Grief Therapy Dogs Help Reduce Stress and Comfort Humans

PRE-PLANNING ONE'S FINAL WISHES SPARES LOVED ONES FROM EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL BURDENS

If your death occurred today, would your loved one know how to arrange your funeral wishes and how you would like to be celebrated?

When death occurs there are numerous things that all need to be done quickly, such as:....


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SUPPORT GROUPS HELP FAMILIES HEAL WHEN SOMEONE DIES

Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D,   Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.”

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GRIEF THERAPY DOGS HELP REDUCE STRESS AND COMFORT HUMANS

Scientists have proven petting animals can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even create a hormonal response that raises serotonin levels and helps fight depression.  For many years, therapy dogs have been on the scene where natural disasters or traumatic events have occurred. According to the American Kennel Club, a therapy dog goes with its owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes. From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in....

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GRIEF THERAPY DOGS HELP REDUCE STRESS AND COMFORT HUMANS

Grief therapy dogs are respectful of a client’s wishes; they are trained to approach only if they are solicited. They do not jump up or get rambunctious or overly excited. A good grief therapy dog is very reserved, accepting of attention but not demanding it, and is not only willing but happy to go to work.


A local funeral home, Milward Funeral Directors, recently introduced Gus, its future grief therapy dog. Gus is a beautiful black lab who belongs to Rob and Lee Milward and their two children, Kate and Wills. Gus is a cheerful puppy who loves cuddling with his family at home, going for walks and receiving well-deserved treats. The Milward family hopes Gus will bring as much comfort to grieving families in his new role as a future grief therapy dog as he is bringing love into their home and to the funeral directors at Milward.


Gus will undergo extensive training and certification so he will be able to help families cope with their grief during a funeral or Life Celebration.


KIM WADE

Kim Wade has been a marketing consultant for more than 20 years specializing in the funeral industry. Currently, she is the Community Relations Director for Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th- oldest continuously operated family business in the United States which operates three locations in Lexington including its Celebration of Life center at 1509 Trent Boulevard. Kim can be reached at marketing@milwardfuneral.com or 859-252-3411.

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Scientists have proven petting animals can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and even create a hormonal response that raises serotonin levels and helps fight depression.


For many years, therapy dogs have been on the scene where natural disasters or traumatic events have occurred. According to the American Kennel Club, a therapy dog goes with its owners to volunteer in settings such as schools, hospitals and nursing homes. From working with a child who is learning to read to visiting a senior in an assisted living facility, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people.


A growing number of grief therapy dogs have begun working in funeral homes across the country to comfort grieving families. The primary job of a grief therapy dog is to help people feel calmer – exactly what is needed when people are grieving the loss of a loved one. Therapy dogs are nonjudgmental listeners who want nothing more than to be petted and to provide comfort to human companions. A grief therapy dog is traditionally available when families are making funeral arrangements for a loved one, during calling hours, at a children’s activity prior to a funeral service or during a Life Celebration. The dog is also available for community visits.