KINGS Funerals has introduced a special companion to the funeral home, Womble, a trained companion animal that can provide comfort to people experiencing grief and loss.
Womble was trained as a Seeing Eye Dog, but didn’t meet the extremely high eye sight standards required and was reclassified as a comfort dog and adopted by Michael and Louise King.
Womble’s natural and intuitively caring personality can offer comfort to bereaving families and guests at Kings Funeral arrangement meeting and funeral services.
It is understood that the presence of a dog can alleviate emotional suffering and provide comfort and connection for people through difficult times.
It took 18 months of working with experts to find a suitable comfort dog for the funeral home, which serves Greater Geelong, The Surf Coast, Golden Plains and The Bellarine, with venues at Geelong, Newcomb, Grovedale, Ocean Grove and soon-to-be-opened Torquay.
Characteristics of the comfort dog, along with the ability to work within the environment of the funeral home were taken very seriously. The comfort dog needed to be comfortable meeting many people they did not know, be happy to be touched, and some dogs are just more aware of empathy and have better intuitive ability to read people and situations.
“There is an increase in pet friendly workplaces; however there are times where you need to ask, is this what the dog wants? It was therefore incredibly important we found a dog who would be comfortable in our environment, that we created a safe space for him in addition to being able to provide the comfort needed during difficult times for the community,” Beth King, Kings General Manager explains.
“Womble is a highly valued member of our team. Our staff adore him and we all have role to play in ensuring his wellbeing.”
On the job, Womble wears his gold Kings jacket and after 10 months of service has shown to be of dear comfort to guests, families and staff alike. Off duty, Womble can be found being taken for walk by staff and living a wonderful life at home with his new family, enjoying the beach and surrounds Geelong has to offer.