Comfort dog provides grief support


When words fail, sometimes a cold nose can be a comfort. Miss Mo is a grief support dog and the newest employee at McNary-Moore funeral services in Colusa.

Miss Mo began her work on July 21, and has been meeting with those who come to McNary-Moore for services at a difficult time in their lives. 

Miss Mo is only 14 weeks old but she is not a toothsome, rambunctious pup, said Nadine Benz, funeral director. 

Benz said Miss Mo is still learning the ropes, but she took to the job like she was born for it. 

“We’re looking for somebody to give her obedience training and get her registered as an emotional support dog because that’s what she’s going to be doing.” Benz said, adding that despite a learning curve, Miss Mo knows what she needs to do. 

“I consider that a sign that we picked the right dog,” she said.

McNary-Moore Manager Verdo Werre said that Miss Mo comes from a specific lineage that has roots in Poland, and is a shorter version of Labrador. Being very calm and a food lover, Werre said he will be keeping a careful eye on the 35-pound pup’s diet.

Families aren’t the only ones to benefit from Miss Mo’s compassionate nuzzles and snuggles. 

“It makes our mood better too,” said Benz. “It’s not just the people we service; this is a stressful job. Dealing with people’s loss day in and day out, it’s very emotional.”

The Labrador’s namesake came from Benz’s aunt who had recently died, which had the full blessing from her husband.

 “We told him about getting the dog and said what do you think about calling her Mo? And the tears started flowing,” Werre said. “He’s really taken to her really well and she’s taken to him too. She even works at home. That’s part of the funeral business, you work all the time.”

While at work, the newest employee hangs out in the back office until she is beckoned, Werre added.

“Kind of lightens things up a bit,” Werre said. “But we don’t just take her out there; we ask them first. Some people don’t like dogs or are afraid of dogs.” 

With soft fur to burry tears into and a gentle nuzzle to bring temporary reprieve, Miss Mo has been well received so far.

“One family was so impressed with her they went and bought one of her bothers,” Benz said.

Colusa County residents may see Miss Mo out and about around town.

“Last night we were at the Tap Room and everybody was loving on her,” said Benz. 

Benz said they will continue to expose the dog to the community so that she continues to work well with others.

“We want her to meet new people everyday,” Benz said. ■

Lloyd Green Jr. is the Owner and Publisher of the Williams Pioneer Review. He is dedicated in publishing the news and informing the community of Colusa County. Lloyd has been with the publication since 2008, and purchased the business in 2010. Under his ownership the newspaper has grown significantly in subscriptions, publishes weekly, and obtained the title of Newspaper of General Circulation by the Superior Court of Colusa County in Sept. 2017. Lloyd is also the director of advertising, classified manager, legal notice clerk, and circulation manager. To contact Lloyd, email him at or call (530) 458-4141 ext. 100.