Ministry Golden Retrievers providing virtual comfort
NORTHBROOK, Ill. – The Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry is a national human-care ministry that uses purebred Golden Retrievers to help people get through tough times. These “comfort dogs” are working animals, trained to interact with people of all ages and circumstances who are suffering and in need.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, these comfort dogs are now offering their services virtually.
One such dog, 4-year-old Levi, is making visits from a laptop.
"And as nurses would take their breaks from rounds or their shift, they'd come into the break room and just view the dogs and talk to us. And you see their eyes lighting up," said Pam Miller, a dog handler at the Ministry. "Levi was able to do a virtual visit with a whole kindergarten class, and they were just so attentive and engaged, and he was also engaged."
Miller said the virtual training was a leap at first, but once Levi realized he was in his comfort dog vest he knew it was time to work and offer comfort.