North Carolina funeral home uses puppy to help grieving families

Positively Carolina

MACON COUNTY, N.C (WNCN) – Office administrator Tori McKay’s 10-year long dream of having a dog at Macon Funeral Home has come true.

After turning 30 and returning to work at the funeral home, she and her husband decided they wanted to add a furry member to their family.

And that is where Mochi comes in.

McKay says a Bernese Mountain Dog had always been her choice for a potential grief therapy dog.

In a post on the funeral’s website, McKay described the breed, saying, “They have a history of being excellent therapy and support dogs, which comes from their kind disposition and laid-back personalities.”

Deciding she wanted to make an impact on the community, and given the short life expectancy of Bernese Mountain Dogs, just six to eight years, McKay says she wants her new pup’s life, “to hold as much purpose as possible.”

Mochi, just 8-weeks-old now, will be sent to Asheville for training when she’s between six months to one year old. And if plans go accordingly, she’ll be Macon Funeral Home’s first therapy dog once she’s been fully trained.

“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,” says McKay. “It’s my goal to work funeral visitations with Mochi when families request her, and I would also like to make visits to nursing homes in the evenings every couple weeks or so.”

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