A Denver pup is doing her part to soothe health care workers' anxieties during coronavirus pandemic.
A local ER Doctor made big news when she began to bring her Yellow Labrador to work at Rose Medical Center in Denver to help the hospital staff ease their anxious burdens.
Dr. Susan Ryan, an emergency room physician at the hospital, trains and cares for Wynn, a service dog in training that is currently offering mental health breaks for hospital care workers. During one-minute meditation sessions, the ER staff plays and cuddles with Wynn, providing a moment of happiness before getting back to tend to COVID-19 cases.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Ryan says Wynn has the ability to calm people down. "We're working in a unique time and she helps us stay grounded", said Ryan.
Ryan has been training Wynn for the past 11 months to become a service dog. She often brings the 1-year-old puppy to work frequently, but since the pandemic escalated, Wynn has been a welcome sight at the hospital. Her presence and happy nature helps health care workers escape their work-related stress for a few minutes.
Ryan, alongside a co-worker, arranged a safe space in an office where nurses and doctors could take a break and relax with Wynn for a moment. The happy encounters occur with guided meditation playing in the background.
In order to keep with health and safety guidelines, Wynn's collar and leash are cleaned regularly and everyone who wants to spend some time with her must wash their hands beforehand.
Ryan and Wynn's work became known worldwide on Sunday when an Instagram post of Ryan and Wynn sitting on the hospital floor went viral.
Wynn is being trained on behalf of Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit that provides service dogs free of charge to children and adults with disabilities. Once Wynn's training is complete, she will be assigned to a permanent owner and home. In the meantime, she continues to cheer up the ER staff of the Rose Medical Center during these challenging times.