‘Comfort Dogs’ Are Coming Back for This Year’s Marathon

Because snuggling with a pooch makes everything better.

Photo via Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs

Photo via Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs

With the Boston Marathon just a week away, residents in the city may be having a tough time coping with what happened last year, the memories of the tragedy likely still fresh in their minds.

In order to distract people from the sadness and to help them remember that there’s some good in the world, a team of “Comfort Dogs” is being deployed from Connecticut, and they’re taking snuggling appointments for a few days.

Beginning on April 17, the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs will be offering their calming presence to anyone that wants to stop by the First Lutheran Church of Boston on Berkeley Street, to pet and hug them. The dogs will be on-hand for the entire weekend, and into Monday, the day of the marathon.

“Allowing people to open up their hearts and receive help in times of need,” the team of comfort K-9s first made a visit to Boston almost immediately after the Boylston Street attack took place. Through careful coordination between the First Church’s Reverend Ingo Dutzmann, the canines were called up to the city so that they could “be there for those in the community who [were] shaken up from the bombings.” Last year, Dutzmann told Boston that he is a close associate of a pastor in Connecticut, and the two connected so that several dogs would be available to the public in the harrowing aftermath of the bombings. Not only did they hang around the church for people to hug and hold, the dogs also made rounds at area hospitals where victims of the attack were recovering.

This year, The Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs, a group based out of Newtown, Connecticut, where they served the residents of that town following the tragic Newtown massacre, will hunker down in the Back Bay during designated time slots. And they aren’t coming alone. According to details from the organization, some extra dogs from Chicago—Luther, Ruthie, Hannah, and Rufus—will be part of the pack that will comfort residents.

Here’s a list of times when the pooches will be taking appointments with the general public:

Thursday, April 17
5-7 p.m. and 8 – 9 p.m.

Friday, April 18
3 – 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 19
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sunday, April 20
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Marathon Monday
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. (for a book signing)