It’s highly likely you’ve seen a therapy dog out in a public setting before. Perhaps you’ve noticed these dogs in local hospitals or a variety of other public places, but what about a funeral home? Probably not, but one such funeral home in Rhode Island set out to change that with a canine addition to their staff.
The Anderson Winfield Funeral Home in Greenville, Rhode Island is the first in the state to bring a therapy dog inside its facility for visitors to the funeral home. For the owner of the facility, it just makes good sense to have a therapy dog on the premises. Most people feel sadness or even dread when visiting a funeral home, and an 18 month-old golden retriever has set out to help everyone he meets.
With his long, flowing coat of sandy blond hair and wagging tail, Buddy is a source of comfort and joy for those he encounters. With a nudge of his nose or a lick of a human’s hand, suddenly the happiness is brought back into the room. Buddy seems to enjoy the interaction, too. His owner, who is also a state representative for Rhode Island, has Buddy down to a routine. Buddy rises each day around 4 or 5 a.m. and once his vest is on, he knows it’s time for him to go to work.
Though he’s still a young dog, Buddy just has a natural talent and knack for knowing what people need. His owners have observed him sitting quietly for hours next to some grieving young men and women, or seeking more interaction with others. It seems he can sense what people need and who needs to be comforted the most and he gets to work.
Buddy is hard a work with a trainer in his off time, so that he can gain solid training in order help visitors to the funeral home for many years to come.