Brookside Funeral Home Got a New Furry Team Member


Beacon the therapy dog. Photo courtesy of @beacon_therapydog Instagram

Megan Rogers, Senior Reporter

Brookside Funeral Home got its newest team member, Beacon, a nine-month-old hypoallergenic labradoodle and newly certified therapy dog trained by Ultimate Canine. 

Jamin Mohler, owner of Beacon and Brookside Funeral Home, said Beacon is the first certified therapy dog to be used in a funeral home in Washington that he’s aware of. Mohler said one of the reasons they got Beacon was for the grieving families they serve.

Mohler said Beacon will also be there to help out the staff, given how emotionally stressful the funeral home can be for employees.

“For him to be able to be there for our staff on a daily basis is also therapeutic internally,” Mohler said.

Beacon will also be focusing on helping people within the community. 

Mohler said Beacon will be able to help, “hospice patients, nursing home residents, care facilities folks, school district crisis situations with the police department or fire department. He is trained to care for our community and outside of the walls of a funeral.”

Mohler said Beacon is the brightest and best Ultimate Canine brought through their system in years. 

They grade them and out of 200 points, Beacon got 197 which is nearly off the charts,” Mohler said. 

Mohler said Beacon will do exactly what you want him to do when you tell him to do it. 

“Knuckles, wave ‘hi’, sit, lay down, put his head in your lap or if you want him all the way up on your lap he will come all the way up,” Mohler said.

To get Beacon to this point he was trained by Julie Case, owner of Ultimate Canine. 

“From day three of their life is when we start incorporating a special system,” Case said. “We gently expose them to different sounds. Feeling all being picked up and turned and placed on certain surfaces.”

As the puppies grow, they start increasing the simulation.

Beacon the therapy dog. Photo courtesy of @beacon_therapydog Instagram

“By the time the puppies turn eight weeks old, they are highly, highly neurologically developed and socially developed and stress resilient,” said Case.

At this time they begin a 20-step test to see which dogs will be best suited for therapy dog training. After all the training they send the dogs off to their new homes, where they work with the dog’s handlers to become certified therapy dog handlers in a three-day training course. 

Once they completed the training and undertook a test demonstration exhibiting their skills and knowledge to be able to effectively work with Beacon, Beacon was able to begin his therapy work at the funeral home. 

While Beacon has only been with Brookside for a short amount of time, Mohler said he has already engaged and interacted with different families. 

“If he’s made this much difference in five business days, what is his impact going to be for the families we take care of throughout the next several years,” Mohler said.

To learn more about Beacon’s work, readers can follow his Instagram @beacon_thetherapydog.