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Comfort Dogs Help Boston Recover

Comfort Dogs Help Boston Recover

Addie and Maggie, two comfort dogs who helped survivors of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last December, are now in Boston spreading their special kind of love to those affected by Monday’s bombing at the iconic Boston Marathon.  On Monday, the dogs were still on duty in Newtown, Connecticut when the bombing occurred.

Joining them from LCC (Lutheran Church Charities) Chicago headquarters are K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie, Luther and Isaiah.  They are staying at the First Lutheran Church in Boston, only several blocks from the marathon finish line.  The dogs are comforting people on the street around the marathon location as well as visiting the injured at area hospitals.

Luther and Isaiah wait at the airport for their trip to Boston.

“The dogs are here to bring comfort, release and mercy to people who are going through a confusing time in their lives,” said Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities, to New York Daily News.  “In many cases they talk to the dogs like they are counselors, big furry counselors.”

The dogs’ Facebook page describes their mission. “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.”  The K-9 Comfort Dogs was formed in response to a 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois University where five students were killed. Starting out with just a few comfort dogs, the organization now has 67.  They deploy to any area of the country where they are requested.

Boston Marathon victim gets visit from K-9 Comfort Dogs before surgery.

 

Scientists believe the simple action of petting a dog releases oxytocin in the brain. Oxytocin is the hormone that circulates through the bloodstream of nursing mothers and infants which helps them to bond. It reduces anxiety and depression. It’s no surprise petting dogs can measurably reduce anxiety after traumatic experiences.  A 2009 study showed patients using pet therapy during recovery from total joint replacement surgeries used 50% less pain medication than those who did not involve the canines.  That shouldn’t be too surprising.

Any dedicated dog parent knows the amazing effect unconditional love from a dog has to help them through a difficult day or situation. Isn’t it wonderful that Comfort Dogs can be trained to step up and provide the patient devotion needed to survivors of large-scale trauma like the Boston marathoners?

This couple, injured in the bombing, receive canine comfort.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs is a charity that does not charge for the dog’s services. Donations to cover travel expenses for the furry ambassadors are gladly accepted.

Related Care2 Reading:

Comfort Dogs Provide Support to Newtown Massacre Survivors

Saved From Abuse, Two Dogs Work Miracles with Children Who Need Them

Check Out What Service Dogs Can Do

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184 comments

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12:26PM PDT on Jul 22, 2013

I had signed the comments back in April, 2013, but I decided to read the added comments since I placed mine, today 7/22/13, because I felt I needed a pick up today, and The ones I read were outstanding. So much so I needed to send a lot of green stars out to many members. You all are great., I always look forward to seeing what you all think, I enjoy the conversation back and forth between the members....period.

5:42AM PDT on Jun 8, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

4:34AM PDT on May 30, 2013

thank you for sharing

12:03PM PDT on May 8, 2013

Awesome!!!!

6:08AM PDT on Apr 27, 2013

Wonderful idea....

6:45AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

EVERY DAY MORE INVENTIONS...ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE NORMAL AND HELP PEOPLE..LIKE DOGS IN HOSPITALS...,.SURE...THEY ARE A CONFORT AND HAPPINESS FOR PEOPLE CONFINE IN HOSPICE AND HOSPITALS.....THEY NEED THAT JOY TO PET A WONDERFUL ANIMAL..,!!!!!!! IOLANDA

6:38PM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

Of all support groups and therapies available, I think this is the best kind.

4:51PM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

Unconditional love.

5:39AM PDT on Apr 25, 2013

A winning combination :) thanks for sharing.

4:19PM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Fantastic for everyone.

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