Third-year medical student Caroline Benzel noticed the pressure, as well as the physical and emotional toll that the coronavirus pandemic has brought her nurse friends at the hospital they are working in. Because of this, she knew she had to do something to help relieve everyone’s burdens. And what better way to brighten up other people’s day, particularly those who feel the stress from work than by having her adorable canine companion with her!
Nurse Benzel and her three-year-old Rottweiler and therapy dog named Loki came up with a creative way to express their support to her front liner friends. Loki, dressed up in a lab coat as a ‘dogtor,’ was paraded by Benzel around the University of Maryland Medical Center to personally deliver ‘hero healing kits’ to the nurses on duty. The package contained granola bars, moisturizers, lip balm, and other self-care items to everyone in the frontline of health care. Aside from the sweet thought, of course, it was meant to put a smile on everyone’s faces, too!
Loki’s proud fur-mom said it was a delight to witness her colleagues excitedly pore over their haul. They compared goodies and even exchanged some of their items with each other!
Their valiant effort made its way around social media. The dynamic duo is putting their fame to good use by inspiring their more than 13,000 Instagram followers to come up (and deliver!) their healing care package. Because of this, the sweet and playful pup and his fur-mommy were able to raise close to $100,000 in funds and were able to deliver nearly 4,500 kits all over the country. They were able to pull this off together with volunteers from California, New Jersey, Minnesota, and five other states.
Their good deed paved the way for several institutions to acknowledge their efforts as well. Dogtor Loki was granted several awards, such as The Animal Medical Center of New York’s 2020 Top Dog Honoree and the Paw of Courage award from the American Kennel Club.
And lovely Loki is taking all the fame with ease, according to Benzel. When her dog isn’t out there visiting medical facilities, she loves taking long walks around Baltimore’s inner harbor or nibbling on homemade pumpkin dog treats.
Everything doesn’t end there. The two are planning on delivering hero healing kits for as long as the pandemic continues to surge. Benzel says what they are doing is worth it, even though losing sleep means making sure that their kits reach their beneficiaries. She says it’s imperative more than ever to show how much we support our healthcare workers.
As a result, many people are reaching out to Benzel and asking about how they could train their pets to become therapy dogs so they can spread happiness in their communities, too. She concludes by defuncting the impression of Rottweilers being big and frightening. Loki proves that absolutely anybody can show kindness and contribute something to change the world!
Credits: Loki the Therapy Rottweiler / Instagram