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It’s well known that dogs increase happiness, reduce stress levels, and improve overall health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, dogs have been a source of relief: whether they’re cuddling on the couch beside us, in cute online videos, or in refreshingly positive news headlines.

We’ve rounded up the most positive dog-related stories from the week of March 22-29 to show how canines are making COVID-19 a little more manageable for people across the country.

Photo courtesy of Susan Ryan

Service Dog In-Training Soothes Tensions of ER Doctors

One-year-old Labrador Retriever, Wynn, has been spending time with the medical staff at Rose Medical Center in Denver even before COVID-19 began. Dr. Susan Ryan, an emergency physician at the hospital, has been training Wynn to become an assistance dog for Canine Companions for Independence, so he frequently comes into the hospital as part of his training.

Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit that provides assistance dogs free of charge to adults, children, and veterans with disabilities.

Even before being paired with an individual, Wynn is providing much-needed relief and comfort to ER doctors fighting against COVID-19. Many staffers and social workers say seeing Wynn is the highlight of their day.

Curbside Wine Delivery Dog: Local Maryland Winery Enrolls Dog to Boost Sales

Local businesses across the United States are struggling now that they must follow social distancing restrictions. A local winery in Maryland is getting creative with social distancing by having the owner’s 11-year-old Boxer, Soda, deliver wine.

“Hi all, Soda here again,” Stone House Urban Winery wrote on Facebook. “So, mom has been filling me in on this Covid-19 virus thing and she says that it is REALLY affecting small businesses like our little winery. Mom says that we all have to pitch in and pull our weight, that includes me as well. So, if you are out shopping and have kids in the car, or just want to keep your distance from other folks, give us a call and place your order, I’ll try to personally deliver your wine in my nifty new wine saddlebag.”

Ever since Soda was enrolled to help deliver wine, business at Stone House has remained steady. Thanks partly to the dog’s popularity, first-time sales have even increased. Some visitors have even come just to get a photo with him!

Colorado Dog Delivers Groceries to At-Risk Neighbor

Two neighbors in Colorado are finding a way to help each other while social distancing — thanks to a dog. Karen Evelth wanted to come up with a way to help her neighbor, Renee Hellman, has COPD and other medical conditions that make her at-risk for COVID-19.

Karen trained her Golden Retriever, Sunny, to fetch Renee’s grocery list from her every day. Then every night, he brings the groceries from Karen to Renee’s front door. Sunny has been delivering groceries for a few weeks now, and plans to continue as long as it is necessary.

Dogs At Home

We know dogs at home play an important role right now — whether you are isolating with your dog, or coming home to your dog after a long shift working an essential job. There are many resources available to help keep your dog happy and entertained indoors. And if you want a break from the news, you can watch nonstop videos of puppies.

The AKC is here to help owners with questions and concerns about COVID-19 and dogs. Find answers to your questions, plus at-home activity ideas, training tips, educational resources, and more on our Coping With COVID-19 hub.
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