Golden retriever trained to bring tissues to grieving families at funeral home

Rebecca Speare-Cole

A funeral home in Oklahoma has trained a golden retriever to bring tissues to grieving families during services.

The three-year-old dog called Bennie was brought to Havenbrook Funeral Home in the US town of Norman last month to support those attending funerals of loved ones.

Remarkable footage shows the English cream golden retriever picking up a basket of tissues and bringing it to anyone who is overcome by the event.

The dog can also kneel and bow his head down to “pray” by the funeral pews.

Bennie can retrieve tissues or kneel to pray. (News9)

Funeral home director, Deana Kelly brought the certified therapy dog with her from North Carolina when she took over at Havenbrook.

She told News9 that the dog helps to “relieve a little stress and anxiety” during memorial services.

“When people are here, it’s a confusing time, an uncomfortable time,” she said.

“So for him to be here just to pet and make the mood and relieve a little stress and anxiety from the time is good.”

“He loves people, and he’s very calm and gentle, and just comes up and lets you pet him,” she continued.

“He doesn’t jump on you or anything like that.’

Havenbrook’s office manager Michelle Buller, who lost her sister Christy Rosas in the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, is among those who praised Bennie’s role for grieving families.

Ms Buller told the broadcaster: “It makes sense” adding that Bennie was a good idea.

“Everybody likes dogs so he has been a huge blessing here.”

She recalled how a woman brought a small monkey to the church where families of the 168 people killed in the office bomb attack were waiting to hear news of their loved ones.

She said it brought a much-needed moment of levity to grieving families: ‘I remember the smile it would put on people’s faces just for a minute."