Therapy dog named Buddy comforts guests at Rhode Island funeral home
SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WJAR) —
For the most part, Buddy is your typical Golden Retriever.
He's friendly and loyal.
But Buddy also as a few unique qualities, as he works as a therapy dog at a funeral home in Greenville.
"He has something, and that something disarms people,” Tommy Winfield, owner of Winfield Funeral Home, told NBC 10 News on Monday. "He loves, loves to be around people."
Buddy makes people - young and old - feel safe.
So, it's appropriate that 18-month-old Buddy is already coming to work with Winfield.
"When I saw what he's capable of doing, it makes my job easier sometimes,” Winfield said.
As a therapy dog, he's specially trained to give comfort to any stranger who's grieving or just needs a bit of tender loving care.
"Somebody was waiting to see him, turns out he was an Iraqi War veteran suffering PTSD,” Winfield said. “And he knelt down, and Buddy just went over and leaned on him."
Buddy's a natural at giving unconditional love in a place that welcomes any relief.
“Sometimes, we have people that are younger - some people that have died tragically or certainly way before their time,” Winfield said. “And people come in and they're like, ‘Oh, there's Buddy,’ and they get it.”
So, what does Buddy have that humans can perhaps learn from?
"Buddy is non-judgmental,” Winfield said. “One and all, it doesn't matter. You outstretch to him, he is going to embrace you."
Better yet, unlike some who have been hurt, Buddy doesn't take anything personally, as he shows a knack for forgiveness.
"He knows when you don't like him. He senses that,” Winfield said. “He won't approach you."
But those who have met Buddy feel he's found a job that suits him best, with many saying he just has a way into the hearts of those who may need it the most.