Can comfort dogs console the people of Newtown?

Dogs are heroes. They work with law enforcement to search out missing persons and deadly explosives. They guard our homes and property. They guide the blind. And in the depths of grief, the give unconditional consolation.Over the weekend, a group of golden retrievers arrived in Newtown, Conn., to do exactly what they do best – to offer a little warmth and sweetness to a town shaken to its core with sorrow. The team of specially trained comfort dogs from Lutheran Church Charities traveled 800 miles to arrive at Christ the King Lutheran Church, where the funerals of two of the children killed in the massacre are being held. As Tim Hetzner, head of the organization, explained to the Chicago Tribune, “Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone. It creates the atmosphere for people to share.” In just a short time, the animals have already put in their share of work. Hetzner told the Tribune, “You could tell which [townspeople] … were really struggling with their grief because they were quiet. They would pet the dog, and they would just be quiet … I asked [one man] how he is doing. He just kind of teared up and said: ‘This year, I’ve lost five loved ones and now this happened.’ The whole town is suffering.”Continue Reading…

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Can comfort dogs console the people of Newtown?


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