Local comfort dog helping people in Dayton grieve

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TOLEDO (WTVG) - One of the things that's helping people cope with the enormous loss after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton is a group of comfort dogs. One of the dogs that has been helping people in Dayton belongs to Trinity Lutheran Church and School here in Toledo.

Her name is Anna. She is a 5-year-old Golden Retriever. Anna and her handlers arrived in Dayton Sunday night. They came home for a day, but are heading back to Dayton Thursday.

Anna does a lot of work in the Toledo area at places like schools, hospitals and nursing homes. She has also been deployed to some of the biggest tragedies in America including the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Florida and flooding in Louisiana.

Her handlers say the simple act of petting Anna can change the course of someone's day. A woman who was in the area when gunfire rang out in Dayton, came back to the scene the next day. She sat with Anna for a long time and talked to her. The woman told the handlers she wanted to remember the scene like that, not what she witnessed over the weekend.

Nancy Borders is one of Anna's handlers. She says it's rewarding to see Anna bring smiles to people who are in the middle of incredible loss, even if it is just for a few minutes. She also says in spite of all the
tragedy, Anna has helped prove there is more good in the world than evil.

Anna is part of the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry. If you would like to learn more about the ministry and the dogs, we've posted links on the right side of the page.