When horrible, unspeakable tragedies happen, there are few things that can truly bring comfort.
Among those select few are man’s best friend.
Following a devastating terrorist attack at the Pulse nightclub, members of the Orlando community and beyond came together in a big way.
Those answering the call for support were The Lutheran Church Charities. The organization runs the “K-9 Comfort Dogs Team”. The organization began small in Illinois with only a few dogs. Now, they have over 100 dogs in over 20 states.
Twelve Golden Retrievers answered the call of duty. As part of their mission to bring some love and comfort, they visited emergency medical personnel, family members, and other mourners who were in the town grieving the loss of the 49 murdered and many more wounded. The dogs were accompanied by their twenty handlers and brought in from other states.
The dogs are trained in a manner that is consistent with the needs of those in mourning. For instance, the dogs are trained to lay down next to the grieved individual so that the person can lay their head down on the dog. The dogs are also trained to stay calm which means no barking or overly excited movements when meeting people.
Dogs have long been believe to bring comfort to those suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other emotional distresses. Following mass tragedies like the Boston bombing massacre, comfort dogs have been launched into action to help alleviate the pain.
The dogs even made trips to hospitals and homes where the wounded and effected families felt more comfortable. The Retrievers also met with the staff of Pulse.
Everywhere they went, the dogs were met with tears, hugs, and even some smiles – a sign that the dogs’ presence was having a positive affect on the people desperately in need of comfort. There is nothing quite like the presence of a dog to bring comfort in devastating times.