The children who survived last week’s shooting in Newtown have received some special help this week in the form of Abbi, Barnabas, Chewie, Hannah, Luther, Prince, and Ruthie — dogs from K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry in Chicago who are trained to bring love and special dog sweetness to people suffering.

These dogs began their work in in 2008, after a massacre at Northern Illinois University that killed five. There are now 60 trained pups, mostly golden retrievers and Labs from the looks of them, that are called upon to aid the grieving survivors of massive and unspeakable tragedies like the one on Friday, Dec. 14. The dogs have spent time with the children at Sandy Hook elementary who survived last Friday’s massacre, and provided puppy cuddles at a local church where funerals are being held for two of the shooting’s victims.

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Basically, the point here is that animals are the best. It’s a common Grist List theme, but this may be its most spectacular illustration yet.

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