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Therapy Dog Earns Honorary “Dogtorate” for Outstanding Service [Video]



Quick Smiles:

  • Loki, a 5-year-old Rottweiler, has been awarded a “dogtorate” from the University of Maryland-Baltimore for her exceptional service and therapy work, furthering her journey from delivering “hero healing kits” during the pandemic to providing comfort to hospital patients alongside her human mom, Dr. Caroline Benzel.
  • The success of Loki and Dr. Benzel has inspired the University of Maryland Medical Center to expand its therapy dog program, acknowledging the significant impact these compassionate canines can make in medical settings.
  • Along with her recent “dogtorate”, Loki’s commendations include the American Kennel Club’s Paw of Courage Award and the Animal Medical Center of New York’s 2020 Top Dog Honoree, highlighting the difference one dedicated and kindhearted Rottweiler can make.

Today we celebrate a very special graduate from the University of Maryland-Baltimore: Loki, a 5-year-old Rottweiler from Maryland, who has officially received her “dogtorate.”

Yes, you read that right!

Loki has made headlines in the past for her compassionate acts of service, and now she’s earning a new kind of recognition.

Canine companions who have truly surpassed expectations during their training have been acknowledged with these unique “dogtorates.”

Among the honorees is Loki, who became a sensation when she dressed in scrubs to deliver “hero healing kits” to nurses at the height of the pandemic.

From the beginning, Loki’s journey was entwined with her human mom, Dr. Caroline Benzel.


“The week that I had gotten her was the same week that I was accepted to medical school,” Benzel said, speaking to KENS 5.

As Benzel embarked on her medical education, Loki was also in training, preparing to provide comfort and solace to hospital patients.

“Rottweilers are considered ‘big and scary,’ but Loki shows that anyone can be kind and make a difference,” Benzel said.

Indeed, Loki wasn’t just a regular therapy dog; she was qualified to work in the trauma centers because she could handle all the machines and could be present in any part of the hospital that needed a therapy dog.

Loki’s journey of service doesn’t end there.


As Benzel begins her residency at West Virginia University, Loki is set to continue her role as a therapy dog, bringing comfort to those who need it the most.

The dynamic duo’s impressive work led the University of Maryland to expand their therapy dog program.

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

With her “dogtorate” in paw, Loki can add another accolade to her list, which includes the American Kennel Club’s Paw of Courage Award and the Animal Medical Center of New York’s 2020 Top Dog Honoree.

Yet, as Benzel sums it up, it’s not just about the recognition.

“It’s been such a positive experience during a tough time,” she said.


Through their actions, Loki and Benzel have shown that kindness truly makes a difference, even in the most challenging times.