Comfort dog from TN headed to Orlando - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Comfort dog from TN headed to Orlando

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Jewel, a golden retriever comfort dog. WBIR photo Jewel, a golden retriever comfort dog. WBIR photo

(WBIR) - A Loudon County, TN dog is doing her best to lift the spirits of the Orlando shooting victims and their families this week.

Jewel, a golden retriever and support dog, is working in Orlando this week.

Jewel was sent out to help in the aftermath of the June 12 shooting inside a gay Orlando nightclub that left 50 people dead.

She is currently providing comfort to the Orlando shooting victims’ families and survivors.

“It’s quite surprising how many people stop and wrap their arms around the dog and you don't even know the reason,” said Steve Schoenherr, Jewel’s owner, in a Facetime interview with 10News. “Last night we met a gentleman in your profession [journalist], he was walking with a camera - very professional. He was a professional photographer - suddenly he's on his knees with his arms wrapped around Jewel and he had tears in his eyes.”

Three-year-old Jewel is one of 11 dogs from seven different states in Florida helping victims and their families. She is a Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Loudon, TN. She travels to churches, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, events, and disaster sites to comfort people.

“There’s something about a dog that makes people feel very calm,” said Schoenherr. “It’s a very calming influence. They feel very receptive to petting a dog.”

Jewel has received 3,000 hours in training to prepare her for comforting people. She is trained not to bark or jump on people or furniture. She and the other dogs are also able to go in areas away from the press.

Dogs with LCC have gone in the past to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and Arizona fires. They are ready to be deployed at any time to help people who need healing.

Read more at WBIR's website.

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