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December 17, 2012
Chicago-area group sends comfort dogs to Newtown, Conn
Posted by Staff
The Chicago Tribube reports:

A team of golden retrievers made an 800-mile journey from the Chicago area to Newtown, Conn., on Saturday to comfort those affected by Friday's school massacre.

Lutheran Church Charities deployed about 10 of the canines for people who want to pet them while they talk or pray with the dog's handler, said Tim Hetzner, president of the Addison-based organization.

"Dogs are nonjudgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone," Hetzner said. "It creates the atmosphere for people to share."

When the K-9 Comfort Dogs are not responding to a tragedy, they visit people in hospitals, nursing homes and parks. Each dog has a card with its name, Facebook page, Twitter account and email so those who meet the canine can keep in touch.

"The dogs have become the bridge," said Lynn Buhrke, 66, who is a handler for a female golden retriever named Chewie. "People just sit down and talk to you."
12/17/12 2:38 PM
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