Kirk Funeral Home providing comfort & hope in the form of a puppy

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 9:37 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - It’s been scientifically proven that dogs respond to their owner’s emotions and provide comfort in times of stress and sorrow.

With this in mind, a local funeral home decided to provide the families that must walk through their doors with some comfort and joy in the form of a puppy.

1/4 golden retriever and 3/4′s poodle, Remi sits just inside the doors of Kirk Funeral Home and provides a sense of comfort to people visiting the home.

“The golden retriever has good people intuition,” said Ken Kirk, co-founder of Kirk Funeral Home. “Poodles are very intelligent so we’re hoping that the combination will work well and as I have observed children just love her to pieces.”

“The fact that Remi meets you at the door, it’s such a comfort,” said Jaime Vollertsen. “She’s adorable. It’s something joyful, so it makes coming that much easier.”

For Jaime, this is her daughter’s first funeral experience and she’s hopeful that Remi’s presence will make today more of a paws-itive memory.

“I think this will be a big part of what she’ll remember,” continued Jaime. “I feel a lot better with this being her first experience with a funeral or a celebration of life.”

“People come with anticipation and stress and sorrow,” said Kirk. “And when the first thing to greet them at the front door is unconditional love, it takes the edge off their pain, it gives them a moment of joy. And with joy comes hope.”

Remi has called this space home for the last month and truly changes the feel of the funeral home.

“It makes a difference,” said Kirk. “The first impression you get when you come in a funeral home, that stays with you.”

Remi isn’t Kirk Funeral Home’s only unique way of helping people through the grieving process; they also hold a Christmas memorial service, provide seminars on a number of topics, and hold a pancake feed to increase their bond with the community.

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