Golden Retrievers Provide Comfort for Citizens of Newtown

Several Golden Retrievers were brought in to the community of Newtown Connecticut over the last few days to help children and families deal with their unimaginable grief after 27 people, including 20 innocent children were gunned down on Friday December 14th in the small, normally friendly bedroom community.

The Hudson Valley Golden Retriever Club responded with some of their goldens and set up at a makeshift memorial in the town center.  They were greeted with open arms from both children and adults.

Photo: ALLISON JOYCE FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Photo: ALLISON JOYCE FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Another group of Golden Retrievers from the Lutheran Church Charities  program called K-9 Parish Comfort dogs, traveled all the way from Chicago.  The non-profit organization provides comfort to various places around the country in the wake of tragedy.   Today the dogs were to be spending time with the students of Sandy Hook Elementary for after school programs.

goldensnewton

On Saturday, Chewie, Ruthie and Luther began the over 800 mile journey from Chicago.  According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, Organization President Tim Hetzner, who was on the journey, says:

Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” It creates the atmosphere for people to share.

Chewie (left) Ruthie and Luther, December 16, 2012 - Lutheran Church Charities Photo

Chewie (left) Ruthie and Luther, December 16, 2012 – Lutheran Church Charities Photo

The LCC K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs Facebook Page has a great quote:

“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.”

Each of the golden retrievers on the team carries business cards with their contact information.  Here are some of their facebook pages:

Chewie, Abbi, Barnabus, Hannah, Luther, Prince, and Ruthie.

CNN reports on the Comfort Dogs:

Here’s a segment from NBC Nightly News called “Making A Difference” with Brian Williams.  It features the K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs.

Making A Difference – (Comfort Dogs in Newtown CO)

Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who dedicate their time and their goldens to bring even a small amount of happiness at such a heart wrenching time.  My heart is with the citizens of Newtown…

9 thoughts on “Golden Retrievers Provide Comfort for Citizens of Newtown

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. It is heartening to see the outreach from various communities and how the presence of these lovely dogs affect those who are in such pain.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. I could look at that first photo of the Golden Retriever and child sharing a kiss all day long. There is a special comfort that comes from a dog, especially a loving Golden Retriever.

  3. Pingback: The Comfort of Dogs | All Creatures LARGE & small

  4. I love this story. In a week full of horrible sadness, it’s heartwarming to see how these dogs’ boundless love can help a community heal.

  5. Pingback: Golden Retrievers Provide Comfort for Citizens of Newtown « A Veterinarian's Perspective

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