Comfort dogs helping at Dallas Police Department

Several specially trained golden retrievers called comfort dogs spent time with officers and visitors at Dallas police headquarters Wednesday morning.

The dogs spend months training to learn how to be calm and behave well in all situations and with all age groups. They travel the country with volunteer handlers to comfort people dealing with an extreme crisis.

The founder of the program said they arrived upon invitation and were glad to help.

“The magic is that when people pet the dog, they relax. They feel safe. The dogs don’t take notes. They’re lovers. They show unconditional love. They start talking about the dog and then they start opening up about what they’re going through,” said Tim Hetzner, president at Lutheran Church Charities.

The dogs also spent time comforting people after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut and the Boston Marathon bombing.