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Furry Comfort: Service Dogs Console Grieving Newtown

Child and dog
dogs

Image by State Library and Archives of Florida
Local call number: N028910
 
Title: Child and dog
 
Date: 192-?
 
Physical descrip: 1 photonegative: b&w; 5 x 4 in.
 
Series Title: (General collection.)
 
Repository: State Library and Archives of Florida, 500 S. Bronough St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250 USA. Contact: 850.245.6700. Archives@dos.state.fl.us
 
Persistent URL: www.floridamemory.com/items/show/138581

A dog is a man’s best friend, but in times of crisis this worn adage is especially applicable. After the unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, a group of K-9 Comfort Dogs has been deployed to Connecticut to provide at least a modicum of furry support to a grieving community.

The program is part of the Lutheran Church Charities and began in 2008 after a school shooting at Northern Illinois University. The dogs were so popular in Illinois, the Church decided to add more dogs. Today there are over 60 dogs in six states. Prior to the Newtown shooting, some dogs were traveling up the East Coast to console those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The dogs also go to nursing homes, schools and hospitals. 

MORE: Dogs Rescued From Death Row Dedicates Her Life to Disabled Boy

The eight dogs—Prince, Chewie, Ruthie, Shami, Luther, Bamabas, Chloe and Hannah—have been comforting Newtown citizens at the local high school and Lutheran Church since their arrival on Saturday night.

The dogs have been very well received—and that’s an understatement.

“The dogs reflect a calm. They go into an area where people are upset and the dogs don’t get upset,” explained Billie Smith, Executive Director of Therapy Dogs Inc., to TakePart.

Although Smith is not affiliated with Lutheran Church Charities, she guessed that all the dogs go through obedience and on-the-job training to help them learn how to behave around mourners.

Smith also explained why children are more comfortable talking to dogs than to an adult.

“The dogs are nonjudgmental,” she said. “The dogs aren’t asking questions or making kids explain themselves. Most children automatically relate to a dog.” 

Hopefully the citizens of Newtown get at least some measure of consolation from these dogs—and a whole lot of slobbery kisses too.

Related Stories for TakePart:

• 5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Support Newtown, CT

• Westboro Baptist Targets Sandy Hook Vigil: The Gallery of Outrage

• The Nation’s Gun Policies Are All Over the Map


Jenna Shapiro is a high school senior in New York City who is passionate about writing and environmental issues. She has previously worked with EcoLogic Solutions. In her free time she can be found reading, biking, or walking her adorable dogs! 

dogs – Yahoo! News Search Results

I apologize for the music change/audioswap; I guess EMI claims the rights to some classical music. Tribute to man’s best friend. Much like the video “people are awesome” this video tries to capture the extremes dogs have mastered- with some humor mixed in. All the videos were taken off youtube public domain: after I scoured video after video finding what would fit best with the goal. HD version click below: (can you tell a difference?) www.youtube.com Music: Carl Orff – Carmina Burana- O Fortuna Peguin Cafe Orchestra- Perpetuum Mobile Video selections: (stop by their channels and check out more amazing dogs) 1. Pedigree Dogs ad shot 1000 FPS using the Phantom camera www.youtube.com 2. Captain the Wonder Dog www.youtube.com 3. Climbing Dog www.youtube.com 4. Dog attack Shark www.youtube.com 5. The Strongest Dog of the World (Kurdish Kangal Dog) www.youtube.com 6. Extreme Pete dog skateboarding www.youtube.com 7. Dog pulls Boy off Rope Swing www.youtube.com 8. Dogs cliff jump too!! www.youtube.com 9. Me riding my 125 lb german shepherd (dogback riding) www.youtube.com 10. independents day movie: insane dog jump www.youtube.com 11. Extreme vertical: Dock Dogs competition –OUTDOOR CHANNEL www.youtube.com 12. Dog Backflips www.youtube.com 13. jumping fire dog!! www.youtube.com 14. crazy police dogs www.youtube.com 15. Amazing backfliping poodle!!! WOW www.youtube.com 16. dog vs. moutain lion – who will win? www.youtube.com 17.Time Warp – Dog Catches Hot Dog www.youtube.com 18
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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  • mc.dougall

    Best friend.

  • Hanna Kardenya

    haha que lindos

  • PCSExponent

    7:09 DRAGO!!!!!

  • fboogie7

    I have never seen anything like this in my life this is amazing these dogs have a gift but the dog driving was pretty unbelievable so I don’t believe it but this video is awesome

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    >> minecraftcodes.me <<

  • MsDarkKartoffel

    3:30 :((( der arme Hund aber trotzdem hat er noch Spaß am leben

  • AnimalsLickingGlass

    SLURP

  • 詳細くりっく 宝くじ当選 当選金お譲りします

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  • sushiixx

    Dogs> cats

  • katie corley

    Im speechless

  • Rodson Cv

    good

  • yymaii

    amazing ;)

  • Joshua L

    That dog walking on two legs is creepy :L

  • BTRTHENUISBTRTHENU

    And i thought my dog was cool

  • BlackZodiacSix

    It’s an insult if you say a person is a dog….but an insult to dogs. Great animals for sure!!!

  • pepperpow

    Dogs are amazing

  • Jigo Dakid

    Awesome.

  • andicermak7

    Such a great video. Amazing footage!!

  • MrTomana777

    perfect choice for the music score