Much of the discussion in recent days regarding the tragic Newtown shooting—which left 28 people dead, including 20 children—has revolved around gun violence, and debates about stricter gun laws. But the children of Newtown are still trying to process what exactly happened last Friday morning—and they're getting some help dealing with all those feelings from some much-needed comfort dogs. "A parent will say, 'Thank you so much, I saw my child smile—and they haven't smiled for days,' " Vida Johnston, director of operations for Lutheran Church Charities's K-9 Comfort Dogs, told People. "The kids are telling the dogs about their own pets, they're [helping] them laugh, they're helping some of that burden drop off a bit. And the dogs just lay there, saying the more the merrier."
"At a high school school today the reaction was overwhelming," Johnson added. "Dogs have the amazing ability to zero in on the person in front of them that has the greatest need. They can have six or seven people sitting there and they go to the one who has the loss. The dogs know; it's amazing to watch."
The Daily News spoke with some of the children about the dogs: "I just love dogs, so whenever I'm around them, they make me feel better," said 12-year-old Ryan Williams. "When they come over and you pet them you kind of forget about what's happening for a little bit." Four-year-old Kylie, who attends preschool at the Children's Adventure Center in front of Sandy Hook Elementary and lost friends in the tragedy, said: "I like the dogs because they made me happy," said Kylie, after petting one on the head. "The dogs love me."