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Funeral home dog Billie comforts grieving families

Smiles all round as Billie the dog comforts grieving families

There’s nothing like the gentle nudge of a friendly canine to warm your heart and brighten your day.

And that is exactly what Simplicity Funerals at Osborne Park in Perth is offering bereaved families.

Billie the Border Collie cross Kelpie has come to be the most popular member of the Simplicity family.

Billie’s owner and funeral director Bronwyn Medhurst said the 11-year-old canine had been helping comfort grieving families at the funeral home for two years.

“He started coming to work with me as I was receiving complaints about his barking at home,” Bronwyn said.

“Billie instantly became another dog as if he had found his position. I have seen him with toddlers through to the elderly. He is so calm that often people do not know he is there until they feel his wet nose on their hand.”

Location manager Yanna Henry said Billie provided a soothing effect like only a companion animal could.

“Billie has become a crucial part of our team and we all adore him. It is lovely to see how he can break through and meet our families in their time of need,” she said.

Even a hard working doggo needs a nap sometimes!
“He is a true gentleman and never oversteps his mark.

“We always inform families that we have a dog on premises and ensure they are okay with animals and the response is always positive.

“If he is in the reception area when families arrive there is always excitement. And I repeatedly hear from families how wonderful it is to have Billie on site. “Sometimes our families ask for him before they ask for the funeral director.

“One time I had a family from the country absolutely fall in love with Billie so much so they asked if he would be part of the funeral service.

“Billie and I led the procession and then he sat beside me at the front greeting everyone when they came forward for reflection time.

“The way he behaved was so beautiful, there was no prompting or negotiating, it was a natural process for him.”
Bronwyn admitted at times the staff needed Billie as much as the families.

“His favourite thing is to be patted and will lean into people for more. He seems to be most comfortable with all of us, like his little pack I guess,” she said.

“My most memorable moment of Billie at work was when a lady, whose husband had passed in tragic circumstances, asked for Billie to be in the quiet time room with her and I found her crying and lying on the floor with him.

“He was just lying there with her. He is a very gentle, loving dog. We are very fortunate to have him as part of the Simplicity team.”

Simplicity Funerals at Osborne Park is located at 442 Scarborough Beach Rd.

For more information, call the team on (08) 9443 1666.

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