K9 Comfort Dogs Luther and Isaiah wait at the airport for their trip to Boston.
Lutheran Church Charities has been a tremendous resource during disasters, bringing a wide variety of volunteer resources for recovery and rebuilding. But the volunteers who have been getting attention recently are the K9 Comfort Dogs.
A number of these furry, friendly volunteers have been working to bring comfort to those affected by the Boston Marathon bombings and survivors of the Sandy Hook elementary shootings.
On their Facebook page their mission statement reads: 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. You can follow them and their activities on Facebook or Twitter.
Animals bring a special and soothing kind of comfort, they don’t judge and they are easy to talk to. K9 Comfort Dogs are used in churches, health care, schools, home visits and disaster response and all of the K9 Comfort Dogs are Golden Retrievers.
It is becoming more widely recognized how important our interactions with animals can help us with physical and emotional recovery. A scientific study found that pet therapy can reduce the need for pain medication by 50% in patients recovering from joint replacement surgery. AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) is becoming more widely used and some hospitals are even allowing pets to visit their humans while they are patients.
Our furry companions enrich our daily lives in many ways and we have come a long way in recognizing how important they are to our well being. We need to continue to advocate for their inclusion in all aspects of our life and help support organizations who train and make service animals available.