'I didn't have the right car, the right finances - but I had the two dogs'

'I didn't have the right car, the right finances - but I had the two dogs' »Play Video
When disaster strikes, Jake and Emerson bring comfort

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Jake and Emerson are pros at what they do.

You might say they were born to do this work.

"Golden retrievers already have an innate sense to please people - and to love people," said handler Daniel Sievert.

Sievert and his canine colleagues are back from volunteering in Snohomish County, Wash., where efforts to find victims buried under mud and debris continue.

Sievert said the community of Oso is reeling with loss.

That's where comfort dogs like Jake and Emerson come in.

"A lot of people would just get down on their hands and knees and just hug the dogs and say this is great, thank you so much," Sievert said. "I didn't have many words to say."

The devastating mudslide is not their first disaster. Their mission began almost a year ago after Sievert heard a news report about the Boston Marathon bombings...

"Something in my spirit said go, and I didn't have nothing ready to go," Sievert said. "I didn't have the right car, the right finances - but I had the two dogs."

Sievert quit his job and packed up life into what he calls his "traveling kennel."

Nearly 30,000 miles later, their golden mission has taken them from one tragedy to the next.

Volunteering his time and money, Sievert and his comfort dogs were there after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.; the disaster relief efforts after the Colorado floods; and dozens of other locations across the U.S.

Sievert's inspiration comes from his own loss: a power pole climbing accident that left over 50 percent of his body burned.

"These scars now are my marching orders," he said. "The one thing that I remember is the people that would come by my side when I was in recovery mode, and just sit quietly.")

That quiet silence of compassion has lead him to a new path: no more rat race, no more search for purpose - just bring comfort to those in pain.

"When I arrive and I'm right next to a victim that's grieving, because I've been there and because I've been so deep in that grief and that loss of hope, then I feel comfortable because I know I can relate."

If you would like to help Sievert on his journey, please contact him at the following email address: elijahsievert@gmail.com