I don’t think we need anyone to tell us that dogs are amazing. As a matter of fact, simply having a dog in your home for a matter of hours will prove to you that they are some of the greatest creatures ever to walk the face of the earth. It seems as if they can do almost anything but some are better suited to do one thing over another.
That is the case with Buffy, who is a very friendly dog but one who didn’t do well when it came to her guide dog training. She was trained for scent detection and is now working as a service dog that sniffs out Covid-19 infections! She didn’t necessarily have a good start in her career, as she didn’t make it as a guide dog but she is doing a lot of good by detecting those who are infected.
In order to learn this unique craft, she first had to learn how to sniff in the right way. The kind folks at the Palmetto-based Southeastern Guide Dogs gave her all of the training she needed, working with her sniffing abilities using everything from cigarettes to chicken sandwiches. They would inject those items with saliva samples to teach her that there was a difference between those who had an active Covid infection and those who did not.
In order to graduate from that training course, you have to have a high degree of accuracy and Buffy achieved a 95% accuracy rate! She now is working at the Sarasota hospital, putting her unique skills to the test and helping to keep everyone safe.
How does Buffy work her magic? When a visitor comes to the hospital and has no signs of Covid, they double-check things by using Buffy’s well-trained nose. After getting permission, she goes to sniff the person’s feet and if she detects the virus, she lays down next to the person.
They saw this in action and couldn’t believe that she did it! The hospital staff did a rapid Covid test and got a positive result. Not only did she help to keep those who were working at the hospital safe, but she may very well have saved the life of that person who got an early result.