The LCC K9 Comfort Dogs were invited to Clarendon Avenue Elementary School in Mukwonago, Wisconsin on Monday, May 23rd for a special visit with students and staff.
Following the Waukesha Parade tragedy in November of 2021, the school suffered a loss of a beloved student and friend. Jackson succumbed to his injuries after being injured in the parade and his brother, Tucker, was severely injured but has now returned to school. When the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs visited for the first time in 2021, many tears were absorbed into the fur of the many dogs present as children and staff processed what had happened and grieved for the loss of their friend.
Six months later, and as the school year was coming to a close, Principal Andrea Kaplan and District Psychologist Brittany Sardorf invited the Comfort Dogs back for a "fun" visit. Bekah Comfort Dog (Immanuel - Belvidere, Illinois), Charity Comfort Dog (Brookfield Lutheran - Brookfield, Wisconsin), Hagar Comfort Dog (Faith - Appleton, Wisconsin), and Mary Comfort Dog (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin) returned to lots of student excitement on that Monday.
The Comfort Dogs had a fun day of spending time in each classroom with the opportunity to visit with each and every student of the large elementary school. Many students remembered the Comfort Dogs and some even had the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog cards still in their desks. Others pointed to the stuffed LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs that were given to each classroom many months ago. There were lots of snuggles, sweet scratches behind the ears, and plenty of big hugs given to each Comfort Dog.
While some are still processing the loss and tragedy, seeing the dogs made each of those students know that they are loved each day and will always have a friend in the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. The tragedy and loss many of these children had to experience are unimaginable, but as one staff member said, "having you here makes today a little more bearable."