Instagram | @dogtor.loki

'Dogtor Loki' Is Committed To Delivering 'Hero Health Kits' To Health Care Workers

A very good therapy dog in Baltimore is doing her part to bring front-line medical workers some much-appreciated care packages, and also some much-needed joy, while they continue to tackle the novel coronavirus head-on.

According to Good Morning America, Loki, (or "Dogtor Loki", as she's known around local hospitals,) can't physically comfort health care workers right now, so instead she's delivering them "Hero Health Kits" so they know they're still very much loved and appreciated.

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Loki, a 2-year-old Rottweiler, used to spend lots of time roaming the halls at the University of Maryland Medical Center comforting staff and patients.

Instagram | @dogtor.loki

Her owner, second-year medical student Caroline Benzel, began the pup's therapy dog training when she was just 18 weeks old and quickly realized that Loki was a natural.

“I’ve never met a dog that's so empathetic," she told GMA. "It’s kind of strange. There have been many circumstances at the hospital where she can just read a situation where a patient is in a very bad way or a family member is going through a loss."

Prior to the outbreak, Loki was a familiar face at the hospital, always adorably dressed in her signature white doctor's coat to interact with patients.

Instagram | @dogtor.loki

But ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., therapy dogs have been banned from hospitals and poor little Loki has found herself unable to spread love and joy to the people who need it most right now.

That's when Benzel decided to get creative.

Now Dogtor Loki has been offering patients and medical staff alike the opportunity to connect with her over FaceTime.

Instagram | @dogtor.loki

During these remote therapy visits, Benzel tells the individual to close their eyes and imagine a scene outside of the hospital.

“I’m outwardly talking,” she explained. “Imagine sitting at a park and we’re having a conversation so they can hear the birds, they can see people walking by. So that’s kind of how we’ve been doing it now.”

But that's not all Benzel and Loki are doing to help those working on the front lines during this pandemic.

Instagram | @dogtor.loki

During their FaceTime calls, Benzel began to notice the physical toll the outbreak has had on medical staff.

“I was seeing the masks doing the damage to the nursing staff, the doctors, the social workers, because everyone, custodians to doctors are all required to wear it,” she recalled.

That's what inspired her to come up with the care packages she's dubbed "Hero Health Kits".

Instagram | @dogtor.loki

Each kit features Dogtor Loki's face on them and includes a variety of self-care products, such as hypoallergenic lotion and medicated powder for irritated skin, packs of gum for dry mouths, Vaseline, chapstick, and also some tea and coffee packets.

They also come with a thank you note filled with messages of appreciation for medical staff who are working incredibly hard during these difficult times.

With the help of her neighbor, Benzel estimates she's been able to put together around 1,400 of these "Hero Health Kits".

The care packages have proven so popular that Benzel has begun delivering to other neighboring hospitals.

The initiative has even spread to a hospital in Philadelphia when a medical student there was inspired by Benzel's efforts.

Benzel said she hopes the momentum continues and even more people become inspired by her and Dogtor Loki.

Instagram | @dogtor.loki

“Loki truly is an amazing dog," she said, "and it’s been such a blessing to be able to be able to spread her personality and share it with the hospital system as a whole."

Anyone looking to donate to Benzel's "Hero Health Kits" can do so through her Amazon wish list.

Make sure you check out Dogtor Loki's official Instagram page to keep up with all her inspiring efforts!

h/t: Good Morning America

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