Seven dogs who are specially trained to assist in post-traumatic stress situations arrived in Newtown, Connecticut last week to bring comfort to the suffering community.
The amazing pups belong to a group known as the Comfort Dogs for Lutheran Church Charities, and are trained to interact with people at churches, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, events and in disaster situations.
The dogs begin their training when they are just five weeks old. It takes about a full year to learn all they need to know so they can be calm enough to comfort people in intensely stressful circumstances.
Tim Hetzner of the Lutheran Church Charities, says they act like a “big live teddy bear” and “put a smile on the children’s face” for the first time after the disaster they have just been through. Hetzner also recently brought his therapy dogs to New York and New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and to Joplin, Missouri, after a devastating tornado.
As the dogs’ collective Facebook page sums it up:
“A dog is a friend who brings a calming influence, allowing people to open up their hearts and receive help for what is affecting them.”
Pet owners couldn’t agree more because we know how incredibly soothing our own pets are for us everyday.
The seven dogs are golden retrievers, and named Abbie, Chewie, Luther, Ruthie, Barnabas, Hannah and Portage.
To learn more about these amazing animals, click here.
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