Therapy dogs bring comfort and healing to Boston

Therapy dogs bring comfort and healing to Boston

Boston Therapy Dog
Photo by Allison Joyce for New York Daily News

Although nothing can reverse the events that occurred on April 15th in Boston, a group of dogs have stepped up to the plate to bring relief to the city.

Five golden retrievers from Illinois-based Lutheran Church Charities have been given the task of offering four-legged therapy to those suffering after the Boston Marathon Bombing. These healing pups are certified service dogs trained to provide support to many people, in times of disasters and crisis.

These dogs are so therapeutic, in fact, two, Addie and Maggie, have been working with the Sandy Hook Elementary School children every day since the devastating shooting in December. Since it’s spring break for Sandy Hook Elementary, the two dogs had the week off and were able to accompany fellow therapy dogs Isaiah, Luther, and Ruthie to the First Lutheran Church of Boston, a few blocks from the marathon finish line.

The 100+ victims being treated in hospitals after the tragedy receive routine visits from the comfort dog crew. Aside from their irresistible cuddles, studies have shown that the dogs help increase the release of oxytocin, the same hormone that bonds mothers to their babies. Patients that spend more time with the dogs are shown to have higher levels of dopamine, a chemical that relieves depression.

Many other citizens have been inspired by this movement, and have offered the affection of their own pups to counteract some of the residual emotions lingering in Boston.

Lutheran Church Charities golden retrievers even have their own individual Facebook profiles so the public may check up on them. Check out the powerful work being done by these dogs at The New York Daily News.

Posted on: April 26, 2013

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