Funeral Homes Turning to Therapy Dogs to Comfort Mourners

June 21, 2017
Advertisement

Originally Published on Boston Globe

As a funeral home director in Pittsfield, Rob Dwyer has worked with many grieving families.

But when a young girl became overcome with emotion and rushed out of her grandmother’s service, he called on a special staff member at Dwyer Funeral Home to help: Greyce, a 2-year-old Chesapeake Bay retriever.

“Just the presence of the dog changes the mood,” Dwyer said. “The dog walked out of the funeral and followed her and just sat down beside her. The tears stopped pretty quickly.”

Advertisement

It’s a trend starting to grow among funeral homes in Massachusetts — offering the services of a therapy dog to comfort bereaved families during planning meetings, wakes, and funerals.

Therapy dogs are also offered by the Gately Funeral Home in Melrose, and at least six other funeral homes are currently training therapy dogs, according to Margaret Nolan, executive director of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association.

A spokesperson for the National Funeral Directors Association said that, anecdotally, the trend has increased within the industry, especially in the last four years.

Dwyer began working with Greyce nearly a year ago, and said it’s been “the best idea.”

“It makes the whole event more comfortable. We were thinking it would be perfect for kids, but I wasn’t anticipating the reaction from adults,” Dwyer said. “Typically when the dog gets here I’ll introduce them to the family. I can not only feel [the difference] but see it in their faces, it changes the whole mood.”

Read More on The Boston Globe

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
CDFuneralNews
Advertisement

You may be interested

Homesteaders: A Deep Dive | FUNERAL hustle 012
FUNERAL Hustle
334 views
FUNERAL Hustle
334 views

Homesteaders: A Deep Dive | FUNERAL hustle 012

CDFuneralNews - September 14, 2017

Ryan heads to Homesteaders Life Company HQ to discuss their future partnership with Homesteaders and why and how this partnership…

FrontRunner Professional Announces Ultimate ‘DIY’ Funeral Home Website Platform
Funeral Industry Press Releases
128 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
128 views

FrontRunner Professional Announces Ultimate ‘DIY’ Funeral Home Website Platform

CDFuneralNews - September 14, 2017

Today FrontRunner Professional announced the release of it’s brand new website platform, marking a major change for the entire death…

Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions Shares Integration Update
Funeral Industry Press Releases
78 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
78 views

Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions Shares Integration Update

CDFuneralNews - September 14, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA -- Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions today announced an update of key activities for its ongoing integration of Aurora…

Comments