Seward dog comforts those from Nebraska to Las Vegas

Seward has gained another resident, who doubles as Nebraska’s newest and youngest comfort dog — Nicodemus, or Nico, for short. Nico is sponsored by The Rock Lutheran Church at 237 S. 3rd Street.

Though only in ministry for 2 months , Nico’s mission of comfort has been far reaching — most notably, he was one of 23 golden retrievers — all trained through Lutheran Church Charities — to fly to Las Vegas following the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, only nine days after he had completed his training. 

“There was apprehension I think on all of our parts," one of Nico’s nine handlers, Corey Gray, said. "About ‘Oh what is he going to look like when its real? and Oh he’s going to look like exactly how he looked in training, like he knew what he’s doing.’”

Gray and two other handlers, Danna Seevers and Marcia Newsome, accompanied Nico to Vegas. The foursome left October 3rd, two days after the shooting. The call came swiftly, but Nico was up to the challenge.

“You’ve got the shooting victims that are in the hospital," Seevers said. "But then you have those other victims that are affected, and a lot of those first responders were very glad to see Nico. We heard often times people said this is the first time I’ve felt normal in several days.”

Nico’s mission fetches far beyond tragedy — he’s the comfort of every day life in Seward. 

Whether it’s Fridays with students at Concordia University,  visits to the senior center – or a hello from the neighbors during one of his two daily two-mile long walks — he’s become the rock of this community. 

“When you see how many people he touches on a daily, weekly basis, its very rewarding,” Randy Newsome, Marcia’s husband and Nico’s "top dog" — or head handler, said.

Don’t let this calm demeanor fool you, though. When the vest comes off, he’s still a 18 month old over-sized golden retriever. 

But, vest or not, his gentile spirit is there for anyone who need only ask. 

Nico and his 21-member team of humans attend functions throughout the greater Seward area. If you’d like him to attend an event, you can request his presence by messaging his Facebook page: Nicodemus Comfort Dog.