The Northbrook organization trains comfort dogs to respond to tragedies

In a room full of distractions, 6-month-old puppies practice following their master, which isn’t always easy with strange noises like a shaking tarp and soft toys on the floor.

FOX 32 Chicago watched one of many sessions for Damas and Saul, comfort dogs in training with the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry in Northbrook.

“A lot of it is about focusing, getting their attention, teaching them to watch us. But also exploring the world so things aren’t scary,” explained staff trainer Becky Kolzow. LCC canine.

Being calm is key, as dogs will visit schools, nursing homes, and even scenes of overwhelming grief.

“The fact that they can go and bring joy to someone, a smile on someone’s face going through their darkest times, it’s worth it,” Kolzow said.

SUBSCRIBE TO FOX 32 CHICAGO ON YOUTUBE

LCC Comfort Dogs are back in Uvalde, TX for back to school. They also helped out in Highland Park after the parade was filmed.

“We bring the dogs there because they bring a comforting presence with them and serve as a bridge for our ministry. That’s what we do, we find people in need and bring them comfort. And when I do that, it’s just amazing to see people’s faces when they’re the parts of grief for a minute,” said LCC staff trainer Casey Meadows.

Meadows showed us how dogs put their paws on someone’s lap for “the comfort dog hug,” where someone who’s stressed or grieving can then kiss the dog.

“They don’t judge. They don’t even ask questions. They just show up and provide love,” Meadows said.

LCC has 130 comfort dogs in 26 states.

After 2,000 hours of training, these pups will join the ranks and try to show people in their darkest days that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Aubrey L. Morgan