Chipper Funerals to use grief therapy dog Billie to help mourning relatives


Bronwyn Medhurst with her border collie-kelpie cross Billie.
Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au   d455097
Bronwyn Medhurst with her border collie-kelpie cross Billie. Picture: Andrew Ritchie        www.communitypix.com.au d455097

SUBIACO funeral home Chipper Funerals is helping grieving families through the use of their grief therapy dog, Billie.

The seven-year-old border collie-kelpie cross first started visiting the funeral home last year and unexpectedly took on the role.

Funeral conductor and Billie’s owner Bronwyn Medhurst said the usually bouncy dog became very calm around grieving families.

“Billie is amazing with grieving families and has helped ease some of their emotions,” she said.

“It’s our job to make people feel the most comfortable in an awful situation, so if Billie can help with that then why not? He has a very calming affect on people and will just sit at their feet and wait for pats.”

She said Billie had become a permanent fixture at Chippers, with many people asking to see him.

“I don’t allow Billie to be around people unless they are comfortable with (him),” she said.

“We have a play area for him out the back and has such a positive presence for everyone, including all of the staff.”