According to an article in the News-Times, funeral directors have been using trained therapy dogs to take the edge off the tense and uncomfortable atmosphere at a wake or a funeral service.

According to Mark Krause, the owner of Krause Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Milwaukee, "Whenever a dog joins a group of mourners, the atmosphere changes. Everyone seems to lighten up."

In White Plains, Sandy Del Duca was making arrangements with a funeral home director about her recently deceased Dad, when Lulu, a curly haired goldendoodle, came flying down the stairs.

Sandy said, "When Lulu looked into my eyes, I was done. She seemed to know just what I needed." She went on to say, "That dog gave the funeral a family type atmosphere and made it more like a celebration of life."

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Another funeral director told the story of a 7-year-old boy who had lost his 3-year-old sister and stopped talking, even to his parents.

"The minute we let the dog in, the boy started to talk to him about his sister. This little boy tells the dog, 'I don't know why everyone's so upset, my sister said she's fine where she is."

Matthew Fiorello, owner of the Ballard-Durand funeral home in White Plains said that when mourners come in to make arrangements, he asks if they'd like to meet Lulu and lets them know she's available....at no extra charge for any wake or funeral. Almost everyone accepts his offer.

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