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Golden Retriever Therapy Dogs Go to Boston

I fell in love with the K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs after seeing photos of their visits to Newtown, Conn. following the school shooting.  Yesterday one of the dogs (yes, they post as themselves) posted on Facebook that they were going to Boston.  From the Today Show:

Tales of hope abound in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, and even four-legged workers are pitching in to provide relief (and cuddles) to those in need. Throughout the week, the Boston community can count on canine comfort from five specially-trained golden retrievers deployed by Lutheran Church Charities in Addison, Ill.

On Tuesday, three of the organization’s comfort dogs flew from Chicago to Boston, where they joined two retrievers who have been working with bereaved students and parents at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., every day since December.

“People talk to the dogs — they’re like furry counselors,” Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities, told “It’s a chance to help bring some relief to people that are shaken up because of the bombings.”

The dogs are set to remain in Boston until Sunday, and possibly longer depending on the needs of the community. They’re stationed at First Lutheran Church, which is a few blocks from the finish line of yesterday’s marathon — the site of Monday’s bombings. Hetzner says the team will likely visit the area’s hospitals as well, where over 100 victims are being treated.

“I would imagine their effect will be the same as it was in Newtown,” Hetzner said. “They bring a calming effect to people and help them process the various emotions that they go through in times like this.”

 You can donate to the Comfort Dog fund here.

Pictured above: K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs arrive in Boston with their handlers.  The vests are where they keep their business cards with their individual email addresses and Facebook pages.


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