Therapy Dog Receives 'Dogtorate' For Helping Healthcare Workers During The Pandemic

By Mariah Taylor

The University of Maryland-Baltimore has awarded Loki, a 5-year-old therapy dog, a "dogtorate" for helping deliver "hero healing kits" to nurses during the pandemic.

Caroline Benzel, MD, got the Rottweiler the same week she was accepted into medical school. She enrolled Loki in a therapy dog training program so they could both provide relief to hospital patients.

In 2021, Dr. Benzel raised $70,000 and delivered "hero healing kits" to more than 4,000 nurses.

Loki, who was dressed in a lab coat with a name tag that read "dogtor," helped deliver the kits, which contained granola bars, moisturizers, lip balm and other self-care items.

"After seeing the impact of Dogtor Loki and Dr. Benzel, the University of Maryland Medical Center expanded the therapy dog program," said Bruce Jarrell, MD, the president of the University of Maryland-Baltimore.

Loki has earned several other awards, including the American Kennel Club's Paw of Courage Award and the Animal Medical Center of New York's 2020 Top Dog Honoree.

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