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Funeral homes bring in grief assistance dogs

  1. Marcy Wilhelm-South

    Just over a week ago, I found out that one of the funeral homes in my hometown area has added a dog to their staff. Brooklyn will be working as a Grief Therapy Dog at the DeMoney-Grimes funeral home in Columbia City, IN. Grieving clients will have the choice to have her present at visitations or funerals, or they may give her “a day off work” if they don’t want her there for services. She is not limited to comforting those grieving the loss of a human, though; DeMoney-Grimes also provides remembrance services for those experiencing the loss of a pet, including comfort through Brooklyn’s presence.

    Then today, I saw a news release about a team of grief therapy dogs in Greenwood, IN. Those who have lost a loved one and make funeral arrangements through G.H. Herrmann Funeral Home have Gracie, Lady, Jax, and Birch available to provide comfort as they grieve, and have even at times requested that the dogs be present at the cemetery as well.

    Has anyone had any experiences with grief therapy dogs? I have been fortunate enough to have, in times of loss, a family dog to help cope with grief, though they were admittedly never present at formal services; I imagine having a Brooklyn or Gracie available on-site would also be very comforting even without the grieving being in a position of considering them a family pet or member.

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