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K-9 Comfort in the Aftermath

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs greeting families at Walmart IMG_4369.jpg
Lutheran Church Charities
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Young girl hugs K-9 Comfort Dog Gabriel

After a tragedy like the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, the whole community is affected, and it may be difficult to find comfort when all around you are suffering.  Enter one extraordinary team – the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs, a group of specially trained Golden Retrievers and their handlers that use the dogs’ unique skills and calming nature to bring peace to hurting hearts.

     These animals work all year long in their local parishes, helping humans who are going through difficult times or who have experienced a traumatic event, such as the death of a loved one, or a critical illness.  They may work with special needs children, visit residents of nursing homes, or people suffering from depression.  But when disaster strikes, Lutheran Church Charities can send in a team of trained dogs and handlers to bring comfort, mercy and compassion to those affected by a traumatic event – but they only go where they are invited.

     In Uvalde, Texas, the local Lutheran Church immediately called and asked for the Comfort dogs.  The first team of eight dogs and their handlers from surrounding areas arrived and began ministering to hurting adults and children.  Because the work is so emotionally strenuous for both humans and animals, after a week the first team was relieved by a second group of five Comfort dogs and their handlers, two of them coming from as far away as Colorado. 

     There is no way to measure the amount of comfort and peace these special animals bring to hurting hearts.  Some just hug the dogs and cry, because there are no words to express their pain. 

  There is never a fee for the K-9 comfort dogs to minister to hurting people.  They depend on donations.  To learn more about these special dogs and their mission, or to make a donation to support them, visit their website LutheranChurchCharities.org, and click on the link for K-9 Comfort Dogs.  As many of us know all too well, it helps to hug a furry friend for comfort, when we’re speaking of pets.

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Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.