Reuben, a golden retriever and comfort dog with Lutheran Church Charities, is back home in Yuba City after a week of helping people in Las Vegas following the deadly mass shooting on Oct. 1.
Reuben and his humans, also known as handlers, drove to and from Las Vegas.
"Most of the way, he slept," James Casner, Reuben's handler, said. "He's a tired boy. Five long days of visits with people and it wears on all the dogs."
Before they left, kids gave Reuben "thank you" cards.
"We got these two from Hayden and Melody," Bonnie Sloan said. "Their mom was a desk clerk at the Holiday Inn Express. When we got there it was midnight and she was very rattled by the whole incident, so she met with Reuben and Ruthie and a few of the other dogs and felt such a sense of peace."
Sloan said the most touching moment she saw was between Reuben and a family.
"They had family members at the concert," Sloan said. "They made it out but was so touched by it and rattled by it. They sat and cuddled with Reuben for a long time but at the end of it, they looked like they had a sense of peace. They were really glad for the visit."
The handlers are told to let the dogs lead visits.
"Our unofficial model is to show up and shut up and let the dogs do the job," Sloan said. 'We're not trained therapists. We're only there to bring the dogs comfort and joy to people."
This is the longest trip Reuben has been on. His handlers say for the next few days he will rest before going back to work again.
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