Comfort dog based in Glenpool travels to Uvalde, meets with grieving community

·3 min read

A certified comfort dog from Glenpool is back home after spending time in Uvalde, Texas.

The four-legged friend is part of the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry. In conjunction with Hearts of Mercy & Compassion, Crosses for Losses (HMC) Ministry, deployments to Uvalde took place after the shooting to offer something to help the community grieve and begin to heal.

Persis is one of three comfort dogs within the organization in Oklahoma.

The hazel eyes and golden locks immediately warm your heart when you meet Persis. Her mission is to be by your side when needed most.

“Comfort dogs are different than service dogs, therapy dogs, where typically you don’t approach those dogs,” said Steve Hurry. He’s the K-9 Police Ministry Handler for LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Persis. Hurry is one of three handlers who take care of Persis.

Hurry was with Persis as they spent six days in Uvalde talking to victims’ families, visiting the hospital, and other spots in the tight knit community.

Persis offered an ear for people to share their hurt with, have a moment to grieve, and start to heal.

“Sometimes people don’t say anything, and they’ll just cry. And that’s okay,” said Hurry.

Lutheran Church Charities captured a photo of Persis lying against a sibling of one of the 19 children killed. You can see her paw is wrapped around their foot as if she’s hugging them. Handler Eric Wendelbo, who also went to Uvalde, says one father even asked if Persis could be at his daughters viewing.

“In that moment of pretty intense grief, for those people to have a moment with her, just relax and breathe and let everything go a little bit,” said Wendelbo.

Persis is based out of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Glenpool. While her handlers know the community has a long road to go. They’re hoping, they offered a little light to the people in Uvalde.

“The real blessing is to walk with them, sit with them, all quietly. They don’t need our opinions; they just need to talk and us to listen. Persis listens,” said Wendelbo.

The members from Glenpool who went to Uvalde say it’s unimaginable how the entire community was impacted. They saw businesses that brought in people from out of state to fill in for employees to have time to grieve with their community.

Other comfort dogs in Oklahoma with Lutheran Church Charities include Edmond and Kingfisher. There are more than 130 comfort dogs serving 27 states through the organization.

Persis is planning on being deployed back to Uvalde. A time is still being worked out.

To connect with Lutheran Church Charities, or Persis you can visit any of their social sites. On FOX23 News Monday, we’ll share what Persis is doing right here in Green Country.

www.LutheranChurchCharities.org

www.K9comfort.org

www.lutheranchurchcharities.org/crossesforlosses

Facebook

Comfort Dogs: @K9Comfort

LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion: @crossesforlosses

Lutheran Church Charities: @LutheranChurchCharities

Instagram

Comfort Dogs: @comfortdogs

LCC Hearts of Mercy & Compassion: @crossesforlosses

Lutheran Church Charities: @lccharities

Twitter

Comfort Dogs: @K9ComfortDogs

Lutheran Church Charities: @LCCharities

Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities
Credit: Lutheran Church Charities