It’s devastating to lose a loved one. People who are in the business of funeral arrangements understand that.
Dogs, on the other hand, don’t. Maybe that’s why Morris, a Polish-lowland-sheepdog-cum-funeral-director in Alberta, can get away with teasing a grin out of even his most distraught clients.
The rest of us, when confronted by someone who is grieving, might offer murmured words of condolence, perhaps a comforting hug. We’d be solemn.
Yet Morris doesn’t hesitate to capitalize on his own cuteness. At the Baker Funeral Chapel south of Edmonton, he eagerly trots over to the saddest visitors, offers up his shaggy sweet face and his large hazel eyes, and induces them to scratch his ears – and break into a smile.
All in a day’s work at the funeral home, co-owned by Jason and Allie Wombold.
The Wombolds adopted four-year-old Morris only a month ago. The family that had raised him since puppyhood were dealing with a busier lifestyle, and Morris needed more attention than they could give him. “We brought him home and immediately fell in love with him,” Jason told me.
The Wombolds probably weren’t sure what to expect when they brought their new pup into the workplace with them. But he got into his groove straight away. His unofficial new title could be Chief of Cheering Up. “He seems to know who to go to, and when to go,” Allie remarked in this news story.
“He provides an unconditional calmness to the grieving families,” Jason says. “He truly is a comfort dog… Morris doesn’t care what kind of day you’ve had, he just wants to be your friend.”
Meanwhile, Morris has turned into a bit of a local celebrity; his story has been covered in the paper, local TV news and on the radio. Jason joked to one reporter about putting Morris in a funeral-home-issue suit and tie, since they’re now bringing him to work every single day. “He’d probably love to wear that.”
And we’d love to see that. Wouldn’t we, readers? (I’m betting it would be even more charming than a cat in a shark suit riding a Roomba. But that’s just my opinion.)