The Benefits of Having Our Grief Therapy Dog Present During the Arrangement Process
After a death, a pet can provide support when it’s needed most. Dogs, especially, are naturally tuned in to human emotions and able pick up on feelings and body language. One of the most interesting things about animals is that they can sense when someone isn’t happy. A dog might lower his ears or stare at you with “puppy dog eyes.” They’ll lie next to you and may not leave your side until they sense a difference in your mood. Study after study has shown that animals – especially dogs – have a positive impact on not only your mind and emotions, but also your physical health.
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.
Since coming to 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.”
From his quiet, calming presence in the arrangement office or a service itself (always upon request), Kota has an uncanny way of knowing how to console the grieving. Why do we encourage families to invite Kota into the arrangement office while planning a funeral? Consider our top three reasons:
- Kota reduces stress and anxiety and gives people something to focus on and talk about besides their grief or pain. He brings many smiles to those who enter our doors, which can be a welcome distraction during a difficult time. Some of our favorite moments are when visitors who don’t consider themselves “dog people” fall in love with Kota! Trust us, this happens more often than you might think.
- Kota loves to be petted, which increases a person’s serotonin and dopamine levels. This leads to an improved mood along with lowering stress, cholesterol, and blood pressure. 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.
- From young children to senior citizens, people of all ages find it easy to connect with Kota. Our staff has noticed that children are more likely to express themselves when Kota is in the room. We’ve watched Kota help people relax in situations that are anything but relaxing. He provides a calming presence when families need it most, and can make the tension in a room disappear. In short, Kota provides comfort in ways other people simply can’t!
Since the moment Funeral Home Owner Peter Moloney met Kota, Peter knew that Kota would make an excellent therapy dog. Kota went on to earn certification through Sublime K9 Dog Training and now travels with Moloney, making appearances at every funeral home location throughout Suffolk County.
Kota’s sweet nature and love for giving kisses offers comforting care to the families we serve. We invite you to contact us anytime about coming to meet Kota.