Dogs have made their way into senior homes, classrooms and hospitals. And now they are providing support for those that have lost a loved one by having a presence in funeral homes.
After seeing the calming effect a passenger’s Maltese had on irritable airline travelers that had incurred long delays and were stuck in an airport, Matthew Fiorillo realized the power dogs could have on people grieving.
Fiorillo’s dog Lulu is now part of the team at Ballard-Dunard funeral homes in White Plains and Elmford, New York. After training to be a therapy dog, the one-year-old goldendoodle has been there for two months and uses her skills to comfort people.
“She has an uncanny knack for visiting the people she feels might need her,” he told People Magazine. “It does put people at ease and makes people smile when they don’t feel like smiling.”
Wearing a blue therapy vest that reads “Pet me, I’m friendly,” Lulu will either gently nudge a person or just sit next to someone. “She’ll just kind of be there,” she told the outlet. “She has a knack for knowing who wants it and who doesn’t.”
As Christian Science Monitor reports, Ballard-Dunard isn’t they only business using dogs in funeral homes. The publication highlighted Mark Krause, owner of Krause Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Before passing away in 2011, his Portuguese water dog, Oliver, served as a therapy dog at the funeral home.
To learn more about Lulu, check out this video:
H/T People Magazine