While we stay at home to try and flatten the curve of our current pandemic, our health workers and first responders are hard at work on the frontlines trying to get a hold of this disease.
But there is one therapy dog, a Rottweiler named Loki, who has been hard at work, alongside his owner, making sure that both nurses and doctors are looked after with what they’re calling, “hero healing kits.”
Loki and his owner, medical student Caroline Benzel, had been visiting the University of Maryland Medical Center as a therapy dog prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, since, the precious therapy dog has been making visits to the staff and patients of the University of Maryland Medical Center three times a week.
Remote therapy dog visits? 🤯🤯 That is something people are even interested in?? YES!! Over the last week, Loki and I…
Posted by Loki the Therapy Rottweiler on Saturday, March 28, 2020
As Benzel said to WJLA, “I got pulled from school and the front lines. I was used to being at the hospital multiple days a week with Loki.”
Both Loki and Benzel wanted to make sure that they could continue their work during the pandemic since it was a stressful time for everyone involved. At first, the pair started off by offering remote dog therapy sessions. During this time, Loki was a very happy sight for patients and staff alike, since the little therapy dog would dress up in a 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,” said Benzel.
View this post on Instagram
(P)update on HERO HEALING KITS: So far we have raised over 1,400 total kits, but are closer to +1,600 incomplete kits 😱 The donations keep coming in!! 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. . Further, the hope was people would see what we are trying to do and be inspired to do the same in their respective areas, and that HAS HAPPENED! 😁😁 @jkrevitz and her fabulous momma bear Becky in Philadelphia wanted to do the same, and have already collected almost 200 #herohealingkits in a matter of days (pics of their progress above 🙌🏼). We also have inspired others to do similar projects in NJ, NC, and other parts of Maryland. . 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. 💕💕 . . If you would like to donate, the amazon wishlist link is in the bio, or DM for our Venmo. Or if you would even share our story, we would be so grateful 🙏🏼 . . If you would like to start Hero Healing Kits in your area, please reach out and I will help you in any way I can. To see our original story that started all of this, go to @dogsofcharmcity for her article “Not All Heroes Wear Capes…” . . . Also, a big thank you to all who shared our fundraiser including: @propetshots @doctordiaries @jaanuubydrneela @minidoodlebentley @rottweilermom @hi.this.is.tatum @cliveandbacon @ripleyandrue @dermguru @smittythepup @baltimorehoney @dood_itscharlie And countless others . . . . . #thankshealthheroes . . . . #dogtorloki #emt #premed #rn #scrubs #residency #resident #rottiesofinstagram #Rottweiler #doctor #nurse #rottie #medicine #dogsofig #dogsofinsta #puppy #dog #petstagram #rottweilersofinstagram #dailyfluff #dogoftheday #cutepup #medstudent #hospital #medlife #medicalschool #ellenratemydog
Even though the pair love what they do, they definitely wanted to do more for people.
Benzel said, “Everyone was wearing PPE 24/7 and because of that, they were getting rashes and irritation from wearing masks.”
With that desire to do more, Benzel got the idea to create care packages. These included hand lotion, chapstick, Gold Bond, healthy snacks, and tea.
Using Amazon’s wishlist, Benzel asked people to pitch in and donate, and from there she created the care packages, which then underwent a name change to “hero healing kits.” So far, both Loki and Benzel made more than 1,400 of the kits – all thanks to the help of the donations.
View this post on Instagram
Professionals practicing proper PPE procedures with pupperonis 😷 I’m PAWsitive they’re proficient people 😄 #thankshealthheroes we gotta keep you safe 🥰 . . . . . . . . . . . . . #dogtorloki #emt #premed #rn #scrubs #residency #resident #rottiesofinstagram #Rottweiler #doctor #nurse #rottie #medicine #dogsofig #dogsofinsta #puppy #dog #petstagram #rottweilersofinstagram #dailyfluff #dogoftheday #cutepup #medstudent #hospital #medlife #medicalschool #doggo #medschool #ellenratemydog
“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,” posted Benzel.
When delivering the packages and making her rounds, Loki always wears a white coat. Both Benzel and Loki set out with the intent to help the healthcare workers in their area, but the gesture has spread – inspiring others to follow suit. People are doing similarly wonderful things in places like Philadelphia, New Jersey, and North Carolina as a way of showing their appreciation.
“THIS 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.”