Darien ‘comfort dog’ brings joy to those in need
DARIEN — There was a boy there named Jonah Gonda, who like the other children in class was quiet and kept to himself. That was until the kids received a visit from a 4-year-old Golden Retriever named Shami.
"The first day Shami came, he (Jonah) spent an hour with her," said his teacher, Kim Rothstein. "After that I was sold."
Shami is a "comfort dog," one of the few that belong to St. John Lutheran Church in Darien that are called upon to help make those who ask for them feel better. When she showed up last week in a classroom for those with autism at Troy Crossroads Elementary in Shorewood, Shami was more than just a dog. She was a friend.
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