Benefits of A Therapy Dog (Ours is Kota!)
We know how much comfort an animal can bring during a difficult time – and that’s why Moloney Family Funeral Homes is so proud to have a friendly, four-legged “employee” on our staff. Kota, a Labrador-Weimaraner mix, is the first grief therapy dog on Long Island, and has earned quite a reputation as a beloved addition to our funeral home.
Several years ago, funeral home owner Peter Moloney’s daughter, Erin, rescued Kota, saving him from being put down. As soon as Peter met Kota, he realized the new pet would make a tremendous therapy dog. Since then, Kota earned certification through Sublime K9 Dog Training and now travels with Moloney, making appearances at every funeral home location throughout Suffolk County.
Animals like Kota have a unique way of changing the mood in a room and putting people at ease – and Kota brings even more to those he meets.
- Therapy dogs have been providing comfort for those in need as far back as the 1700s, and it’s no wonder. They reduce stress and anxiety and give people something to focus on besides their grief or pain.
- Animals create a sense of safety and are easy to connect with – especially a dog like Kota, who loves to be petted. Doing so is known to increase a person’s serotonin and dopamine levels, boosting mood, and lowering stress, cholesterol, and blood pressure. These physical benefits have a positive impact emotionally and socially.
- Therapy dogs do not judge a situation or require verbal interactions. Funeral homes guests of every age find it easy to connect with Kota.
- Children especially are more likely to talk to animals than adults, something our staff has noticed with Kota present. He also brings many smiles to those who enter our doors, which can be a welcome distraction during a difficult time.
- One study in the American Journal of Cardiology found that pets can be linked to the heart’s ability to adapt to stressful events. Kota is like a sponge, absorbing stress, fear, and anger, and helping people relax and feel more serene.
Since joining us at the funeral home, Kota has had a deep impact on countless people, with his friendly personality and ability to zero in on those who need the most support. Says Peter Moloney, “He’s the best dog I’ve ever had.”
Visits to Moloney Family Funeral Homes are currently restricted due to COVID-19, but in the future, we encourage you to stop by to meet Kota and the rest of our dedicated staff. You can learn about the grief services we offer and if you would like, talk with us about the importance of preplanning your own end-of-life arrangements – all while spending time with our favorite dog around! Reach out to us today.