Looking for a good book to cuddle up with this winter? Extraordinary Dogs, featuring Concordia’s LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Zoey, may be the perfect candidate for your next cozy read!


Launched earlier this month, Extraordinary Dogs honors the work of more than 50 working dogs and canine ambassadors from across the United States: LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs, Search and Rescue dogs, and bomb-detecting TSA dogs. It is published by St. Martin’s Press, written by John Schlimm, photographed by Liz Stravrinides, and available for purchase here.

Zoey’s chapter details much of the impact she’s had during her time at Concordia. In January 2014, Concordia became the first university in the state—and possibly in the nation—to “hire” a comfort dog as a full-time staff member. In 2018, Concordia purchased a second LCC K-9 Comfort Dog, Sage, to work with students in its newly launched animal assisted therapy certificate program (the first certificate of its kind offered in the state).

While Zoey’s primary role is to assist in Concordia’s Counseling Center, both dogs also serve as an emotional support to individuals on campus and beyond through their ever-patient demeanor and calming presence. Additionally, Zoey and Sage devote their working hours to serving in the community and educational settings and deploying to national tragedies.

“Petting Zoey, playing with Zoey, and watching her happy-go-lucky spirit helps to put things into perspective and is a steady reminder (to students) that life can be good,” Concordia’s Director of Counseling Dave Enters notes in the book.

Extraordinary Dogs is not the first time Zoey has been featured in print. She’s highlighted in the 2017 National Geographic gift book Loyal: 38 Inspiring Tales of Bravery, Heroism, and the Devotion of Dogs. University Business magazine and Higher One also took note when they named CUW’s Counseling Comfort Dog program among the recipients of its nationwide Models of Excellence program.

— Kali Thiel is director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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