A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, December 26, 2014
Dogs Provide Kindness and Comfort to Stressed Travelers (Feature Friday!)
Today is Friday. The last Friday in December, and the last Friday in 2014. So, today is the last Feature Friday post in the blog A Year of Being Kind.
Have you ever felt stressed in an airport? Stress and anxiety can come from many different places, when a person is at the airport. Take that remembered stress from the airport, and multiply it thousands of times (from the thousands of people who feel stressed and anxious there on a regular basis.)
This week, I am featuring the awesome dogs from the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Ministries. A number of specially trained golden retrievers and their handlers came to O’Hare International Airport earlier this week, in the days running up to Christmas. Why, you may wonder? Because the dogs are used to providing comfort and care in anxiety-laden circumstances. In this particular case, the dogs greeted the stressed-out travelers. Spent time with them. Were warm and friendly, in that low-key manner that golden retrievers model so well.
“At Christmas, for a lot of people it’s a difficult holiday. It’s a stressful time for some travelers,” as Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities, told The Huffington Post. “If you’ve ever [flown] out of those terminals, you know the need for stress relief.” Stress relief is what these dogs are great at.
And, people responded! Boy, did the teams get a response. The Lutheran Church Charities website posted: “Scores of children and people of all ages stopped to relieve the stress of travel by touching, petting, stroking and enjoying the LCC Comfort Dogs. It also allowed [LCC handlers] to answer questions from travelers as to why we are greeting them this holiday season.”
It didn’t matter whether people were delayed in transit, or their flight had been cancelled, or in the middle of lengthy international travel, the Comfort Dogs helped people de-stress and provided comfort—exactly what their name conveys.
God bless these awesome dogs and their handlers. What a tremendous ministry they offer, providing calm, gentle, loving care for many in these busy, stressful, anxious times.
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