A group of beloved pooches has made a joyous return at Mayo Clinic in Florida. The Caring Canines Program, which is run by Volunteer Services, had been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But now outdoor visits are underway again.
"We've started outdoor visits to lift staff spirit, as we all turn the corner of the COVID-19 pandemic," says Nicole Beal, Volunteer Services, who captured the photo of Phoebe May, a 9-year-old Maltese.
On May 11, Phoebe May and other specially trained dogs stood between the Mayo and Stabile buildings to brighten the day of colleagues walking by.
"Many squealed with excitement and stopped to catch up with their favorite member of the Caring Canine Team," Beal says.
"Muzzling Mondays," "Tuesday Tails" and "Furry Fridays" are now highlights each week, as those are the days set up for Caring Canine visits in Florida.
Even when the dogs couldn't make campus visits during the pandemic, Volunteer Services found a way to spread some four-legged cheer in a 2D way. Teams placed signs outdoors around campus that featured pictures of the pooches and encouraging messages.
"Now we're planning to rev up again and have more outdoor ― and soon indoor ― visits," Beal says.