Comfort Dog Anna (Trinity Lutheran Church, Toledo, OH) made a special connection when she visited an assisted living facility a few weeks ago. Anna received the following message on Facebook:
"Hi. I just met Anna today (Sat., 9-19-15) at Luther Woods. I heard about her at an LWML board meeting just last month. I heard all good about this program and was touched to see such a charming gentle dog with a dignity of her own. Who by the way, is our LWML Fall Rally program this coming Oct. 3. How coincidental. So excited. My Mom just had her 13 yr. cat, Tabby euthanized a few months ago. I thank you so much for bringing Anna in to see my Mom who was just diagnosed with CHF and is now on total oxygen. She has struggled all week and down in the dumps and Anna was a pleasant surprise that uplifted her spirits. It truly made her day. Thank you for taking time to share this wonderful comforter. Such a small gesture that calms the heart and renews a spirit. At 88 that is so hard to do. God Bless many years ahead in this ongoing endeavor and may you find satisfaction in knowing it's not in vain. Thanks again, Andrea Gernheuser and Lura Jaeger of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Toledo, OH."
One of Anna’s handlers, Nancy Borders, describes another comforting opportunity for Anna:
“We even had an experience at dinner the other night where Anna suddenly came out from under our table to visit a woman who apparently had been seriously ill. The woman just kept petting Anna and telling her that she was going to be alright. That she was starting to gain some of her weight back. Anna knew that this woman needed her even though we had no idea! It is so amazing to sit back and watch who God puts in our path!”
Sunday was a beautiful day for the Make A Wish Run and/or Walk at Montrose Harbor in Chicago. K-9 Comfort Dogs Darlin (St. Paul- Matteson, Illinois) with Tom and Lisa; Katie with Brooke and Dawn (Trinity Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska); Asher (North Shore Lutheran Ministry- Lake Forest, Illinois) with Jennie; and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tara Sunday with Marie were there to greet the eager participants. A costume contest was held before the race, and it was fun to see the variety of costumes that were being worn by the contestants. All ages participated in the Run/Walk event and petting the Comfort Dogs seemed to give them a good start.
This sentiment was echoed by feedback LCC received following the event:
“Thank you for coming, the dogs were a huge hit!...We had great feedback from having you attend our event yesterday. We hope we can have you back next year as well!
"Joyful" is the descriptive word that best fits this wonderful morning.
Clearbrook Welcomes LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs to Staff Event
Several Comfort Dogs attended an event at the main offices of Clearbrook (a center for individuals with disabilities) in Arlington Heights to visit with their staff on Friday, September 18th. The Comfort Dogs present included Comfort Dog JoJo (Living Christ Lutheran Church- Arlington Heights, IL), Comfort Dog Asher (North Shore Lutheran Ministry- Lake Forest, Illinois), LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tara, and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs-in-Training Esther, Lois, Priscilla, and Gideon. The Clearbrook offices were having celebrations all week in honor of Direct Support Professional's (DSP) Week and asked the dogs to come in and give some love to the staff.
On Saturday St. Paul, Melrose Park, held their Neighbor Fest. They invited the entire neighborhood as well as 2 dance teams, musical groups, the Melrose Park Fire Department and the Comfort Dogs. Isaiah Comfort Dog (Holy Cross Portage, IN) as well as LCC K-9 Comfort Dog-In-Training Priscilla attended the event and met some wonderful people.
LCC President Tim Hetzner Speaks and Teaches at Stade’s Farm and Market
This past Sunday morning, LCC President Tim Hetzner spoke at Stade’s Farm’s “Fields of Grace” worship service in McHenry, Illinois. He was joined by numerous K-9 Comfort Dog and Kare-9 Military Ministry Dog teams. “Fields of Grace” is an outdoor worship experience used as a community outreach tool for McHenry and surrounding towns. The occasion was made more special with the first public appearance of Jonah Comfort Dog (LCC Dog in Training). Jonah will soon be traveling with Tim, following in the paw-steps of K-9 Comfort Dog Howe. We are thankful to Stade’s Farm and Fields of Grace for the opportunity to share in fellowship and worship on such a beautiful Sunday morning.
Family Day for United States Air Force Airmen Enjoy Comfort Dogs
On Saturday, September 12, Noah Comfort Dog (Timothy Lutheran Church- St. Louis, MO) and Tabby Comfort Dog (St. Paul’s Lutheran- Des Peres, MO) were invited to a special family day for the United States Air Force Airmen of the 183rd Fighter Wing held in Springfield, IL. Food and plenty of fun activities for the families were available as well as a resource center set up for the airmen. It was a great day for everyone involved and the attendees enjoyed the calming effect of the two Comfort Dogs.
Newest Crew of LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs-in-Training Train at Stade’s Farm and Market
The newest LCC K-9 recruits and apprentice trainers Lizzy with Elaine Ressler, Gideon with Terry Ressler, Eve with Kandy Keller, Olive with David Vollrath, Job with Kelly Preussner and Jonah were training at Stade's Farm. Stade’s Farm, at 3709 W. Miller Rd. in McHenry, IL was having their annual tractor parade event and other activities. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful opportunity for socializing and training these Comfort Dogs-in-Training.
The soon-to-be Comfort Dogs and their apprentice trainers got to experience many new sights and sounds at Stade’s Farm. The tractors provided great distraction opportunities so the dogs could practice commands such as sit, stay, and come. The pups also had fun practicing the command “under” with all the picnic tables at the farm. The apprentice trainers and K-9 Comfort Dogs in training also had fun times meeting and greeting people of all ages.
The highlight of the Stade’s event was meeting our new friend Jack who helped the team with training. The pups even took a picture with him. The apprentice trainers and pups look forward to the next event at Stade's Farm!
LCC staff members Rich and Dona Martin attended the Elgin Disaster Preparathon with LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie and Luther on Saturday, September 12th. They shared with first responders and attendees how the K-9s and their trained handlers work with individuals to relieve stress and calm individuals in the midst of a disaster or crisis.
Seniors Group at Immanuel (Downer’s Grove, IL) Welcomes and Enjoys Their Time with Comfort Dogs
LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Ruthie and Olympia, Kare-9 and K-9 Comfort Dog Susie (St. Peter Lutheran Church- Arlington Heights, IL), Comfort Dog Asher (North Shore Lutheran Ministry- Lake Forest, IL) and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog-in-Training Eve met with the seniors group of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Downers Grove on Thursday, September 10. Pastor Kluge and the seniors enjoyed seeing firsthand how the dogs work as the preschool class was treated to visit after lunch. LCC staff member Rich Martin then proceeded to share the history of the Comfort Dogs with the seniors.
Redeemer Lutheran Church (Elmhurst, IL) Celebrates Rally Day with Comfort Dog Guests!
LCC K-9 Comfort Care Dogs Luther and Ruthie, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs-in-Training Naomi, and Comfort Dog Barnabas (Holy Cross- Portage, IN), along with their handlers, visited Redeemer Lutheran Church in Elmhurst, IL on Sunday, September 13 to celebrate their Rally Day. Everyone participated in worship as well as the Sunday school hour and the Rally Day festivities.
St. John Darien had a booth at Darien (IL) Fest last Saturday. Shami Comfort Dog (St. John – Darien, IL) invited some friends to stop by and help her greet people. Early in the afternoon, Comfort Dog Angel (St John- LaGrange, IL) visited the crowds while Comfort Dog Barnabas from Holy Cross in Portage, IN stopped by later in the afternoon.
Fundraiser Held for LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs at Calvary Lutheran Church in Wood Dale, IL
On Saturday September 12, Calvary Lutheran Church in Wood Dale, IL held a fundraiser for the K-9 Comfort Dogs during a community outreach event. People at the event paid money to shoot baskets and then there were also prizes awarded. The dogs in attendance were Comfort Dog Zippy (Trinity Lutheran Church- Roselle, IL), Comfort Dog Asher (Lord of Glory- Grayslake, IL), Comfort Dog Barnabas (Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Portage IN) and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs-in-Training Naomi and Reuben.
LCC is Bringing the Mercy and Compassion of Christ to Those Suffering
K-9 Comfort Dogs Deploying This Week to Comfort Those Affected by the California Wildfires
On Monday, LCC received the following email from Christy Kramer, Church Office Manager and Aaron Comfort Dog Coordinator at St. John’s Lutheran Church (Napa, CA):
Team Aaron went to the closest evacuation center in Calistoga, California yesterday evening. We are working with our local Napa Chaplaincy department while there. Chaplain Lee Shaw, the lead Chaplain, is a member of Team Aaron. There are about 1000 people (and many pets) there at this time with more expected soon. This is one of a few centers in the surrounding counties. The city of Napa is fine, but our sister counties and the northern part of Napa County are severely affected. Donations of goods have been pouring in. The Red Cross folks are overwhelmed at the generosity of our locals. Mostly what they need now are monetary gifts.
We have several families at St. John’s who have firefighters and other first responders involved in this situation. Please keep them in your prayers as well.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were invited to be with the over 13,000 people who have been displaced from the 550+ structures that have been destroyed. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs will visit with the firefighters, some of whom have lost their homes. The Comfort Dogs will deploy this week and stay through the beginning of next week to spread the mercy, compassion, presence, and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who have suffered such an incredible loss at the hands of these devastating fires.
Please keep everyone affected, including the firefighters, in your prayers.