Last week, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog® Ministry received an emergency site visit request from the principal at 1st Lutheran School, Fort Smith, Arkansas, after the heartbreaking and unexpected death of Rebecca Stout, a single mother of three of their elementary school students. Rebecca was also a teacher's assistant with their school's three-year-old class. The Comfort Dogs were requested for Rebecca's three sons, the staff, and the other students as they processed the shock of her loss.
Last Wednesday, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Daniel (Immanuel - Joplin, Missouri) and his handlers traveled to be there for Rebecca's three sons and the school. Daniel spent much time with the three boys and some 1st, 3rd, and 4th grade classes.
Rolling Meadows Firefighter Jacek Brylewski, 36, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, August 24, 2023. He was the loving father of five young children: Owen, Myles, Archer, Violet, and Emma.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog® Ministry was asked to be at Firefighter Brylewski's visitation to share much-needed comfort and love for the first responders and their families who attended. LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois) and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog In Training Galilee were there to offer a safe, quiet, and comforting place for those who attended the visitation.
Jacek's light shone brightly in the lives of all who knew him, and his legacy as a dedicated and caring Firefighter/Paramedic with the Rolling Meadows Fire Department will remain in their hearts.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Jael (Trinity - Hobart, Indiana), Michael (LCC Staff), Samson (Zion - Marengo, Illinois), and Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois) along with their compassionate handlers spent time at Elmhurst University last week following the sudden death of a student. Dylan was an accomplished scholar and an elite runner. Most of all, he was kind, respectful, and fun. May God comfort all who mourn his loss.
This is a moment shared by Michael’s handlers:
"A young man came up to us and asked if he needed an appointment. We said no, we are here for you. He sat down and I had Michael go to him. He looked troubled and Mary asked, how he was doing? The tears flowed and he said, he was angry. We talked for a while. He had come in with three other guys who moved off to the side. I love that they knew he needed time alone.
He cried, told his story, shared stories of Dylan, and petted Michael. One of the things he said multiple times was 'Why him? Why not me?' After a while he had calmed down and seemed to be less stressful. We reminded him to be gentle with himself and allow himself to mourn."
LCC K-9 Ministry Responds with Compassion Following Shooting at Choctaw High School Football Game in Oklahoma
On Friday, August 25, a horrible tragedy took place at Choctaw High School's football game against Del City in Choctaw, Oklahoma. A 16-year-old student from Del City High School, Cordae Carter, was killed in a shooting, and four people were injured. So many young people, families, and school staff were there when the shooting happened.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs from Oklahoma and Texas responded after an invite from the Principal at Choctaw High School to help the students as they process the shock, fear, and loss of Friday’s shooting.
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Miriam (Emmanuel - Kingfisher, Oklahoma), Persis (King of Kings - Glenpool, Oklahoma), and Rufus (St. Mark - Edmond, Oklahoma) were at Choctaw High School on Monday and were joined on Tuesday by LCC K-9 Dogs Joy (Gloria Dei - Houston, Texas) and Triton (Messiah - Plano, Texas) to provide additional assistance and comfort to the students.
The responding LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs and their handlers greeted the students as they arrived in the morning and spent time with the students, counselors, and staff throughout the day, providing a calming, loving, and comforting presence wherever they were needed. The teams also spent time visiting with the ROTC students, who were a great help during the tragedy on Friday.
The teams carried with them the hope and love of Jesus to share with the students and staff. We are thankful that they could “Be There” for this hurting community.
After the visit today at Choctaw High School, the Comfort Dogs spent time with the hardworking and dedicated first responders at the Choctaw Fire Department, who had responded with care and skill to the shooting on Friday.
We lift up in prayer the family of Cordae Carter who is suffering his loss and for all the students, family, and community who are processing their grief and shock. May God’s light, love, and hope guide them through.
LCC's K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry never charges those we serve as we bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ to those suffering and in need. We know that comfort is needed to help this shocked and devastated community and the first responders who serve them.
Last week, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog® Ministry received an Emergency Site Visit request to be at the visitation for Joe Wetherell, father of three young children who died unexpectedly a week ago on Sunday. He was only 34 years old. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Charity (Brookfield - Brookfield, Wisconsin), Dora (Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee - Milwaukee, Wisconsin), Mary (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin), and Rhoda (Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin) were present in Jefferson, Wisconsin, to be with Joe Wetherell’s family and friends as they said goodbye.
A few years ago, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Eve (Permanently Deployed Serving the Saints), Jacob (Permanently Deployed Serving the Saints), Hannah (LCCS Staff), and Rhoda were at the funeral of another family member who lost her son. She kept and carries Hannah’s business card in her wallet. When her nephew Joe passed away, she remembered how much having the Comfort Dogs at her son’s visitation meant to her and her family. She used the contact information on Hannh’s card to reach out to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry. She helped the family to arrange this request for Joe Wetherell’s family.
Please keep Joe’s wife, three children, family, and friends in your prayers as they continue to grieve his loss in their lives. We pray for God’s light, strength, and reassurance to guide them through.
On Sunday, August 20, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Abraham & Beloved (Trinity - Hicksville, New York), Addie & Leah (Immanuel - Danbury Connecticut), Kezia (Emmanuel - Baltimore, Maryland), and Obadiah (Christ Lutheran - Scituate, Massachusetts) welcomed the new Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran, Danbury Connecticut, Ryan Oaks, his wife Colleen, and their son.