How University of Maryland Hospital Workers banded together to help a broke Medical Student pay for her therapy dog’s surgery. Now in their time of need, this med student/therapy dog duo is returning the favor and needs your help.
Meet Loki, known as Dogtor Loki at the University of Maryland Medical Center. This two-and-a-half-year-old Rottweiler has become a loved member of the hospital and its long-term trauma patients through her work as an on-call therapy dog. Loki has her own scrubs, official hospital name badge, white coat, and scrub cap. You could say that she is the "real deal".
Photo Credit: Pro Petshots
Loki’s mom, Caroline Benzel, is a second-year Medical Student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. During Caroline’s gap year between her undergraduate degree and medical school, she spent a month caring for her grandfather while he was hospitalized. “There was only so much I could do to keep him entertained and happy. But when those therapy dogs would come in… man would he light up. Five minutes with those dogs could completely turn his day around” she says. Caroline knew that she wanted the next dog she got to be a therapy dog, but what she didn’t know was that an 11-week old Rottweiler puppy would enter her life unexpectedly the week she was accepted to Medical School. “You could say it was serendipitous.”
Loki passed the therapy dog certification with flying colors and the rest was history. Caroline created an Instagram account for Loki (@dogtor.loki) so that they could be on-call around the clock when nurses, doctors, social workers and other hospital staff members request a visit. Caroline and Loki spend an average of two to three days in the hospital each week visiting patients and also spend most holidays in the hospital spreading joy through Loki's presence.