PORTAGE | Prince, the Portage High School comfort dog, will retire at the end of the 2012-13 school year.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church is raising money to purchase another comfort dog to continue the work that PHS guidance officer Tim Kunstek and Prince have done at the school since 2009.
The community is invited to attend the Comfort Dog Fundraising Dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 3 in the cafeteria at Portage High School West.
Comfort Dog Ministries is a program of the Lutheran Church Charities, in which golden retrievers are trained to bring comfort, love and a sense of peace and grounding for those suffering from trauma in their lives.
Holy Cross Lutheran Church has two comfort dogs, Prince and Barnabas, who work at the high school, in the community and throughout the state. Prince and Barnabas are the only comfort dogs currently working in Indiana.
Pastor Tim Engel has witnessed firsthand how extraordinary the relationship can be between humans and the canine breed.
"These dogs have an amazing ability to connect traumatized or struggling individuals to someone who can help them … like a safe, loving, peaceful conduit; the dogs help channel care and compassion to those who are hurting. There’s much more to be learned about the extent of the natural instincts and abilities that these dogs can bring or share for the betterment of mankind," Engel said.
Meet Prince, Barnabas and Rusty the Railcat at the dinner. Tickets are on sale now at $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 years and younger. Tickets can be bought at Portage High School Bookstore or at Midwest Family Credit Union, 2832 Willowcreek Road, or by calling (219) 921-3487. Donations can be mailed to Holy Cross Lutheran Church 5402 U.S. 6, Portage, IN 46368.