More and more people are realizing the importance of dogs in everyday life. Especially in New York where dogs are becoming regular visitors in funeral homes and aid in supporting mourners free of charge. Many funeral directors across the United States are beginning to bring dogs into the funeral homes for a number of reasons.
One of the most significant reasons being that the dogs who have been specially trained as therapy dogs not only lighten the mood, but they also tend to be very good at picking out individuals who really need their help during the grieving period.
As one funeral home owner, Mark Krause of Krause Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Milwaukee, pointed out, “in a funeral home, people are typically on edge, uncomfortable. But everyone lights up, everyone has to greet the dog.” As he speaks fondly of he and his wife’s first dog was used as a therapy dog within the funeral home. In the over ten year period of time that the Krause’s had Oliver, Krause believes he helped a few thousand families who had lost loved ones. And this showed when at Oliver’s own funeral, over 150 people attended to thank him for the impact he had on their lives during their own time of grieving.
Although some funeral homes have begun using cats as well as dogs, it is obvious that dogs are the more popular choice of funeral owners simply because of the fact that dogs will love people more than they will love themselves. Something that cats have not quite mastered yet.
It is not surprising that dogs are becoming increasingly popular in funeral homes. In fact it makes sense. The way that dogs can alleviate tensions and sadness in hospital wings, nursing homes and even schools act as testaments to the beauty that is the soul of a dog. It is actually hard to believe that it has taken so long for dogs to be in funeral homes as part of the support package for families who are going through one of the hardest times of their lives.
As a dog owner of a gregarious eighty-five pound mutt, I can only say that dogs just have this special knack for putting a smile on anyone’s face. No matter how bad of a day you may have had, coming home to that big smiling face and clumsy paws always makes me forget about the roughness of the day, and instead, focus on this beautiful creature whose only real purpose in life is to love me. And I think that is a beautiful thing and I hope that companies, funeral homes and hospitals continue to make it possible for dogs to continue visiting people who are at a point in their lives where a smile is a rare thing.