It's take your dog to work day!

June 20, 2008
Dr. Ray Armstrong of Colorado Springs encourages his staff to incorporate dogs into the practice's makeup

by Penny E. Anderson
Senior Editor
Dental Economics

Scene: A typical dental office. Action: Patient lying back in the dental chair with napkin around his neck, as the dentist begins a procedure. Now here's where the scene changes from usual — out from under the napkin pops the tiny, cute head of an adorable Yorkshire terrier! Even more unusual, the patient is not surprised. The dog lays back down in the patient's lap, and the patient rubs the back of this adorable terrier all through the procedure.

Welcome to the dental practice of Dr. Ray Armstrong in Colorado Springs, Colo., where Take Your Day To Work Day —today, Friday, June 20 — is every day.

Dr. Armstrong and his practice were featured briefly (you know, one of those "you blink, and it's over") in a segment of NBC's "Today" show this morning. We don't know which Yorkshire terrier had the starring role this morning, but we do know that it was either Tika or Rylee, owned by Dr. Armstrong's dental hygienist, Kaylyn Sievert. Also assisting the dental staff is Owen the poodle, rescued from a dog mill by dental assistant Andi DuPius.

The dogs greet the patients when they come in for their appointments, sit on their laps during treatment, and just generally put a smile on patients' faces. Office manager Anita Cardoza was quoted in an article on June 18 in Colorado Springs' The Gazette as saying, "Patients love it and look forward to seeing the dogs because their presence is very calming."

As a dog lover myself, I couldn't agree more! Now if I could just find a dentist in Tulsa who does this. Or, better still, I could volunteer my two adorable dogs, Andre the poodle and Bailey Bear the bichon, to be my own employer's calming influence. I can dream, can't I?

Happy Take Your Dog to Work Day!