Comfort Dogs Bring Solace to a Grieving Connecticut Town

Q. Why are the LCC comfort dogs all Golden Retrievers?

A. "We just find that the Golden Retrievers are very approachable and teachable. Young kids like them. Older people like them. They’re very soft and cuddly, and it’s a pleasing breed."

Q. Do you find that Goldens have certain breed characteristics that make them cut out for this kind of work?

A. "They do have a great instinct to gravitate to people that may need them. Sometimes our dogs will keep taking us over to people, and we just won’t know what the reason is."

Q. We understand that the K-9 Parish Comfort Dogs group started in response to another school shooting back in 2008. Can you tell us about that and the subsequent work the group has done?

A. "The program started because of the shootings at Northern Illinois University. We were invited as part of another canine group to join. And then we realized that there were many people who needed comfort, more than just after that disaster.

Our dogs go to visit veterans, nursing homes, hospitals, schools. We did disaster relief work in New Orleans, Joplin, Henryville. We have had canines and volunteers on the East Coast, in New York and in New Jersey after Sandy."

To donate to the families affected by the tragedy in Newtown, visit the My Sandy Hook Family Fund or the Newtown Memorial Fund.

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