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Meet Wynn, the trainee service dog on the frontline of Denver’s fight against coronavirus

Trainee service dog Wynn is on the frontline of Denver’s fight against coronavirus, offering comfort and cuddles to weary medics. 

The one-year-old yellow Labrador visits the emergency room at Rose Medical Center where he provides much needed therapy to hospital staff battling COVID-19. 

Wynn is training to become an assistance dog to adults, children and veterans with disabilities for the non-profit organisation Canine Companions for Independence. 

He is currently on call to show some love to emergency room doctors, who are able to take a break from their shift and sit in a calming room with the Labrador, while listening to meditating music. 

Medics are required to wash their hands before touching Wynn to prevent the possible spread of germs.  

Wynn is being trained by emergency physician Susan Ryan at the hospital. 

An adorable image shared by Ryan shows the pair sitting on the floor of the medical centre, with Ryan wearing scrubs, a face shield and mask.  

Ryan explained how she had just finished treating a patient when she spotted the Labrador and asked for a moment with him.  

‘I saw Wynn coming back in from being walked outside,’ Ryan told CNN. 

‘I just slumped down on the floor and said “can I just have a minute with her”?’ 

Ryan believes dogs can have a positive effect on doctors and nurses during long and arduous shifts. ‘Seeing stuff and hearing stuff that you can’t unsee has an impact on you,’ she said. 

‘That’s where the dogs come in. When you are in the presence of the dog and petting them you are taking a moment to ground yourself at that present time.’ 

More than 1,086 people in Colorado have tested positive for the virus and at least 20 people have died. 

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is issuing a statewide stay-at-home order in an attempt to stem the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Polis said he is taking this ‘extreme measure,’ effective Thursday until April 11 because restrictions taken to date haven’t done enough to reduce the spread of the virus.

People should only leave home when they absolutely must, he said, for grocery shopping, to seek medical care or to care for dependents. Polis’ order comes after six Colorado counties issued stay-at-home orders affecting nearly 3 million people.


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