April 2017 Newsletter
St. Paul/The Summit is one of 68 affiliates of Lutheran Church Charities.
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When you read or say that word, what comes to mind - Parents and siblings? Memories? Honor and commitment? Love? Probably all of those come to mind and more! And yes, Phoebe and Pax have parents and siblings, but we’re talking about a different kind of family.
We are talking about the family formed around and because of Lutheran Church Charities – the family of LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. We recently have had several opportunities to call on our “family” in different parts of the United States, and we are so thankful for the commitment and honor they gave to our requests. Let me tell you how this came about, and you will understand more about how this family works.
Colorado Comfort Cubby Style
Following a post on Facebook from a former St Paul member, we found out Cynthia and her sister were flying to Denver to be with her dad who was moved from the hospital to a care facility. Reaching out to Cynthia, we asked if she thought he would enjoy a comfort dog visit – if that was even possible. She responded, he LOVES dogs. So emails, texts and calls began with Cubby’s church, top dog and caregiver. Her schedule was changed as Cynthia would have to return to Texas Monday and since she knew about Phoebe and Pax, we wanted her to have the opportunity to be present for the visit. Saturday Cubby loaded up with her handlers and made the 1 1/2 hour trip to Littleton. Waiting for them was as much of Cynthia’s family as they could gather together. It was a surprise for her dad, and one that he said was the best kind.
Missouri - Calling ALL teams
Over the past year, Pax’s caregiver Jennifer was called back several times to St. Louis for illness in her family. Each time a call went out to the dogs in that area, first one dog and then another would visit. As her aunt became more ill and in the months leading up to her death, several times we contacted the same teams and asked if they could visit. The St. Louis dogs loved on Jennifer and her family at the visitation and funeral. They could not have done more to help during this extended time.
At the same time Jennifer's aunt entered hospice, Phoebe’s caregiver Scott reached out to see if there might be a comfort dog in the St. Louis area that could visit with a family friend from Memphis. Lily, a five-year-old with Cerebral Palsy, would be in St. Louis for surgery and rehab. This time the request went to all dog teams in the area to see if the dogs were available, had teams who could respond and would they be willing to help in both situations.
There was never a lapse of love, care and concern from the St. Louis area teams. Noah, Tabby, Sheba, and Esther visited often and eagerly. Then when Lily returned home to Memphis, Job was ready and willing to meet Lily and her family.
The coordination that is required for multiple visits, multiple teams, and different locations is something that would be difficult for any family. As spread out as the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog family is, we are single–minded in our love for the Savior and our desire to share Him and His love wherever and whenever we can. If that means driving 1.5 hours, load up, no problem. If that means changing a K-9 schedule, change up, no problem. We don’t apologize if we happen to leave a few golden flecks of love behind.
We couldn’t ask for a better family.