anaphylactic shock. If Rock’O could help Riley, Sherry thought dogs with Rock’O’s training could help other children with severe food allergies. She started a non-profit organization called Angel Service Dogs, providing alert dogs for anaphylactic allergies, and they will be offering their services at THRIVE!

Rock’O is already a star! Thus far he’s appeared on NBC Nightly News, ABC Action News, KXRM Fox 21, FOX News and Denver’s ABC 7. And Rocko’O and Angel Service Dogs are featured in People’s Magazine this April. THRIVE has made extra special accommodations for Rock’O, because he travels with an entourage of unbelievably and undeniably cute puppies. The puppies require a lot of space to roam and play, but Rock’O needs a stage to perform. Throughout the two-day Expo, Rock’O will demonstrate how he can easily detect well-hidden peanuts. Children will have the opportunity watch Rock’O do his thing and meet the puppies that have been pre-selected for the Angel Service Dog BPtraining program.

At the Expo, the Angel Service Dogs are looking for qualified families to adopt these cute puppies for six months. It’s necessary the puppies be given a normal and family-friendly environment for their first six months. They will then go on to be trained and loved by children whose lives will be better by their incredible life saving skills. All who have participated said the experience was well worth the momentary heartache of departure.

“I am delighted that our Expo is the stage and background where children with food allergies have the opportunity to improve their quality of life because of the Angel Service Dogs support, presence and participation, said Dennis Callahan,” EVP for THRIVE. “I know the children will be distracted by how cute and soft the puppies are, but parents will fully understand that these service alert dogs could save their child’s life. This is what THRIVE Allergy Expo is all about!”

Meet the Angel Service Dogs at booth #703 and watch Rock’O and his entourage at booth #802 at Thrive Allergy & Gluten-free Expo on April 18-19, 2009 in Chicago’s McCormick Place. Thrive Tickets are on sale at Adults are $10 or $15 for a 2-day pass, children under 12 are free when accompanied by an adult. This is an opportunity to help families learn about these conditions from credible sources, yet not spend a fortune to do it. In order to further lend support to the not for profit effort, Thrive will donate back to participating non-profits the full face value of tickets purchased by their members.

Thrive Allergy & Gluten-free Expo is presented by sponsor Sciele Pharma Inc., a Shionogi company, the marketers of allergy-related products. Please visit Sciele’s booth, # 811.