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Comfort Dogs
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Return to Boston for 2014 Marathon Print E-mail

LCC Continues to Bring the Mercy and Compassion of Christ as Boston Strong Moves On

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs
While in Boston last weekend we heard, "Are these the ones?" "You came back! "Thank you for being here again." "These dogs meant so much to us last year." "Are these the Comfort Dogs?"

From children, to college students, first responders to runners from last year's race, to individuals healing from physical effects of a senseless blast, an old man in a wheel chair who lived next door to our host church, people in the airport, people strolling in the park...Bostonians remembered the Comfort Dogs. They remembered the specific kindness and compassion the dogs had provided in the midst of a tragedy shared by thousands.

Sharon Flaherty, LCC Volunteer Handler and Trainer for Comfort Dog Rufus

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and handlers were invited back to Boston for Easter weekend and Marathon Monday by First Lutheran Church of Boston, Massachusetts. LCC volunteer handlers Barb Granado and Sharon Flaherty (with Comfort Dogs Hannah and Rufus) accompanied LCC staff members and directors of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, Rich and Dona Martin (with LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie and Luther), to Boston. On Saturday, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Maggie (Christ the King Lutheran Church - Newtown, Connecticut) with handler Cathy Swanson and Addie (Immanuel Lutheran Church, Danbury, Connecticut) with handler Wendy Cole joined the team.

Below is a reflection of the trip from volunteer handler Barb Granado (LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Hannah):

I wish I had read the book" If Not For A Perfect Stranger" before the trip. We met several of the players and one cannot help but tear up learning what they went through. The story of strangers who just stepped up to the plate and helped at a time of crisis - not thinking of their own safety. That is what America is all about.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dog resting on woman's shoulder Interestingly, those who traveled several miles to see the dogs, the family who disembarked their plane and came directly to the church to see the dogs because they were afraid they would get caught up in the race festivities and not get back to us, the neighbors who kept returning every day, students who just adored the Goldens, the elderly man who suffered a stoke and returned to get his "lap love" - all touched my heart.

I came back feeling the many people who petted a dog felt comfortable talking about those raw feelings openly instead of holding it all in and feeling that fear alone. That fear grips one so tight after a crisis like the bombing. They were proud they faced their demon and proud Boston stood strong together.

On that Marathon Day everybody was a Bostonian, even those who traveled from Australia, Japan, London, Hong Kong, and more. We were all one. The terrorists didn't win. They all were stronger for it and every time I partake in a Comfort Dog trip to areas impacted by tragedy my faith grows stronger.

When asked about what this ministry is it is impossible not to mention that it is a faith-based organization and we all get through the crises in our lives because of the hope our faith gives us. Telling people that... well, they nod their head and smile. Some may not "get it" but others...well, who knows how God works their heart. Maybe these dogs offered a simple moment for them to give themselves permission to be vulnerable... to say silently, "Lord I want to love and trust you too. Show me how. Make me feel your presence."

Being with a soft cuddly golden made them feel good. I can't know how the Lord works but people kept coming back for more and I know in my heart it was Jesus saying, "Come to me. Come to me" and I will love you and give you peace."

I didn't feel like I accomplished anything really. I just held a leash and let the good Lord use those four furry paws....I was just along for the ride.

Barb Granado LCC Volunteer handler of Comfort Dog Hannah

Please consider supporting the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs as they continue to touch lives in Boston and beyond.

Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry BuzzFeed - "Comfort Dogs Return For Boston Marathon, Reuniting With Old Friends"
LA Times - "Golden retriever comfort dogs, four-legged healers, return to Boston"
Yahoo News - "Comfort dogs are returning to Boston for marathon weekend"
Runner's World - "WATCH: "Comfort Dogs" at the Boston Marathon"
Guideposts - Inspiring Guideposts story about Barb and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Hannah from May 2013
Click here for photos from this visit Click here to "Like" the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs on Facebook
Click here for more information on the book If Not for the Perfect Stranger
Click here to visit First Lutheran Church's Website
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:22
 
K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit With First Saint Paul's Lutheran Church Congregation in Chicago Print E-mail
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie and Olympia standing with the new confirmants On Sunday, April 6th LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry Directors Rich and Dona Martin shared news about the LCC Comfort Dogs and Lutheran Church Charities with members of First Saint Paul's Lutheran Church in Chicago. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie and Olympia greeted people after the morning service, and celebrated with recently confirmed members. Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
 
LCC Kicks off Second LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Top Dog Training on Monday, April 7, 2014 Print E-mail
April 2014 LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Top Dog Training We kicked off our second LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Top Dog Training today with representatives from Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Dixon, Illinois, Trinity Lutheran Church in Prescott Valley, Arizona, Messiah Lutheran Church in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, St John Lutheran Church in Napa, California, Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Loudon, Tennessee, and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Old Bridge, New Jersey! During this three day training, these future Top Dogs will learn all about having an LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry at their churches. They get hands on training with current K-9 Comfort Dogs during this process. We are excited to partner with these wonderful congregations as we expand the reach of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry across the country! Click here to donate to the K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 16:51
 
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit Trinity Lutheran Church in Lombard Print E-mail
children of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lombard petting LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry Directors Rich and Dona Martin, along with handlers Brad Schroeder and Stephanie Keller from St. Peter Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights met with members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lombard on Sunday at their International Mission Dinner. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie, Luther, and Susie greeted kids and adults at this wonderful event. LCC thanks the members of Trinity Lombard for their support. Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 April 2014 09:16
 
A Letter of Thanks From Ridgefield High School in Connecticut Print E-mail
girl hugging a golden retriever comfort dog Last week, LCC received the following letter from the Principal of Ridgeview High School in Ridgefield, Connecticut:

Where to begin...thank you so much to you, all of the warm-hearted handlers, Addie and Maggie. You all have played such a crucial role in our united response to our students' pain. This week has been my most trying and sad as a principal. My heart breaks for all of those affected. Addie and Maggie came to us when we were in pain and taught us all that we can express and survive our grief.

Being an animal lover, I of course thought it would be wonderful to have the dogs here. But to truly witness the high level of training they exhibit, their patience, the warm affect they have on those suffering was miraculous. Saying thank you does not feel like an adequate way to express my gratitude, so I will end with these two quotes.

There is no psychiatrist in the world
like a puppy licking your face.

-Ben Williams

Dogs are our link to paradise.
They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon
is to be back in Eden,
where doing nothing was not boring- it was peace.

-Milan Kundera

Principal
Ridgefield High School
Ridgefield, Connecticut
Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 March 2014 13:51
 
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit With Washington, IL Residents During Recovery Efforts Print E-mail
LCC Staff and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs visit nursing home in Washington, IL It had been a few months since the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs had visited Our Savior Lutheran Church in Washington, Illinois, and it was great reconnecting with the congregation on Sunday, March 23rd!

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Gracie from Trinity Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa; Kye from Immanuel Lutheran Church, Belvidere, Illinois; Shami from St. John Lutheran Church, Darien, Illinois; LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Olympia, and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog In Training Jewel visited with the people of Washington.

LCC Staff and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs visit Our Savior Lutheran Church in Washington, IL

It was wonderful to see the rebuilding of their community — right out the front door of the church!

After Sunday service, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs paid a visit to the Washington Christian Village Nursing Home.

Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 12:38
 
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Zoey and Lila Visit Chilcren of Our Redeemer Lutheran School Print E-mail
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Zoey On March 21st, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Lila and Zoey met students from the Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades of Our Redeemer Lutheran School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin at a special Friday chapel led by LCC staff member Reverend Roger Pollock. After the chapel, students met with the dogs and collected each dog's business cards. Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:55
 
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit With Students of Multiple Chicago Lutheran Schools Print E-mail
LCC K-9 Visit with Lutheran Unity School West Lutheran Unity School's West Campus, St. Paul, Lutheran Church in Canfield, Illinois, and their East Campus Jehovah-El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church in Chicago, had visits from four of the K-9 Comfort Dogs on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie, Susie, Martin and Chewie met 180 students from the combined campuses. Pastor Roger Pollock gave the chapel message at both campuses, having passed-on 2 Corinthians "The God of All Comfort"; explaining how the Comfort Dogs are a tool for sharing God's Mercy and Compass to those in need. Click Here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:55
 
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Share With Sophomore Class at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights Print E-mail
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Hersey visiting with Sophomore Class at John Hersey High School, Arlington Heights, IL The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs visited with the Sophomore Class at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. The students spent time learning about the grieving process and ways to cope when they, or someone they know, experiences a loss. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were honored that they were able to bring comfort to the students while they discussed this difficult topic. Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:55
 
A Special Thank You from Micah's Family Print E-mail
Micah's new van The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs ministry would like to send a big ‘thank you’ to all who donated to and increased awareness about the ‘LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs for Micah’ Fund.

Micah is a young boy who fell out of a two-story window when he was 1 year old. He was diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injury, seizures, blindness, and quadriplegia. Micah is fed through a feeding tube and is cared for by nurses during the day and by his mom at night.

On July 18th, 2013, Ladel visited Micah and his family. When he was placed on Ladel, his eyes opened wide and he began to joyfully squeal. Lauraine, Ladel's handler, explained that Micah was feeling Ladel's fur, hearing Ladel breathe and her heart beat.

As he got older and grew more, his mom began having a tougher and tougher time getting him in and out of her car. Because of this, the family was in desperate need of a handicap-accessible van.

Thanks to your generous donations, enough money was raised for Micah’s mom to obtain a handicap-accessible van. The family joined members of St. Matthew Lutheran Church (Barrington, Illinois), its Special in God’s Eyes program, and Ladel Comfort Dog this morning to thank St. Matthew and everyone who donated.

Click Here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 March 2014 16:52
 
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chicago Heights Visited by LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs for Relief During Funeral Luncheon Print E-mail
St. Paul Lutheran Church visit with LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Rufus, Darlin, Shami, and Tara with their respective handlers On Saturday March 15th, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were requested to attend the funeral luncheon taking place at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chicago Heights, Illinois. The dogs in attendance with their handlers were LCC K-9 Comfort Dog in Training Rufus with handler Tom Barneck, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Darlin with handler Marlene Vision, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Shami with handler Tony Bazon, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tara with LCC staff member and handler Marie Payes, and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Zippy with handler Jan Wissert. Click Here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 March 2014 16:53
 
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit With Lombard Women's Service Club Print E-mail
Comfort Dogs Chewie and Tara On Thursday March 13, 2014 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Chewie and Tara, along with their handlers Lynn and Toni, attended the monthly meeting of the Lombard Women's Service Club. Lynn presented a program about the mission and ministry of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. Darlene Wingard, program chairman, thanked the dogs and handlers for their informative presentation. Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 March 2014 16:53
 
Thanks to Your Generous Donations, Stuffed Comfort Dogs are Making A Difference Print E-mail

On Thursday, March 6, 2014, LCC received a beautiful email of appreciation from the flight nurse who cared for 5-year-old Mason last month after he was fatally stabbed in Warrenton, Missouri. Please watch as LCC President Tim Hetzner reads her message.

Click here to Buy One Give One
Click here to donate to the Plush LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 15:17
 
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Visit to St. Paul's Lutheran School in Chicago Heights, IL Print E-mail
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Darlin being petted by children On Monday, March 10th LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ladel (St. Matthew, Hawthorn Woods, IL), Darlin (Mt. Greenwood, Chicago & St. Paul Lutheran Church, Matteson pictured) and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog in Training Lydia, along with their handlers Lauraine, Janis, Don and Dan, visited the students of St. Paul's Lutheran School in Chicago Heights to comfort the students after the tragic death of a 4-month-old member of one of the families. Click Here to Donate to the K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 March 2014 16:53
 
Families of Edison Park Lutheran Church Are VIsited by the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Print E-mail
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs with Edison Park Lutheran Church Sunday School Students On Sunday, March 9th LCC staff members Dona and Rich Martin, and Joel Moritz, along with Annette Lemke from St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Hawthorn Woods, IL, visited Edison Park Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL with LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie, Olympia, and Ladel. The group greeted people at all three morning services and spent time with children during the Sunday School hour. Pictured is LCC staff member Dona Martin, alongside LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ruthie, enjoying her time with the Sunday School children. Click Here to Donate to the K-9 Comfort Dog Fund
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 06:58
 
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Partners in Comfort

The Comfort Dog Ministry is made possible through the generous support of the following:

Veterinary Services provided by:

Drs. Glen Redeker and Erin Redeker-Goelitz of Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic, Carpentersville, Illinois

Lake Station Pet Clinic, Portage, Indiana

Dr Jacqueline Vernot of Veterinary Vision, Glendale Heights, Illinois

Dr. Paul A. Navin, DVM of All Pets Hospital in Lockport, IL

Dr. Mark Hughes, DVM of Stolley Park Veterinary Hospital , Grand Island, Nebraska

Dr. Ron Mitchell, DVM of Westport Animal Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky

Dr. John DeVries, DVM of The DeVries Animal Hospital, Elmhurst, Illinois

Dr. Julie Mattson of Terry Animal Hospital, Wilmette, Illinois

Drs. Stapleton and Ford of Barrington Animal Hospital, Barrington, Illinois

Dr. Bohdan Rudawski of Fox Lake Animal Hospital, Fox Lake, Illinois

Dr. Brian Rooney of Burr Ridge Veterinary Clinic, Darien, Illinois

Dr. Kurt E. Klepitsch of Gateway Veterinary Clinic, St. Charles, Illinois

Veterinarians of Care Animal Hospital, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Grooming Services provided FREE by:

Debbie Szwandrok of Eclipse Dog Grooming, Elmhurst, Illinois

Ms. Lori Robinson and Staff, Best in Show Grooming, Lockport, Illinois

Denise Goelitz of Kitten KaPoodle Mobile Pet Grooming, Elgin, Illinois

Ana Ristic of Two Paws Up in Itasca, Illinois

Jeannie's Pet Boutique, Portage, Indiana

Dr. Mark Hughes, DVM of Stolley Park Veterinary Hospital, Grand Island, Nebraska

Support these businesses so they will continue to support the dogs! Click here for more information!