After the tragedy in Orlando, few things could comfort grieving family members, friends, and the whole community. Thankfully, one of the things that can help? Dogs.
Never underestimate the healing power canines can hold. A charity from Chicago reached out to help the victims of the Orlando shooting by bringing very special guests to them.
On Monday, Northbrook, Illinois' Lutheran Church Charities sent its beloved K-9 Comfort Dog ministry to Orlando to help first responders, victims' families and friends, and recovering victims.
Twelve golden retrievers showed up with tails wagging and warm hearts. Handlers joined them from seven different states for the event. On Tuesday, the dogs visited a memorial site that's been resurrected in honor of the victims at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. There, they were able to give licks and get belly rubs from those who needed their unconditional canine love the most.
The power of dogs is more healing than you can imagine. That's why groups all over the U.S. focus on raising training therapy dogs.
There's not only short term effects from therapy dogs, there's tons of long term effects. According to PawsforPeople.org, interaction with a "gentle, friendly pet" can even lower your blood pressure and improve your cardiovascular health.
Dogs from these types of groups, specially the K-9 Comfort Dog ministry, provide grief therapy for kids and visit patients in hospice care and inmates in Cook County Jail.
When tragedy strikes, we always know we'll have those unconditional, puppy eyes to look into. And somehow, that makes it all a little easier.