This beautiful working dog has had to get a bit creative in order to keep doing her job during the current crisis.
The 2-year-old Rottweiler named Loki has made it her life’s work to spread joy and comfort to those in need.
She’s been working at the University of Maryland Medical Center and visited and comforted patients multiple times a week alongside her mommy, Caroline Benzel.
That is, until the current situation suddenly prevented Loki from making her regular trips to the hospital.
Caroline Benzel is a second-year Medical student at the university, and it is thanks to her that Loki has found her calling in life.
Benzel recognized Loki’s gentle spirit soon after getting her, and knew she would make a great therapy dog.
Benzel and Loki, who’s affectionately referred to as Dogtor Loki, have since made it a habit to visit the hospital together around three times a week.
However, because Benzel is just a second-year student, she was recently pulled out of school as a result of the current crisis.
Unable to visit the hospital, Benzel was determined to do something else to support the patients and the staff.
And so, Benzel and Loki decided to start offering virtual therapy sessions; using FaceTime, Benzel and Loki started offering online sessions for patients and nurses and tried their best to offer them some joy and comfort.
When Loki used to visit the hospital in person, she always wore a little custom-made doctors-coat, and she made sure to suit up for her online visits too.
But soon, Benzel realized that she wanted to do even more to help. She noticed that the protective gear that health care workers need to wear is putting a terrible strain on their bodies; many healthcare workers have started developing rashes and other skin issues due to the constant friction from masks, gloves and other protective gear.
To support all the heroic healthcare workers, show them some appreciation, and alleviate some of their discomforts, Benzel came up with the “Hero Healing Kits.”
She began putting together little care packages and sending them to the hospital.
The Hero Healing Kits are packed with items such as lotions for irritated skin, hand cream, powders for skin irritation, chewing gum to alleviate dryness of the mouth, chapstick, and tea and coffee packets so the recipients can enjoy a warm and comforting drink.
The kits are all marked with Loki’s beautiful face and includes a note of gratitude and appreciation.
To fund the packages, Benzel set up an Amazon wish list that people could donate to, and she’s managed to raise over 1,400 kits so far.
The initiative has been so well-received that it has inspired other people to create their own Hero Healing Kits, and Benzel reported on Facebook that she’d seen similar projects pop up in “NJ, NC, and other parts of Maryland.”
Loki and Benzel are now donating hero packages to multiple hospitals and are passionate about keeping the project going and continuing to grow and develop it.
The pair is absolutely blown away by the projects success and the immense support from the public.
Both Loki and her mom are incredibly grateful for all the support they’ve received and are thrilled that they are able to support the heroic people who are working tirelessly to keep the rest of us safe.
If you’d like to donate to a Hero Healing Kit initiative, you can do so here.
We’re so proud of this selfless duo and we’re very excited to see this project continue to develop and grow.