It’s always endearing to see more and more dogs in different professions. Before we talk about service and therapy dogs, we immediately think of the police or fire department. More dogs work with humans in various industries, proving that dogs are versatile animals.
Kismet, the chihuahua, is remarkable in her way. A toothless dental assistant who has made countless patients smile; she is a paradox that sparks many people’s curiosity.
Her parents, Dr. Cameron and Dr. Debra Garrett, are both in dentistry – Cameron is a dentist while Debra is a dental hygienist. Every day, they go to work in the Bay Area in California. With Kismet being their dental assistant, they make an excellent team.
One might ask what Kismet does as a therapy dog. We all know how dental visits can be stressful for adults and children, especially with invasive procedures. We are in an unusual situation due to the coronavirus pandemic; safety and hygiene protocols have become much stricter, and the overall environment is less welcoming.
Given all the circumstances mentioned earlier, this is where Kismet comes in. She acts as an equalizer and makes the environment more welcoming and relaxing. Dental patients can have the privilege of having her on their laps during a dental procedure, and she has excellent with both children and adults!
For those who are afraid of dogs, Kismet watches them from a distance, with a barrier. But the percentage of people refusing her service is very small; nearly all patients would always choose to have her stay with them throughout.
According to the Garretts couple, they know how therapy dogs help lower humans’ blood pressure. Lower blood pressure means more relaxation, making the who experience bearable, if not enjoyable, for both patients and dentists.
With Kismet being a senior dog, being calmer and needing less exercise is a bonus. The energy she brings to the workplace is just perfect. Not only that, but Kismet being toothless is also an ideal opportunity for the Garrets to educate patients about periodontal disease.
Kismet also has her share of rough times before she became the dental assistant that she is today. Formerly named ‘Pancake,’ Kismet was a stray senior rescue dog from Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, a nonprofit animal organization based in San Fransisco.
Its mission is to give senior dogs a better life and change the way people view older dogs. She had many health issues: hernia, rotting teeth, a cancerous mammary gland, and a heart murmur. The nonprofit organization spent thousands of dollars on her surgeries and medications before rehabilitating and becoming the dog she is today.
It wasn’t the first time Dr. Cameron and Dr. Debra had a rescue dental assistant. They used to have a therapy dog called Karma, a toothless senior chihuahua rescued by the same organization that saved Kismet. When Karma passed away, they decided to adopt Kismet.
According to Debra, adopting a senior dog is a win-win situation: you give them a second chance at life. At the same time, their added wisdom and subdued nature benefitted them immensely at work. It’s not about the length of time spent with them but the quality of the whole experience.
Watch this video featuring Kismet and her story:
Source: HIS Radio via YouTube