As emotional support animals become more commonplace in public spaces, the funeral industry is finally starting to embrace the therapeutic benefits of having therapy dogs on hand for grieving clients. As WGAL reports, a North Carolina funeral home – Macon Funeral Home – now has a Bernese mountain dog puppy on-site to comfort people who are grieving.
Mochi, the 9-week-old puppy, is a fully trained therapy dog yet, but she’s already having quite a positive impact on visitors. The funeral office administrator for Macon, Tori McKay, had decade-long aspirations of bringing in a grief-support dog to the business.
As she wrote on the funeral home’s website, not long after her January 4th birthday, the 30-year-old and her husband “decided that Mochi would make a wonderful addition to our family and this decade of our lives.”
McKay chose a Bernese mountain dog because of the breed’s affectionate personality and relaxed disposition, as well as the successful history the breed has as an emotional support animal. When Mochi is between 6 months to a year, she will receive therapy dog training in Asheville.
The long-term plan is to make her available to families upon request, as well as bring her on visits to nursing homes where she can meet with residents.
However, until then, Mochi will continue to meet with guests in a casual setting until she’s used to socializing with strangers.
The funeral home’s page even has a post that reads, “Stop by and meet her, she loves making new friends!”
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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