Therapy dog comforts families at Minnesota funeral home

A therapy dog at a Minnesota funeral home provides comfort for grieving families.
A therapy dog at a Minnesota funeral home provides comfort for grieving families.

Credit: Pezibear/Pixabay

Credit: Pezibear/Pixabay

A funeral home is a somber place, where families gather to pay their final respects to a loved one. Emotionally, it can be a draining experience.

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However, a Minnesota funeral home has found a way to ease the sting caused by death.

Jackie is a therapy dog that greets patrons at Gearhart Funeral Home in Coon Rapids, WCCO reported.

“She loves being around people and she looks forward to going to work in the morning,” Gearhart funeral director Ryan Scharfencamp told the television station. “Most people aren’t expecting to see a dog, so it’s like, oh, it makes them feel at home.

Jackie, a 1-year-old lab mix, has been trained to comfort grieving families.

"Her trainer even mentioned that she's a natural for it," Scharfencamp told WCCO.

Jackie seems to sense when a soft touch is needed and responds accordingly, Scharfencamp said.

“It’s just one of those things you have to see,” Scharfencamp told the television station. “She’ll see someone and just go up to them and put her head on their lap or just lay down in front of them.”

Based on reaction to Jackie, Scharfencamp said he may add a second therapy dog.

"I anticipate the way it's going, and continuing to go, that down the road, we will add additional dogs. That's my hope," Scharfencamp told WCCO.

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