JOPLIN, Mo. — The wait is officially over and word is finally out.
The legacy of two of Joplin’s greatest healers will continue. Tonight, we meet “Daniel Comfort Dog”.
“It’s a joy. We have been missing having a comfort dog on a leash here at Immanuel and at our Martin Luther School,” said Jason Glaskey, Immanuel Lutheran Church Director of Christian Education.
Joy and healing back in the Joplin community, thanks to this guy.
“Our school children really light up when they see Daniel come down the hall. And our congregation members too. They remember having a comfort dog before and it really makes a difference for our people here,” said Glaskey.
Daniel Comfort Dog will continue the legacy and ministry of Jackson and Louie Comfort Dogs, who have both since passed away (in 2019 and 2021 respectively).
The two pups played a big role in serving the community following the 2011 Joplin tornado, among other visits to places like schools and nursing homes.
“They spent countless hours, helping us to help people,” said Glaskey.
Now, Daniel is here.
“He’s named after Daniel in the Old Testament. And his Bible verse is Daniel 12:3,” added Glaskey
At just shy of two years old, he has spent thousands of hours preparing for his big role since he was chosen around 12 weeks old.
“Comfort dogs at the Chicago training facility go through more than two thousand hours of training to become a comfort dog,” said Glaskey
“Trauma that somebody goes through does not have to be their trauma alone. You can help heal that trauma. You can have empathy for that trauma. And, you can give them that outlet to just let go if they feel comfortable enough. And Daniel will help so much in that,” said Jennifer Jankowski, Daniel Comfort Dog Handler.
His eight different handlers also put in hundreds of hours.
“I had to go to Chicago and do three days of intense training, about eight hours a day,” said Jankowski
Jason Glaskey, Immanuel Lutheran Church Director of Christian Education, “The applying congregations send their people up to Chicago to the training school for the better part of a week so that we can learn all of the things that the comfort dogs know.”
Worth the effort to bring a new piece of healing to the Joplin community.
“We’re here to respond with care, with a listening ear, and some compassion. And a fuzzy golden retriever, too, to help them open up and release some of the stress and strain that they’re going through,” said Glaskey.
Daniel is ready to serve and visit with any interested groups.