[NATL]Terror in Boston: Boston Marathon Explosions

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Three Dead, Hundreds Injured After Explosions Near Marathon Finish

Comfort Dogs Travel to Boston After Bombings

By An Phung
|  Tuesday, Apr 16, 2013  |  Updated 5:13 PM EDT
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Comfort Dogs Travel to Boston After Bombings

Lutheran Church Charities

Some of the biggest heroes to emerge from the Boston Marathon bombings are small and cuddly.

Lutheran Church Charities of Addison, Ill. is deploying five specially-trained golden retrievers through their non-profit K-9 Comfort Dogs to provide comfort to those affected by the explosions that rocked the marathon on Monday afternoon.

"People talk to the dogs. They’re like furry counselors," Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities, told Today.com. “It’s a chance to help bring some relief to people that are shaken up because of the bombings.”

Three dogs are flying from Chicago to Boston to join the two that have been providing relief to students and parents at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn -- a community that was hit with their own tragedy in December when a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults. 

The dogs are specially trained to interact with people, according to the website, and each one has gone through almost a year of training to help people in stressful situations.

The Comfort Dogs are just one of many tales of hope that surfaced in the wake of the bombings. People have taken to Twitter to express their condolences and as of Tuesday afternoon, close to 50,000 Facebook users have joined a "virtual run" event that asks people to "run (or walk) any distance, anywhere and at anytime" to show solidarity in the running community.

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