Local Comfort Dog Reuben Brings Joy in the Midst of Tragedy

If you look at this face and cant help but feel your tension melt away ... you're not alone.

"People just look at golden retrievers and just go, awww," said Reuben's handler James Casner.

But, in Reuben's case, as a trained comfort dog from the First Lutheran Church in Yuba City, his job is to lighten the mood during people's darkest days.

A few days ago he arrived home from Las Vegas.

"This tragedy had such a trickle effect," Casner said.

Reuben was deployed to help people in need following the concert massacre. He made the trip with his handlers Bonnie Sloan and Casner.

"We noticed immediately when we arrived it got their mind of the situation for just a little while they could smile, relax, you could see the ease of their bodies when they interact with the dogs," Sloan said.

"You hear the 'ahhh' and you actually see people smile, people who haven't smiled in hours or even days now are smiling," Casner said.

From victims, families  in hospital rooms, to first responders and 911 dispatchers -- Reuben helped.

Casner says often people opened their hearts letting out their deepest emotions in his presence.

"They feel the comfort and non judgmental presence in the dog and they actually break down," Casner explains.

But after arriving home in Yuba City, disaster struck at home.

Reuben has already spent a few days helping lighten the mood as people evacuate and deal with devastation from the wildfires in Northern California.

A tough job for man's best friend -- one Reuben seems to do -- anywhere he goes.

Keep up with Reuben on his adventures on Facebook.