Last March, third-year medical student, Caroline Benzel, started to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the constant pressure of the coronavirus pandemic.

“[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, told PEOPLE in an interview.

Benzel decided to dress her 3-year-old Rottweiler therapy dog, Loki, in a lab coat and had the “Dogtor” deliver “hero healing kits” to nurses at their local University of Maryland Medical Center. The kits had items like lip balm, granola bars, moisturizers and other (often underestimated) self-care items.


“It’s really cute to watch them sit on the floor, compare their goodies, and exchange different things,” Benzel says. “It really brightens their day.”

To add to their many accomplishments, Dogtor Loki has also won several awards including The Animal Medical Center of New York’s 2020 Top Dog Honoree and the American Kennel Club’s Paw of Courage award.

Benzel and Loki, who have raised $70,000 and delivered nearly 4,500 kits to date now have over 13,000 followers on Instagram.

The duo plan to deliver their hero healing kits for as long as the pandemic continues.