Therapy Dog-In-Training Brings Comfort To Hospital Staff Fighting COVI

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Medical professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic are taxed to their physical limits trying to save lives. As our heroic clinicians and first responders sacrifice their lives to work for others, one therapy dog-in-training is showing the world why she’s really man’s best friend.

You don’t have to look far to see the devastation and horrific scenes that COVID-19 is leaving in its path. None more heartbreaking than doctors and nurses having to wade through bodies, trying to choose who they can save and tirelessly working to save them all

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Our Dr Ryan and Wynn have gone viral! Our dogs touch so many lives, even while they are in training. Thank you

A post shared by CanineCompanionsRockyMountain (@caninecompanionsrockymtn) on Mar 27, 2020 at 4:46am PDT

And, as usual, when there is a traumatic situation, there are always helpers. For the staff at Rose Medical Center in Denver, that help is coming in the form of a fluffy yellow Labrador Retriever named Wynn.

Related: COVID-19 Silver Lining: More People Fostering Pets

Wynn is 1-year-old, and is training to be a therapy dog with Dr. Susan Ryan. Dr. Ryan is one of the emergency room doctors at Rose Medical Center, and has had Wynn since she was just 8-weeks-old.

To socialize Wynn, Dr. Ryan has taken him to the hospital, and his exposure has helped his therapy training–not just for patients, but for doctors and nurses who desperately need emotional support as well.

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Rose ER physician Dr. Susan Ryan and superstar pup Wynn, a puppy in training with Canine Companions for Independence, had the opportunity to speak with many media outlets about the emotional support Wynn brings to providers and caregivers during this unique stressful time. ❤️

A post shared by Rose Medical Center (@rosemedicalcenter) on Mar 26, 2020 at 3:10pm PDT

Wynn has been hanging out in the medical center’s social worker’s office and waits patiently for doctors and nurses to come visit. The room is set up with soothing music, low lights, and lots of furry love from a happy-to-help dog you can’t help but love.

In an interview with CNN, Dr. Ryan said that there’s so much these doctors can’t ‘unsee’ now. But, when a dog is around…and doctors are petting and grounding themselves with the unconditional love dogs give, it helps them get through.

Wynn is part of the Canine Companions for Independence program. Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit that trains, certifies and places therapy and service dogs free of charge to children, adults and veterans who require therapy dog services.

Dr. Ryan will foster and train her until Wynn is about 18-22 months old. Then, she’ll transfer to one of the training centers to complete training before she gains her certification. Once certified, she’ll be placed with her permanent person.

Related: How To Keep Your Dogs Sane and Safe During COVID-19

Wynn certainly is in the thick of things there in Denver, and learning first-hand how to support those with high trauma levels. She’s offering unconditional love and support to those who are fighting for us, and proving that when we need them most, dogs are always there.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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