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We are excited to announce the arrival of a new staff member... A 4-legged one.  Brooklyn arrived at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home on Thursday, March 20, 2014.  She is our Grief Therapy Dog.  It will still take a few months of training her and our staff before she is ready to help out any family in need at our funeral home.

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DeMoney-Grimes, who has been serving the community with unwavering integrity, unconditional love, and uncompromising respect for nearly 100 years, is excited to welcome Brooklyn, a skilled grief dog, to their staff on March 22, 2014. Along with only a select few communities across the nation, Whitley County will be given the unique opportunity to process the loss of a loved one in an entirely different form that is complete with four paws, loving brown eyes, and an empathetic heart. Through extensive instruction with experts in the field of training and animal behavior, the staff of DeMoney-Grimes will be equipped to give back to the community they love through this distinctive service. Both inside the walls of the funeral home and throughout the Whitley County area, people will fall in love with Brooklyn’s warm, loving, and compassionate demeanor from the moment they meet her.

Brooklyn comes by her amazing personality quite naturally. Diva, Brooklyn’s mother, is a beautiful, aristocratic AKC Black Standard Poodle. She combines grace with athleticism and is destined to produce offspring that are a cut above both physically and mentally in addition to being able to work hard and play hard. Diva is a people pleaser who loves children and is especially tolerant with toddlers. Brooklyn’s father, Nemo, comes from a very well-respected line of Golden Retrievers including President Gerald R. Ford’s Golden Retriever, Liberty.        

It was on January 29, 2013, that Brooklyn made her arrival at Powder Valley Poodle Kennel in Wellington, Colorado. Located near Fort Collins, Powder Valley Poodle Kennel is a highly regarded establishment that guarantees that their dogs are free from temperament flaws and trustworthy as well. Their dogs are exceptionally cared for, professionally trained, and deeply loved throughout their entire time at the ranch.

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Brooklyn was greeted by the owner of Powder Valley PoodleKennel, Terry Jester, who is well respected all across the nation. She is an internationally known companion and animal behaviorist who began producing her own line of genetically sound, behaviorally superior dogs after more than 30 years spent in the field of training and animal behavior.    Not only are Terry’s dogs structurally correct and genetically superior, they are also easily trained.  

All who have met her would agree that is hard to not be captivated by Brooklyn at first glance. She is a Golden Doodle and when well-bred, these affectionate dogs are the perfect family dog. Golden Doodles are fantastic with children, and being petted by children happens to be Brooklyn’s favorite activity! In fact, she will be wearing a custom made vest that will have the words, “I Love to be Petted,” in addition to her name. By nature she has a sweet, gentle, and tolerant personality that will surely put adults and children alike at ease. About one-third of Brooklyn’s siblings, in all three of Diva’s litters, are working dogs. Most are service dogs while a few are therapy dogs and still others compete in dog shows. Brooklyn and all of her litter mates are named after East Coast cities and towns.    

Terry and Brooklyn will be leaving Denver International Airport early on Thursday, March 20th to arrive at Fort Wayne International Airport later in the day as Terry insists on flying each of her dogs to their new owners in the passenger cabin rather than have her dogs transported in the airplane’s cargo department. Randy will greet both Terry and Brooklyn at the airport and immediately return to DeMoney-Grimes for two days of intensive training at the funeral home.   

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As Terry has assured Randy on several occasions, Brooklyn is fully trained. It will be his dedication coupled with the dedication of his staff to undergo the training necessary for Brooklyn to reach her full potential in assisting the families they serve. While Terry is training the staff, a local trainer, Judy Archer-Dick, B.A., CBCC-KA, CNWI, AABP-CD,   will come alongside Brooklyn and the staff in the training process. Judy is well equipped to partner with Terry, the funeral home staff, and Brooklyn and is the co-owner of My Best Friend Dog Training located in Spencerville, Indiana. Through their shared training, the staff of DeMoney-Grimes, including Brooklyn, and Judy will form a personal and professional relationship, which will allow Judy to work with the staff on a weekly basis as Randy and his staff look forward to continued training to best serve both Brooklyn and their clients. 

Randy and his staff are prepared to fully engage in the training process and eager to see their hard work come to fruition. Because canines are visually oriented, they can understand body language much better than they can the spoken word. For this reason, Randy and his staff will be mastering hand signals for Brooklyn’s guidance in order to best serve their clients in the funeral home setting when verbal commands would be inappropriate. The language of hand signals that both Brooklyn and the staff will become proficient in will also build trust and communication between Brooklyn and her team at DeMoney-Grimes. Through communicating in this way, their relationship will be built on a solid foundation, which will provide the best possible environment for Brooklyn to transfer that love and devotion to the families that the funeral home staff takes great pride in assisting.             

After all training has been completed, Brooklyn will be able to seamlessly become part of the DeMoney-Grimes team. She will be introduced to grieving clients upon their arrival at the funeral home to make preliminary arrangements for their loved one. The family will also be able to choose whether they would like to have Brooklyn be present at the visitation and funeral service for their loved one. If the family chooses to not have Brooklyn in attendance, their wishes will be fully respected and accommodated as well, and Brooklyn will enjoy a day off work at DeMoney-Grimes.     

As the new “bark-person” of DeMoney-Grimes Paws and Remember Pet Cremation Services of Whitley County and Pet Remembrence Company, Randy and the staff will be able to provide grieving families with the healthy and meaningful support they need after the loss of a pet in such a tangible way. DeMoney-Grimes Paws and Remember understands that the devotion, unconditional love, and constant companionship that a pet offers to individuals and families is one of the unique gifts that can be experienced in life. The staff of the funeral home has always been committed to providing pet owners with a variety of services and support to honor the life of their pet in a personal and heartfelt way, and Brooklyn’s services will be a welcome addition to the DeMoney-Grimes team of professionals.        

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In addition to her work inside the funeral home, Brooklyn will spread her warmth, comfort, and friendship within the community as she will be available to visit those who are confined to a hospital, nursing home, or assisted living facility. According to Therapy Dogs International, the optimism and happiness that a visit from a trained dog can provide to a patient is truly immeasurable. Through her extensive training, Brooklyn will be able to fulfill this need within Whitley County, and the staff at DeMoney-Grimes is eager to share her with those in need.   

Through their continuing effort to provide the people of Whitley County with an extraordinary way to cope with some of life’s toughest challenges, the staff of DeMoney-Grimes is leading the way in adding Brooklyn to their staff of empathetic professionals. Beginning in 1915, DeMoney-Grimes has seized every opportunity to come alongside grieving families in the healthiest way possible, and the inclusion of a grief dog exemplifies their devotion to the community. Through the investment of their time and resources, Randy and his staff will partner with Brooklyn to bring hope, comfort, and healing to those in need of some tender loving care while taking the first steps in moving forward along a new journey.

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