Man’s best friend? More like man’s best lab tech! Getting a career started during the Coronavirus pandemic is tough, but luckily this golden retriever at the University of Illinois has the PPE necessary to get started.
Sampson the Service Dog
Sampson is a golden retriever service dog who belongs to Joey Ramp, a research lab worker at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. For Sampson to accompany his biocognitive neuroscientist owner to work, he needs to make sure he’s safe inside PPE — just like his owner. The adorable outfit includes a lab coat, goggles, and little boots.
Sampson became Ramp’s service dog while Ramp was coping with a traumatic brain injury. After falling off a horse in 2006, she suffered 23 broken bones and an injury to her prefrontal cortex that caused permanent nerve damage on the left side of her body. Sampson received a high level of training from service dog handlers in order to help Ramp adapt to her new life. And now, he helps Ramp at work too… while wearing the appropriate protective equipment.
The story has gone viral since Nexstar Media Wire and NewsNation released cute pics of the duo, hard at lab work.
Sampson on Twitter
I like sciencing! I wear the same PPE mom wears. Sometimes we don’t have to wear goggles. Those are days we are writing reports. I still help her everyday though. #servicedog in #science #neuroscience #research #laboratory #molecular #cellular #biology pic.twitter.com/S2TbYTheEu
— Sampson the Service Dog (@sampson_dog) October 9, 2019
Sampson is also trending on Twitter. His bio reads: “Sampson is the original ambassador for service dogs in science. With his handler, they developed a protocol for SD PPE and lab safety for handler access to science.” And since becoming a social media star, Sampson is also using the platform to call out the trolls. One response tweet even reads: “Mom’s name is NOT Karen.”
The bigger question is why are people bullying Sampson on the internet?! He’s a cute dog following CDC guidelines, what more can you ask for! Good boy, Sampson!
17) Mom’s name is NOT Karen, and she is not from California. Her name is @JoeyRamp, she is a Biocognitive Neuroscientist, a disability advocate, and just a bada** person if anyone has further questions.
— Sampson the Service Dog (@sampson_dog) March 11, 2021
If you are loving Sampson and appreciate his bold steps into the STEM field, then check out scienceservicedog.com. The site donates a percentage of proceeds to International Alliance for Ability in Science and has funny products, like Sampson face masks, socks, and even flip-flops.
Another Golden Retriever with PPE
In this video, a live news interview with a medical professional is cut short when his dog — also a golden retriever — sneaks into the frame trying to steal PPE. From his owner’s reaction, it is clearly not the first time.