Technology allows Maryland therapy dog to still bring joy to hospital patients
April 20, 2020
Loki the therapy dog is still comforting patients at the University of Maryland Medical Center, just from afar.
Loki is a 2-year-old Rottweiler. Her owner, Caroline Benzel, is a second-year medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and began training her to be a therapy dog when she was just 18 weeks. “I’ve never met a dog that’s so empathetic,”Benzel told Good Morning America, adding that Loki, who also goes by Dogtor Loki, “can just read a situation where a patient is in a very bad way or a family member is going through a loss.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Loki and Benzel now FaceTime with patients from their home, but they are also doing something extra for hospital staff. Benzel knows how damaging masks can be to their skin, so she has been collecting items for care packages she’s dubbed Hero Healing Kits. They include everything from hypoallergenic lotion to lip balm, plus coffee, tea, and thank you notes. Benzel has distributed 1,400 kits and is raising money to deliver more. Catherine Garcia