When People Are Grieving The Loss Of Their Loved Ones, This Doodle Knows Just What To Do To Help!Ashley Maisano
Ballard-Durant Funeral Home in Westchester, New York, has welcomed a new four-legged staff member: a Goldendoodle named Lulu. Lulu is their certified Therapy Dog who provides families with unconditional love and support through these difficult times.
When you lose a loved one, it’s extremely hard to cope and get through each day. With Lulu there, they hope to be able to be a subtle distraction from their grief and to help put smiles on their faces.
“It’s really an unexplained phenomenon,” Matthew Fiorillo, CEO of the funeral home and Lulu’s owner told KSAT 12. “It’s amazing to watch. She’ll come in a room and just poke her nose at them, and I know who the immediate mourners are, but she doesn’t, yet she always just comes and puts her head in their lap.”
Lulu went through a year-long training before she became a therapy dog. Now, she’s allowed to wander throughout the funeral home and they leave out jars of treats to engage her.
“She’s a priceless gift for our staff and the families we serve,” said Fiorillo. Lulu even has a special trick to help kids gain courage and strength when they approach the casket. She says a prayer with them by putting her head down in between her paws.
But Lulu doesn’t just help people at the funeral home, she helps people all over. “My sister came over after losing her husband, and Lulu wouldn’t leave her side,” Fiorillo said. “It was amazing she just wouldn’t leave her, and even at my own house. She’s just a dog, but you know, it’s unbelievable that she just knows how to go to people.”
Ballard-Durand is the only firm in Westchester County to have a “comfort dog” on staff, but their guests absolutely love her. She is available on request and is happy to give cuddles and licks. Outside of her job, Lulu loves to act like a regular dog, and goes for walks and plays in the yard. Check her out in the video below: