Healthcare workers are on the front lines bravely battling the COVID-19 pandemic. They are committed to their jobs and so are Loki, a therapy Rottweiler, and her mom. The therapy dog, better known as Dogtor Loki, is making sure that the nurses and doctors are well taken care with “hero healing kits”.
The adorable therapy dog visited patients and staff at the University of Maryland Medical Center three times a week alongside her medical student mom, Caroline Benzel, before the pandemic occurred. “I got pulled from school and the front lines,” Benzel told WJLA. “I was used to being at the hospital multiple days a week with Loki.”
The pair wanted to do their part to help comfort patients and staff during this stressful time. Loki and her mom started by offering remote dog therapy treatments. Dogtor Loki brought smiles to the faces of patients and staff in her custom white coat. “The staff and patients have truly enjoyed seeing something different since- at least at our hospital- all visitations have been halted. A simple conversation can completely change the outlook of a patient,” posted Benzel.
While they enjoyed making the day of patients and staff, they wanted to do more. “Everyone was wearing PPE 24/7 and because of that, they were getting rashes and irritation from wearing masks,” said Benzel. That is when she came up with the idea for care packages that included items like hand lotion, chapstick, Gold Bond, healthy snacks, and tea.
Benzel asked people to help donate, through an Amazon wishlist, to create the care packages which she has renamed “hero healing kits”. Loki and her mom have made 1,400 kits so far thanks to all the generous donations. “Needless to say, we are blown away by the kindness and generosity of people. We will be distributing the majority of these to 4 different hospitals over the next week. AND THAT IS JUST THE BEGINNING,” wrote Benzel.
Loki sported her white coat and helped deliver the first round of hero healing kits. The goal was to help healthcare workers on the front lines and inspire others to do something similar in their area. Loki’s followers did just that with people in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and North Carolina making care packages to show their appreciation to all hospital staff.
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“THIS was was the dream, and it is coming to fruition: not only to help frontline workers/first responders, but to inspire others to do the same in their counties and states for their respective hospitals. Thank you again for all the love and support shown through all of this. We wanted to show our people keeping us safe some love, and because of you, we have been able to do that.”
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