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Comfort Dogs
Harry’s New Hairy Friend Print E-mail
Harry Last Sunday, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Barnabas (Holy Cross Portage, IN) and Tabby, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog in-training, visited a young man by the name of Harry. They were invited after his 9-year-old sister, Ruby, had met them at her school and asked her mom if maybe Harry could meet them. Harry has Down syndrome and does not attend the same school as Ruby (Immanuel, Valparaiso). At first Harry was a little afraid but soon took a liking to Barney and they became friends. The family was amazed at how well Harry responded to his hairy new friend Barney.
Reflections on Nashville, IL – Noah’s Deployment Print E-mail
Noah Sue Nielsen, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog handler from Timothy Lutheran Church in St. Louis, MO, and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Noah, were deployed to the funeral of the Gutzler family in Nashville, IL. Five members of the family were flying back from a Florida vacation when their plane crashed and only Sailor, their 7-year-old daughter survived. Sue wrote of her memories of the events surrounding their visit. Here is an excerpt:
Two moments stand out. Piper Gutzler (Sailor’s older sister) played basketball, and her teammates came to the visitation in their basketball uniforms wearing black terry wristbands with “PG” and her uniform number embroidered on them. While waiting in the back of the gym to be escorted as a group up to the caskets, the girls were just giggly 4th graders. However, when they got up to the coffins, the reality of what happened hit home, and the entire team started sobbing. Tim Hetzner, President of LCC, saw what was happening, and pulled 3 of the dogs and their handlers, up front to the end of the receiving line. As the girls got to the end of the line, they immediately got down on the floor with the dogs, and were able to hug and pet, as well as cry with the dogs, for much needed comfort... Continue Reading
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 18:45
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Luther Celebrates Lutheran School Week Print E-mail
Luther Monday, January 26, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Luther and LCC Staff Member Joel Moritz celebrated the first day of Lutheran Schools Week with the students of St. John Lutheran School in Champaign, Illinois. Following a short presentation on the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, Luther visited the kids in their classrooms. St John’s students generously donated this week’s offerings and their 3rd quarter chapel offerings to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Program. We are thankful to God for Lutheran schools and the staffs which give great efforts to enlighten children spiritually, mentally and physically. We are grateful to St John Lutheran-Champaign for their support and prayers.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 13:28
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit South Academy School Print E-mail
Academy On Thursday January 22, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Darlin (Mount Greenwood Lutheran Church), Ruthie and Comfort Dog in-training Tabby visited South Academy school in Streamwood Illinois, where they were able to meet students and staff. The students were learning about how people are comforted by things and this is one way. They all loved meeting the dogs and learning about the job that they do. Sometimes the dogs give comfort where we were not expecting, for instance one of the students had just had to put her dog down so she really enjoyed today‘s visit from the Comfort Dogs.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 18:45
School Receives Visit from LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Print E-mail
BJBE On the afternoon of Sunday, January 18, LCC staff member Dianna Bonfield with trainers Lisa Hartman, Stephanie Christian, Lori Bonafas, Brad Schroeder and Dan Christian along with LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Susie (St. Peter, Arlington Heights) and Comfort Dogs in-training Angel and Katie were invited to do a presentation and visit at Congregation BJBE (B'nai Jehoshua Beth Elohim). The dogs and staff met with the 8th and 9th grade confirmation classes and demonstrated some of the K-9 training and how the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs help people in times of tragedy and disasters or stress.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 18:47
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit Rockford Rescue Mission Print E-mail
Thrift Store On Saturday, January 17, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Kye and Bekah (Immanuel, Belvidere), Tara Sunday and Comfort Dogs in-training Anna and Shiloh greeted the shoppers at the Rockford Rescue Mission Thrift Store. This Mission ministers to people in need of secure housing. The Rescue Mission shares the hope and help in Jesus' name to move people from homelessness and despair toward personal and spiritual wholeness. Much of the Mission's work is funded by the store's sale of quality clothing, household and gift items.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 09:00
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit Children Displaced by Fire in Munster, Indiana Print E-mail
munster On Tuesday of this week, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited to visit St Paul's Lutheran School in Munster, Indiana to support two students who were displaced by a fire in their home. Their family lost everything including their beloved dog.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Abbi (Elim Christian School, Palos Heights), Prince and Barnabas (Holy Cross Portage, IN) Ruthie (LCC) with Comfort Dog in-training Tabby and their handlers all joined together to help give this family some much needed stress relief. While there they also met with the entire student body as well as some of the staff and parishioners. It is always a pleasure to meet the students in our local Lutheran Schools and today was no different, all the students were kind, courteous and welcoming to our team.

Click here to support the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministry
LCC Blessed by an LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Visit Print E-mail
Michigan "I am blessed". Shaun made that proclamation numerous times throughout a visit last Wednesday from LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Tara Sunday and Martin. Shaun has fought a brain tumor his entire life. He was recently informed that the cancer has spread to his spine and that he has a limited time on this earth. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs traveled to Three Rivers, MI to visit Shaun at the invitation of Pastor Robert Bartz from St. Peter Lutheran Church.

We ask for prayers for Shaun and his family as they continue with their struggles. Throughout the visit, Shaun continued to share his strong faith. Thank you for your support of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministry which, allows us to share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to Shaun, his family and others in need.

Click here to support the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministry
Chapel Visited by LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Print E-mail
St. John On Wednesday, January 7, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs JoJo (Living Christ Arlington Heights), Tillie (LCC) and Comfort Dog in-training Tabby went to where they listened to Reverend Pollock tell the students how the right tools make it easy to tell of God's love for us. After chapel the students all got to meet the dogs and hear of the awesome job they have, being the tools for the handlers to spread God's Word.
LCC Receives Gift from the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association Print E-mail
IAF Want to know what firefighters and police think of the value of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs? They see the peace and tranquility that our dogs bring to people and families that are under stress because of an accident, a fire or a tragedy.

That's why the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association and the city of Addison Illinois both made contributions to LCC's K-9 Comfort Dogs. There is another reason...our dogs also give comfort and peace to the firefighters and police officers who deal with horrific scenes and events that occur daily.

Click here to support the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 18:48
Thanks in Response to LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Visit to Washington Court House Print E-mail
Washington Court House On January 5, four LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers were sent to Washington Court House, Ohio to offer support and unconditional love to the family and community that lost three boys and a grandmother on Christmas night.

Invited by Pastor Brian Larson, our team drew LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs from Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Through the impact on families in crisis or mourning a loss, there is also a great impact on the handlers.

This note is from the Top Dog (Rosie's handler) at Atonement Lutheran Church in Columbus, OH (the closest city to Washington Court House) regarding what it was like to be part of the team we sent:

I thought you might like to see what I said about yesterday's visit... I can't thank LCC enough for this wonderful ministry - and your support. We can't even begin to say what it meant to have Doug, Larry, Mercy, Dan, Pastor Tim, Barney & Tabby with us. Thank you is so very inadequate - but on behalf of Rosie's team, Thank You! We can't even imagine it without you. Bless you, bless you. May you truly feel God's strength and peace today and every day. He is truly our rock.

We ask that you continue praying for the family, to lose three children and a grandmother on Christmas night is traumatic, a trauma only God can heal.

Keep the Comfort Dogs Comforting
Nashville, IL Embraces 12 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs at a Visitation and Funeral Print E-mail

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Deploy at Request of Trinity-St. John Lutheran Church


Last week, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and handlers from four states were in Nashville IL, at the wake and funeral for the Gutzler family. Invited by Pastor Matthew Weitfeldt of Trinity-St. John Lutheran Church, we were able to offer the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Christ to thousands. Over 6,000 people, some waiting for hours, came to the middle school on Thursday to pay their respects to the family. Sailor Gutzler received national and international news attention when she was able to walk away from the plane crash that took the lives of her parents, sister Piper, and cousin.

Piper's teacher and classmates visited with our LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, Luther and others, to find some solace in a furry embrace. On Friday, several of the Comfort Dogs were at the church before, during, and after the funeral service.

As one of the women who knew the family wrote:

"I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing your four-legged 'HEROES' to Nashville. My sister's family, along with the entire town of Nashville, has been through such a horrible, horrible, very sad week. I got a text from her awhile ago that said, GOOGLE LUTHERAN CHURCH COMFORT DOGS. THESE DOGS HAVE BEEN HERE FOR THE FUNERALS, VISITATIONS, AND AT THE SCHOOL TODAY. WE JUST SPENT 39 MINUTES WITH THEM. THEY'RE AMAZING! ...I want to thank you for making the hearts of the community smile...if just only for a moment. You are truly amazing...keep on spreading GOD'S LOVE thru your four-legged loved ones."

We ask that you please continue prayers for this community as well as 7-year-old Sailor.

You can contribute by donating to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Travel Fund which will help offset the costs of bringing comfort to those in need.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Travel Fund The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were part of the story of healing: Click here for the clip shown on NBC's The Today Show
Click here for the clip on KSDK St. Louis
View Pictures from Nashville
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 January 2015 08:19
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Travel to Nashville, IL to Offer Comfort to Plane Crash Survivor 7-year-old Sailor and Community Print E-mail
Group Updated 3:50 p.m. Friday, January 9 - LCC and the K-9 Comfort Dogs thank Pastor Matthew Wietfeldt of Trinity-St. John Lutheran School for the honor and privilege of being a source of comfort today during the funerals at his church for Marty, Kim, and Piper Gut​zler. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NIV)

Updated 9 p.m. Thursday, January 8 - The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs visited with the students at Trinity-St. John Lutheran School in Nashville before going to the Nashville Middle School to be with the community during the wake for the parents and sister of 7-year-old Sailor Gutzler. On Friday they will visit with the students at the middle school then will be at Trinity Lutheran Church to be available to the community before, during, and after the funeral service. We lift up this community and the family and friends of the Gutzler family during this very difficult time. We are called to bring Jesus - his refuge and strength - a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1)

View photos from the visit to Trinity-St. John
Watch a short video from KSDK St. Louis
Watch Story from The Today Show

LCC Just Deployed 12 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, 16 Handlers from Four States, and Staff to Nashville, Illinois for little 7-year-old Sailor and the Community

Gutzler familyA family, a church, and a community have asked for our help to bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering from the plane crash that left little 7-year-old Sailor Gutzler an orphan, Trinity-St. John Lutheran Church missing almost an entire family, and a community struggling with grief.

Today LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams from four states will be there at the request of Pastor Matthew Wietfeldt, Pastor at Trinity-St. John to be present at the wake, public and Lutheran schools, and funeral for the family. Please keep those who are traveling in your prayers as well as all people who have been affected by this heartbreaking tragedy.

LCC K-9 Comfort DogsPictured are handlers Phil and Brenda Burden from Island Lutheran in Hilton Head, South Carolina with the LCC Staff Team from Illinois that left from LCC Headquarters in Addison, Illinois:

  • Tim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities
  • Martin with Joel Moritz
  • Olympia with Brenda and Phil Burden
  • Tara with Jim Morrison
  • Luther with Rich Martin
  • Ruthie with Dona Martin
  • Kare-9 Buck with Alex Brooks

LCC never charges those we serve, we rely on those led to help cover the transportation costs. Thank you for your faithful support!

You can contribute by:
Donating online:
     LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Travel Fund
Donating by mail (please put "K9 Travel Fund" in the memo line):
     Lutheran Church Charities
     333 West Lake Street
     Addison, IL 60101
Donate by phone: (866) 455-6466

Here are the teams that will meet the LCC team in Nashville on Thursday:

Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 January 2015 09:55
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Phoebe To Attend Funeral of Senior Pastor Print E-mail
Phoebe The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs have been invited to Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in San Antonio, Texas. The Senior Pastor died unexpectedly and they requested a K-9 to be at the funeral. LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Phoebe (St. Paul, Fort Worth, TX) will be attending the funeral on Wednesday. We ask that you keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers.
New Top Dogs Trained Print E-mail
Top Gun In military aviation, the best and the brightest are referred to as Top Guns, in LCC's Comfort Dog program, we call them "Top Dogs". Three days this week a whole new class of Top Dogs received the specialized training necessary to lead golden retrievers how to show the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Christ to those hurting and in need. Coming from as far away as South Carolina with the desire to help others, these new Top Dogs went to Target to practice what they have learned.

The new Top Dogs came from: North Shore Ministries at Faith Lutheran in Lake Forest, IL; Trinity in Toledo, OH; First Lutheran in Yuba City, CA; Immanuel Lutheran from Washington, MO; St Michael's in Bloomington, MN; Immanuel in Des Plaines, IL; Island Lutheran in Hilton Head, SC; and Immanuel in Belvidere, IL.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 January 2015 18:56
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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:

Dr. Michelle T. Cahill, DVM of Academy Animal Hospital, Joplin, MO

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

Dr. Dana Resetarits, DVM of Buckwalter Veterinary Clinic, Bluffton, South Carolina

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

Dr. Kurt Bedow, DVM of Webster Groves Animal Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri

Grooming Services provided FREE by:

Debbie Szwandrok of Eclipse Dog Grooming, Elmhurst, 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

Lisa Racine of Grooming Lodge, South Elgin, Illinois

Paw-metto Pooches Pet Salon, Bluffton, South Carolina

Support these businesses so they will continue to support the dogs!