Funeral home seeks to certify therapy dog

Funeral Director Jenna Leisner and Pancake

ESCANABA — Skradski Family Funeral Home welcomes Pancake the golden-doodle puppy to their team. Pancake is in the early phases of becoming the only certified grief therapy dog in the Upper Peninsula.

A local AKC recognized organization is overseeing Pancakes’ grief therapy certification. Dogs undergo extensive training that includes: temperament evaluations, socialization and obedience training over a series of months. Dogs then move on to more intense therapy training. The whole process can take upwards of a year to complete. Examiners are looking for certain personality qualities and traits to ensure that the dog is capable of providing therapy to those in need.

“Pancake is a really special part of our team. We are a staff made up of first generation funeral directors. There are lots of pathways to this industry for some they may inherit the occupation. The important difference for our staff is that we all sought out this business. We are really passionate about our jobs and we try to remember that everyone grieves differently. Having Pancake here helps us ensure that everyone is getting the support they need. He is a really special dog and we are really excited to have him available to our clients,” said Jenna Leisner, funeral director at Skradski Funeral Home In Escanaba.

Skradski Funeral Homes are owned and operated by first generation funeral directors and are located in Escanaba and Gladstone.