After the murders in Newtown, specially trained therapy dogs were brought in to help the survivors. Now on the day following the horrific bombings at the Boston Marathon, these same dogs, trained by Lutheran Church charities near Chicago, are being deployed to help victims in Boston.
Basically, what the dogs do is what dogs do. They snuggle. People pet them. Everyone feels a little better. (We feel a little better just looking at them.) Each of the therapy dogs go through eight months or more of training, starting when they are puppies, to make sure they’re good with people and especially adept at dealing with stressful situations.
The program began in 2008 after a shooting at Northern Illinois University left five people dead. There were only a few dogs then. Now there are 67. Which is good. But also sad, because we clearly need this many dogs to keep up with all the terrible things that happen in this country on a regular basis.
The dogs are hanging out at First Lutheran Church, a few blocks from the bomb site, and they will also visit area hospitals where the victims, now numbering over 100, are being treated. But if you’re not in Boston, you can still keep up with the pups, because each of the dogs has his or her own social media account. For instance, you can follow Louie here.