ST. LOUIS - Even on a dreary morning, Noah the comfort dog is a ray of sunshine.
"He is a special dog," said Glenn Nielsen, one of his handlers through Timothy Lutheran Church in South City.
The 4-year-old golden retriever is cheery and playful, and his day job is simple: making people happy. But this weekend, he has his work cut out for him.
"We are headed to Clinton, Missouri. We'll be the public viewing and then funeral service for a police officer that was shot, Gary Michael."
There they'll greet law enforcement and community members as they enter the memorial services.
"We find that to be a very helpful thing for people who are grieving or hurting or suffering."
Noah's attended funerals and disaster zones before, and spends much of his time visiting hospital rooms.
"Dogs have an amazing ability to comfort people, to calm people down, just to make them relax a little bit," said Nielsen. "Noah brings unconditional love."
And in a community trying to get a grip around what's happened, Nielsen hopes a stroke of Noah's soft fur feels like healing.
"To show the people there that there are people around the state that are pulling for them, that are supportive of them, to express a bit of our own sympathy," said Nielsen. "He's a wonderful opportunity for us to see people receive some comfort."
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