Adopted Dog Helps Comfort Students After School Shooting

Kermit, a Border collie mix, has been working as a grief therapy dog in Texas for nearly a year – but last week, his calming presence was made available to a traumatized community in Parkland, Florida, where a Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left 17 people dead.

Kermit’s mom, Austinite Melissa Unfred (who is known on Facebook as The Modern Mortician) wrote about Kermit’s visit to the area which is still reeling from the devastating loss:

“It just so happened we were in Florida this week. Kermit and I drove to Parkland today to provide comfort to their community as they came to reflect and remember those lost in the devastating school shooting. 😔”

Unfred added:

“We met several students from Douglas HS who were present during the tragedy, and my heart breaks imagining the road ahead of them as they navigate their grief. 🐾💕 I am so grateful we had these moments of calm and love to share with those we encountered this morning. 🥀”

In 2016, Unfred adopted Kermit from Fuzzy Friends Rescue – her initial desire was to get a canine companion to help support her with her emotional job as a mortician. But Kermit’s calm demeanor and “knack of knowing who to go to,” made him a perfect candidate for training to become a certified therapy dog for funeral services, reported the Austin Chronicle.

The gentle black and white dog is a natural at what he does; unconditionally providing comfort and love to those in need, whether it is at a funeral home, a cemetery, or a grief-stricken community filled with people who are grappling with a tragedy that no one should ever have to endure.

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Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.

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