Funeral home therapy dog coming to West Reading

WEST READING, Pa. - Walk inside a local funeral home and you'll see flowers, tissues and objects signifying the end of life, but you might think something is missing: a friend that can show you love in a hard time.

Kuhn Funeral Home on Penn Avenue in West Reading has decided to bring one in.

"This is Vinny," said employee Jim Murray. "He's our new therapy dog."

Funeral home therapy dogs have been appearing across the country. The 10-month-old red golden doodle is in training to be the next one.

"[The idea] just kind of immediately resonated with me," said Michael Kuhn, the funeral home's president. "It just makes a lot of sense."

Vinny's trainer, Jim Murray, has been pretty patient; Vinny's still got some puppy in him.

"He's never had a bad day," he said. "I wish I could say that for myself."

It could be a few more months before he's mature enough to become a therapy dog. The funeral home said he's already made great strides, and soon, his presence will be helping families in the grieving process.

"Everyone does grieve differently and we found that out at the funeral home," said Murray.

"Death is hard. Death is hard for all of us," said Kuhn. "Death is sometimes, I think, even harder at younger ages, so to have sort of a distraction and a loving creature next to you, I think that's going to serve really well."

In the sad times, a friend can be the best comfort. Vinny is proof you can find friends in unexpected places.​

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