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Funeral Therapy Dog Turns Sadness Into Smiles

The Ballard-Durand Funeral and Cremation Services is a caring and compassionate funeral home that guides families to a meaningful ceremony to honor the life and memory of a loved one. The owner, Matthew Fiorillo, realized the power his dog LULU could have in helping people in their time of need.


After a very stressful experience at an airport and noticing the relaxing effect a dog in the terminal had on him and other travelers, Matthew knew a therapy dog was just the thing his clients needed during funeral services.

LULU the Goldendoodle joined the Westchester County funeral homes and was trained for duty as the homes' very own certified Therapy Dog. Affectionately named the firm's "Comfort Companion," Lulu follows the lead of service dogs often used in health care settings, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Therapy dogs can also be found on school campuses where they calm down stressed out students and faculty.

"LULU's my buddy. When the vest comes off and it's time for her to be a puppy again I could throw the ball around with her for hours," said Mathew. "She's a great dog to have."

This uplifting video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro and shot/edited by Yura Makarov. To see more amazing animals, check out our YouTube channel.

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When Music and Cultural Heritage Combine, You Get INTEMPO

In a sun-filled church in Stamford, Connecticut, a small group of young students sit with their musical instruments. Among them are many instruments you'd expect to see in a classroom—like violins and guitars—and also several that you may have never seen before, like the South American Charango and a Caribbean steel drum. That would give you your first hint that you're not looking at a standard music class. This is an INTEMPO class.

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