Teddy bears, each representing a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, sit on a wall at a sidewalk memorial, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. A gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Friday and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 young children and six teachers.
Nine dogs turned up in Newtown to help residents cope with their grief after Friday's brutal killing. Libby, Tilley, Abbie Einstein, Smartie Jones, Dutchess, Ruthie and Hannah and two other dogs came from far-off Illinois and Indiana via a Lutheran Church Charities "comfort dog" program that has its origins in the aftermath of the 2008 killing of five students by a gunman at Northern Illinois University..
Their mission in life is to make people feel better and most of them are especially trained to give emotional comfort and healing - by visiting nursing homes and centres for people with autism.
Read more here:
Addison Strychalsky, 2, of Newtown Connecticut, pets Libby, a golden retriever therapy dog, during a visit from the dogs and their handlers to a memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims. Source: AP
Dutchess, another golden retriever, projected so much affection that few noticed she had no eyes - they were surgically removed after she contracted pigmentary uveitis, a painful eye disease seen almost exclusively in the breed.
"She does fine. She's a happy dog," said her owner Mark Condon, a biology professor at State University of New York and member of the Good Dog Foundation, another therapy dog network, as Dutchess snuggled up to an AFP reporter.
Dutchess, who turns 10 next month, typically drops in once or twice a week at an autism centre up the Hudson River from New York where she happily mingles with children eager to brush, feed and play ball with her.
In Newtown, on the other hand, many folks responded to Dutchess by simply running their hands over her rich silky coat.
"It's been very tactile," Mr Condon observed. "Some people don't even say anything - which is fine."
In another part of town, Ken Whalen of Smithfield, Rhode Island went directly to Hawley Elementary School with his seven-year-old golden retriever Cooper to comfort kids on Newtown's first day of school after the tragedy.
The need is so great in Newtown that the dogs and their handlers have
split into teams to help more people
It won't be easy for the families of Newtown, Connecticut, to forget
last Friday's horrific events.
But a group of cuddly dogs are at least providing some comfort to the children and
parents heartbroken in days of lingering sadness.
Dieser Blog ist eine Hommage an einen Bären,an einen ganz besonderen Bären,einem Eisbären, dem Eisbär schlechthin...KNUT.Der mit Papi Thomas und den anderen Pflegern vom Berliner Zoo. Er ist mein bester Freund.Und da ich diesen Knut ohne Mami Simbas verrückter Bloggerei in Knuts rbb-blog niemals kennengelernt hätte, ist dieser Blog auch ihr und Knuts Blog gewidmet. Und all den tollen Menschen und Wölfen... oops Tieren natürlich, die wir darüber kennengelernt haben.
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Bärchen Ursula - Einband UlliJ
5.November - 5.Dezember 2007 - Eine Rückschau
K-Files Birthday Edition
First Birthday - Last years' Countdown
K-Files Herbst 2008 Edition
Simbas Vanity Lair Interview mit Knut im Oktober 2007
K-Files Autumn 2008 Edition
Simba's Vanity Lair Interview with Knut in October 2007/engl.
K-File Special Birthday Edition
Dr.Knut's First Dossier on Mrs.Mervi's Therapy/engl