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Funeral home training puppy for ‘grief support team’ to help comfort families

Patriot-News - 2/11/2020

One funeral home in North Carolina is adding a four-legged friend to its staff.

Mochi, a Bernese Mountain Dog, is training to become a licensed therapy dog to comfort grieving families at Macon Funeral Home, the business posted on Facebook.

The pup is currently training at the funeral home “to offer unique emotional support to grieving people," according to Good Morning America. When Mochi turns one year old, she will begin professional therapy dog training to become certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

Mochi belongs to Tori McKay, the office administrator at Macon Funeral Home.

“I decided I want to make an impact on our community more than ever, and I think this is an opportune time for me to do that,” McKay wrote in a blog on the business’ website. "Bernese Mountain Dogs do not have long life expectancies -- six to eight years is typical -- and I want her life to hold as much purpose as possible. "

McKay wrote that she had dreamed of introducing a grief therapy dog at the funeral home for years. She made the decision to go with it after her 30th birthday. While everyone isn’t a “dog person,” Mochi will be available upon request.

“But everyone that comes in has requested that she sit with them," McKay said. “She brings peace into the room and you can see how she makes people relax so that they can open up and feel more at home.”

When not at the funeral home, Mochi will still live a normal life at home, McKay said.

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