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Chicago Area Therapy Dogs Arrive In Boston

John Cody. John Cody
John Cody is a veteran reporter for Newsradio 780.
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(CBS) – Five friendly retrievers are now in Boston trying to help ease the pain inflicted by the Marathon Bombing.

Pastor Ingo Dutzmann says the five comfort dogs arrived from the Chicago area to visit folks on the street and in hospital beds at Tufts university hospital where one young woman lay awaiting her second surgery for a shattered leg.

“The dogs just calmed her down. She was being monitored and you could see her heart rate, her pulse go down,” said Pastor Dutzmann.


Pastor Dutzmann from Boston’s first Lutheran Church said Lutheran Church Charities airlifted the five golden retriever dogs in to help calm and console those afflicted by the Marathon Bombing.

Lutheran Church Charities President Tim Hetzner, organized the Boston flight for dogs who he calls a calming influence in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.

“Dogs make people feel safe and help them process what they’re going through,” Hetzner said. “They’re wonderful listeners and keep what you say confidential. I call them our furry counselors.”

The Addison-based organization flew Luther, Ruthie and a 6-month-old puppy named Isaiah, along with handlers from Barrington, Palatine and Rolling Meadows. There, they’ve met up with Maggie and Addie, who have been in Newtown, Conn., for the past few months to help the devastated community heal.

Hetzner said the dogs interact with people who invite them over, be it at churches, schools, hospitals or on the streets. First Lutheran Church, affiliated with the organization, is just a few blocks away from the Boston Marathon finish line.

“The pastor (the Rev. Ingo Dutzmann) asked if we would come to serve those in the community and those affected by the bombings,” Hetzner said. “We’ll be right in the heart of it.”

All five of the dogs have spent time in Newtown bringing comfort to people affected by the Sandy Hook shootings. Hetzner said many children began talking about the tragedy by opening up to a comfort dog.

The group plans to return Sunday, but Hetzner said some dogs may stay behind if needed.