Devastated Family Was Sitting At Funeral Home, Then A Surprising Companion Brought Them Hope.

therapy dog sitting in aisle at funeral

When Chelsea Sules lost her brother just shy of his 25th birthday, the devastated sister was sure she’d never smile again. But the night of her brother’s viewing, Sules found comfort in the most unexpected place… in the big brown eyes of Lulu, the funeral home’s therapy dog.


“I walked into the funeral home and Lulu came running toward me and my sister,” said Sules, whose brother died on June 17th. “We (were shocked at ourselves) when we started giggling. She immediately started to comfort us just by her presence alone.”
Ballard-Durand Funeral Home

The big hearted Goldendoodle became the newest staff member at Ballard-Durand in May of last year. Since then, she’s been helping families cope with terrible loss in a time when they need comforting the most.

Matthew Florillo, owner of the funeral home, came up with the idea during a stressful moment at the airport in 2014. He was brooding over a canceled flight when a woman walked by with a Maltese.

“A wave of calmness washed over me and after it happened I was like, wow, that was really powerful!” Fiorillo said.
Ballard-Durand Funeral Home

“She’s developed an uncanny knack for knowing who needs her,” Fiorillo said. “She’ll park herself right next to an older person to let them pet her one minute and the next she’s prancing around with kids. It’s been really impressive to watch.”
Ballard-Durand Funeral Home

“She’s part of the team, no question about that,” Fiorillo said. “It’s clear she’s eager to be part of what we do and wants to help people.”
Ballard-Durand Funeral Home

Who know’s how Lulu got her sweet spirit, but we’re thankful there are pups like her to help people cope with sadness.

Share and to tell Lulu’s story! Lets hope her mission catches on.

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