Headed to Boston: Comfort Dogs

Team was on hand after last year's attacks

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 18, 2014 9:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – A team of golden retrievers helped Newtown recover from the Sandy Hook tragedy; the next year, they went to Boston after the marathon bombing. With another race approaching, the comfort dogs are visiting Boston once again, Yahoo News reports. "They're a calming presence and allow victims to open up and talk about what happened—which is a critical part of the healing process," says the president of the Illinois church-affiliated charity that brings the canines.

The six dogs will be spending their time at the First Lutheran Church of Boston, just a few blocks from the site of last year's attack. Anyone who'd like to meet them can come by, Boston Magazine reports. "The dogs work for about two to three hours at a time, and then we make sure to give them a break," a handler told BuzzFeed. "They really do absorb the feelings of the people around them." Want to get to know them better? Each one has its own Facebook page.

Addison Strychalsky, 2, of Newtown Conn., pets Libby, a golden retriever therapy dog, Dec. 18, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.
Addison Strychalsky, 2, of Newtown Conn., pets Libby, a golden retriever therapy dog, Dec. 18, 2012, in Newtown, Conn.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)
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