Loki can tell it’s time to start working when the scrubs and white coats are put on. Before the coronavirus epidemic, the Rottweiler, who is about 3 years old, worked as a therapy dog at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Loki and Caroline Benzel, who was her owner, felt helpless due to visitation limitations. Benzel then devised a plan to use “Dogtor Loki Hero Healing Kits” to assist overworked front-line personnel.
The personnel at the hospital are my colleagues, and they are all quite familiar with Loki, said Benzel, 30, a third-year medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, to TODAY. “I gathered my neighborhood and raised a lot of money. Then, I merely posted a petition on all of Loki’s social media, and donations poured in.”
Almost everything a hospital worker would need for a 12-hour shift is included in the kits, including lip balm, baby powder, petroleum jelly, hypoallergenic lotion, tea, coffee drinks, and snack bars. The products merely provide some relief for overworked employees. They also include a note of gratitude from the dog and a photo of her dressed in scrubs. Around 5,500 kits have so far been supplied by Benzel across the nation, inspiring others to create their own to share. The response was tremendous.
“I’ve received numerous thank-you letters. People have sent Loki gifts, she said, and some have even sent dog toys. “I’ve just received a ton of truly amazing items,”. Benzel collects funds to produce the kits. Loki has continued to serve as a therapy dog virtually, making people smile when they most need it. Given that patients are now segregated due to COVID-19 protocols, it is even more crucial.
For their protection, the patients are essentially confined to their rooms. So, we would enjoy the greenery and chirping birds while sitting outside in my front yard, which is near to a golf course, Benzel said. “I was hoping it would bring them back to normal,” the author said.
While they discuss, Loki rests her head on Benzel’s lap. She remarked, “It’s almost like Loki knows what’s going on and hangs, which is quite incredible. Naturally, that doesn’t make up for the fact that Loki wasn’t present in person. However, it at least demonstrates that we remain supportive and in spirit.
When Loki was employed by the hospital, she pushed disobedient patients to complete their physical therapy and assisted those suffering from “white coat syndrome” to unwind. Everyone felt more at ease when they saw a 100+ pound dog disguised as a doctor.
Despite being a breed that is frequently feared, Benzel wanted people to feel at ease around Loki, so she decided to dress the dog up. Loki worked with her coworkers to create scrubs and a personalized white coat with her name stitched on it.
She said, “They offered to purchase my scrubs for Loki because they all adored her. “When she began dressing her scrubs, the large black dog was never in doubt. When they would see her walking down the corridor, everyone would just chuckle.
Benzel finds support from working with Loki in the hospital and now virtually as she copes with the epidemic and medical school pressures. Being a medical student, Loki was therapeutic for her and gave her the impression that she was giving back to the community.