Therapy dog Buddy visits NYC essential workers

Good News Notes:

He may be out of a job, but he’s still one of the hardest-working hounds in New York.

Buddy, a licensed therapy dog who lives with owner Michael Gill in Manhattan, has reinvented himself as a furry freelancer since his regular volunteer gig with the Caring Canines program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center shut down due to the pandemic.

The 7-year-old golden retriever used to visit the hospital to three times a week to provide comfort and relief to inpatients, outpatients and medical staff.

But with their volunteer work suspended, Buddy and Gill, 47 — who works in tech and software sales — fill the ‘big hole’ in their schedules by sniffing out new stressed-out people — especially essential workers — while walking a new set of rounds in their neighborhood.

‘When COVID hit, I stayed in touch with medical staff through Instagram so I would tell them, ‘Let me know when your shift is over and what your plan is, and we will come and meet you,’ Gill recalled.

Soon Buddy and Gill were coordinating meetings outside of Memorial Sloan Kettering before or after staffers’ 12-hour shifts.”

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