Some dogs answer to a higher calling in life, and Brian Benson’s beloved service dog named Magnus, a six-year-old Labrador, is no exception. Benson recently spent several days in the hospital after being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. He was having trouble breathing and experienced pain in his chest. The doctors ran several tests and eventually diagnosed him with a rare heart disease that makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood.
When he first checked into the facility, his family asked if Magnus could stay by his side. The dog was allowed to occupy Benson’s room. He refused to leave his owner’s side even for a moment.
Benson uploaded images and videos of his unique hospital stay to his Instagram page, @magnusthetherapydog, where it quickly won over the internet.
Magnus really does make everything in life better. No one ever wants to be in the hospital, but unfortunately I developed a heart condition that kept me in the hospital for several days for tests and observations. As stressful as this was for my daughters and I, Magnus always finds a way to comfort everyone and help them stay calm and relaxed. He even made the doctors and nurses smile while we were there. The reason Magnus was allowed to stay with me is because he is also my tasked trained service dog. I am so grateful to be Magnus’ dad and have him in my life. He really is the BEST! ❤️ #servicedog #hospital #labradorsoftiktok #cardiomyopathy
“Magnus really does make everything in life better,” he wrote in the caption. “No one ever wants to be in the hospital, but unfortunately, I developed a heart condition that kept me in the hospital for several days for tests and observations. As stressful as this was for my daughters and I, Magnus always finds a way to comfort everyone and help them stay calm and relaxed. He even made the doctors and nurses smile while we were there.”
Benson said Magnus was allowed to stay because he was his trained service dog.
“I am so grateful to be Magnus’ dad and have him in my life. He really is the BEST! ❤️”
The video quickly racked up over nine million views. Users commented on how nice it would be to have a dog keep them company in the hospital. “He’s so precious,” wrote one person. “He would have relaxed me too if I worked at that hospital!”
“When I had my heart attack my husband snuck my little dog in. Best medicine ever. I told the doctorI needed to go home to recover. I left the next day to be with my dogs,” wrote another person.
“The nurses must be so happy to have Magnus there,” wrote another.
Benson said he does his best to stay in good health, but he believes his problems were caused by a family history of cardiac disease and heart attacks at an early age.
“Even though I have been working out for over 35 years, eat healthy, ran the NYC marathon, completed multiple Spartan races, and trained in Krav Maga and boxing, I’m one of the rare cases where a person ‘just’ develops cardiomyopathy,” Benson added. “The painful reality is that sometimes you just can’t beat your genetics no matter how hard you work. It’s almost like trying to swim upstream, maximum effort with minimal or limited results.”
Maybe more patients in the hospital should have a dog at their side – as long as they’re not a distraction.
“Every high-stress environment could benefit from having a Magnus there,” another person commented. “He is the best boy. If I was a nurse working on that floor, I would probably have gotten into trouble for coming into pet Magnus all day long.”