Cuddly canine comfort for Pittsburgh
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Cuddly canine comfort for Pittsburgh

Meet Zane, the newest and youngest recruit at Pittsburgh’s Bureau of Police.

Zane is a golden retriever puppy. And after he finishes his training, he will be the police department’s first comfort dog. Unlike the dogs in the traditional K9 squad, which are not to be touched by the public, Zane is pet-able. In fact, that’s part of his job description — civilians are invited to touch him — along with comforting crime victims and officers suffering from trauma.

As for his name: “It’s Hebrew for ‘gift and prayed for,’” a department spokeswoman said. “We felt that was very fitting after Tree of Life.”

(For Hebrew-speakers whose ears perked up at this etymology — zane is not a Hebrew word — a bit of dogged research determined that Zane may be an Italian variation of John, which is from the Hebrew Yonatan or Yochanan — and those names do mean God’s gift or God’s grace.)

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