The dogs formed a kind of receiving line along the strip where passersby could stop and pet them.
The dogs have been providing comfort even to those were were not directly involved in shooting. This has been a traumatic event for the entire city, nation, and certainly anyone who was anywhere near Las Vegas on the night of the massacre.
Would a video of a dozen golden retrievers romping make you feel a little better today?
The handlers are pros and make sure the dogs get breaks. While working, the dogs are calm and quiet, so they need time to unwind and run around too. These dogs have been trained for service since they were 8 weeks old. Golden Retrievers make excellent comfort dogs because they are naturally so loving and friendly.
These "second responders" are a key part of the healing process.
Hetzner explains, “I think that’s a common mistake people make in crisis situations – feeling obligated to give some sort of answer or advice, when really, those who are hurting just need to express themselves.” That’s where the dogs come in. When people pet the dogs, they relax, and begin to talk and that’s the first step to healing.
The dogs spent time at a local elementary school as well.
This is a particular area of expertise for the K-9 outfit. After being deployed at Sandy Hook, Hetzner said, “A lot of times, kids talk directly to the dog. They’re kind of like counselors with fur. They have excellent listening skills, and they demonstrate unconditional love. They don’t judge you or talk back.”
Here's Cubby doing what he does best.
Bonnie Fear, Cubby’s handler, said of this moment, “We had an adult come up and there were no words said. She came up to Cubby, put her head down, head to head, and just stayed there for 30 seconds. It was a moment that she needed, and Cubby knew.”
Are you in love with these dogs yet? How about a bunch more photos of these incredible dogs doing their best to bring some love to Las Vegas?