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Mexican Hospital Hires Dog to Spread Joy Among Healthcare Personnel

Mexican Hospital Hires Dog to Spread Joy Among Healthcare Personnel

Tuesday, 19 May, 2020 - 06:30
A nurse wearing a protective mask and gear comforts another at the Cremona hospital, southeast of Milan, Lombardy, March 13, 2020. (AFP Photo)
London, Mexico- Asharq Al-Awsat

Accompanied by owner neuropsychologist Lucia Ledesma Torres, the dog Harley strolls across the hallways dressed in a raincoat, yellow boots, and goggles with its nose and mouth uncovered. The trained dog helps relieve the stress of exhausted doctors fighting coronavirus at a hospital in Mexico.

According to AFP, this ivory-colored dog is ready to spend two hours entertaining doctors and nurses fighting the pandemic, and drawing a smile on their faces during these daunting days. Ledesma, who describes the dog as her "co-therapist," said Harley has helped alleviate the "psychological, affective, and psychic stress" of healthcare personnel facing the crisis.

The visually-impaired three-year-old dog has been working in the National Medical Center's department of psychiatry and neuropsychology, and assisting in the treatment of people with mental illnesses, said its trainer. "We trained it to do that since an early age," she noted.

Back in February, Ledesma and her team considered integrating Harley in an emotional support project anticipating the stress that could affect the hospital staff amid the pandemic.

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