Golden Retrievers being used to comfort victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing
Specially trained “Comfort” dogs have been brought into to the city of Boston to help comfort victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Boston, Massachusetts has had a tough couple of weeks with the bombings and intense gun fighting. With 3 people dead, 170 injured and thousands in a state of panic, finally more peaceful times may be on their way.
A number of Golden Retrievers have been brought in by the Lutheran Church Charities. The dogs are visiting victims across the citiy's hospitals and are also located at a base where anyone feeling stressed can visit. This is located just a few metres away from where the bomb blasts occurred.
The dogs are often deployed during times of tragedy across the United States and were used in the recent Newtown shooting massacre in which a 20 year old murdered school children. They have been specially trained to be peaceful.
Tim Hetzner who helps run the charity said that ‘The program was born out of a number of tragedies,’
‘After Hurricane Katrina, we witnessed the attachment people had to their animals and how they wouldn’t let them go even if it put their own life in danger.
‘Petting a dog, which shows unconditional love, calms you down and actually lowers your blood pressure.
‘This is one of the most remarkable ways of touching people following disasters.’
Marjorie Jacobs, who works at the Psychiatric Rehabilitation centre in Boston said that “The chemical reaction is undeniable”.
“Petting and holding pooches releases oxytocin. The hormone brings grieving people back into the present moment and allows them to forget about the past, and from thinking about the anxiety in the future.”
Golden Retrievers are a medium sized dog breed. They were originally used as hunting dogs to retrieve prey that was shot by the owners. As well as comfort dogs they are also the primary choice for guide dogs fior the blind and deaf, illegal drug detectors and search and rescue dogs. They are the 8th most popular breed in the UK.
Have a look at our latest Golden Retrievers on our site.
Photo: Bay Area Newstation