The last thing any of us want to hear about is another mass shooting. They seem to happen all too often these days. And for those who are directly affected by it – they saw it happen, they knew one of the victims or it happened in their neighborhood – comfort is the last thing they have.
Following the mass shootings early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Gracie the Comfort Dog was called in to help. The Golden Retriever arrived in Orlando today after flying out of Chicago, Illinois, according to a Facebook post.
Comfort Dogs Gracie and Katie have safely arrived in Orlando. ????????❤️
Specifically trained to help ease human suffering, Gracie, based out of Trinity Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, is a Lutheran Church Charity K9 comfort dog. She’s already comforted those in need, including those affected by the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, as well as the Yarnell Hill Fire in Prescott, Arizona, in 2013, ABC News 10 reports.
Now Gracie, along with other comfort dogs, will visit with those affected by the nightclub shootings – a horrific event that resulted in 49 deaths and 53 injuries. She will be working out out of Trinity Lutheran Church in downtown Orlando.
“Her purpose is to share love and compassion with those who are suffering,” Jane Marsh-Johnson, one of Gracie’s handlers, told ABC News 10. “And dogs are wonderful listeners, and that’s so much of what these people need.”
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“We encourage those [in Orlando] who are grieving to sit down on the floor and pet dogs like Gracie,” Marsh-Johnson told ABC News 10. “The dogs do more for those suffering than human beings can do.”
Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy, and we hope that Gracie brings much comfort to them.