NORTHBROOK, IL / MARGATE, FL – Cases of COVID-19 have infected more than six million people around the world. The pandemic has affected millions more with isolation, loneliness, and depression. Missions Box is aware of two ministries that have been effectively using trained Comfort Dogs to bring relief and a smile during this stressful time.
Canines for Christ and Lutheran Church Charities’ LCC K-9 Ministry® have kept their canine comfort-givers busy visiting doctors, nurses, nursing home residents, hospice, first responders, grief centers, rehab facilities, and other people who have become either weary from work or tired of sheltering in place.
Canines for Christ explains their mission as …
“… letting Christ’s love shine through us and our canines as His disciples when we visit people who need love, hope, and compassion that only God’s message can provide. And we want them to know that God loves them. Millions of people have been touched by this saving message as we bring God’s light of love into the darkness.”
LCC K-9 Ministry describes their Comfort Dog outreach as …
“… a bridge for compassionate ministry, opening doors for conversation about faith and creating opportunities to share the mercy, compassion, presence, and proclamation of Jesus Christ.”
The words may be different, but the message is the same. Comfort Dogs seem to open doors, cross bridges, and lift spirits where adults fail miserably. Sometimes they are able to elicit extraordinary results.
One of those situations involved an elderly woman whose mind was entrapped by Alzheimer’s disease. Her heartbroken husband described her typical day as staring out the window hour after hour, not engaging in conversation with him or anyone else.
When LCC K-9 volunteer Kyra Carbone and her Comfort Dog, Seth, entered the bedridden woman’s room, the dog raised its front paws in a gentle greeting. Kyra described what happened next.
“Her face lit up. She started talking. She was cracking jokes at her husband. He started crying, saying he hadn’t seen her like this in years. He was crying, we were crying, everybody in the room was crying. Seth’s face looking at this woman was precious. It was just a miraculous moment.”
It makes us wonder who Seth helped the most. Perhaps everyone in the room. We have no idea how many lives Seth has similarly touched, but we do know that the two-year-old Golden Retriever made more than 225 visits during 2019.
Instead of limiting the Comfort Dog ministry, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken the dogs and their volunteer owners down new paths. Most notably, Comfort Dog teams have been showing up outside of hospitals and clinics as the staffs are making their shift changes. They have even been making virtual visits (with the assistance of their owners, of course).
In this short video, Tom Hetzner, explains why trained Comfort Dogs have such a positive effect on hurting people.
Ordinary dogs owned by ordinary people can be trained and used to reach out to people whose pain may not even be visible.
If you believe that the Lord can use you and your dog,
- Visit the “Getting Started” page of Canines for Christ website, or
- Contact LCC K-9 Ministries’ “Contact Information” page.
Wow! Take a bow, Comfort Dogs!
To read more news on the Coronavirus Outbreak on Missions Box, go here.
- Canines for Christ, Official Website
- The Chicago Tribune, The coronavirus pandemic has people cooped up and anxious. Therapy dogs are here to help, by video call, of course.
- Points of Light, Comfort Dog Spurs “Miraculous Moments” Through Volunteer Visits
- Lutheran Church Charities, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry® website
- Religion & Ethics News Weekly, Comfort Dogs Ministry, YouTube
- Canines4Christ, Facebook