SAN ANTONIO — Penelope is a logotto romagnolo, a breed of dog that comes from the Romagna region of Italy.
Helen Loring Dear, president of Porter Loring Mortuaries said that she did a lot of research on various dogs and found Penelope to be the funeral home’s support animal.
"Hypoallergenic, great temperaments, including great with kids and all types of ages and so forth. So, after researching other breeds, I came back to her," Loring Dear said.
She noted that she has always wanted to have a therapy dog at the funeral home.
"Therapy dogs are big now when it comes to hospital visits, and I know that the Children's Bereavement Center here has therapy dog teams come to them," Dear described. "We all love animals and we see how helpful they are and how they read our feelings and emotions."
Penelope is 14 months old and has finished puppy training school. She's now in adult training classes and, when she turns 2 years old, she will be able to get into a therapy dog training program.
"A few families requested [Penelope] to be there for visitation so the kids could pet her and love on her," Dear said. "Also, for our staff, my son commented that just being there a few minutes with Penelope, how at ease everyone felt and the stress level went down."
Once Penelope is certified, she will be the first funeral home therapy dog in San Antonio. She'll be able to travel to churches and other places where she may be needed.