Dogs are bringing comfort and a Christian message to suffering people.
The Lutheran Comfort Dog Ministry is run by U.S. Lutheran Church Charities.
The ministry has more than 130 trained golden retrievers.
Rich Martin, director of K-9 Ministries,says their mission is to bring the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering.
Beginning when they’re eight weeks old, the comfort dogs undergo 2,000 hours of training before they’re deployed in a crisis.
They are called to natural disasters or human-made calamities such as mass shootings.
Increasingly, they are called to provide solace to students and teachers after a child suicide.
The signature move of the dog is putting its head on the person, inviting what handlers call the “golden hug.”