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Labrador Who Flunked Guide Dog Training Now A Covid-Sniffing Hospital Staff



  • Buffy the yellow Labrador retriever was one of four dogs who flunked out of Southeastern’s guide dog training.
  • It opened a new door for Buffy as she was then trained to detect COVID-19 infection in people.
  • The Lab is now a COVID-19-sniffing dog on staff at a Florida hospital.

There’s a new staff member at the Doctor’s Hospital of Sarasota who is sniffing out COVID-19 infections.

Meet Buffy — a yellow Labrador retriever who also greets visitors at the front door of the hospital. Of course, only a few refuse the chance to say hello to the adorable dog.

After being a go signal, Buffy will sniff visitor’s feet to detect any scent of an active COVID-19 infection. 

Photo Credit: Doctors Hospital of Sarasota (Vimeo)

Buffy was one of four dogs who flunked out of Southeastern’s guide dog training because “they were a little high-energy,” the dogs’ trainer Laska Parrow said.

But a new door opens. Buffy and the three other dogs in her class were chosen for the Covid-sniffing experiment.

Photo Credit: Doctors Hospital of Sarasota (Vimeo)

For three months, Buffy’s training consisted of sniffing food and objects from sandwiches, to gum, and cigarettes that had been injected with saliva samples. The samples came from COVID patients at the Doctors Hospital that underwent a process so the dogs will not be infected. 

Buffy finished the training with a 95% accuracy rate at detecting Covid-19. Now staff at the Florida hospital, she’s had the chance to put her knowledge and training to the test. 

Most visitors at the hospital show no symptoms of COVID. When Buffy detects that a guest is infected, she will lay down next to the person’s feet. That’s her signal.

Photo Credit: Doctors Hospital of Sarasota (Vimeo)

Hospital staff will then run a rapid COVID test on the person. Previous tests returned with positive results, showing that Buffy’s training has paid off.

Dr. Robert Meade, the CEO of Doctors Hospital CEO, believes that his institution is fortunate to be the first to have such a talented dog. Buffy lives with Meade who tries to keep the dog’s skills sharp by hiding canisters that contain the inactive virus around the house.


Good job, Buffy.

Source: Tank’s Good News