Kermit, the therapy dog lives in Austin, Texas, where he helps people work through their grief.
However, he happened to be in Florida with his human, Melissa Unfred, when a shooting at a high school in Parkland claimed the lives of 17 people.
Unfred, originally adopted Kermit as her personal therapy dog to cope with her profession of being a mortician. She knew she had to take Kermit to visit the community to help in whatever way they could.
“It just so happened Kermit and I were in Florida when this tragedy occurred,” Unfred wrote on Facebook on Wednesday, after news of the shooting spread all over the world. “Please hold a moment of reverence for this community in your thoughts, and remember to tell others you love them.”
““Therapy dog. Please pet me,” reads Kermits service vest. When Kermit arrived at a community center in Parkland, he was ready to help.
He immediately rolled over on the grass so students who survived the tragedy could stroke his belly.
Others students knelt down and took Kermit’s face in their hands, looking into his eyes while he happily gazed back at them.
Nothing needed to be said, he was just there.
“It’s surreal,” Unfred said. “There’s a reverent and solemn feeling in the field. Students have come, along with community members. It’s very somber and reflective.”
“Kermit has been snuggled on by students and first responders alike, as well as volunteers,” Unfred added. “The emotion in the air is palpable. I’m thankful we took the time to come.”
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