The Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy left a lot of people grieving, but some furry friends were around to give comfort and love.
Seven therapy dogs and their handlers are getting praise at this year’s St. John Ambulance Awards for their work.
Sixteen members of the team were killed when their team bus collided with a semi on April 6.
Justin Morrison and his dog, Jet, were the first St. John Ambulance team to arrive in Humboldt to help.
“You could just see people who were in kind of a haze,” he said. “It might even put a smile on their face for just a couple seconds.”
The awards also honoured Colleen Dell and her therapy dog named Subie, who went to the memorial, school and community centre in Humboldt.
She said dogs have an unexplainable magic on people dealing with tragedy.
“(Dogs) can do something that us humans can’t do — they can provide that love and comfort. They don’t ask questions; they don’t judge,” said Dell.
Stephanie Peachey said she’s been in pet therapy for years.
Her and her dog, Dude, were at the vigil where they gave comfort to a grieving girl.
“We had one girl who didn’t want to leave after the vigil. (She said) ‘The Broncos should be here and I should stay,'” she explained.
Petting the therapy dogs allowed her to move on.
Peachey said the girl’s dad told her “‘I don’t know what I would’ve done if you guys hadn’t been here. She wasn’t gonna go.'”
She said Dude is the one to be honoured and she’s simply a follower.