Elite Canine’s Comfort Dogs
Is your organization lucky enough to have an extra special “feature” that the guests at your special events look forward to every year? For the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Winston-Salem, it is Elite Canine’s Comfort Dogs. Each Fall the dogs and their handlers lead approximately 400 attendees around the football field at West Forsyth High School in a celebration of Down Syndrome and inclusion of all individuals with disabilities during the Buddy Walk. That is followed by puppy cuddling of all ages, even by individuals with disabilities who have never felt comfortable around dogs before. This amazing group also cheers runners (and walkers) over the finish line and offers free hugs and cuddles after each race at the Deacon Dash every Spring. However, Elite Canine’s Comfort Dogs doesn’t limit their support to the Down Syndrome Association. Chances are you have seen them all over Forsyth County spreading joy and awareness about the benefits of animal therapy throughout the week, month, and year. They can be found bringing comfort and love to the older adults in Forsyth County multiple times per week at 6 different long-term care facilities and to the families of loved ones in our local hospitals at SECU Family House of Winston-Salem. The teams also visit Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to bring mental reprieve from the things most of us are fortunate not to see. The team has even been asked to attend several funerals to comfort the family of the deceased, and they do this without hesitation. They believe that the presence of a dog brings with it emotional, mental, and physical benefits like nothing else. Elite Canine’s Comfort Dogs make a concerted effort to give back to the community that they call home on an almost daily basis. In fact, some of their “human members” take off from work to volunteer. Choosing to give back to the community over earning a wage? Now that is the epitome of selfless service!