Dogs really can be your best friend when you need one most

It is widely believed that dogs have been our friends and companions for about 32,000 years. In the United Kingdom it is estimated that there are around 8.5 million dogs living in homes as pets.

Owning a dog can really enhance our lives in many many ways.

They are always happy to see us when we come home and are often is there for us wh en we need comforting when ill or upset.Dogs are very sensitive to our human emotions much more than most other animals. In our modern world dogs are not just our loving pets but very often also our guides and helpers.

There are the wonderful service dogs that receive training to serve as guide dogs or hearing dogs. Some are trained to detect illness such as cancers with uncanny accuracy.  There are mountain rescue dogs that go and find lost souls in the teeth of a blizzard, and of course police dog who are trained to assist their handler in keeping us safe from the bad people in the face of sometimes extreme danger.

There are therapy dogs that go into various institutions to help people learn how to read. They can be found in hospitals, airports, prisons, nursing homes, and hospices.

In more recent times we have witnessed a growing popularity in introducing specially trained and well socialised dogs into funeral homes and on occasion’s even crematoria and churches. The findings are well recognized that these dogs can really help ease the grief and suffering of the bereaved.

While almost all are positively impacted by the dogs’ presence, it is widely recognised that children and adolescents receive the greatest benefit. Adolescents in particular will talk to the dogs and feel free to express their emotions far more than when sharing them with peers or family. So far there appears to be no adverse reaction among funeral dogs. They seem to enjoy the interaction with the bereaved and sense that they are having a positive impact. When they are ‘off duty’, they play, eat and sleep like any other pet.

When a loved one dies, there are so many things that need to be done.

No one enjoys going to a Funeral Directors or meet with a Celebrant to make arrangements. It is a time of dreadful grief, a whole mix of emotions, stress, and tension. The funeral ceremony itself can be a time of great sadness. Having a dog that one can pet or hug can provide a totally non judgmental loving if brief respite from the heaviness of the day. The Funeral dog will lighten the mood, give unconditional love, and provide companionship.

We all need as much help as we can get to make it through one of the worst periods in our lives.

We are lucky to be having a new puppy arriving soon. Max will be my third #Labrador. I’ve had a Golden and Black and now we are having a Chocolate Brown boy. We know the value of a dog in the home. They bring pure unadulterated love that is non judgemental and available 24/7. We are hoping that in 18 months or so when he has got past his puppy stage and his training is complete that we can begin to introduce him to some of the grieving families that I meet in the course of my role as a Civil Celebrant. I’m sure that some will find him of great comfort when I meet with them to discuss the life and times of their loved ones. Hopefully, I can introduce him to the venues that I enact my ceremonies at around the South Staffordshire area so that he can become a part of the funeral ceremony too.

In the meantime please call me for any assistance you may need

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