Dog at New York funeral home is 1 millionth ‘canine good citizen’

Fiona, a Bernese mountain dog, is shown July 18 at a funeral home in New York. Fiona is the American Kennel Club's 1 millionth "canine good citizen."
Caption
Fiona, a Bernese mountain dog, is shown July 18 at a funeral home in New York. Fiona is the American Kennel Club's 1 millionth "canine good citizen."

Credit: Nora Pavone via AP

Credit: Nora Pavone via AP

A Bernese mountain dog that comforts grieving families at a Brooklyn funeral home has been certified as the 1 millionth "canine good citizen" through the American Kennel Club.

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The American Kennel Club developed the canine good citizen program in 1989 to promote responsible pet ownership. The training requires that the dog be able to sit, stay, come when called, behave appropriately in a crowded setting and while being petted by a stranger.

Eighteen-month-old Fiona is sweet-tempered and sensitive. Her owner wanted her to go through the program in order to show proper manners around grieving families at the family’s funeral home.

"I love dogs, but I didn't know how it would be perceived in this setting," Fiona's owner, Nora Pavone, told The Associated Press. "But it seems like actually, this would be the place where it would be needed the most."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.