Mochi is an eight-week-old Bernese mountain dog who will officially join the team once she completes her therapy dog training.
Losing a loved one is a difficult and turbulent process filled with waves of emotions. During the grieving period, it's important to find comfort and solace in a solid support system. A funeral home in Franklin, North Carolina, has recognized this. However, contrary to traditional "grief support teams," the Macon Funeral Home has hired an unlikely employee to join their core group: Mochi, a Bernese mountain dog who is only eight weeks old. At present, she's in training so she can be the best support animal ever. When she's done, Mochi’s owner Tori McKay hopes she can help at least one person, ABC News reports.
The Macon Funeral Home welcomed the newest addition to their family on Facebook. Posting an adorable photo of little Mochi, they wrote, "Say hello to Mochi, the newest member of Macon Funeral Home! She’s an eight-week-old Bernese Mountain Dog who loves people and loves to sleep. We hope she will become a member of our grief support team and make therapy visits to those in need with her mom, Tori McKay. Stop by and meet her, she loves making new friends!" Mom Tori is definitely looking forward to having Mochi on the team. She stated in a blog post, "I've had this dream of having a dog at the funeral home for years, 10 to be exact. So far, everyone has been so supportive, and Mochi has already made a difference in families' lives this week. I have had people reach out for grief therapy, and the reception on Facebook has been incredible."
She was inspired to include a dog on the team as a treat for her 30th birthday this year. She decided on a Bernese mountain dog because of their gentle demeanor. She wrote, "The Bernese mountain dog is a very loyal, affectionate and gentle animal, and has always been my choice for a potential grief therapy dog. They have a history of being excellent therapy and support dogs, which comes from their kind disposition and laid-back personalities." Tori has big plans for little Mochi. She hopes she will soon be able to work funeral visitations with Mochi when families request her. Additionally, she wants to make visits to various nursing homes with the pup to provide comfort.
Tori believes this is her way of making a bigger impact on her local community than ever before. "I wanted to make this decade of my life more about others than about myself. I really enjoy helping people," she said in an interview. "I want to start focusing on my community." According to her, Mochi has so far been quite the hit at the funeral home. She explained, "Everyone that comes in has requested that she sit with them. She brings peace into the room and you can see how she makes people relax so that they can open up and feel more at home." Soon enough, Mochi will be sent to Asheville for training when she is between six months and one year old. After she passes three tests in order to become a licensed therapy dog, she will officially be a member of the Macon Funeral Home's grief support team. "I think if Mochi only helps one person in her life, then I will still be so proud of her," affirmed Tori.