Golden Retrievers Bring Joy, Healing to Boston

6 Golden Retrievers from the Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dogs will be in Boston to help bring joy and comfort to the thousands of people attending the area for the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21st.  2 of the comfort dogs,  Addie and Maggie are already in Boston.  They also plan to visit hospitals and first responders.

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Luther, Ruthie, Hannah and Rufus will arrive in Boston tomorrow and will be stationed at the First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkley St.- just a few blocks away from where the bombings occurred last year.  The dogs work for about 3 hours at a time and then are given a break.

Here they are with LCC president Tim Hetzner and their wonderful handlers, preparing to leave.

Photo - LCC Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs - Facebook

Photo – LCC Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs – Facebook

President of LCC Charities Tim Hetzner says

Our goal is to bring mercy and healing to those that are not only physically affected, but emotionally affected, too.”

Here’s some coverage of the comfort dogs visiting Boston last year:

Dogs will be available at the Boston Lutheran Church at 299 Berkley St:

Thursday 5-7 p.m. and 8-9 p.m.

Friday 3-7 p.m.

Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sunday 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Monday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Travel expenses and other expenses are covered by donations from the public.  If you would like to donate to the LCC Comfort Dogs, please click here.

 Comfort Dogs are returning to Boston for Marathon Weekend – Yahoo News

 

K9 Comfort Dogs and their Handlers Surprised on Good Morning America

The K9 Parish Comfort Dogs from Lutheran Church Charities were featured on Good Morning America yesterday in a segment called “You’re Not Dreaming”  They choose someone or a group of people that have really resonated with them and deserve some special recognition.  ABC News and GMA anchor Lara Spencer chose the Comfort Dogs and says she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about them since she first met them in Newtown.

Photo-K9 Parish Comfort Dogs/Facebook

Photo-K9 Parish Comfort Dogs/Facebook

I’m sure you all know who they are by now.  They are a group of golden retrievers and their handlers who visited Joplin after the town was devestated by the tornado, Sandy Hook Elementary, Boston, and many other places some comfort was required.  These handlers are selfless, wonderful people willing to drop everything at a minute’s notice to help others in some of the most grim situations.

Yesterday the dogs and handlers got to walk the red carpet and were rewarded with many treats including a “doggy bag” full of jerkey, shampoo, toys etc from Sergeants Pet Care, a spay day at Canine Ranch Spa, A “Rufflaxation Massasge” courtesy of Hope Vet Clinic and a free grooming from New York Dog Spa and Hotel.

The handlers were rewarded with gift certificates from bliss Spa.

President of Lutheran Church Charities Tim Hetzner was presented with a full size van from Hertz that they have use of for a year.

Comfort Dog Charity Surprised With Transport Van, Grooming – Good Morning America (Video – ABC News)

If you can contribute to The K9 Parish Comfort Dogs, click here.

This segment is definately worth watching!

Golden Retrievers Help Comfort Victims in Boston

The K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs are on the ground in Boston acting as furry counselors for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing incident.  This group of dogs and handlers are from Lutheran Church Charities in Addison, Illinois and have been helping ease the pain of victims after tragic events.  They were on scene after the shooting in Newtown, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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Luther and Ruthie packed and ready to head to Boston – LCC

The five golden retrievers and their handlers are stationed at First Lutheran Church, which is a few blocks from the finish line of yesterday’s marathon, the site of Monday’s bombings.  They will spend the rest of this week visiting the injured at Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

LCC President Tim Hetzner told Today.com “They bring a calming effect to people and help them process the various emotions that they go through in times like this.”

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Comfort dogs comforting victim Lee Ann Yanni before her surgery – LCC

The Comfort Dog program began in 2008 after a gunman killed five students at Northern Illinois University and now has over 60 dogs in six states.

Isaiah, Addie, Maggie, Luther and Ruthie are all golden retrievers with their own Facebook pages, business cards and Twitter accounts so people can stay in touch after meeting.

To contribute to the Comfort Dogs, please visit here

Another organization, Dog B.O.N.E.S Therapy Dogs of Massachusetts was also ready to help.  Here, golden retriever Bailey (and handler Jack Foley) are standing by.  B.O.N.E.S. stands for Building Opportunities for Nurturing and Emotional Support.

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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.

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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…