FRANKLIN, N.C. - In an effort to better comfort its grieving families, a funeral home in North Carolina added a four-legged, furry friend to its staff.
Tori McKay, an office administrator at Macon Funeral Home in the town of Franklin, located about 70 miles southwest of Asheville, shared in an online post that she had dreamed of having a dog at the home for years.
“10 to be exact,” McKay wrote on the funeral’s website.
After turning 30, McKay said she and her husband decided to adopt Mochi, a 2.5-month-old Bernese mountain dog, and spoke to others at Macon Funeral Home about bringing on a grief-support dog — who were “very open” to the suggestion.
Mochi, a Bernese mountain dog puppy, is pictured in a provided image. (Photo credit: Tori McKay / Macon Funeral Home)
“The Bernese mountain dog is a very loyal, affectionate and gentle animal, and has always been my choice for a potential grief therapy dog,” McKay wrote. “They have a history of being excellent therapy and support dogs, which comes from their kind disposition and laid-back personalities.”
McKay said she hopes to work funeral visitations with Mochi when families request her and would also like to make visits to nursing homes with her every couple weeks.
“Bernese mountain dogs do not have (a) long life expectancy — six to eight years is typical — and I want her life to hold as much purpose as possible,” McKay wrote, adding that the puppy has already made a difference in families’ lives this month.
McKay said she is currently training and socializing Mochi, and the pup will later head to Asheville for more training when she is between six months to a year old.
This story was reported from Cincinnati.