Comfort Dogs Welcome Uvalde Kids At School After Tragedy

Pupils at Robb Elementary School, who are returning to school for the first time since the horrific school massacre shocked the nation, have the option of using comfort dogs throughout their time in the classrooms. 

Abandoned Building and Dogs’ Names

The building which was the target of the attack has been ordered to be demolished and is now officially closed; students who attended that school have been relocated to three other elementary schools.

Each of the district’s eight schools received at least one of the ten golden retrievers trained to act as comfort dogs.

The Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, which is situated in the Midwest and provided dogs as far as 970 miles away, is the organization responsible for providing these dogs. 

Tuesday marked the beginning of the dogs’ trip to the memorial site in Uvalde. The dogs’ names are Abner, Cubby, Devorah, Damaris, Elijah, Joy, Katie, Martha, Priscilla, and Triton.

As a result of the fact that one of the dogs previously interacted with one of the surviving families, the district extended an invitation to the entire ministry to visit its classrooms for the first three weeks of the new school year. 

However, anxiety, fear, and sadness were felt by many children, family members, and educators in Uvalde as the start of school drew closer for them all. 

The ministry posted on Facebook that the start of school should be a time of enthusiasm and celebration. 

Benefits of Comfort Dogs and Enrollment Numbers

The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs team believes the best way to show support for Uvalde is to walk alongside them and provide assistance in any manner they can. 

The post by the ministry went on to say it was a privilege to be a part of the experience in which a youngster relaxes, smiles, and finds comfort by touching the golden-soft fur of one of the Comfort Dogs.

The beneficial effects that animals and human relationships can have on social contact, social relationships, interpersonal communication, mood, and stress-related variables were found in a study published in the journal Frontiers of Psychology. 

These variables can include stress hormones, heart rate, pulse rate, self-reported anxiety and fear, and even cardiovascular problem.

The relationships between humans and comfort dogs are often calming and friendly; yet, substantial training and preparation are required. 

Their caretakers participate in training for critical incident stress management and psychological first aid. This way, they can communicate in an acceptable manner with those who are going through powerful feelings after having experienced sad events.

According to a letter to parents written by Superintendent Hal Harrell obtained by the Washington Examiner, Harrell reported attendance for the first day of school was 3,724 pupils, which was 88.8% of the predicted enrollment.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.