Dog News

In times of need, service dogs offer special help


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therapy dogIt is difficult to connect with happy thoughts In times of grief, but dogs tend to have an uncanny ability to lift peoples hearts and spirits.  This is especially true in the case of Bella, A one year old springer spaniel in Hemet, California who is training to be a therapy dog.  But Bella’s job will be a little different, as she will be the therapy dog at Miller-Jones Mortuary and Crematory.

Bella will be on hand to comfort grieving children suffering from tragic loss, as well as seniors in nursing homes.  “We got the inspiration from a friend, Mark Krause, at Krause Funeral Home in Milwaukee, who had a similar dog,” Charlotte Jones said.  She began her training 6 months ago and has 4 months left to complete her certification.

Service dogs are permitted to go almost anywhere, and wear a special vest to indicate they are working dogs.  As part of her training Bella must get accustomed to many new and different situations and remain calm throughout.  Bella’s vest also indicates that she is friendly and may be approached for pets, which of course she enjoys very much.

“Bella is a comfort and she also guides people to think of more pleasant times,” Jones said. “Patients and clients appreciate her gentle manner and approach her willingly.”  Service dogs are utilized broadly now, as seeing eye dogs, assisting people with autism and other disorders, as well as physically disabled people.  Their gifts are many and they are a vital part of many lives, bringing much more than just love and companionship to those in need.