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Comfort Dogs


Shelter from the Storm Print E-mail
k-9 comfort dogs “You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4

The shelter provided by God for Antigo High School & Peace Lutheran Church, Antigo, Wisconsin, may come in the form of K-9 Comfort Dogs with their handlers who bring comfort, compassion, presence, and distraction.

The K-9 Comfort Dogs and handlers: K-9 Comfort Dog Luther and Rich Martin, K-9 Comfort Dog in Training Silas and Hannah McGinnis, K-9 Comfort Dog Angel and Kristin Stapleton, K-9 Comfort Dog Bekah and Lynne Johnson, K-9 Comfort Dog in Training Job and Terry Ressler, Lila and Joy Friede, K-9 Comfort Dog Ruthie and Lynn Buhrke, and K-9 Comfort Dog Zina and Joel Mortiz were a presence on Wednesday at Antigo High School and Peace Lutheran Church.

The Comfort Dogs and handlers role was to be that shelter the students, parents and staff needed after the shooting. The handlers and dogs listened and gave comfort as the students, parents and staff shared their shock, fear, anger, and grief as a result this tragic experience.

The K-9 Comfort Dogs provided a distraction with their furry faces and soft accepting eyes. For a brief time, the shock of what happened was displaced as the students sat or laid on the floor snuggling and petting their furry new friends.

The students even had some moments of levity as they learned that K-9 Comfort Dog in Training Job, named for the Biblical figure Job, not “job”. It was a pleasant distraction learning the meaning of Job’s name and how Job has a “job” to bring comfort and joy to those who are hurting.

The students, parents and staff of Antigo High School and Peace Lutheran also are a shelter of compassion and mercy for one another and the community. Instead of hatred or gossip for the shooter, the students spoke of and offered compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and prayers that he is saved, and one day they will see him in the heaven.

“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” 1 John 4:16-18

LCC never charges those we serve. Your gift will help us continue to bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 April 2016 09:38
 
Comfort Dog Anna Visits with 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard Print E-mail
Anna Comfort Dog Psalm 91:15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

Anna and her LCC Comfort Dog ministry team from Trinity Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio are honored to know many of the men and women of the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard. We first became acquainted with them in November when we were asked to attend an event for the families of those airmen that were scheduled to be deployed in a few months. Many stopped by our table to enjoy some comfort from Anna and kind words from her ministry team.

The next time we met was in January, the night that the men and women were actually deployed overseas. Families waited for hours for their loved ones to depart, so Anna played a very important role in keeping the children occupied while the adults asked questions about what she does and where she goes. Most were surprised to learn that a church owns her. Anna circulated throughout the crowded hanger showing compassion and putting smiles on otherwise sad faces.

Because Anna was so well received by the 180th, we were building a working relationship with the coordinators for family services. So about a month into the deployment, we were asked to host an event for the families of those deployed. Anna and her entire Comfort Dog ministry team, along with many other church and school volunteers, hosted the day-long event at Trinity Lutheran Church and School. There were several informative breakout sessions for the adults, while the children rotated through games in the gym, art projects and X-box in our youth room. Anna and a handler circulated to each room, welcoming everyone to our church and school. At one point, Anna and some of her handlers were invited to a pretend picnic in the pre-school room, hosted by three young ladies that made us feel very special.

Then as the families left, Anna presented each child with a stuffed Anna Comfort Dog. We heard several children ask if they could come back to Trinity next month for another event!

In April, Anna and her team were once again honored to be present for the airmen’s homecoming. It was a beautiful sunny day for the men and women to arrive home to their loved ones. We were able to see many of our friends and take pictures of them with Anna and their welcome home signs while we stood and waited on the flight line. Most of those there remembered Anna from at least one of the previous events and were very happy to see her again. Several children talked about playing with their stuffed Anna dogs at home.

Anna’s team is very blessed to have been able to show the mercy and compassion of Christ to the airmen and their families.

When the call came, you answered that call! God bless these brave men and women.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 14:11
 
Nine New Handlers Unite Print E-mail

Nine

Nine new handlers, including four of our country’s veterans, were brought together this past weekend (April 23-24) through these dogs, which are a gift given to us by God.

The new handlers spent two intense days learning the commands and how to work with an LCC K-9 Comfort Dog as a team, and about the mission of serving others by being open, being present, listening, and praying.

LCC Kare 9 Ministry’s new veteran handlers are:
Len Higgins, First Good Shepherd in Las Vegas, NV: Air Force -1961-1988
George Chambers, Atonement in Columbus, OH: Army - 1965-1968
Ken Eby, Immanuel in Joplin, MO: Army - 1974-1978
Nine Gary Kirkpatrick, LCC Kare-9 volunteer: Army - 2002-2004

LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry’s new handlers are:
Tom Daub, Beautiful Savior, Mequon, WI
Nancy Carroll, Holy Cross, Portage, IN
Brett Hubbard, Atonement, Columbus, OH
Dan deBoer, Lord of Glory, Grayslake, IL
Erin Erzinger, LCC staff

Nine people from around the country with different God given-gifts united together to serve others.

Psalm 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!

These servants of the Lord rearranged their schedules and traveled to Northbrook because they believe in the mission: to show mercy, compassion, and presence to others just as Christ showed us.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 April 2016 17:26
 
Planes, Trains and Lambs Print E-mail
Exodus Recently, a full Kare 9 Military Dog Squad training event was held at the viewing area of the Chicago Executive Airport just north of LCC's headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois. The purpose of this training is to acclimate the dogs to the sights and sounds of airplanes taking off and landing. This is in preparation for an upcoming event in Davenport, Iowa next week where they will be witness to a WWII B-17 bomber taking off and landing.

Little did they know God had other plans. Within minutes of our arrival, a van pulled up from Lamb's Farm (A non-profit organization serving people with developmental disabilities) with approximately 15 residents. They were there to watch the airplanes. Needless to say, after they saw the dogs, the airplanes were no longer a focus of their attention. What a wonderful God we serve. He arranges our appointments according to His plan.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 13:56
 
Mercy & Compassion Have No Boundaries Print E-mail
Cook County To see life threw the through the lens of a camera. That was Christopher Jacobs' mission when he decided to make a difference in the life of detainees at the Cook County Jail. “CJ," as the detainees refer to him, has been teaching photography classes at the Vocational Rehabilitation Impact Center for some time now. The detainees carefully listen to CJ as he critiques their work and selects his favorites and asks which are theirs.

The class has worked on profile photography, different objects, their cells, and each other. Two weeks ago CJ announced to the class they would be using live models the following week for their class. Who they met in class the following week was a huge surprise!

CJ, no stranger to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, has taken hundreds of photographs of them at the United Airlines Fantasy Flight for seriously ill children. It was there that he was inspired to bring the Comfort Dogs in on this very unique and special class project.

Cook County

When LCC staff members Rich Martin, Sherry Bolosan, and Joel Moritz arrived with the K-9 models on the morning of April 15, 2016, they were escorted through the customary security checks and entered a classroom to find their friend and instructor, CJ. He explained how the class would work and asked the team to sit at the back of the room until the detainees entered. Comfort Dogs Ruthie, Sarah, and Luther sat patiently as they waited for the session to begin.

First, the corrections officers entered and then one by one the detainees entered the classroom quickly and were shocked to see that their models were Golden Retriever Comfort Dogs. The expressions on their faces were familiar to the handlers. Joyful smiles and excitement filled the room. Many of the men had only had previous contact with protection dogs. One detainee was extremely afraid of dogs, but with CJ’s encouragement, he was slowly shown the love of the Comfort Dogs.

The detainees were encouraged to take a photo of whatever they found to be interested or significant during the class. The handlers shared with the class stories of the people, places and situations that handlers and Comfort Dogs work with. As the class moved into the courtyard, the photography session ended. The team then asked the men if they would like to pray with the LCC team and it was met with a resounding “YES”.

LCC is thankful for the many people who volunteer, work, and show Mercy and Compassion to those less fortunate. Thanks again to Christopher Jacobs (jacobsfilms.com) and Dr. Dena Williams for all they do to Make a Difference in the lives of so many.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 April 2016 09:31
 
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