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Comfort Dogs
Passing of the Leash - Comfort Dog Reuben Print E-mail
Reuben Comfort Dog Reuben and his team were officially welcomed into the First Lutheran Church in Yuba City, California family by The Rev. Mike Franckowiak on Sunday, February 14, 2016. LCC President Tim Hetzner was on hand to "pass the leash" on behalf of LCC and Reuben's trainers.

Reuben is the second LCC K-9 placed in California, joining K-9 Aaron at St. John's Lutheran in Napa Valley. K-9s Reuben and Aaron are among 27 LCC K-9s who are "dual-vested" as LCC Kare -9 Military Ministry Dogs in addition to their roles as LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. These special Kare 9s work alongside their handlers who are military veterans.

Reuben While in Yuba City, Tim Hetzner spoke to the congregation on "101 Ways to Share the Mercy and Compassion of Christ". If you would like Tim to speak to your congregation, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 866-455-6466 for more information or to schedule.

Reuben in the news
"Comfort dog finds new home in area" - Gridley Herald
"Reuben a rare comfort dog" - Appeal Democrat
Last Updated on Monday, 22 February 2016 12:28
Passing of the Leash Print E-mail
Comfort Dog Lois and her team were officially welcomed into the First Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, Nevada family by The Rev. Steve Cluver on Sunday, February 7, 2016.

The three-day intensive training weekend included handler and caregiver teams from both First Good Shepherd in Las Vegas and First Lutheran in Yuba City, California. The joint training weekend combined the teams for Comfort Dogs Lois and Reuben. Comfort Dog Reuben will be placed in Yuba City next Sunday, February 14, 2016.

Passing of the Leash

LCC K-9 staff members Rich Martin, Dona Martin, Jeanne Moore and Teresa Gray led a training and handling curriculum which was enriched with focus on ministry within the community.

The teams made school and senior living visits as well as spent time on the streets off of Las Vegas Blvd meeting people and offering to pray.

God brought together the Comfort Teams and a mom whose son had missed over 60 days of school due to unknown illness which causes excruciating pain. The team prayed for this child and his mother as they are traveling to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles this week. The family requested a home visit and Comfort Dog Teams Lois and Luther fulfilled the request.

During the service at First Good Shepherd in Las Vegas, Pastor Cluver thanked LCC for coming to the aid of his home congregation, Calvary Lutheran in Watseka, Illinois. Cluver’s father is still a resident of Watseka and a member at Calvary.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:28
Salty Dog Print E-mail
Practicing Socialization LCC K-9 Comfort Dog in Training class practiced socialization, which means exposing the dogs to people, places, situations, sounds, surfaces and things. The apprentice trainers brought in all kinds of props to expose the dogs to such as rolling suitcases, backpacks, long puffy winter coats, cowboy hats, umbrellas, stuffed pythons, and much more. One of the apprentice trainers even brought in a rain slicker and wide brimmed hat, which is not something dogs normally see. The appearance and the sound of the slicker when a person moves is quite different and unexpected for the dogs.

The dogs and the apprentice trainers worked through the challenge of encountering something new in a positive and progressive way. The goal is that the next time the LCC Comfort Dogs in training are exposed to these experiences or something similar, the dogs will be less sensitive and more confident.

The dogs even practiced the commands “front”, “sit”, and “stay” as they circled around the trainer who looked suspiciously like the Morton Salt Girl.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:28
K-9s Celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week Print E-mail
National Lutheran School Week LCC K-9s shared love and comfort as they participated in NLSW across the Synod. Here are some of our K-9s doing what they do best!

Dora Comfort Dog (Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee)
Dora spent time reading and visiting students at Our Redeemer Lutheran School

Zippy Comfort Dog (Trinity Lutheran Church, Roselle, Illinois)
Zippy enjoyed meeting with a couple of great friends in Mrs. Gross’ Kindergarten Class

National Lutheran School Week Pax Comfort Dog (St Paul Lutheran, Fort Worth, Texas)
Pax had a great visit with the father of a former St. Paul Lutheran student a hospital in Southwest Fort Worth.

Tara and Zina (LCC)
Sasha (In Training)
Visited: Good Shepherd Pre-School, Elgin

National Lutheran School Week Tara (LCC) Eve (St. John’s Lutheran Lombard, IL)
Isaiah (Holy Cross, Portage, IN)
Visited: Immanuel Lutheran School, Elmhurst, IL

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:28
A Golden Opportunity Print E-mail
A Golden Opportunity As the LCC K-9 ministries continue to grow, so do the many mission-minded individuals receiving dog handler training and instruction. On January 30 & 31, a new training class of 19 spent concentrated hours learning proper dog handling, directional commands, and clearly defining our missions focus. Training included in-depth class instruction as well as handlers and their dogs passing the Canine Good Citizen Certification necessary to qualify as an approved LCC K-9 handler. Our K-9 staff works diligently to ensure all handlers are completely versed in the tenets of the program.

Training included a trip to a local nursing home. The sea of 15 golden retrievers, accompanied by the smiling faces of the handlers, were a welcome sight to Alden Estates employees, residents and visitors. The sheer delight people derived from the visiting dogs is inexpressible. Wheelchair-bound people stroked and hugged dogs as the canines lay gently across their laps. Residents shared heartwarming stories; from reminiscing about the pets they once loved, to memories from a 92-year-old veteran as he recalled his time served in WWII. Prayers were offered, tears were shared, and ministry happened all because a Comfort Dog opened a path to a heart.

LCC has a golden opportunity (pun most certainly intended) to minister to hearts where love and compassion can reach into the lonely and darkened places, shining the light of Christ.

LCMS Ministry Participants
Atonement Lutheran Church, Columbus, Ohio
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Mequon Wisconsin
Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin
Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Collinsville, Illinois
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Danbury, Connecticut
Lord of Glory Lutheran Church, Grayslake, Illinois
Lord of Life Lutheran Church, LaFox, Illinois
Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
North Shore Ministry, Lake Forest, Illinois
Timothy Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Missouri
Trinity Lutheran Church, Fremont, Nebraska
To gift to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Fund, CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 February 2016 15:37
LCC President Travels to the Land of 10,000 Lakes to Bring Comfort Print E-mail
10,000 Lakes LCC President Tim Hetzner traveled with LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Luther, Zina, Hannah, and Jacob and their handlers to the “Land of Ten Thousand Lakes” - Minnesota - on January 29-31. The mission, “To Bring the Mercy, Compassion, Presence, and Proclamation of Jesus Christ” to everyone they met.

The team was invited by Pastor Pat Simmons from St Michael’s Lutheran Church in Bloomington, Minnesota and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry Top Dog, Dianne Williams.

The LCC team traveled with the future K-9 Ministry team for St Michael’s and met with people at the Presbyterian Assisted Living Center in Bloomington, as well as dispatchers and police officers at the Bloomington Police 10,000 LakesDepartment who had just experienced a tragic accident involving city workers. The team also visited with individuals and their families in hospice, veterans in hospice and rehabilitation centers, and visited with Ruth, a retired professor at the University of Minnesota, who collaborated to invent the “Gentle Leader” lead for canines. 10,000 Lakes Ruth, a long time member of Hetzner’s “WORD” Bible Study, is a member at St Peter’s Lutheran Church in Edina, Minnesota.

On Sunday, the teams visited with members of Redemption Lutheran Church in Bloomington and St Michael’s and shared the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry at their Mission Fair.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:28
K-9 Ministry Supports Grief-Stricken Elementary School Print E-mail
Raymond Comfort Dogs:
Katie (Trinity Lutheran, Fremont, NE)
Moses (Christ Lutheran, Cairo, NE)
Eddie (Peace Lutheran, Grand Island, NE)

Katie, Moses and Eddie, along with their handlers, traveled to Raymond Central Elementary School in Valparaiso, NE after being invited to serve following the unexpected death of a sixth grade student on January 19.

The Comfort Dog team met with students, faculty and staff for the day on January 21st in small group settings along with counselors from several area schools.

On behalf of everyone at LCC, our hearts and prayers go out to the family, Raymond Central Elementary School, and the community of Valparaiso.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:28
Summer Reading to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Print E-mail
Elmhurst Library The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited to the Elmhurst (IL) Library to spend time with young readers in their Summer Reading Program, "Every Hero Has a Story". LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Pax (in-training), Zippy (Trinity – Roselle, IL), Angel (St John – LaGrange, IL) and Chloe (Lord of Life – LaFox, IL) visited with over 35 young readers and they wanted to know all about the Comfort Dogs who they called “heroes”! We had question and answer sessions and LOTS of loving! Thank you to Elmhurst Library for inviting us!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:31
LCC Meets with Congressman Print E-mail
Congressman Peter Roskam Prayer for a nation and the nation’s leaders is biblical. Yesterday some LCC staff members took that biblical encouragement to heart and met with Congressman Peter Roskam in his DuPage county office to pray for him and his staff. We prayed for wisdom, strength and safety for the Congressman. To help them through their stressful work, we also brought along four LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs (Martin, Luther, Ruthie and in-training, Sheba). Though we may not be able to send Comfort Dogs into each Congressional office, we pray for all of our country’s leaders that they too are blessed with wisdom, strength and safety.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:29
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (Palatine, IL) Names LCC Their Mission of the Month! Print E-mail
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church This past weekend, Rev. Roger Pollock of LCC, spoke to all four services of the congregation about the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ. Joining him on Saturday evening were:

  • Eve Comfort Dog from St. John, Lombard
  • Angel Comfort Dog from St. John La Grange
  • Jeremiah Comfort Dog
  • Hannah Comfort Dog (LCC)
  • Comfort Dog-in-Training Jacob and
  • Tara Sunday Comfort Dog

Prince of Peace, Palatine is active in outreach and assimilation featuring a ministry each month that focuses on making a difference in the name of Christ.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:29
Comfort Dogs De-Stress the Stressed During Finals Print E-mail
Deerfield High School LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Luther, Ruthie, and Comfort Dogs-in-Training Sheba and Jonah were invited to Deerfield high school on Friday, January 15, 2016 to visit with students preparing for finals week. It was the Comfort Dogs first visit and was met by many saying “best day ever”! Good luck in finals week and we hope to see you again in spring.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:29
Comfort Dogs JoJo and Adeena Celebrate Birthday with Friends Print E-mail
Birthday Party Comfort Dogs JoJo (Living Christ Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights, IL) and Adeena (St. John Lutheran Church, Burlington, Illinois) celebrated their birthday with their friends at Deer Path of Huntley on January 16, 2016. JoJo and Adeena’s sixth birthday was on January 14th. Over 40 residents celebrated with the dogs and enjoyed the comfort that the dogs brought as well. Deer Path of Huntley is an affordable assisted living community for adults 22 to 64 with physical disabilities.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:29
Special In God’s Eyes Sends Comfort Packages, Including Stuffed Comfort Dogs, to San Bernardino, California Following Shootings Print E-mail
Comfort Dog Packages We are all aware of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2nd. You may not be aware that people who work with those with special needs were among those targeted. This has deeply touched the hearts of Special In God's Eyes (SIGE), a special needs ministry of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Barrington, Illinois. This ministry has met weekly for almost 7 years and provides a place where young people in their 20’s and 30’s can learn about the love of God. We hear God’s Word every week in our Bible study time, we do servant projects for those less fortunate, and we have fun.

The group raised money to put together comfort packages to be sent to Inland Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled. Forty packages were made for adults and kids. Each of the twenty adult packages include the devotional “Jesus Calling”, special loose tea for a nice warm beverage, therapeutic rice pillows and dark chocolate bars. Each of the 20 children comfort packages include Bible story coloring books, crayons, LCC K-9 Comfort Dog stuffed animal, Play-Doh and candy.

The packages are being shipped to Trinity Lutheran Church in San Bernardino. The church will deliver them to the agency. Please pray that those affected by this senseless act of violence will find comfort in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the care and concern of some very “special” young people.

To learn more about SIGE, CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:29
In Unlikely Places Print E-mail
Unlikely Places We had an opportunity to sit and visit with one of the disaster relief volunteers in the relaxed atmosphere of her living room. We laughed, told stories and enjoyed each other’s company. During the course of our conversation our guest recounted the time she was first introduced to the ministry of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. Her first encounter was with Luther.
It was a very stressful time in life for me and I happened to be at an event where Luther was visiting. When I saw the dog, I knelt down on the floor to pet him. As I did, Luther placed his head against my cheek and all of a sudden my stress was gone. It was as if Luther knew I needed that moment.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are so much more than just tail-wagging, fluffy creatures. Comfort Dogs serve a need that far too often is missed or overlooked by humans. Dogs have been known to sense emotion and respond to the needs of people long before the person even recognizes or acknowledges their need. So often as 21st century people, bombarded by technology and increased societal pressures, we become so overwhelmed and busy with life that our sensitivity meter can become short circuited; but not a canine. Research suggests that dogs really do respond uniquely to tears and the emotions of people. While so many of us can be distracted by the demands of life, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are anything but distracted; they are uniquely in tune with people and ready and willing to be a silent presence for so many in need.

The mission field is ever increasing. LCC continues to help bring mercy and compassion to a hurting world through the ministry of the Comfort Dogs as well as the veteran Kare 9 dogs. As we observe people encounter our LCC dogs in the most unlikely of places, we find that their world becomes a little less stress filled as the love of Jesus reaches beyond barriers.

And this is what ministry is all about. Touching lives; changing hearts.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:29
Comfort Dogs Visit Briar Place Nursing Center Print E-mail
Briar Place Nursing Center On Wednesday, six Comfort dogs visited Briar Place Nursing Center in Indian Head Park, IL. Many of the residents miss their own pets and just having the Comfort Dogs come for a short time allows them to remember all the good times they had with their pets. The Comfort dogs that attended were Zippy (Trinity Lutheran Church, Roselle, IL), Angel (St. John's Lutheran Church, La Grange, IL) Tara (LCC), Martin (LCC) and Comfort Dogs-in-Training Sheba and Olive.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2016 09:29
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Partners in Comfort

The Comfort Dog Ministry is made possible through the generous support of the following:

Veterinary Services provided by:

Dr. Michelle T. Cahill, DVM of Academy Animal Hospital, Joplin, MO

Drs. Glen Redeker and Erin Redeker-Goelitz of Spring Hill Veterinary Clinic, Carpentersville, Illinois

Lake Station Pet Clinic, Portage, Indiana

Dr Jacqueline Vernot of Veterinary Vision, Glendale Heights, Illinois

Dr. Paul A. Navin, DVM of All Pets Hospital in Lockport, IL

Dr. Mark Hughes, DVM of Stolley Park Veterinary Hospital , Grand Island, Nebraska

Dr. Ron Mitchell, DVM of Westport Animal Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky

Dr. John DeVries, DVM of The DeVries Animal Hospital, Elmhurst, Illinois

Dr. Julie Mattson of Terry Animal Hospital, Wilmette, Illinois

Drs. Stapleton and Ford of Barrington Animal Hospital, Barrington, Illinois

Dr. Bohdan Rudawski of Fox Lake Animal Hospital, Fox Lake, Illinois

Dr. Brian Rooney of Burr Ridge Veterinary Clinic, Darien, Illinois

Dr. Kurt E. Klepitsch of Gateway Veterinary Clinic, St. Charles, Illinois

Veterinarians of Care Animal Hospital, Arlington Heights, Illinois

Dr. Dana Resetarits, DVM of Buckwalter Veterinary Clinic, Bluffton, South Carolina

Dr. Mark Hughes, DVM of Stolley Park Veterinary Hospital, Grand Island, Nebraska

Dr. Kurt Bedow, DVM of Webster Groves Animal Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri

Grooming Services provided FREE by:

Debbie Szwandrok of Eclipse Dog Grooming, Elmhurst, Illinois

Ms. Lori Robinson and Staff, Best in Show Grooming, Lockport, Illinois

Denise Goelitz of Kitten KaPoodle Mobile Pet Grooming, Elgin, Illinois

Ana Ristic of Two Paws Up in Itasca, Illinois

Jeannie's Pet Boutique, Portage, Indiana

Lisa Racine of Grooming Lodge, South Elgin, Illinois

Paw-metto Pooches Pet Salon, Bluffton, South Carolina

Support these businesses so they will continue to support the dogs!