Isn’t it comforting when your dog nudges you for a pat or scratch behind the ears? When they gently push up against you or climb into your lap? We know that therapy dogs provide a soothing companion for the bereaved. We at Busch Funeral and Crematory Services are proud to have therapy dogs available to our grieving families who select to have that option at visitations and these “heeling” companions also make several visits in the community!
Bay Presbyterian Church hosted a “respite night” for families with children who are either physically or developmentally challenged. Each child was assigned a “buddy” – sometimes two, to participate in different activities. Tracker, a black lab therapy dog and his owner/trainer Karin’ Shulin of Karin’s Kanines were one of the highlights. A very cute 9 year old red head was afraid of dogs but was drawn to Tracker. Karin was told the child was severely autistic and therefore had 2 buddies assigned to her. She hugged Tracker very tightly – too tight for Karin’s comfort, “… but we showed her how to make nice to Tracker – after about 10 minutes – she said “DOG” – her “buddies” almost fell over and shrieked “did she say DOG?” When the buddy told the child’s mother, the mom burst into happy tears. Very moving and one of the reasons I got into therapy work with my dogs originally. They really touch people.
The funeral home also sponsors Karin’s Kanines visits to local hospice agencies where the patients, families and staff enjoy the therapeutic benefits that are a result of patting the dogs and all animal lovers know there’s nothing like getting your face licked to wipe away your tears and make you smile.