Harley, the therapug

Harley and their owner, Doctor Lucia
Harley and their owner, Doctor Lucia

Harley is a 3 year old dog that has taken the internet by storm as his owner, a neuropsychologist at the Centro Medico Nacional 20, has decided he has the temperament to be a therapeutic dog.

Doctor Lucia Ledesma, Harley’s owner, takes the dog in to comfort medical staff and patients as the pandemic has put a serious strain on their hospital. She says she’s been preparing the dog alongside trainers since February to take the role of being a service dog at the hospital. She says that Harley’s love of affection and mild manners made him a perfect candidate for the job.

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Alike other staff at the hospital, Harley has to wear personal protective equipment.

Illustration for article titled Harley, the therapug
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Harley shines brightest by fighting burnout syndrome; and he’s usually most busy during shift changes at the hospital. Harley is affectively known as “el tuerto” by medical staff, as he’s only got one eye.

Illustration for article titled Harley, the therapug
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Naturally, one could be worried about a pug in a hospital infested with respiratory diseases.

Dogs have tested positive for COVID-19 across the world, however, it is believed that they’re not easily infected, and it is not considered a health threat to dogs.

On the other hand, the CDC and the WHO have indicated that there’s no proof that dogs can infect humans with COVID-19 and they should not be considered a source of spread.

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News of Harley comes as Mexico enters the most aggressive stage of the pandemic. As much as Mexico City has been the hardest-hit state, it is also the state with the most medical staff and capacity in the country. Harley and his owner work at a public-sector workers hospital (ISSSTE), meaning they don’t usually treat people in general; only government employees.

If you only want uplifting news you should stop reading here.

Other hospitals have not been able to organize as well; IMSS, the service for regular folk and by far the largest provider of healthcare in the country, was heavily criticized by hospital administrators across the country for not preparing on time, and multitudes of healthcare workers are planning a massive strike once the pandemic is over.

Although in numbers the COVID-19 outbreak in Mexico is not as serious as in the USA, Europe, or Brazil, our epidemiological approach - the sentinel model- means we’ve been applying very few tests, and numbers are heavily skewed. As of writing we’ve accumulated 49,000 verified cases, and over 5,000 deaths due to COVID-19. After scathing reports by international newspapers, the mayoress of Mexico City admitted that deaths due to COVID-19 in the capital were very probably significantly higher than the public record suggests.

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Surprisingly, other news has taken over, like the President’s newest gaffe with feminists when he argued that “90% of domestic abuse calls are fake” and by publishing a new energy guideline which punitively excludes solar and wind power from Mexico’s electricity generation plans. Our secretary of energy also tweeted that she considered nuclear energy renewable.

But hey, Harley is cute as fuck and he doesn’t care about renewable energy or death rates in this very moment. So why should you?

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