By Dillon Thomas

DENVER (CBS4) – As medical professionals across Colorado battle COVID-19, some were treated to an escape from reality with man’s best friend. Staff at Rose Medical Center in Denver were welcomed to take a break from their duties to spend time petting and playing with dogs from “Canine Companions of Independence.”

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“This is amazing,” said Mesha Ashlock, a nurse at Rose Medical Center. “It has been a rough few months with everything going on. Just to have puppy love and relief has been really awesome.”

For the past two months many staff members at Rose Medical Center have experienced a new, and more intense, workload, which was then followed by furloughs and cut hours.

“It’s been really tough. Because, they went from hero to furlough,” said Susan Ryan, a Physician at Rose Medical Center. “There is nothing but good that comes out of these dogs.”

Bradie Allen, a volunteer with Canine Companions for Independence, told CBS4 the dogs are all being prepared for a future serving those with unique and special needs. While in training, any opportunity to socialize them is welcomed, and visiting the hospital was a way to benefit both the dogs and staff.

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“When we see the impacts and results of physically touching these animals… it is the most rewarding experience anyone can have,” Allen said.

Other workers, like nurse Amberlee Jarvis, said the visits from the puppies was a nice way to recharge from reality.

“It is a good break from a lot of the stress we have had the past couple months. It means the world to us,” Jarvis said.

“(We’ve had) some really tough days with really sick patients. So, having some time to have a puppy and smile, and some laughs, definitely gives us some relief,” Ashlock said.

(credit: CBS)

Some staff members expressed a desire to have the visits from Canine Companions for Independence to become a regular occurrence, even after the coronavirus pandemic passes.

Dillon Thomas

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