Good Girl: Service Dog in Training Helps Denver Hospital Staff During Pandemic

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Sully, the service dog of former President George H.W. Bush looks back as he arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Md., Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, accompanying the casket of Bush who died Friday at age 94. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


I’m a sucker for dogs — and sweet dog stories. Judging by the response received to this piece, many of our readers are, too.

Thus, I suspect you’ll appreciate this story I happened upon earlier today.

COVID-19 is weighing on all of us. Especially the medical professionals deployed on the frontlines of this viral war.

Enter Wynn:

DENVER (KDVR) — Dr. Susan Ryan didn’t realize what she was sharing with the world when she posted a photo of herself and her service dog in training, Wynn, sitting on the hospital floor at Rose Medical Center.


Ryan is volunteering to raise Wynn through the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence. She’s tasked with socializing the puppy and providing basic training before Wynn heads off to be professionally trained as a service dog.

Ryan regularly brought Wynn to the hospital before the COVID-19 outbreak. She says now, Wynn provides an even greater level of comfort for staff.

“She’s a calm presence, she grounds us. Everybody goes and seeks her out when they need just an extra bit of a minute to pet her, snuggle or kiss her,” said Ryan.

Of course she’s a calming presence. Anyone with even a passing fancy for dogs knows that even in the grimmest moments, a well-timed nuzzle and a tail wag from a friendly pooch can make all the difference.


I’m no medical professional. (Just a simple, unfrozen, cave-woman lawyer.) But I’m a mother and a daughter and a sister and a friend. There are a lot of people I care about in this world and the craziness of these past few weeks and uncertainty of what lies ahead can ramp up the anxiety levels. I miss having my Pringle by my side to pet and give scritches. Volunteering at the shelter where I adopted him has helped me more than it’s helped the pups there awaiting adoption, I suspect.

Support and service dogs have a valuable role to play during this crisis. So, thank you, Dr. Ryan, and thank you, Wynn, for your service!



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