Here’s a good example of how the Internet works these days. A great photo of a golden retriever helping a child stay calm at the dentist’s office went viral (we posted it to our Facebook page yesterday morning), and then someone tracks down its origin and offers the story.
The dog, Brooke, belongs to Dr. Paul Weiss, a dentist in Williamsville, New York, who recognized that her temperament would be perfect for his patients. So he sent her to a two-week course, after which she passed a certification test from Therapy Dogs International. Now, she works in the office:
The 4-year-old Brooke visits each Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., accompanied at all times by a human staff member. She plays fetch with children and is occasionally called upon to calm them.
“If a child is afraid of getting her teeth cleaned, Brooke can sit next to them in the chair and the kid can have their hand on the dog,” Weiss said.
If you think for a minute, you can come up with any number of stressful situationsthe doctor’s office, any kind of certification exam, the DMVin which the presence of a dog would have a calming effect. Just picture it: You’ve been in line for a half hour, waiting to renew your license, when someone comes up with a gorgeous dog who just wants to play for a couple minutes. Wouldn’t that be great?
Click here for the announcement of Brooke’s role in the office on Dr. Weiss’s website.