An adorable photo of a dentist and his four-legged sidekick is going viral on the Internet this week after it was shared on the social news site Reddit.
"This dentist brings his dog in as a way to calm the nerves of children who may be nervous. So great," wrote Redditor "Jmb012345."
According to MSN, the dentist in the photograph is Dr. Paul Weiss, a pediatric dentist from Williamsville, N.Y. Weiss has reportedly trained his dog, Brooke, to act as a "therapy dog to calm his young patients."
“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 told Buffalo Business First earlier this year.
“The gratification of taking a nervous child and turning them into someone who’s comfortable at a dentist’s office is really something great,” he added.
On Weiss' website, Brooke -- who reportedly passed a half-day certification test from Therapy Dogs International earlier this year -- is described as a "gentle" and friendly dog who is receptive to physical contact. Therapy dogs like Brooke, the site says, can help patients "ease tensions, lower blood pressure and increase positive attitudes."
Though some Redditors have pointed out that not all children will enjoy having a dog around during a dentist visit, Weiss says that Brooke is only called upon occasionally and is always accompanied by a human staff member.
He adds that Brooke is always given a good scrub down before each visit and the office is "cleaned thoroughly when she leaves," according to Business First.
The 4-year-old golden retriever now comes in to the office every Thursday (dubbed "Brooke Day") and Weiss says his furry friend has been a big hit with the kids.
What do you think of this dentist's helper? Tell us in the comments below.
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