Therapy “dogtor” and owner deliver thousands of care packages to medical professionals during pandemic
A therapy dog from Baltimore is at the forefront of the city’s volunteering efforts supporting hospital staff to overcome the coronavirus outbreak.
Loki, a 2-year-old Rottweiler and her owner, Caroline Benzel have collected over 4,500 “Hero Healing Kits”. The gift bundles feature items from body powder and lotion, to coffee mix and Vaseline. They donated these items to the intensive care workers on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19. So they began as a scheme to provide remote dog therapy sessions for infected patients. They conducted videocalls in order to help people to overcome the depression caused by COVID-19.
“The staff and patients truly enjoyed seeing the differences. Just a simple conversation can completely change the outlook of a patient,” Benzel wrote on Instagram page. This Instagram page has over 8,000 followers. As well as they shared the morale of patients and staff, while conducting such virtual visitations. This made people wear masks.
“Everyone was wearing maks 24/7. This is the reason they were getting rashes and irritation from wearing masks,” Benzel told WJLA. The project has gained national media coverage in over eight states.
“This was the dream, and it is coming to fruition. Not only to help first responders, but to inspire others to do the same in their countries,” said Benzel.
Benzel felt inclined to rally around the Baltimore medical community. So she expressed her gratitude after employees helped to fundraise the expenses of ACL surgery.
“Well, I wanted to do what I could to return the favor and show them how much I care about them and the UMMC [University of Maryland Medical Center] system,” Benzel stated.
Loki and her owner became a big part of the daily life in hospitals in Maryland. They spent the most of their time doing some volunteering work and helping people in need.