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Frontline healthcare workers have a furry new ally in the fight against COVID

Samson, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is one of the newest members at the hospital. He just...
Samson, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is one of the newest members at the hospital. He just started work in September.(Assistance Dogs of Hawaii)
Published: Oct. 30, 2021 at 4:20 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Queen’s Medical Center is welcoming a new employee, who lifts spirits and lowers stress. Not to mention, he’s also furry.

Samson, a 3-year-old golden retriever, is one of the newest members at the hospital. He just started work in September. Each day, he makes regular rounds to the COVID unit and visits medical staff throughout the facility.

The furry comrade was provided to Queen’s by Assistance Dogs of Hawaii, a Maui-based nonprofit organization. Over the past 10 years, the group has given the hospital three full-time hospital facility dogs to help comfort patients.

But now, Samson is here to cheer up and comfort nurses and staff — especially those who have been working long hours through a tough and stressful pandemic.

“Samson is the perfect dog for this type of work,” said ADH Executive Director Maureen Maurer. “He truly loves people, and always has a big smile. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood with Samson around.”

Samson is the first dog to ever have this role of providing stress relief and support to medical staff.

Prior to this new job description, Samson was one of four dogs part of a COVID research study that looked at the possibility of teaching canines to detect people infected with the virus.

However, researchers said they soon realized Samson was more interested in the people in the room, rather than sniffing boxes containing COVID samples.

The organization said that Samson has now clearly found his dream job where his people skills can shine.

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