Mochi, a Bernese Mountain Dog, recently joined the “Grief Support Team” at Macon Funeral Home in North Carolina
A North Carolina funeral home recently welcomed the newest member to their “Grief Support Team” — a super adorable Bernese Mountain Dog named Mochi. The business announced their latest “hire” on Facebook in January, and we are in love.
“Say hello to Mochi, the newest member of Macon Funeral Home! She’s an eight-week-old Bernese Mountain Dog who loves people and loves to sleep,” they wrote alongside a photo of the pup, taking a snooze on a rug. “We hope she will become a member of our grief support team and make therapy visits to those in need with her mom, Tori McKay. Stop by and meet her, she loves making new friends!”
In an accompanying blog post, McKay, who recently returned to her job at the funeral home, explained why she decided to bring a canine onto the team.
“I’ve had this dream of having a dog at the funeral home for years, 10 to be exact,” she explained. “The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very loyal, affectionate and gentle animal, and has always been my choice for a potential grief therapy dog. They have a history of being excellent therapy and support dogs, which comes from their kind disposition and laid-back personalities.”
So, when she decided to return to her job, she also wanted “to make an impact” on her community “more than ever,” and spoke to one of the staff members about brining on a grief-support dog.
“It’s my goal to work funeral visitations with Mochi (pronounced “mow-chee”) when families request her, and I would also like to make visits to nursing homes in the evenings every couple weeks or so,” she added.
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“I made it on the news!? Does this mean I really am the goodest girl!?” Check out the story link in my bio! I’ve got big plans. #bernesemountaindog #therapydog #funeralhomedog #mochitheberner #twoboysandaberner #berneseofinstagram #bernerlove #compassion #unconditionallove #berner
She also added that “there is just so much research to support the benefits of having animals available during times of grief, and our community is very much in need of grief support.” In fact, several studies have found that being around furry friends can have serious mental health benefits.
“So far, everyone has been so supportive, and Mochi has already made a difference in families’ lives this week. I have had people reach out for grief therapy, and the reception on Facebook has been incredible,” she continued.
Mochi will at the funeral home for the next several months. However, when she’s “between six months and one year old” she will head over to a training program in Asheville, North Carolina. “Until then I am training her and socializing her here!” she concluded.
McKay has posted a bunch of photos of Mochi on her personal Instagram page, and we are seriously dying over her cuteness.
In the last several years, dogs have been given more credit in terms of the mental health benefits they can provide humans. Several studies have found that being around furry friends can have serious mental health benefits, and we have seen many living, breathing examples of this.
Take for example Michigan State University football star Josh Butler, who famously brought his canine who helped him cope with the deaths of both his parents on the field with him on senior night.
And, the House of Representatives recently passed a bill, The Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers, or PAWS for Veterans Therapy Act, in which the Department of Veterans Affairs would offer grants to organizations who would teach veterans to train service dogs and also provide service dogs to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and other various post-deployment mental health issues.
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