Dog becomes first therapy dog for funerals in Texas

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Therapy dogs are helping heal people in all types of situations, but a recent trend is seeing them incorporated at funerals. One such dog is Kermit, the one-year-old border collie. And he recently became the first therapy dog for funeral homes in Texas. 

Kermit joins other dogs across the country like Lulu in New York, Dempsey in Ohio, Charlie in Minnesota, Gracie in Missouri, and Judd in Indiana.

It took a lot of training, but Kermit passed his tests in May. Already, he has helped people in mourning at over two dozen funeral services. Melissa Unfred, his owner and the funeral director of Affordable Burial and Cremation, believes it was a calling for young Kermit. 

She told FOX 7, “He really enjoys being around people and he gravitates to those who seem to need him the most and we've seen it time and time again.”

Therapy dogs can help mourners for obvious reasons, but there are also more scientific reasons behind their success. Dr. Deborah Linder, associate director of the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction, told The Boston Globe, “There are some studies that point to an actual physical change in the brain of humans after being with a therapy animal. For those studied thus far, it appears that dogs can have a calming effect that actually changes our biology when we interact with them.” 

Regardless, funerals are never easy and there may be no words that will comfort. Maybe next time you’ll find a friend who’ll make you feel better -- without saying a word.

 

Watch the video to see how Kermit can make a tough situation a little easier. 

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