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JFS Helps Get New Comfort Dog for Client

David with his new dog, Nigel. Submitted photo

A local man has a new ‘best friend,’ thanks to West Hartford-based Jewish Family Services.

David with his new dog, Nigel. Submitted photo

David with his new dog, Nigel. Submitted photo

Submitted by Cathy Bergstrom, Jewish Family Services

“A dog is man’s best friend” isn’t just an expression. It is the truth, especially for David. David has no family or friends. He lives alone, receives disability benefits, and suffers from depression. For years, the only companion he had in his life was his dog, Ozzie.

For more than seven years David has been a client of Jewish Family Services (JFS). Every week, he and Ozzie have met with a JFS clinician to learn the tools he needs to cope with his anxiety and stress. David met with our money coach to manage his limited finances and visits the Anja Rosenberg Kosher Food Pantry to obtain the food he needs to sustain himself for the week.

Ozzie passed away recently. Losing Ozzie was traumatic for David. Immediately staff at JFS determined that David would need a new dog for his emotional health and wellbeing. JFS, with the help of our colleagues at Deeds for Needs and private donations, purchased another standard poodle, Nigel, for David. Dogs naturally give people emotional and physical support. In this case, Nigel does even more – he gives David a reason to live. “The only two things I have in life are my dog and JFS,” David said.

Like Ozzie before him, Nigel accompanies David at his regular visits to JFS, ensuring that David gets what he needs – emotionally, financially, and physically.

JFS provides counseling, education, and community support to help people of all religions advance along the path toward emotional well-being, self-reliance, more positive relationships, and a renewed sense of possibility. Visit www.jfshartford.org to learn more about Jewish Family Services.

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