Dogs are well known for their ability to give a helping hand, larger breeds such as Labrador and Golden retrievers are considered the best for service work. Sampson the lovely Golden Retriever was suited up to work alongside his parent in a lab at the University of Illinois.
His parent is a disabled neuroscientist who ensured that her pup was well protected for the lab. Much like his human colleagues, Sampson was suited from head to paw with goggles, a well-fitting coat, and a pair of protective mittens for his front paws. Interestingly, Sampson became the first dog to enter the university’s lab; after long debates over vague legislation preventing the dog from entering it was settled. Very few institutions allow dogs in laboratories so Samson’s story is progress for service dogs and the spaces they can operate in.
There are nearly 500,000 service dogs in the United States that assist their parents with their disabilities, however, there are places that these dogs cannot be in like operating rooms or restaurant kitchens which is understandable. However, there is a rise in parent-dog duos that cannot be separated for work; such is the case of Sampson and his parent Joey Ramp.
Ramp adopted Sampson at a pivotal moment in her life; she had suffered a debilitating horse accident, had undergone multiple surgeries, and was a housebound single mother. An image of a Golden Retriever caught her eye in her darkest hour and she chose to rebuild her life with Sampson by her side.
Image Credit: Sampson_Service_Dog